Gramsci and the “Anti-Globalization” Movement: Think Before You Act1

While the works of Antonio Gramsci have been studied in great depth for a number of years, his central concepts and main arguments can be applied to provide both a framework and understanding for current struggles over “globalization.” Gramsci’s primary focus was on the need for a long-term strategy to bring about fundamental revolutionary change specifically directed towards the goal of concretely transforming “common sense” conceptions and popular individual consciousness. Thus, even almost seventy years after his death, his conceptualization of the revolutionary process as a sustained “war of position” specifically directed at winning over civil society and the active consent of the masses to the goals of the revolutionary bloc, by presenting an alternative intellectual, cultural, and moral agenda vis-à-vis the current hegemon, remains his most significant contribution. For only if such a movement is consciously and actively constructed, will an “organic crisis” – a rupturing or divergence of the structure and superstructure – allow the counter-hegemonic force its opportunity to supplant the dominant or ruling elites.  

In the post-9/11 environment, in which direct or open confrontation with the dominant powers is even more problematic, a Gramscian counter-hegemonic construction helps to reconceptualize the entire revolutionary process by demonstrating that any struggle must be conducted on the level of the superstructure rather than the structure, through the ideological preparation and political education of the masses. For it is only by redefining the meanings attached to globalization and deconstructing the dominant discourse of neoliberalism that the “anti-globalization” movement can be successful in this highly charged atmosphere. This involves not just a greater confrontation over the interpretations and repercussions of globalization, but the ability to portray neoliberal policies as a real and immediate threat to the livelihoods and expectations of the common person. Conversely, since any struggle over globalization must be conducted at the level of the superstructure, the revolutionary bloc is no longer determined solely by objective and economic factors of class but, instead, through subjective factors related to shared perceptions of marginalization, alienation, and subordination that cut across class lines to include all those individuals and social groups experiencing relative deprivation in the current context of increased economic globalization and widening neo-imperialist war (e.g., both the general “war on terror” and the specific conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan). In the end, a counter-hegemonic movement will only be successful if it embarks upon what Gramsci terms a “war of position” through a prolonged intellectual, cultural, and moral confrontation over contemporary “common sense” conceptions of “reality” and which is capable of winning over a globalized civil society to the ideas of the counter-hegemonic forces.2


For a “war of position” to be successful, Gramsci argues that a counter-hegemonic bloc must employ a strategy that is active, interventionist, and long-term, since the material power and ideological dominance of the hegemon requires a sustained approach to progressively undermine its influence and control over the masses. In terms of his overall conceptualization of a war of position, Gramsci ponders whether “it [is] possible to plough without first manuring the land?”3 In other words, Gramsci recognizes that creating the proper conditions necessary for revolutionary activity is essential since “every revolution has been preceded by an intense labour of criticism, by the diffusion of culture and the spread of ideas,”4 and that such a process must necessarily involve “a wholesale transformation of people’s conceptions of the world and norms of conduct.”5 As Femia asserts:

(D)iffusion and acceptance of radical ideas about man and society, the creation of a proletarian counter-hegemony, is a precondition for revolution. Without prior success in what Gramsci calls the war of position on the cultural front, a seizure of state power would only prove transitory if not disastrous.6

It is clear to Gramsci that the first stage in a war of position must involve the dissemination of new ideas by the counter-hegemonic bloc to intellectually, culturally, and morally prepare the ground for the revolutionary force and its ascent to hegemonic dominance.7 In this context, it is only by persuasively demonstrating to society at large that its conception of the world is inherently superior to those of the dominant powers that such a counter-hegemonic force can conquer civil society and eventually exert its political leadership.8 It is for this reason that Gramsci argues the revolutionary process must be conceptualized primarily as “the problem of winning intellectual power.”9 Or, as he states elsewhere:

Movement, however, is never just a physical act; it is intellectual as well. Indeed, it is always intellectual before becoming physical.10

