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Contra The Passive Revolution

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Chapter Summary

The importance of the concept of hegemony in Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks is so widely acknowledged that no justification is necessary for making it the central element in any study of that work. If the concept of hegemony is the 'truth' of Gramsci's thought, it is only so in the sense in which Althusser argued that 'the truth of a philosophy lies entirely in its effects'. As critics from Anderson to Lo Piparo to Ives have noted, Gramsci has often been credited, erroneously, with the coinage of the concept of 'hegemony'. The concept of integral state emerges from Gramsci's analysis of the 'long nineteenth century', particularly in continental Europe and particularly with reference to events in its hegemonic nation-state, namely, France. The Europe-wide revolts of 1848, however, and, to an even greater extent, the Paris Commune, ushered in a qualitatively new phase of historical development, despite the defeat of both.

Keywords: Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks; concept of hegemony; concept of integral state



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