Chris Harman


Gramsci versus Eurocommunism

Part Two

(June 1977)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.99, June 1977, pp.10-14.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

In the first part of this article, which appeared in our last issue, Chris Harman rescued Gramsci’s thought from the distortions it has suffered at the hands of the Eurocommunists. In the second and final part he critically examines Gramsci’s strategy for revolution in Western Europe.

Eurocommunist distortions of Gramsci’s thought base themselves on the following argument:

Gramsci is said to show that Western societies are quite different from Tsarist Russia. The power of the ruling class in the West rests mainly, not on physical control through the military-police apparatus, but on its ideological domination exercised through a network of voluntary institutions that pervade everyday life (‘civil society’) – the political parties, the trade unions, the churches, the mass media. The repressive state apparatus is only one among many defences of capitalist society.

It follows that the key struggle for revolutionaries is not a direct assault on state power, but the struggle for ideological dominance, for what Gramsci calls ‘hegemony’. Hegemony is won by a long drawn out process that takes many years and demands infinite patience and sacrifice on the part of the working class. In particular, the working class can only become ‘counter-hegemonic’ by winning over the main sections of the intellectuals and the classes they represent, because of the crucial role they play in manning the apparatus of ideological domination. The working class has to be prepared to sacrifice its own short-term economic interests in order to do this. And until it has achieved this task, has become the ‘hegemonic’ class, attempts to seize state power can only end in defeat. [1]

Justification for this position is claimed to rest on the distinction Gramsci makes in the Prison Notebooks between two types of war:

  1. War of manoeuvre, which involves rapid movement by the rival armies, with thrusts forwards and backwards as each tries to outflank the other and its cities;
  2. War of position, a long drawn out struggle in which the two armies are deadlocked in battle, each hardly able to move forward, like the trench warfare of 1914-18.

‘Military experts maintain that in wars among the more industrially and socially advanced states the war of manoeuvre must be considered as reduced to more of a tactical than a strategic function ...

‘The same reduction must take place in the art and science of politics, at least in the case of the most advanced states, where ‘civil society’ has become a very complex structure and one which is resistant to the catastrophic ‘incursions’ of the immediate economic elements (crises, depressions, etc.)’. [2]

The last successful example of war of manoeuvre applied i.e. frontal assault on the state – was the October revolution in 1917:

‘It seems to me that Ilitch (i.e., Lenin – CH) understood that change was necessary from the war of manoeuvre applied victoriously in the East in 1917, to a war of position that was the only form possible in the West.’ [3]

The basis for this switch in strategy lay in the different social structures of Tsarist Russia and Western Europe:

‘In Russia the State was everything, civil society was primordial and gelatinous; in the West ... when the State trembled a sturdy structure of civil society was at once revealed. The State was only an outer ditch, behind which there stood a powerful system of fortresses and earthworks’. [4]

The formula of permanent revolution “belongs to a historical period in which the great mass political parties and the great economic trade unions did not yet exist, and society was still, so to speak, in a state of fluidity from many points of view ... In the period after 1870 ... the internal and international organisational relations of the State became more complex and massive, and the Forty Eightist formula of the ‘Permanent Revolution’ (Marx adopted this slogan after the 1848 revolution – CH) is expanded and transcended in political science by the formula of ‘civil hegemony’.” [5]

Gramsci’s formulations should not be accepted uncritically, as I shall show below. But first it must be made clear that they do not permit the Eurocommunists’ conclusions.

In the first place, war of position is a war. It is not class collaboration of the sort pursued by the PCI today. Gramsci’s contempt for the reformists who preached class collaboration did not alter one whit in prison. He compared their passivity in the face of the fascists to ‘the beaver (who), pursued by trappers who want his testicles from which medicinal drugs can be extracted, to save his life tears off his own testicles’ [6] (so much for that old friend of the CPGB – Jack Jones).

