Selections from Political Writings (1921-1926)

Selections from Political Writings (1921-1926)

Selections from Political Writings (1921-1926)

Selections from Political Writings (1921-1926)

Excerpt

This volume’s predecessor, Political Writings (1910–1920) (SPW I), contained a selection from Gramsci’s political journalism during the First World War and in the two stormy years of revolutionary upsurge in Italy which followed the War. It closed on the eve of the January 1921 founding congress of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) at Livorno, with Gramsci at the age of twenty-nine already a well-known figure on the revolutionary left in his country, through the key animating role which his weekly journal L’Ordine Nuovo had played in the factory-council movement in Turin – Italy’s “Petrograd”. The present volume (SPW II) spans the six brief years of the PCI’S legal existence, before the Italian fascist dictatorship became total. The first piece translated here was written on the morrow of the Livorno Congress, the last a few days before Gramsci’s own arrest and entry into the darkness of Mussolini’s prisons, from which he was to be released eleven years later only in time to die – aged forty-six.

If the period covered by SPW I was the crucial political watershed of this century – encompassing the Great War, the October Revolution, the débâcle of the Und International and the creation of the IIIrd – the years that followed were hardly less momentous. They saw the restabilization of the bourgeois order where it had been most threatened in the wake of the War, and a crushing succession of defeats for the forces of revolution. They saw a growing bureaucratic involution of the young Soviet régime, in the conditions so harshly imposed by foreign intervention, civil war and imperialist blockade; Stalin’s increasing domination of the Bolshevik Party; and in turn the increasing domination of the latter over the Communist International as a whole. Finally, they saw the rise to State power of fascism, first and most notably in Italy – an ominous prelude to the black tide of the thirties and to the Second World War.

It was in late 1920 and early 1921 that sections of the Italian ruling class – first landowners in central and northern Italy, followed closely by powerful industrial and financial forces – began to turn to the hitherto insignificant fascists as an appropriate instrument with which to prosecute their class interests. Perhaps the foremost consideration . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.