What are the key points Gramsci makes in the Prison Notebooks?

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saintfester | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The Prison Notebooks were a series of notebooks written by Antonio Gramsci while he was imprisoned by Mussolini’s fascist regime in the 1930’s. They were eventually smuggled out of prison and published in the 1950’s and contain important Marxist theories and thoughts.

Some of his important points are his emphasis on the crucial nature of education for the working classes. Gramsci concludes that only a system of popular education in the working class will produce the intellectuals that the working class would require to lead them in their struggle.

Gramsci also makes a clear distinction between political society, such as police, military and the legal system, and the civil society, which is made up of education, trade unions and workers. Political society dominates directly and coercively rules while civil society leads through ideology or consent.

Gramsci also explains why the global revolution predicted by Lenin and other Marxist had yet to begin. He explained that Capitalism was even more entrenched then previously thought because the values of the Bourgeois had become the values of all. The workers now accepted that the good of the bourgeois as the good of all and had yet to rebel. This was known as cultural hegemony.

 

 

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