In the second place, it is not a startling revelation to claim that revolutionary politics is devoted for much of its time to ‘war of position’. After all, Lenin and Trotsky had argued at the Third Congress of the Communist International in 1921 on the basis of the Russian Bolsheviks’ experience for united fronts with reformist parties in order to win a majority of the working class to communism. They fought bitterly against the ultra-left ‘theory of the offensive’ then much in vogue particularly in the German Communist Party – the view that the Communist Parties could simply storm forward to the seizure of power without the support of the majority of the class through repeated insurrectionary adventures. Gramsci acknowledged Trotsky’s role in turning the Comintern toward the tactic of united fronts. [7] And he explicitly identifies the ‘war of position’ with ‘the formula of the United Front.’ [8]

In the Lyons Theses Gramsci sought to apply the united front tactic to Italy. The adoption of this tactic (which he had previously followed Bordiga in opposing) did not represent any slackening of Gramsci’s hostility towards the reformists. He wrote: ‘The tactic of the united front is a political tactic designed to smash self-styled revolutionary and proletarian parties and groups with a mass base.’ The tactic is adopted towards ‘intermediate formations that the Communist Party sees as an obstacle to the revolutionary preparation of the working class’.

In the third place, the battle for hegemony is not simply as ideological battle. It is true that Gramsci continually rejects the belief that the deterioration of workers’ economic conditions leads automatically to revolutionary consciousness. He stresses this point because in the Prison Notebooks he is concerned to refute the then current Stalinist ‘third period’ thesis that the world crisis on its own would lead to world revolution. He bends the stick in order to deal with this mechanistic deviation from Marxism.

But Gramsci never denies the determining role of the economy in political life. So while ‘it may be ruled out that immediate economic crises of themselves produce fundamental historic events’, ‘they can simply create a terrain more favourable to the dissemination of certain modes of thought, and certain ways of posing and resolving questions involving the entire subsequent development of national life.’ [9] He formulated the relation between the economy and ideology in these terms: ‘mass ideological factors always lag behind mass economic phenomena’ and so ‘at certain moments, the automatic thrust due to the economic factor is slowed down, obstructed or even momentarily broken by traditional ideological elements.’ It was precisely because of this lagging of ideology behind the economy that the intervention of the revolutionary party in the economic struggles of workers was necessary to win them from the reformists.

‘Hence ... there must be a conscious, planned struggle to ensure that the exigencies of the economic position of the masses, which may conflict with the traditional leadership’s policies, are un¬derstood. An appropriate political initiative is always necessary to liberate the economic thrust from the dead weight of traditional policies.’ [10]

And in one of the central passages of the Prison Notebooks Gramsci returned to the experience of the Turin factory councils movement of 1919-20 in order to contrast the convergence of Marxist theory and spontaneous workers’ struggles that took place there with both narrow, sectional, ‘corporatist’, economic struggles and a purely intellectual and ‘voluntaristic’ approach that preached politics to workers from the outside:

‘The Turin movement was accused simultaneously of being “spontaneist” and “voluntarist” ... This contradictory accusation, if one analyses it, only testifies to the fact that the leadership was not “abstract”; it neither consisted in mechanically repeating scientific or theoretical formulae, nor did it confuse politics, real action, with theoretical disquisition. It applied itself to real men, formed in specific historical relations, with specific feelings, outlooks, fragmentary conceptions of the world, etc., which were the result of “spontaneous” combinations of a given situation of material production with the “fortuitous” agglomeration within it of disparate social elements. This element of “spontaneity” was not neglected and even less despised. It was educated, directed, purged of extraneous determinations; the aim was to bring it in line with modern theory (i.e. Marxism – CH) – but in a living and historically effective manner. The leaders themselves spoke of the “spontaneity” of the movement, and rightly so. The assertion was a stimulus, a tonic, an element of unification in depth; above all, it denied that the movement was arbitrary, a cooked-up venture, and stressed its historical necessity. It gave the masses a “theoretical” consciousness of being creators of historical and institutional values, of being founders of a State. This unity between “spontaneity” and “conscious leadership” of “discipline” is precisely the real political action of the subaltern classes.’ [11]

In the fourth place, the struggle to win over other oppressed classes (or for that matter the more backward layers of the working class) does not mean the abandonment by the proletariat of the fight for its own interests. When Gramsci contrasted the ‘corporatist’ with the ‘hegemonic’ approach [12], he was contrasting those who merely defend their own interests within capitalist society, as reformist trade unionists do, with those who project their struggle as holding the key to the liberation of all oppressed groups.

In Italy in the 1920s and 1930s the hegemonic approach implied a break with the old reformist strategy of trying to gain concessions for the workers of the North by acquiescing in the impoverishment of the landlord-and-priest-ridden South. [13] Instead the working class had, as well as fighting for improvement in its own situation, to offer land to the peasants and the prospect of a more worthwhile society to the intelligentsia.