For Gramsci, in contrast to past conceptualizations of the revolutionary process, it is clear that the war of position is not, and cannot be, a direct physical confrontation against the dominant powers. As Seattle clearly demonstrated,11 any frontal assault will lead to coercive retaliation in which the ruling powers will assure their dominance through repressive action if necessary, usually wthl the broad and active support of the middle classes. Thus, if the goal is to challenge the hegemony of the elites, it must be on the level of the superstructure through the promotion and promulgation of alternative ideas and meanings. In other words, it must challenge the “common sense” view of the neoliberal bloc that the free flow of capital, trade, and production does benefit all, instead of a privileged minority as maintained by globalization’s opponents.12

To construct a counter-hegemonic force as part of a long-term strategy it is imperative to first uncover the root cause of the so-called primitive philosophy of “common sense.”13 For Gramsci, the source is the ruling elite who promote a certain conception of “reality” or the “real world” to prevent the masses from realizing their true consciousness and, hence, their own fundamental interests.14 Therefore, the common sense ideas of the hegemon – used to acquire the consent of the masses to its rule – are nothing more than the parochial material interests of the elites superimposed on the general welfare of the masses. As a result, the masses come to accept the morality, the customs, and the institutionalized rules of behaviour promoted throughout society as absolute truths (i.e., universal and objective) that cannot or should not be questioned.15 According to Nemeth: “[T]he bourgeoisie first leads us to think that there is a fixed, eternal realm of truth, then that we have some truths today, particularly about the economic system and the class division of society.”16

In response to these supposed universal truths, Gramsci argues that common sense is neither an objective fact nor an unquestionable truth. Instead, Gramsci calls common sense “an ambiguous, contradictory, and multiform concept,” saying that “to refer to common sense as a confirmation of truth is nonsense.”17 He realizes that only by debunking the supposedly universal truths contained within common senseas part of a first step in the long-term strategy of societal and state transformation can the individual aspire to the next stage of “revolutionary” development. It is at this juncture that the blind acceptance of common sense and the lack of individual consciousness become intimately intertwined. As Chantal Mouffe states: “[F]or any class which wants to become hegemonic [must] struggle on the philosophical front in order to modify the common sense of the masses and realize an intellectual and moral reform.”18

Of course, since this struggle is primarily conducted on the level of the superstructure, such a confrontation is specifically ideological and cultural in nature, rooted in the morals, beliefs, and values of the individual and society, as opposition forces attempt to redefine and reconstruct issues and ideas associated with the dominant mode of production.19 More specifically, Mark Rupert argues that since all social relations and interactions between individuals, groups, and nations are “historically produced,” they are consequently “politically contestable.”20 Therefore, such a struggle is necessarily contested in the realm of “common sense.” Rupert demonstrates the important role such common sense attitudes and norms have played in the postwar era, especially in relation to the ideas and policies that first arose in the United States and that were subsequently transmitted throughout the world. According to Rupert:

To use Gramsci’s term, Americanism was a central element in the “common sense” of popular culture in the USA… As a consequence, within the common sense of the masses there may be space for critical analysis of social contradictions and self-understandings, and the potential for a transformative political movement to emerge. Gramsci’s point, then, is that common sense can be a crucial terrain of political struggle.21

