An Italian philosopher may well be the Marxist for our times

Antonio Gramsci dwelled on the concept of hegemony – a level of political domination that extends beyond control of a state or a parliament, into the realm of culture and ideas

The former leader of the Italian Communist Party and journalist Antonio Gramsci died in prison at the age of 46. His Prison Notebooks were smuggled out by his sister-in-law. These were published in Italy from 1948-51 and then translated into French, German and English. Gramsci was preoccupied by the question of why the 1917 Russian revolution had not been followed by others in western Europe. He located the answer in the persistence of capitalist ideas among civil society institutions (political parties, trade unions, churches, the media). As he wrote: “The state was only an outer ditch, behind which there stood a powerful system of fortresses.” Momentum seeks full spectrum dominance and engages at the level of civil society and popular culture, he advocated.

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(Photo credit: Justin Lane/ EPA/ REX)

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