As in the struggle for working class consciousness, the key to winning the peasantry was to be found in the linking of political questions to practical demands. Again and again, Gramsci criticises the extreme radicals (the Action Party) in the struggle to unify Italy in the nineteenth century (and by implication the reformist socialists in the 20th century) for failing to take the only action that would break the hold of reaction and Catholicism in the South – the fight to divide the big estates among the peasants. Because it saw the struggle for hegemony as a purely intellectual struggle, the Action Party missed out. ‘The failure to solve the agrarian problem led to the near impossibility of solving the problem of clericalism.’ [14]

The working class might have to make ‘certain sacrifices of an economic-corporative kind’ in order to gain the support of other classes.

‘But there is also no doubt that such sacrifices and such a compromise cannot touch the essential; for though hegemony is ethical-political, it must also be economic, must necessarily be based on the decisive function exercised by the leading group (the working class – CH) in the decisive nucleus of economic activity.’ [15]

There is no indication whatsoever that Gramsci had in the Prison Notebooks abandoned his position in the Lyons Theses, according to which the workers had to go out of their way to win over the peasants, but this could only be done by building workers’ committees based on the economic position of workers in the factories and using these committees to stimulate the formation of peasants’ committees. Interestingly, although Gramsci spoke of ‘ruling blocs’ and although he stressed the need of the working class to win the peasantry, he did not use the then fashionable Stalinist jargon about ‘worker-peasant blocs’. Still less did he conceive of the middle-class intellectuals as an ally on the level of equality with the working class. They could only be won to follow its lead in the course of struggle. [1*]

In the fifth and final place, Gramsci never suggests in the Prison Notebooks that the struggle for hegemony can by itself solve the problem of state power. Even in a period when the ‘war of position’ plays a predominant part, Gramsci speaks of a ‘“partial” element of movement’ [16], of ‘the war of manouevre’ playing ‘more a tactical than a strategic function’. [17]

To put it another way: most of the time revolutionaries are involved in ideological struggle, using the tactics of the united front in partial struggles to win leadership from the reformists. Nonetheless, there are periodic moments of violent confrontation, when one side or other tries to break through the other’s trenches by frontal assault. Armed insurrection remained for Gramsci, as he made clear in his prison conversations, ‘the decisive moment of struggle’.

The stress on ‘war of position’ in the Prison Notebooks must be set in its historical context. It is a metaphor designed to hammer home a concrete political point – the revolutionary will of a few thousand revolutionaries at a time of crisis does not create the preconditions for a successful insurrection. These preconditions have to be prepared by a long process of political intervention and ideological struggle. To think otherwise, as did Togliatti and other ‘third period’ Stalinists in the early 1930s, was sheer madness. In the circumstances, Gramsci was less concerned to argue for the necessity of armed insurrection – after all, the Stalinists were at the time hell-bent on organising armed uprisings however hopeless – but to stress, as Lenin had in July 1917, and again in the case of Germany in 1921, that an insurrection can only succeed with the active support of the majority of the working class.

It is therefore misleading to apply the metaphor as if it were of universal validity independent of its historic context. After all, even in purely military terms, static ‘war of position’ is not always appropriate – as the French general staff discovered to its cost when the German tanks bypassed the Maginot line in 1940.

Ambiguities in Gramsci’s Formulations

ANY metaphor as liable to misinterpretation as Gramsci’s ‘war of position’, ‘war of manoeuvre’ distinction must itself be open to criticism. Perry Anderson has pointed out in an interesting article that Gramsci’s metaphors involve a number of ambiguities and contradictions, a conceptual ‘slippage’ capable of being used by reformists to distort the revolutionary essence of Gramsci’s work. [18]

Certainly, Gramsci’s contrast between ‘war of manouevre’ and ‘war of position’ is rather vague. At one point the transition from the political ‘war of position’ takes place after 1871; yet at another it is shifted to the post-stabilisation of the world capitalist economy in the early 1920s. This confusion over timing is important because it leaves unsettled whether ‘war of position’ is an eternal strategy or one appropriate only in certain periods. Some of Gramsci’s formulations suggest the former interpretation. But it must be ruled out by his repeated insistence on the interaction between the revolutionary party and the ‘spontaneous struggles’ of the class, and belief in the necessity of armed insurrection.

