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The Modern Prince and Other Writings [Hardcover]

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Item Number 243043  
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Item description for The Modern Prince and Other Writings by Antonio Gramsci...

Antonio Gramsci has become, over the years, the most beloved intellectual of left minded thinkers and actors. His views on 'hegemony', 'oreganic intellectuals' and his conceren for 'unity of theory and action' are considered his greatest contributions to the socialist/communist movements. Even left-popularism of these modern days can apply these views. Gramsci had a good slice of anarchism by distrusting the center of any organisation, political party and government. He is the father of democracy and communism. Modern majority worker-ownership movements can attribute their existence to Gramsci as well as Marshall Tito in the Balkins. The fascist dictator Mussoline had Gramsci imprisoned for 11 years in the 1920's and 30's where he continued to write in code as his health worsened. He was released from prison and died soon afterwards. A Collector's Edition.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2007
Publisher   Synergy International of the Americas, Ltd
ISBN  1934568295  
ISBN13  9781934568293  

Availability  94 units.
Availability accurate as of May 28, 2017 02:55.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > History > Europe
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > History & Theory
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Italy > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Political
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > History & Theory

Reviews - What do customers think about The Modern Prince and Other Writings?

Learn Italian  Jun 4, 2008
It wasn't until I took a class that I learned how really bad this translation is. There is a new English translation that is quite expensive but a lot more accurate. The original translators of this book moved Gramsci's text all over the place an re-ordered and recombined sections to say something different or often speak against what Gramsci originally meant.
Gramsci and the fascinating concept of hegemony  Jan 2, 2007
The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci elaborated the idea of hegemony in the early part of the twentieth century. Gramsci emphasizes how values supportive of dominant interests in society get passed on to the masses and thereby, once accepted by the multitudes, come to reinforce the domination by that elite. Political scientists Dawson, Prewitt, and Dawson state that: "Hegemonic theory starts with the assumption that government would not be possible unless the strains and tensions associated with the unequal allocation of values in society were somehow muted. . . . Unless the losers come to see that the way things are is 'natural' or 'appropriate' or 'legitimate,' social disruptions are likely."

Normally, citizens come to accept things the way that they are--as benign, useful, legitimate, and "right." As Gramsci puts it, humans are ". . .conformist to some conformity." This supports the continuation of the status quo--and, by definition, those who benefit from the current state of affairs maintain their sway with this sort of mindset. Those who are powerful and wealthy will stay that way, in part, because the people accept this situation. How does this happen?

The basic premise is that those in power who control the economic and political structures also control the transmission of messages, the views of reality, to the masses. In a capitalist society, those who are not wealthy are continually told that (a) if they work really hard, they can make it and get rich--so do not rock the boat and jeopardize your chances of joining the elite; (b) if the elite get wealthier, then this will trickle down and benefit those who are not in the ranks of the well-to-do. By being told this over and over, the mass of people come to accept their status in society and allow the powerful to stay powerful, the wealthy to stay wealthy.

Hegemony, according to Gramsci, is the result of a bloc of interests united behind a common set of values and norms, which--upon being transmitted to the mass of people through the multitudinous institutions of society--reinforce the power of that bloc. Although an hegemony tends to be stable, change can take place, perhaps through the emergence of a politically conscious working class.

Gramsci, an old Italian Communist, is an interesting thinker. His work is consistent with the idea of "false consciousness," which makes people sound like passive pawns in their own oppression. This might well provide to be unpalatable to many readers. However, he does provide an interesting critique of media, of leaders as willing to manipulate the mass of people. We do know that hegemonies can collapse--witness the end of the old Soviet Union almost overnight. Witness the collapse of East Germany almost overnight. In the end, Gramsci is not an old style Stalinist Marxist; there are many original insights in his work that make him an interesting thinker to explore.
Brilliant writings of a revolutionary  Jun 3, 2000
Gramsci is the darling of academic sociologists, who have used his insights (especially the concept of "hegemony") in countless obscure books and articles. Of course, these intellectuals never give much mention to Gramsci's activism in the Italian Communist Party. To them, Gramsci achieved greatness when he was locked up by Mussolini, since he could write pure theory that wasn't soiled with his revolutionary activities. The irony, of course, is that Gramsci concerned himself with the *unity* of theory and action, and that he despised the elitist, insular academic world.

This book contains some of his best essays on this theme, especially the Critical Notes on Bukharin's "Popular Study" of Marxism. Gramsci believes, in the Marxist tradition, that philosophy and theory are only useful as guides to practical action. Under capitalism, the working class is the main force of progressive change, and the workers' party systematizes the working-class demands into a concrete program. In that case, the proper source of intellectual thought is not the individual in the university, but the "collective organism" of a revolutionary party:

"In this way a close bond is formed between the large mass, the party and the leading group, and the whole well-co-ordinated complex can move as a 'collective-man'..."

It is sadly ironic that Gramsci was forced to write these lines while isolated in a fascist prison, but that does not take away from their revolutionary content. Gramsci was a brilliant socialist who opposed fascism and Stalinism. He wrote these essays for future revolutionaries, for the "organic intellectuals" who would rise from the working class to think about, *and* fight for, human liberation.


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