Second in a series of three, this piece explores how Antonio Gramsci builds on the best of Marxist theory and advances it to include concepts, such as hegemony, historic blocs, relations of forces, organic and conjunctural crises, war of maneuver and war of position, permanent and passive revolutions, and organic and traditional intellectuals.

In Part 1 of Gramsci 101, we explored the concepts of organic versus conjunctural crises and the relations of forces framework. An important takeaway from that article is that crisis is the logical outcome of a society structured by domination in which reactionary and revolutionary alliances are in constant conflict for power. Rather than understanding crisis as an aberration, Gramsci urges us to see hegemony, or moments of political stability, as the rare moment in the life of society. Part 1 also outlined one of his most important contributions to Marxist scholarship, an analytical method he calls "relations of forces.” Gramsci describes the method “as a body of practical rules for research and of detailed observations useful for awakening an interest in effective reality and for stimulating more rigorous and more vigorous political insights” (175-176). The relations of forces framework is based on studying power by assessing three levels of social relations: (1) the relations of the material forces of production, (2) relations of political forces, (3) and the relations of military forces. This article builds on the concepts presented in Part 1 and offers several other key concepts, including the relationship between historical blocs and hegemony, war of maneuver…

The population of the US is subjected to massive ideological control. Corporate-owned mass media, corporate-endowed universities, richly-funded pro-imperialist think tanks, an imperialist US government, all make sure that the US population is fed an epistemology of ignorance. People in the United States can only achieve liberation and a bright future once they realize that their interests lie together with the rest of humanity, not with their own imperialist overlords. Freedom and liberation will only be achieved once we step beyond the confines of the oppressors’ worldview.

In a July 10th article entitled “Can Biden keep the left happy as he pushes key legislation?,” we are immediately helped to a sleight of hand by The Guardian. The author, Daniel Strauss, tells us that Biden is performing “one of the most delicate balancing acts in American politics: how to keep together a Democratic party whose lawmakers range from the democratic socialism of the New York congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to the staunch conservatism of the West Virginia senator Joe Manchin.” What is the sleight of hand? It is the illusion that “American” politics extends all the way from the Trumpist right, through the “staunch conservatism” of the Democratic Party right wing, all the way to the “far left” social democracy of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. People in the US are supposedly presented with all possible political points of view to choose from. That’s the sleight of hand. That is the view that is drummed into our heads by the mainstream media over and over again. The range of ideas remains within the capitalist political framework. Thus, three weeks ago we were told by The Guardian that “‘It’s chilling what is happening’: a rightwing backlash to Biden takes root in Republican states.” The Trumpist right is combatting Biden. Or so it would seem. And in another article on July 18th, “the euphoria of Biden’s first hundred days inevitably cooled as reality crept in. … Reforms on gun safety, immigration and police brutality have hit a wall.” Hmm, wait a minute. You…

#HandsOffCuba #VivaLaRevolucion The people of Cuba and their chosen leadership, the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC), have come under fire from a coordinated media assault and some minor agitation on the ground. We at the Peoples’ Anti-Colonial Press stand firmly with Cuba, the Cuban people, and the PCC against imperialist aggression and defamation.

As the US empire faces increased instability and uncertainty, the imperialists have renewed a strategic and organized campaign against socialist forces in Latin America and the Caribbean. Less than a week after the suspicious assasination of the extremely unpopular Hatian president, Jovenel Moïse, a meeting between CIA and Brazilian right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro, and an uncovered paramilitary insurgency plot against the revolutionary Venezuelan government, the people of Cuba and their chosen leadership, the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC), have come under fire from a coordinated media assault and some minor agitation on the ground.  Small protests numbering less than a thousand people, including participants bearing US flags and MAGA hats, were later dwarfed by massive pro-government counter-protests in a show of popular support for the PCC by the Cuban people. However, the US media manufactured their own narratives and were backed by a coordinated anti-communist social media campaign dubbed #SOSCuba. Ill-informed Americans began to echo the demands being perpetuated across the internet including calls for “freedom,” an answer to vaccine and food shortages, and arrogant ultimatums for the popularly supported socialist leadership to step down. Medicine and food The PCC understands that most governments cannot sell vaccines to Cuba, due…

The People’s Agreement of Cochabamba is an important intervention developed by people of the Global South, those most severely affected by the impact of climate change. Contrary to the approaches proposed by governments and corporations in the Global North, that discuss climate change as a problem limited to a rise in temperatures without addressing the cause, the Cochabamba Agreement addresses its root cause, namely the capitalist system.