In Rupert’s opinion, any challenge to ‘Americanism’ and the forces of unrestrained neoliberalism that have evolved over the last twenty-five years must presume “as its starting point the tensions and possibilities latent within popular common sense, and [seek] to build out of the materials of popular common sense an emancipatory political culture and a social movement to enact it –- a counter-hegemony.”22 In the end, according to Rupert, since current struggles will be determined “on the terrain of popular common sense,”23 as the “contradictions of liberal capitalism” 24 become more apparent between what is promised and what can be delivered (i.e., relative or subjective deprivation), these conflicts should intensify.37While there are certain individuals who argue that the “anti-globalization” movement offers only critiques and is devoid of any positive solutions to current problems related to increased economic globalization,38 it is clear that for the common man and woman this movement does provide an alternative — and many would argue more positive and inclusive — vision of the future.43In contemporary Western states, the expansion of the superstructure has reinforced the power of the dominant group and protected it from the type of crises that past revolutionary movements and theorists had predicted would initiate the inevitable demise of capitalist rule. For Gramsci, this view of civil society once more supports his proposition that only an initial attack on the superstructure of ideas, culture, and morals can provide the context through which the counter-hegemon can eventually achieve state power. As Gramsci reminds us, “the ‘war of position’ once won, is decisive definitively.”4447Boggs also focuses on the dominant role Gramsci assigns to civil society in disseminating the ideology or dominant beliefs of the regime to its people. According to Boggs: “He [Gramsci] located these ideologies less within the sphere of production (though of course this was a factor) than within the larger realm of civil society, which meant that the dialectic of hegemony and counter-hegemony could in principle unfold outside the factory (or capital-labor relations in general), in the large societal arena of schools, churches, the family, mass media, and the neighborhoods as well as the workplace.”48

However, as Boggs’s argument demonstrates, the larger implications of Gramsci’s analysis are to demonstrate that civil society is not only where the dominance of the hegemon is primarily grounded but, more importantly, that it is where any subsequent counter-hegemonic force must be constructed. Boggs maintains that any successful counter-hegemonic movement must constitute a “gradual, long-term struggle for hegemony within civil society,”49 while Noberto Bobbio argues that “the stable conquest of power by the subordinate classes is always considered as a function of the transformation which must first be operated in civil society.”50 Yet, it is Buttigieg who most forcefully espouses Gramsci’s overall strategy in terms of the central role to be performed by civil society in the long-term strategies of the counter-hegemonic bloc.56
In a general sense, most Gramscian scholars argue that if the realm of production or the economic structure can be conceived internationally (especially as economic actors such as multinational corporations and global capital have internationalized production and more fully integrated economic processes across borders), then a global civil society can be conceptualized as the ideas, beliefs, and cultural forces that correspond to and ideologically support the realm of production.57 In terms of this idea of a transnational or “global-conceived civil society,”58 Rupert states: “Corresponding with this internationalization of production has been the internationalization of Gramsci’s extended state and the more explicit development of a global civil society through which hegemony of international capital has been organized in the postwar world.”59 Germain and Kenny are even more explicit on the symbiotic relationship that exists between the economic and productive forces that are present at the international level and the ideas and beliefs such forces utilize to support and reinforce the neoliberal bloc’s continuing integration of and domination over the world economy. According to Germain and Kenny: “The innovative contribution of the Italian [i.e., Gramscian] school lies in considering civil society at the international or global level, where they see it corresponding most closely to the practices and values fostered by public and private transnational institutions, which are in turn based upon the progressive transnationalization of dominant social forms.”60 The conception of a civil society in which economic processes are reinforced by cultural beliefs and ideological superstructures would seem as applicable to the international level as it is to the domestic realm, as globalization – in both its economic and its cultural dimensions – continues to spread. 

In terms of the struggle over globalization, a key factor in the increasingly tenuous nature of the transnational bloc and its neoliberal program has been the ability of certain opponents to challenge many of the commonly assumed views the masses have adopted towards globalization and neoliberalism. This is especially true regarding the ‘common sense’ view that future liberalization of the international political economy is both objectively natural and an inevitably positive development.25 The “globalization protest movement” has garnered most of its success by emphasizing the negative and potentially dangerous aspects of this process in terms that could be most easily understood by the general population. One example involved the intensified debates over the MAI.26 According to Stephen Kobrin, writing during the negotiations: “The reason that opposition to the MAI has been so successful is that the treaty has been presented … in terms that are immediate, meaningful, and threatening to a very large number of disparate individuals and groups.”27 Thus, the NGOs and others who challenged the MAI and thereafter continue to critique the worst excesses of the current neoliberal project are primarily successful because of their ability to frame and construct the debate in common sense language with which individuals and the masses can more readily identify.28 In terms of the MAI, they were able to focus on the agreement as a clear and immediate danger in terms of its potential to not only undermine democracy, accountability, and transparency, but threaten the individual’s very livelihood and way of life.

