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      Jamie
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      When do we get to start blaming the Italians aswell as the French and Germans for today’s left ?

      They have got off the hook for too long as we lament France for Rousseau, Derrida, Foucault etc and Germany for Marx, Engels, Adorno etc but we neglect the Italians for thinkers such as Giovanni Gentile (father of fascism: a left wing ideology) and Antonio Gramsci (the thinker who the Right should be aware of but is ignorant of the most).

      I think it is prudent to look at Mr Gramsci to explain his relevance as of all the names listed above his may well carry the smallest significance for people, but it shouldn’t. Gramsci, as with other Marxists of his time, were waiting on the spontaneous proletarian Revolution to sweep the Western world and had been since Marx’s first predictions. This did not transpire. ‘But the Soviet Union !’ you may cry, the Soviet Union does not meet this spontaneous classification as it was a pioneer of its time: a revolutionary vanguard (deviating from the expectation that the masses would rise up). Gramsci was one of the first to realise that the Marxists can wait around for the rest of their lives for the revolution to just happen (Marx and Engels did), but it will not just happen. He articulated in notes written in his prison cell (jailed by Mussolini from 1926 until his death in 1937) that in order for the proletariat to be ready for the ‘War of Manoeuvre’ (Marxist revolution), the Marxists would first have to fight a ‘War of Position’.

      This War of Position is described by Gramsci akin to an anti capitalist intellectual and cultural struggle to subvert the ‘cultural hegemon’ that exists in Western capitalist nations. A quick side note to explain here what I think is meant by ‘cultural hegemon’, a cultural hegemon definitionally is a culture, customs and traditions imposed top down by ruling class on society whereas another term I will introduce is ‘homogenous culture‘ which suggests that everyone shares a culture through an element of everyone consenting to participate in society while having alike customs and traditions. The ‘cultural hegemon’ is a term laden with implications of power dynamics and a top down approach whereas a ‘homogenous culture’ is more customs and traditions that are from the bottom up where elements have either changed or stood the test of time. Gramsci says that Western societies have cultural hegemons as he believed the proletariat could not willingly participate and uphold a culture that he believes exploited them and the only explanation for this was for it to be top down. I do not believe they are cultural hegemons, but rather homogenous cultures that Gramsci is aiming to destroy to pave the way for a Marxist Revolution.

      Gramsci understood 100 years ago what ‘conservatives‘ have only understood recently: ‘Politics is downstream of culture’ – Andrew Breitbard. Gramsci essentially believed that if you attempt a War of Manoeuvre before the proletariat are culturally ‘liberated’ then you are putting the cart infront of the horse. Furthermore, Gramsci understood that in order to subvert a Western capitalist nation you would need to partake in ‘The Long March Through the Institutions’ where he had 3 separate sections which he deemed essential to control: Intellectuals a society produces, education and the applied philosophy of society. There is more to cover with him, but I will leave it there for now and wrap up to demonstrate its relevance for the slow people up the back of the room.

      His works ‘The Prison Notebooks’ went largely under the radar until they were first translated into English in the 1970s where they gained some popularity. Notice that the timing coincides with post-modern philosophy and is a generation before other Marxist ideas that focus of identity and culture such as Critical Race Theory and it’s broader category ‘Intersectionality’ came to the fore. This begs many questions. Is the anglosphere in the midst of a War of Position ? Has the idea of ‘multiculturalism’ been pushed forward by Gramscians in order to weaken a homogenous culture ? Did Tony Blair appear as a moderate on economics in order to plant the seeds for this War of Position ?

      Okay, the third question was starting into conspiracy theory territory but I’m sure by now people are getting the point I am making. We’ve been played for fools, and fools we are if we do not fight back. ‘tHe CuLtUrE wAr Is A rIgHt WiNg MyTh‘ is a fallacy as is the suggestion it was started by the Right. So I return to my initial point, shouldn’t we really be bundling in the Italians along with the French and Germans for their post-enlightenment Left wing car crash of ideas ?

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