Theory

Antonio Gramsci: 130 years since his birth

When we saw Joseph Biden calling for unity at his inauguration, we immediately thought of Gramsci’s line, "The historical unity of the ruling classes is realized in the state." Antonio Gramsci, born 130 years ago, on January 22nd, 1891, lived his life as a revolutionary, from daily agitation in the Turin workers struggles at the end of WWI, through the rise of fascism and his death in Mussolini’s prison. In between, he made fundamental contributions to Marxist theory of strategy and the revolutionary party as elaborated by Karl Marx, Rosa Luxembourg, and V.I. Lenin. In American academia, Gramsci’s important concept of hegemony has often been confusingly used to reject working class activity and concentrate on the articulation of counter hegemony within the domain of culture. Certainly, Gramsci’s intelligent and dialectical cultural writings are useful and enjoyable to read. But, as Leandros Bolaris emphasizes below (translated by Iannis Delatolas), Gramsci’s Marxism was always the "philosophy of action", the theory of the liberation struggle of the working class. When we consider issues like the rise of a new brand of fascism today, the use of social media in spreading false consciousness, or the relation of working class action to the revolutionary party, Gramsci remains a brilliant and useful part of the Marxist tradition.

Health, US Politics, Women's Liberation

On the Anniversary of Roe v Wade, Continue the Fight that Won Legal Abortion

We cannot depend on Biden and Congress to defend abortion rights today from an increasingly anti-abortion Supreme Court. Four years ago, a massive Women’s March kicked off opposition to Trump. Those numbers, and a revival of the movements that won abortion rights in the first place, can not only secure those rights, but fight on for much more.

Public Meetings, US Politics

Biden Wins: Where Now for America & the Left?

Paul LeBlanc, August Nimtz, and Virgina Rodino discuss the 2020 US election and prospects for the left after Trump's defeat. SWP TV, November 8th, 2020. https://youtu.be/ytaswr6T3Zc Virginia Rodino is an activist with Marx21 US and vice chair of the Maryland Green Party. August Nimtz is a professor of African American studies at the University of… Continue reading Biden Wins: Where Now for America & the Left?

Covid-19, Economics, International, US Politics

Covid recession casts 100 million into extreme poverty, while world’s richest gain record trillions

Two mainstream reports issued in October, the USB Billionaire’s Report and the World Bank Poverty Report, together showed that under the Covid-19 pandemic the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer have reached gargantuan levels. Together they are, as Eric Fretz notes here, an unwitting indictment of capitalism.