New Civilization News: A Meme-Pioneer: Antonio Gramsci, 70 years after his death    
 A Meme-Pioneer: Antonio Gramsci, 70 years after his death 20 comments
picture28 Apr 2007 @ 17:45, by Max Sandor

Antonio Gramsci died yesterday, 70 years ago, in Rome.

A post of Mino reminded me of that.

Gramsci realized already in the 30's of last century that the public meme are equally, if not more important, than the distribution of means of production and the memes of the 'historic process' and the 'economic determinism'.

He postulated that any class to survive must form its own 'historic bloc' via a cultural hegemony to survive the values impounded by the 'ruling class' on the masses.

To create an Internet space as an experiment to facilitate the vision of a new society, Flemming (and I) created the New Civilization Network in 1995, hosting the first server in my home in the Hollywood Hills. It was running Linux, which one could call a powerful expression of 'technological hegemony', as, in general, the Open Source movement.

We see the power of a new 'cultural hegemony' realized today, 60 years after his death, in the from of the Internet, and especially the BLOGs which have developed a power of its own, bypassing the manipulation via the controlled 'media'.

If he would live today, I am SURE, he would have one of the best BLOGs around.

I'll have a toast on him tonight :-)

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28 Apr 2007 @ 22:43 by vaxen : Memetic pioneer?
I can't really say that he was that but he certainly was a communist.

Antonio Gramsci (January 22, 1891 – April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer, politician and political theorist. A founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy, he was imprisoned by Mussolini's Fascist regime.

His writings are heavily concerned with the analysis of culture and political leadership and he is notable as a highly original thinker within the Marxist tradition. He is renowned for his concept of cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society.

"Maintaining 'the state' within a capitalist society." I guess one could call that a meme. I'll toast to his being dead, for sure, as they stole most all of our lands in Northern Italy (D'ORIA)!

Hegemony In Gramsci's Original Prison Notebooks
Carl Cuneo's Notes on the Concept of Hegemony in Gramsci

New Notes and Organization
14 Major Issues or Dimensions or Meanings of Hegemony

And even more appropos: Maurice A. Finocchiaros' viewpoints...

"...I focus on the political theory of the Prison Notebooks and compare it with that of Gaetano Mosca. I regard Mosca as a classic exponent of democratic elitism, according to which elitism and democracy are not opposed to each other but are rather mutually interdependent. Placing Gramsci in the same tradition, my documentation involves four key points..."

Gramsci's Life and Thought

Gramsci's political and social writings occur in two periods, pre-prison (1910-1926) and prison (1929-35). His pre-prison writings tend to be politically specific, while his prison writings tend to be more historical and theoretical.

For a brief overview of Gramsci's life and thought see:

And an excerpt from "Antonio Gramsci Reader: VI Hegemony, Relations of Force, Historical Bloc"

"As Engels wrote, many people find it very convenient to think that they can have the whole of history and all political and philosophical wisdom in their pockets at little cost and no trouble, concentrated into a few short formulas. They forget that the thesis which asserts that men become conscious of fundamental conflicts on the terrain of ideologies is not psychological or moralistic in character, but structural and epistemological; and they form the habit of considering politics, and hence history, as a continuous marché de dupes, a competition in conjuring and sleight of hand. ‘Critical’ activity is reduced to the exposure of swindles, to creating scandals, and to prying into the pockets of public figures."

Praxis? Proudon?

And we all know who sent good old Karl to the Soviet don't we? ;) Unh, Hunh... next you're gonna tell us that he was Jewish and spoke Yiddish and organised the Yiddish speaking Jewish masses!  

29 Apr 2007 @ 06:34 by atunmenra : Memes
I've always had an interest in this. Thanks for posting this.  

3 May 2007 @ 13:38 by rayon : Why especially
a communist - with such clear thoughts he could be anything - in fact many Italians bent with the current directional wind - it was a form of survival - seemed to work well. The Edwardian period was utterly overly opulent, anyone could have thought about Communism, and most certainly did judging from the dramatic change in clothing apparel in early '20's, what could be more commune than that.

very interested to hear of Gramsci indeed, and have opened all links printing the economy one - feel I am aware of democratic and hegemony while reading his, but it was new at the time. What does it matter if someone was influenced by someone else? are we to deprive them of a critical mass of 2 in their endeavours?

very interested in the early link to Ming and Ncn of Max here, and the precepts envisaged at the time of an alternative hegemony or society. Why do historical links make such substantial anchors to the fruition of an idea? So that one can say ncn is based on absolute substance after all, regardless of certain offerings.

One of the hegemonies never never to get a mention in London for instance with the journalists chasing after Westminsterites, is of course the vast university academia spread out across London. When one hears of their personal mutterings having known of their previous political persuasions it is certainly fascinating indeed. This is where the real news is. Unless one is involved there is barely no mention of this ever, ever ever in fact it would be impossible to prove its existence judging by normal media.

a big thank you Max, and congratulations to becoming another grand father, all good stuff!  

4 May 2007 @ 09:16 by rayon : Quick return here
Not seen memes before - and having checked out, feel reserved over its use. Does it not compromise the notion of the creative individual output? We all know that groups engender ideas, but it up to the individual capacity in the final analysis. Such capacity has been revered throughout the ages. On the other hand there much stuff I speak of but it is certainly not "me", one just speaks of it at the time. In this sense I believe Gramsci being in Italy a country of people very much aware of "me" due to inherent beliefs etc, did not totally ally himself with some precise observations and clarifications of democracy etc simply by observing them. His works strike me as rather scientific (rather objective).  

5 May 2007 @ 16:11 by mx @ : reality check...
Nraye, memes: it DOES compromise the notion of the creative individual output! INDEED. That's why it's so dangerous and hideous.

I agree with you on Gramsci, seeing him beyond the paradigm of communism and capitalism and aiming towards the danger of elitism inherent in both.  

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Actually, Hoyle didn't start this meme. It was started in OppositeLock on Jalopnik when one of the other comemnters posted a link to a Mazda MX-3 post on CL where the seller described the car had no interior because racecar .I should know i created the first Because Racecar image.  

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