A second confusion lies in the contrast between Russia and the West. The contrast involves a misrepresentation of the history of the Russian revolutionary movement. In fact, the first attempt at a ‘war of manouevre’ – the armed attacks on the Tsarist regime by the Decembrists in the 1820s and the Populists who succeeded in assassinating the Tsar in 1881 – failed. Subsequent generations of revolutionaries had to adopt a different strategy. The overthrow of the autocracy required a prolonged ‘war of position’ – ten years of Marxist discussion circles and another ten years of ‘economistic’ agitation before the mass party could emerge in 1905, and then 12 years of recuperation of forces. This ‘war of position’ was necessary to prepare the ground for the ‘war of manouevre’ in 1905-6 and 1917.

To extend Gramsci’s metaphor: the military war of position becomes obsolete and dangerous with the discovery of a new weapon that can break through the other side’s defences, as the tank could at the end of World War I (although it was not used to real advantage) and at the beginning of World War II. The political equivalent of the tank is the sudden, spontaneous revolutionary ‘thrust from below’ (in Gramsci’s words) of the masses, that took even Lenin by surprise in February 1917. Revolutionaries cannot adapt to these sudden changes without a rapid switch from a defensive posture to one that relates to the new ‘war of manouevre’, attempting to guide and influence the forward surge. Lenin’s greatness, as Tony Cliff has shown, lay in his ability to grasp when the strategic switch from ‘war of position’ to ‘war of manouevre’ must be made.

What Lenin (and Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg) grasped was that the long drawn out struggle for hegemony, for an organisation and consolidation of one’s own forces, is necessary at certain stages in the history of the revolutionary movement. But it contains within it a danger – the very success of organisation at one stage in the struggle leads to conservatism when there is a shift in the mood of the masses.

After all, the archetype of the party waging the ‘war of position’ in pre-World War I Europe was the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). It built up a huge network of ‘fortifications’ within bourgeois society – hundreds of papers, hundreds of thousands of party members, local co-ops and clubs, a woman’s movement, a powerful trade union machine, even a theoretical journal capable of attracting admiration from some sections of established intellectuals. Its attempt to maintain these ‘positions’ when the World War broke out led to it moving from opposition to class collaboration. (Interestingly, the very metaphor of the ‘war of positions and manoeuvre’ was employed in terms very close to Gramsci’s by Kautsky against attacks by Rosa Luxemburg on the SPD’s reformist leadership in 1912 [19]).

Russia, Italy and the West

ITALY is taken by Gramsci as the prototype of the society in which ‘the war of position’ is necessary. Yet Italy in the 1920s and 1930s was far from being a typical advanced capitalist society. The things Gramsci regards as characteristic of ‘civil society’ – the church, urban political and cultural association, the plethora of bourgeois and petty bourgeois parties, the influence of ‘functional intellectuals’ like teachers, lawyers and priests – seem today to be a transient historical phenomenon, symptomatic of Italy’s backwardness in the 1920s and 1930s, the numerical preponderance of the peasantry, the lumpenproletariat and the petty bourgeoisie. Even urban-based political and cultural societies tend to decline in importance in truly advanced capitalist societies.

In Britain, and the same is true of the other advanced capitalist countries, the post-war period has been characterised by the phenomenon of ‘apathy’ – a falling away of mass participation in political and cultural associations like the Labour Party and the WEA, the decline in the political influence of the Orange Lodges in Liverpool and Glasgow, a halving in the number of active church members in ten years. The ‘functional intellectuals’ – the lawyers, teachers, priests, doctors – no longer play a key role in local opinion formation.

Advanced capitalism leads to a centralisation of ideological power, to the atomisation of the masses – with the crucial exception of workplace-based union organisation – and to a weakening of old political and cultural organisations.

On the one hand the intensification of the labour process has played a role – shift work makes the organisation of local political or cultural associations difficult; on the other hand, the commer¬cialisation of social life, the advent of radio and television, and the concentration of control over the mass media has weakened the attractiveness of other ‘leisure’ activities. The number of effective structures of ‘civil society’ between the individual and the state has fallen. More and more the means of mass communication provide a direct intermediary. At the same time, the significance of workplace-based trade union organisation has grown dramatically; to become the one institution of’ civil society’ not subverted by the atomisation.

In the circumstances, the ‘defensive network of trenches’ available to the ruling class in a time of crisis becomes very weak indeed once workers really move into action. Indeed, the bourgeoisie becomes critically dependent upon the trade union bureaucracy, and to a lesser extent upon the reformist political organisations, to hold back the working class. But over time this leads to an erosion of faith in the reformist leaders and to spontaneous eruptions by workers that even they cannot control. Under such circumstances a real ‘war of manouevre’ can develop, in which workers, despite their lack of revolutionary consciousness, find themselves in direct conflict with the capitalist state.