According to Gramsci, if one is to be successful in transforming the meanings associated with the popular common sense conceptions espoused by the dominant or hegemonic powers, one must construct a new and alternative counter-hegemonic movement, total and independent in its dialectic opposition to the prevailing hegemon. According to Gramsci: “The affirmation that the philosophy is a new, independent and original conception, even though it is also a moment of world historical development, is an affirmation of the independence and originality of a new culture in incubation, which will develop with the development of social relations.”29 In this sense, the revolutionary bloc becomes what Gramsci terms a “counter-weight to another conception of the world.”30 Consequently, the primary function of the revolutionary movement is not simply to modify the current reality through a series of reforms, but to completely destroy all remnants of the hegemon, most importantly, the hegemonic projection of ‘common sense.’31

In presenting an alternative to the dominant hegemonic projection of neoliberalism, such a view is not solely related to economic issues or even reducible to its political articulation, but relates to all aspects of globalization. In other words, a key dimension of the counter-hegemonic project is to formulate an alternative ideological system and, in effect, a distinct culture and world view.32 This includes not only tangible plans and programs for challenging the current hegemonic views, beliefs, and accepted behaviours, but also alternative perceptions about what is truly essential and what is secondary. Thus, as “an alternative vision of the future”33 the globalization protest movement as represented in their opposition to the MAI and subsequent battles in Seattle and Quebec City, has demonstrated what Buttigieg refers to as an alternative “forma mentis,”34 a view diametrically opposed to the common sense attitudes and ideas presented by the dominant neoliberal bloc.

At the current juncture, there are clearly two opposing groups involved in the confrontation over the globalization process, with each representing distinctly alternative views towards the global economy.35 On the one hand, there is a neoliberal bloc which favours the gradual incorporation of all the world’s economies and the elimination of any constraints or obstacles to such integration, even (it would seem) if force is required. On the other hand, there is a counter-hegemonic or globalization protest movement that perceives such an absolute elimination of barriers as detrimental to social justice. To this counter-hegemonic bloc, the principles of consumerism and consumption should not be an end in and of themselves, but a means to a more participatory, democratic, and just international economic system.36 Mark Rupert presents the most tangible sense in which this distinction can be framed.

Beginning to frame an alternative vision of global political economy based on democratic self-determination and transnational linkages among working people, consumers, and citizens -– rather than allowing unfettered markets and the criterion of private profit to determine social outcomes -– these progressive forces emphasized the common sense value of ‘democracy’ over liberalism’s more traditional valorization of private property.


One of the basic objectives in Gramsci’s conceptualization of a war of position is to emphasize the new circumstances now confronting revolutionary movements in their attempts to seize power. Hence, in Gramsci’s examination of the contemporary revolutionary process, the current power structure now confronting counter-hegemonic movements can no longer be conceptualized in the form of a monolithic entity but must instead be seen as two separate yet intertwined elements. Most succinctly, Gramsci argues “that State = political society + civil society, in other words, hegemony protected by the armour of coercion”39 (or, as he states elsewhere, “dictatorship + hegemony).”40 In both cases, he stresses a hegemony based on ideas that manufacture consent, while the political element is a dictatorship that is prepared to employ force and coercion, if necessary, to maintain its rule. Referring respectively to civil society (the “private” sphere) and political society, Gramsci says:

These two levels correspond on the one hand to the function of “hegemony” which the dominant group exercises throughout society and on the other hand to that of “direct domination” or command exercised through the State and “juridical” government.41

While the state and civil society are intricately interconnected by a set of common aims and shared beliefs, their distinct nature leads Gramsci to argue that it is only by initially winning over the consent of civil society that an attempt can then be made to seize the instruments and institutions of state power.42 Consequently, Gramsci demonstrates how this new configuration of state and civil society has made the crude materialism of the orthodox Marxists irrelevant to contemporary circumstances. Thus, the Leninist strategy of frontal attack (i.e., “war of manoeuvre”) must be replaced by a long-term strategy because

in the most advanced States, … “civil” society has become a very complex structure and one which is resistant to the catastrophic “incursions” of the immediate economic element (crises, depressions, etc.). The superstructures of civil society are like the trench-systems of modern warfare.

