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1. The Gramsci-Trotsky Question

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Chapter Summary

Antonio Gramsci's reactions to the personality and political views of Leon Trotsky offer valuable insights into the history of the Third International from 1922 to 1932. This chapter argues that Gramsci's indebtedness to Trotsky exemplifies his mediating function between the 'classical' and 'western' traditions of Marxism. In Gramsci's attitude towards Trotsky, one finds a web of contradictions and ambiguities that do not manifest themselves in his attitude towards the other leading figures of the Bolshevik Revolution. The chapter looks at Gramsci's attempt to serve as mediator and peacemaker in the ideological struggle that, since the latter months of 1923, was threatening to create a permanent schism between two groups at the highest echelons of power in Soviet Russia: the minority Left Opposition and the dominant majority group. From late May 1922 to November 1923, Gramsci was in Moscow as a delegate to the Executive Committee of the Third International.

Keywords: Antonio Gramsci; Bolshevik Revolution; dominant majority group; Leon Trotsky; Marxism; minority Left Opposition; Moscow; Soviet Russia



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