As Tony Cliff pointed out in a very important article in 1968, advanced capitalism creates ‘privatisation’ and ‘apathy’. But ‘the concept of apathy is not a static one. When the path of individual reform is closed apathy can transform itself into its opposite, direct, mass action. Workers who have lost their loyalty to the traditional organisations are forced into extreme, explosive struggles on their own.’ [20]

Gramsci’s metaphors were used 45 years ago to deal with concrete problems of strategy. His epigones attempt to deploy them in a crude way to block off discussion today, without noticing that in the years since society has changed in certain crucial ways. That is a piece of dogmatism no different to the treatment Marx, Lenin or Trotsky have suffered on so many occasions.

Gramsci’s Weaknesses

THE conditions in which Gramsci lived and wrote imposed certain built-in limitations to his thought. In the case of the Prison Notebooks these limitations provide the basis for the distortions to which his ideas have been subjected.

The first and most obvious limitation was that the fascist state was looking over Gramsci’s shoulder, reading every word he wrote. To avoid the prison censorship he had to be vague when referring to some of the most pointed concepts of Marxism. He had to use an ambiguous Aesopian language that concealed his real thoughts, not only from his gaolers, but also from his Marxist readers and sometimes, one suspects, from himself.

To take a crucial point, Gramsci often uses the bourgeois struggle for power against feudalism as a metaphor for the workers’ struggle for power against capitalism. But the comparison is dangerously misleading. Because capitalist relations of production have as their starting point commodity production, which can develop within feudal society, the bourgeoisie can use their growing economic dominance to build up their ideological position within the framework of feudalism before seizing power. However, the working class can become economically dominant only through taking collective control of the means of production, which requires the armed seizure of political power. It is only then that they will gain control of the printing presses, universities, etc, where the capitalists could buy these up long before becoming politically dominant. Gramsci necessarily had to seem ambiguous on this point. But today the ambiguity provides an excuse for would-be intellectuals who want to pretend they are fighting the class struggle through ‘a theoretical practice’, ‘a struggle for intellectual hegemony’, when in fact they are only advancing their own academic careers.

Moreover, Gramsci could not write openly about armed insurrection. This gap in the Prison Notebooks has enabled his epigones to ignore the harsh reality of the state power that held Gramsci in its grip.

But there were other, non-physical limitations on Gramsci. He went to gaol just as Stalin was tightening his hold on Russia. His failure to come to terms with this process marked his thought more deeply than may at first be apparent.

Gramsci declared his support for the Stalin-Bukharin bloc formed in 1925. He seems to have accepted as part of an international ‘war of position’ the attempt to build ‘socialism in one country’ through making concessions to the peasants. So he identified Trotsky’s opposition to socialism in one country with an ultra-left rejection of the united front – even though he knew perfectly well that Trotsky was one of the main authors of the tactic of the united front.

Gramsci, as we have seen, was very aware and very critical of the suffocating bureaucratism of Stalinism. But his acceptance of the Bukharin-Stalin version (1925-28) of ‘socialism in one country’ prevented him analysing what had gone wrong in Russia.

He writes, in the Prison Notebooks,

‘The war of position demands enormous sacrifices by infinite masses of people. So an unprecedented concentration of hegemony is necessary, and hence a more “interventionist” government which will take the offensive against the oppositionists ...’ [21]

Yet this half-apology for totalitarian trends is followed by a warning quotation from Marx,

‘A resistance too long prolonged in a besieged camp is demoralising in itself. It implies suffering, fatigue, loss of rest, illness and continual pressure, not of the acute danger which tempers, but of the chronic danger which destroys’.

Gramsci seems to want to both criticise this state of affairs, and to say that it is based upon a correct strategy. This contradiction cannot fail to have debilitating effects on other aspects of his theory.

In 1919-20 he grasped as no-one else in Western Europe the interrelation of the struggle in the factory and the creation of the elements of a workers state. He also came to see the dialectical interplay between the development of workers’ democracy and its propellant, the revolutionary party. This understanding remains in much of the work Prison Notebooks – but at points it is corroded by the tendency to see the Stalinist ‘socialism in one country’ as providing a method for waging the ‘war of positions’ to be copied elsewhere.