Editor's Note: The People’s Agreement of Cochabamba is an important intervention developed by people of the Global South, those most severely affected by the impact of climate change. Contrary to the approaches proposed by governments and corporations in the Global North, that discuss climate change as a problem limited to a rise in temperatures without addressing the cause, the Cochabamba Agreement addresses its root cause, namely the capitalist system. As such, it goes beyond proposals such as the Green New Deal, a legislative and economic program promoted by “progressive” forces in the United States, in that it is based on the understanding that the climate crisis we face is a systemic crisis rooted in capitalism.  The international capitalist class' biggest crime, setting our planet down a doomed path, can only be interrupted by an honest and realistic strategy. Shifting from fossil fuels to new extractivist projects is not the answer. This understanding is rooted in the knowledge that the capitalist logic of competition and limitless growth, of production and consumption for profit, separates human beings from nature, imposing a logic of domination upon nature and peoples which is leading us down the path to extinction. The People’s Agreement of Cochabamba,…

First in a series of three, this piece explores how Antonio Gramsci builds on the best of Marxist theory and advances it to include concepts, such as hegemony, historic blocs, relations of forces, organic and conjunctural crises, war of maneuver and war of position, permanent and passive revolutions, and organic and traditional intellectuals.

In this prolonged moment of political, economic, and social crises, it's more helpful than ever to engage with the work of Italian, Marxist philosopher and politician Antonio Gramsci. While in prison under Mussolini's fascist regime, Gramsci wrote the Prison Notebooks (PN), a series of essays produced between 1929 and 1935 that addresses how crises emerge and what is required to achieve stability. Gramsci demonstrates that political power, or hegemony, is not won through top-down forms of repression or bottom-up forms of liberal democracy. Instead, it coalesces through the formation of strategic alliances that expand to control the state's civil institutions—examples include public education, mass media, religious organizations, law enforcement, finance and financial services, and real estate development. Furthermore, he shows that the state is not a coercive apparatus, but "an equilibrium between political society and civil society" (PN 5). Rejecting an analysis solely rooted in economy, Gramsci builds on the best of Marxist theory and advances it to include concepts such as hegemony, relations of forces, organic and conjunctural crises, war of maneuver and war of position, and permanent and passive revolution. This article is the first part of a three-part series that outlines Gramsci’s most famous contributions. PART ONE…

The difference between socialism and communism is often a point of confusion. In this piece, the author offers a materialist framework of history in order to understand the various stages of society and the struggles between them. This writing is meant for beginners.

Capitalism and socialism are stages of human society in which there is a struggle between those who own property and those who do not.  Examples of property include land, factories, machines, and other tools and resources necessary to produce food, shelter, electronics, medicine, or any other commodity.  The individual, or private, “ownership” of property is a relatively new concept in the greater history of humankind and necessarily emerged through violent means. Settler-colonialism (occupation, division, and privatization) in Turtle Island  and Israel provide one of the most recent and straightforward examples. The minority of people who own property, capitalists, have the ability to invest its value in order to accumulate profit. In one way, this can be done by hiring workers, otherwise known as buying labor-power, and using them to transform resources into commodities.  As an example, a capitalist who owns land rich in minerals may hire people to dig out iron ore, meaning that labor transforms earth into usable ore. The capitalist can then sell these ores for profit, without contributing any labor themself. Moreover, it is possible and even likely that the same capitalist also owns a steel mill and a railroad factory because of various processes of monopolization,…

Robert Reich crudely misrepresents socialism, ignoring that dictatorship and state intervention serve different social classes under socialism and capitalism. His analysis overlooks the historical roots of the capitalist state in the US and its development as a colonizing force extending its tentacles around the world in the service of the rich and powerful.

Robert Reich is a Democratic Party propagandist. He is a syndicated columnist and a well-known and influential political commentator. His political positions overlap those of Bernie Sanders, who has called Reich “one of the most important voices in America, fighting for an economy that works for all people and not just those at the top.” Reich positions himself as a defender of the workers and a harsh critic of corporate CEOs. For those reasons he appeals to left-liberal Democrats and the left wing of the Democratic Party. The points of view that he propagates serve as a line of defense for the US capitalist/imperialist order, appealing to people who may otherwise be prone to adopt more radical, even revolutionary political positions. Any analysis of social relations articulates a particular worldview. In capitalist society, the dominant “common sense” understanding of social relations is delimited by what the ruling class deems acceptable. Robert Reich does not stray beyond those bounds. Hence, it is important to unmask the true class interests behind his ideas, as they are widely promoted under the guise of defending the poor. Is liberation from oppression and want even possible under capitalism? In his book “The System. Who Rigged…