Anthonio Gramsci (1891-1937)

Gramsci is considered to be one of the most marxist thinkers and the most famous discoverer and the sharp analyst of the superstructure of the theory of Carl Marx. Actually he used two stratas (political and civil society) inside of superstructure to explain how they work dialectical, not just the mechanical way. He was the first general secretary of Italian Communist Party in 1920S.He introduced a powerful concept of Hegemony in which the ruling class maintained and manipulated the power over the common people.

Actually, he fell victim to the Facist regime of Benito Musolini causing him to be arrested and detained until his death.However in the prison, he used his impressive analytical ability to write down his concepts into notes in what is called “Prison Notebooks”. After 11 years of his death those prison notebooks were printed in Italian language and then in the 1070s it was published in english. After the 1970s, the Prison Notebooks of Gramsci became very famous around the world and it was heavily debatable in the academic fields as well as in the political fields. Some Marxists thought that he was trying to change the idea of Marx and some of them argued that he tried to improve or expand the idea of Marx. However the ideas of Gramsci have been very relevant for the current society of capitalism when we examine the way the capitalist leaders try to maintain their hegemonic power these days.

The culture of Hegemony and the crisis of Hegemony in which he explains how the ruling class uses their cultural values to convince the common people to obey the status quo. Another way he attempted to explain that the economic crisis not just caused the political problem but only to make some kind of potential or some sort of pressure into the political crisis but it does not mean that the economic crisis causes the political crisis and then the political crisis causes the changeover the capitalist system.

He also explained how the facist regime works and how the spaces erupts for making facist conditions. In his powerful concepts throughout the prison notebooks, he proposed the two ways of power changing from the capitalist ruling class. He named them “ the War of Position” and the “the war of Maneuver”. 

(In these articles, the writer is hopeful for explaining what Gramsci was trying to elaborate the marxist theory and also about the hegemonic power and the other central ideas of him).

-Ranjana Senanayake