Gramsci was not unique in failing to come to terms with Stalinism. At the time he was imprisoned and lost contact with the international movement the full horrors of Stalinism were a thing of the future. Revolutionaries as varied as Andreas Nin and James P. Cannon still supported Stalin against Trotsky at that time. But in Gramsci’s case the failing left an element of confusion in his theory that is seized on by those trying to justify reformist policies today.

There is one final more fundamental weakness in Gramsci. Although he provides a correct abstract account of the relation between economics and politics, Gramsci is alone among the great Marxists in not integrating a concrete economic dimension into his political writings. This produces arbitrariness in his writings that does not exist in Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg or Trotsky. For instance in 1925 he thought fascism was about to collapse. Yet in the Prison Notebooks, a few years later, he wrote as if it faced a long life. Again, he talks of the dangers of a ‘corporate’ integration of the working class into the system, without discussing the economic conditions that could make this possible.

In general, there is a failure to show the real interrelation between a particular economic situation and political and ideological struggles of individuals it affects. In the years 1918-26 he was able to fill this gap to some extent by relying on his direct experience of the class struggle. So his best writings are those where, mixing with the workers and trying to guide them, he is grappling with central problems of current struggles.

But in 1926 the fascist state snatched him away from any contact with the masses. Gramsci was only too aware of what this meant:

‘Books and magazines contain generalized notions and only sketch the course of events in the world as best they can: they never let you have an immediate direct, animated sense of the lives of Tom, Dick and Harry. If you are not able to understand real individuals, you are not able to understand what is universal and general.’ (Letter to Tatiana, November 1928, quoted in Boggs p.62)

This was true of Gramsci, who was unable, without direct personal experience, to grasp the concrete interrelation between the economic situation and the political reaction to it of individuals. But it was not true, say, of the Marx who from exile could write the 18th Brumaire, or the Trotsky who from confinement in Turkey could write profoundly about daily developments in Berlin.

The Prison Notebooks suffer above all from this inability to move from abstract concepts to concrete analyses of concrete situations. It is this, of course, that appeals to those bureaucrats and academics who want a reformist ‘Marxism’ divorced from the mass struggles of workers.

If such a project runs counter to the main thrust of Gramsci’s life and thought, we should not ignore the weakness in the Notebooks that arises from their lack of concreteness. Whatever their insights they do not have the greatness of the finest works of Marx, Lenin or Trotsky.

The fascist prosecutor at Gramsci’s trial demanded his imprisonment ‘to stop this brain working for 20 years’. The fascists did not succeed in this attempt. But, by cutting Gramsci off from direct involvement in the class struggle, they did succeed in preventing his Marxism from fully realising the potential displayed in L’Ordine Nuovo and the Lyons Theses.


1*. Phrases about such ‘blocs’ have been attributed to Gramsci as part of the fashionable ‘Gramscian’ phraseology. But they hardly ever appear in his own writing and when the word ‘bloc’ is used it is usually in quotation marks and applies to bourgeois coalitions of forces.


1. Two recent examples of this interpretation are the concluding section of D. Purdy, The Soviet Union – state capitalist or socialist?, London 1976, and R. Simon, Gramsci’s Concept of Hegemony, Marxism Today, March 1977.

2. A. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks (hereafter PN), London 1971, p.235.

3. Ibid., p.237.

4. Ibid., p.238.

5. Ibid., p.243.

6. Ibid., p.223.

7. See ibid., p.236 – although Gramsci, for reasons of his own to which we will return, elsewhere identifies Trotsky with the ‘theory of the offensive’.

8. Ibid., p.237.

9. Ibid., p.184.

10. Ibid., p.168.

11. Ibid., p.198.

12. Gramsci did not, however, invent this terminology, as many Gramsci ‘scholars’ who have neglected to study the history of the Comintern think. See, for instance, G. Zinoviev The NEP Peasant Policy is Valid Universally, in H. Gruber (ed.), Soviet Russia Masters the Comintern, New York 1974.

13. See A. Gramsci, The Southern Question, in The Modern Prince and other writings, New York 1970.

14. PN, p.101.

15. Ibid., p.161.

16. PN, p.243.

17. Ibid., p.235

18. P. Anderson, The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci, New Left Review 100. The article is even more interesting because it knocks down so many positions defended by Anderson himself in the past.

19. Ibid., pp.61-9. And see also L. Basso, Rosa Luxemburg, London 1975, pp.152-3 n.148.

20. T. Cliff, On Perspectives, International Socialism 36, p.16.

21. PN, pp.238-9.

Last updated on 16 November 2009