Gramsci’s Critique of Civil Society: Towards a New Concept of Hegemony

1st Edition

Marco Fonseca

Routledge
Published January 24, 2018
Reference - 214 Pages
ISBN 9781138486492 - CAT# K349477
Series: Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought

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Summary

Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist thinker whose radical ideas on how to build an alternative world from below remain vigorously relevant today. Gramsci’s philosophy of praxis critically dissects the institutions of modern liberal democracy to reveal what is perhaps its deepest secret: it is the most successful political system in modernity at preserving an objective condition of domination while transforming it into a subjective conviction of freedom.

Based on a careful reading of Gramsci's The Prison Notebooks, Marco Fonseca shows hegemony as more than leadership of elites over subaltern majorities based on "consent". Following Gramsci’s critique of citizenship, civil society and democracy, including the current project of neoliberal "democracy promotion" particularly in the Global South, he discloses a hidden process of hegemony that generates the preconditions for consent and, thus, successful domination.

As the struggles from Zapatismo to Chavismo and from the Arab Springs to Spain’s Podemos show, liberation is not possible without counter-hegemony. This book will be of interest to activist scholars engaged in the study of Marxism, Gramsci, political philosophy, and contemporary debates about the renewal of Marxist thought and the relevance of revolution and Communism for the twenty-first century.

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