For Gramsci, it is clear that civil society, rather than the state, has become the principal battleground on which the revolutionary struggle will be conducted. In terms of conceptualizing civil society, according to Roger Simon: “It [civil society] comprises all the ‘so-called private’ organizations such as churches, trade unions, political parties, and cultural institutions, which are distinct from the process of production and from the coercive apparatuses of the state.”45 More specifically, Rupert states: “Civil society would then include parties, unions, churches, education, journalism, art, and literature.”46 In either case, civil society is significant because it exists separate from the state, within what is commonly considered the ‘private’ sphere.

Many Gramscian scholars have focused on the importance of civil society by examining the way in which various associations, groups, and organizations help to frame and construct the ideological ‘trenches’ of the state as the ‘common sense’ representation of its dominant forces. According to Holub:

The extension of power and domination to other areas of society led him [Gramsci] to examine power relations in what he calls civil society, in the institutions, in religious organizations, in educational systems as well as in families, and indeed in the practices of everyday life. If political society potentially disciplined the bodies, civil society disciplined above all the mind.

Gramsci insisted adamantly that the revolutionary transformation of society start in civil society, and, ideally or theoretically at least, it is not fully accomplished until the extension of civil society is so complete that it no longer needs a coercive apparatus… Gramsci forcefully and repeatedly rejected all arguments that gave priority to the revolutionary seizure of the state over the formation and the cultivation of a broad-based revolutionary culture.51

It is clear that only such a strategy would be successful, because this transformation and “expansion of civil society”52 would not only defeat the hegemon in the present, but would prevent any counter-revolutionary or “reactionary” attacks from occurring in the future.53 Most importantly, in terms of Gramsci’s long-term strategy in the context of the current struggle over globalization, the winning over of civil society through a war of position has supplanted a frontal war of manoeuvre against the state as both the desirable and necessary realm of counter-hegemonic confrontation.
In his examination of civil society, Gramsci’s main focus was unquestionably at the domestic level, specifically concentrating on how the particular historical development of civil society in Western and Eastern Europe in the 1920s remained fundamentally distinct (e.g., most specifically Italy vis-à-vis Russia).54 While it is true that Gramsci never applied his ideas of civil society to the international level, he was clear that a civil society did exist separate and autonomous from the state.55 Consequently, in much of the recent international relations literature there are increasing references to a ‘globalized’ or ‘transnational’ civil society. While there is far from a consensus on what exactly constitutes civil society at the international level, for those critics of the current economic order who seek its transformation, it is assuming a more central role.

Of course, as with all of Gramsci’s work, the ultimate value of his concepts is their practical applicability. In other words, the primary focus and interest involves how such ideas can be utilized to confront and overthrow the hegemon and its dominant mode of production and way of thinking. Or, perhaps, as Robert Cox makes most explicit:

His concern with civil society was, first, to understand the strength of the status quo and then devise a strategy for its transformation. The emancipatory potential of civil society was the object of his thinking.61

Thus, civil society remains the focus of neo-Gramscian scholars, not principally for its theoretical or abstract value, but for its practical role in “contesting ideas”62 and for the opportunities it provides as the most fertile ground on which the globalization protest movement can continue to challenge the ‘common sense’ ideas and policies of the neoliberal project.


