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Perry Anderson based his early Antonio Gramsci work on a reading of ruling class political hegemony based on consent. Now he insists that coercion is at history’s heart, a reading he also ascribes to Gramsci. Both propositions are overstated.
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Presiding over last month’s honorary Gramsci conference in Buenos Aires was a sense of urgency: a need redress certain aspects of Gramsci’s thinking in light of a reactionary uptick throughout the continent. The ability of right-wing movements—in Venezuela, Brazil, and elsewhere—to mobilize mass demonstrations against progressive governments has led several commentators to orient themselves through a rereading of Gramsci’s writings on fascism.
Through the use of family archives and other new sources, the grandson of Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci seeks to reconstruct the cultural and political saliance of his grandfather's contributions to building and defending the Italian working class movement and international socialism in the face of Stalinist distortions, capitalist enmity and today's reactionary Russian regime.