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A new culture

Antonio Gramsci's notes from the cell in fascist Italy in the 20 century were collected and published under the title Prison Diaries after World War II. The time has come to pick him up again.


The time has come to win back Antonio Gramsci (1891 – 1937), freeing this central Marxist philosopher from the deadly grip of the left-wing liberal-libertarians, who by far embody everything Gramsci fought against. [The left side in Italy can be described as more opportunistic, pragmatic and out of touch with its historical roots than in many other European countries.] Today, the left is nothing more than a cultural phenomenon that adorns the powerful construction of global capitalism. It forms – we could say with Gramsci – part of topsides. Globalization without reservation; a Europeanism without head or leadership; a wagging, transatlantic obedience; a market economy sick of privatization: All this has become the real pillars of the left and orienteringpoints after the flight of the flag from the struggle against capitalism, and the subsequent adherence to the victory march of capitalism. The path has gone from the struggle against imperialism to a struggle for imperialism; from a struggle for the oppressed to a struggle against the oppressed, that is, the national-populist masses baked together by the losers of the globalization process.

Antonio Gramsci

Gramsci (1891–1937) was an Italian, philosopher and politician, and began his studies in philology and linguistics at the University of Turin in 1919. Gramsci started the socialist weekly newspaper L'Ordine Nouvo ("The New Order", 1919), was one of the the founders of the Communist Party in Italy (Partito Comunista Italiano, 1921), and founded the daily newspaper L'Unità (Communist Party Party newspaper, 1924). During Benito Mussolini's fascist regime (1922-1943), Gramsci was seen as one of the regime's most dangerous opponents. He was arrested in 1926 and sentenced to 20 years, 4 months and 5 days in prison. In 1934 he became seriously ill and transferred to a hospital, and died of cerebral haemorrhage in 1937. Gramsci is considered one of the most important socialist, political philosophers of the 1900th century. Prison diaries consist of Gramsci's records from the years he was imprisoned, and were only compiled and published after World War II. Gramscis Prison Diaries is not published in the Norwegian edition, but Columbia University Press has published a complete Prison Notebooks in three volumes. The collection is available on Excerpts from Gramscis Prison Notebooks are available as PDF: Read more about Gramsci in the biographies A City in Light of Anders Ehnmarks and Life of a Revolutionary by Giuseppe Fiori.

New intellectual class

On the one hand, today we have the people – like feel, but do not always understand or know. On the other hand, we have the intellectuals – who knowbut do not always understand or feel. This creates a connection between the two parties, which can potentially help us get past both the elitist isolation of the intellectuals as "a caste and a priesthood" (from Gramscis prison Diaries), and the extortion of the people as a passive and unenlightened mass. Here, there is a need for a national-populist literature and, more generally, for a type of intellectual "who feels organically linked to a national-populist mass" and who undertakes to raise them and reform them intellectually and morally.

Lots of oppressed have been besides political representation.

In opposition to the parties and intellectuals who obediently follow the turbo-capitalist god and the hegemonic system that history has produced, it is necessary to create a party and an intellectual class that represents the oppressed center: in other words, the national-populist masses of the oppressed until then. today has been besides political representation and which has lacked its own coherent worldview. It is therefore necessary to say goodbye to the priest-like cast of intellectuals associated with the formations of capitalism, and move on with the aim of "creating a new intellectual class" with an emotional connection to the masses and a clear national-populist vocation, organizing revolutionary subjectivity. and bring together the Communist Party and the people – the modern "prince" and the subjects. [Here it is alluded to "The Prince" by Machiavelli, who analyzes the underlying logic of all real exercise of power. Gramsci himself wanted to write "the new prince," where he would devise a constructive alternative, a People's Movement Handbook for his fellow citizens.]

Philosophy and practice

In such a light, it is easy to understand why Gramscis prison Diaries insists on "a new culture" that gives power to the masses and leads to a new, shared vision in which the liberation of the oppressed on a national-populist level is prioritized. Said with the language of the diaries is the very essence of creating a new culture to "socialize" the new visions for the world, so as to make sure that the visions are rooted in the "foundation for decisive action" and thus give the masses a uniform consciousness, something which allows them to think in unison – and let action follow the thought: “Creating a new culture does not just mean making individual, 'original' discoveries; it also means, in particular, to critically disseminate already discovered truths, to 'socialize' them, so to speak, and thereby make them a platform for decisive action, an element that can coordinate and contribute with a moral and intellectual okay. That a human being is led to think coherently and in a coherent contemporary fashion is a more decisive 'philosophical' fact, than a philosophical genius's discovery of a new truth that remains the exclusive property of small intellectual groups. ”

Gramsci must today be read as a populist philosopher.

The transformation of philosophy into practice, and from practice to a mobilizing ideology in the next, is the practical-theoretical task that Gramsci seems to assign prison Diaries. This means that Gramsci must today be read as a populist [As in Norwegian, "populism" has on Italian negative connotations, but is used here consciously in a positive sense. ] philosopher, and certainly not as a thinker for the elites of liquid finance, or the cultural left that represents them.
Fusaro is a philosopher and teacher at ISSAP in Milan, and runs the website He is now a regular columnist in Ny Tid.

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