While the war of position is the context through which the counter-hegemonic bloc must develop its strategy and a globalized civil society is the site of such a confrontation, Gramsci realizes that a certain point will exist when the hegemon is at its weakest and most vulnerable. This specifically occurs when the structure or economic base and the superstructure of ideas have deviated to a sufficient extent to permit the counter-hegemon its opportunity to confront the dominant powers. According to Gramsci: “It is the problem of the relations between structure and superstructure which must be actively posed and resolved if the forces which are active in the history of a particular period are to be correctly analyzed, and the relation between them determined.”63 When this break between structure and superstructure occurs, when the ideas and beliefs used to garner the support and consent of the masses seem void and meaningless, the counter-hegemonic force will be presented with its best, and perhaps only, chance to strike. This is what Gramsci refers to as an “organic crisis” of the ruling class.
While Gramsci concurs with other Marxists on the need to focus on the relations between the structure and the superstructure, Gramsci breaks with traditional Marxism by arguing that it is actually on the level of the superstructure – the political and cultural ideas that sustain the hegemony of the dominant classes within society – that any attempt to overthrow such powers must be concentrated. According to Boggs:

The crisis of bourgeois hegemony [i.e., ‘organic crisis’] and with it the emergence of counter-hegemonic movements, was not strictly a matter of economic breakdown, for the crisis which Marxists had long predicted was now in Gramscian terms expected to reach its fullest expression on the political-ideological terrain, where ‘partial’ demands would be translated into ‘fundamental’ ones challenging the entire social system. Such a crisis would require massive cracks in the legitimating apparatus, opening new space for ideological ferment, the development of critical consciousness on a broad scale and, ultimately, for intervention of a unifying force

Boggs adds that such a development would occur not as an economic crisis rooted in the material classes of society, but as a “cultural breakdown” or a “crisis of ideological hegemony.”65  

Still, there must occur a specific moment when the ruling class has reached the point that although it is still dominant (force and coercion), it is no longer hegemonic (ideas and consent).66 At such a crisis point, a power vacuum emerges in which the discredited moral and intellectual leadership of the hegemon leads to a loss of consent, and erosion of support, from the subordinate groups.67

According to Gramsci:

If the ruling class has lost its consensus, i.e., is no longer “leading” but only “dominant,” exercising coercive force alone, this means precisely that the great masses have become detached from their traditional ideologies, and no longer believe what they used to believe previously, etc. The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born.68

More specifically, Gramsci examines the particular periods when such developments (i.e., “crises”) are most likely to occur. 

And the content is the crisis of the ruling class’s hegemony, which occurs either because the ruling class has failed in some major political undertaking for which it has requested, or forcibly extracted, the consent of the broad masses (war, for example), or because huge masses (especially of peasants and petit-bourgeois intellectuals) have passed suddenly from a state of political passivity to a certain activity, and put forward demands which taken together, albeit not organically formulated, add up to a revolution. A “crisis of authority” is spoken of: this is precisely the crisis of hegemony, or general crisis of the State.6972

In the context of liberal capitalism, the masses can still believe in the greater theoretical and ethical justifications of the system – freedom, individuality, and rationality – but disagree or mistrust those who claim to be the possessors of such ‘truth’ (i.e., the current neoliberal bloc).78In examining both the collapse of the Bretton Woods consensus and the increased economic integration resulting from globalization, events such as the MAI debacle can be viewed as a consequence of an “organic crisis” of the ruling class. While the continued economic domination of this neoliberal coalition currently remains unchallenged, it is in the ability of liberalism to remain a coherent and attractive ideology that the hegemonic supremacy of such a bloc is its most vulnerable. Stephen Gill summarizes this view when he asserts that “whilst there has been a growth in the structural power of capital, its contradictory consequences mean that neoliberalism has failed to gain more than temporary dominance over our societies.”79

Since Gramsci emphasizes that there will occur a precise moment when the war of position “passes over to siege warfare,”70 a direct confrontation with the current hegemon can only be successful after a long and deliberate strategy of active mass participation in which the new and superior ideas, beliefs, and values of the counter-hegemon have had an opportunity to sufficiently and extensively permeate civil society.

