After highlighting the philological and theoretical fortes of Peter Thomas’s The Gramscian Moment, the intervention questions his assumption of Gramsci’s allegedly ‘neutral’ concept of ideology. This interpretation is one-sided in that it leaves out the ideology-critique adopted via Labriola and practised throughout Gramsci’s work. Gramsci’s perspective of rendering people’s common sense more coherent opens up a more democratic perspective than Kautsky’s and Lenin’s notion that socialist class-consciousness is to be brought ‘from without’. The intervention argues that the reconstruction of a ‘Luxemburg-Gramsci line’ is of importance for today’s debates and struggles.
Basing his research on Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, Rehmann provides a comprehensive socio-analysis of Max Weber’s political and intellectual position in the ideological network of his time.
Max Weber: Modernisation as Passive Revolution shows that, even though Weber presents his science as ‘value-free’, he is best understood as an organic intellectual of the bourgeoisie, who has the mission of providing his class with an intense ethico-political education. Viewed as a whole, his writings present a new model for bourgeois hegemony in the transition to ‘Fordism’. Weber is both a sharp critic of a ‘passive revolution’ in Germany tying the bourgeois class to the interests of the agrarian class, and a proponent of a more modern version of passive revolution, which would foreclose a socialist revolution by the construction of an industrial bloc consisting of the bourgeoisie and labour aristocracy.
How to explain the hegemonic stability of neoliberal capitalism even in the midst of its crises? The emergence of ideology theories marked a re-foundation of Marxist research into the functioning of alienation and subjection. Going beyond traditional concepts of ‘manipulation’ and ‘false consciousness’, they turned to the material existence of hegemonic apparatuses and focused on the mostly unconscious effects of ideological practices, rituals and discourses. Jan Rehmann reconstructs the different strands of ideology theories ranging from Marx to Adorno/Horkheimer, from Lenin to Gramsci, from Althusser to Stuart Hall, from Bourdieu to W.F. Haug, from Foucault to Butler. He compares them in a way that a genuine dialogue becomes possible and applies the different methods to the ‘market totalitarianism’ of today’s high-tech-capitalism.