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…

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,…