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Gramsci, Antonio (1891–1937)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-S073-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 23, 2024, from

Article Summary

An Italian Marxist theorist and activist, Gramsci’s main contribution lies in his critique of dialectical materialism. This school treated both the power of the bourgeois state and the prospects for its revolutionary overthrow and replacement by a stateless communist society as necessary consequences of the autonomous development of the economic forces of production. In contrast, Gramsci emphasized the relatively independent role played by politics and culture in upholding the authority of the state and in organizing popular resistance to it. A canonical figure of Western Marxism, he is credited with formulating a strategy applicable to all communist parties operating in the democratic states of advanced industrial societies. However, the posthumously published Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) elaborate on theoretical questions that had preoccupied Gramsci throughout most of his political career and which reflect peculiarities of the Italian political situation and traditions.

Citing this article:
Bellamy, Richard. Gramsci, Antonio (1891–1937), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-S073-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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