In focusing on the superstructure as the main point of resistance, Gramsci differentiates the ideas that the hegemonic powers utilize to garner consent for their continued domination from the “naked coercion”71 that underlies the structure of relations when such consent fails. In capitalism, it is the ideas and moral appeal of neoliberalism – freedom, choice, and the ultimate power of the individual as consumer – that must sustain the exploitative mode of production within the international economy. Thus, an “organic crisis” occurs when such ideas can no longer support the exploitative structure and the masses become alienated and disenchanted with the overall economic system. Gramsci summarizes such a relationship when he states: “The crisis of the idea of progress is not therefore a crisis of the idea itself, but a crisis of the standard bearers of the idea, who have in turn become a part of ‘nature’ to be dominated.”

In terms of international relations, and especially regarding the current global economy, several authors argue that the postwar consensus on which the Bretton Woods system was constructed is already undergoing an “organic crisis.” This is occurring because the “historical bloc”73 originally created between labour and capital in the United States after World War II is experiencing a period of profound transformation. This change has only accelerated over the last two decades with increased globalization, as MNCs search out greater profits and relocate in developing countries at the expense of northern labour, wages, and jobs. Rupert is the most explicit when he refers to the “fragment[ation] of the neoliberal historic bloc” in which industrial labour has been expelled “from its former position as relatively privileged partner.”74 In the context of recent events, Rupert asserts:

The “historic bloc” of social forces and ideologies which formed the core of the US- centred hegemonic world order is being reconstructed. American industrial labour is no longer secure in its position as a relatively privileged junior partner in this global power bloc, as prevailing interpretations of liberal ideology have shifted away from a version which had endorsed more activist and growth-oriented state policies which legitimized collective bargaining by mass industrial unions. In place of the kinder, gentler liberalism which was hegemonic during the postwar decades we now find instead a hard-edged liberalism which strives to focus the violence of market forces directly upon working people through policies which emphasize public fiscal retrenchment, containment of inflation, and ‘flexible labour markets’ in a context of rigorous global competition.75

Rupert is not alone in his view of how present processes of globalization and economic integration on a world-wide scale have, in many ways, performed a key role in undermining support from the very groups that are necessary for its continued expansion. Thus, a crucial contradiction exists between workers as consumers and as producers, as cuts in wages and job losses undermine their ability to purchase those goods necessary to sustain capitalist expansion. It is in this context that Buchanan perceives a “compound fracture of the base and superstructure,”76 while Bernard cites “the contradictory nature and the socio-political limits of the discourse and practice of globalization.”77 Yet, it is probably Vicki Birchfield who is the most explicit in emphasizing the inherently paradoxical nature of the current global economic system. According to Birchfield:

The problem of change then hinges on how entrenched ideology or popular common sense is in terms of its consistency with the structural requisites of society. Market ideology is the necessary corollary to neoliberal economic globalization, without which the structural requirements of increased capital mobility, wage depression, flexible modes of production and accumulation, etc. could not be justified and permitted.

Therefore, as questions arise over the neoliberal bloc’s seemingly stalled promises of growth and prosperity and the “war on terror” appears to be increasingly unwinnable, the continuing hegemony of the neoliberal bloc must be confronted on the terrain of the superstructure, as the meanings of liberalism and the future directions of globalization will remain the strategic site of political struggle between the dominant capitalist powers and their counter-hegemonic challengers.


The final component is the actual composition of this revolutionary or counter-hegemonic bloc. At its most basic level, since a personal change of consciousness at the scale of the individual represents the first stage in liberation from the common sense world of hegemonic construction, for this new conception to be most effective, various individuals must necessarily evolve into a larger group, united in their ultimate aims and sharing in this universal perception or world view. As Gramsci puts it,

[W]hen the individual can associate himself with all the other individuals who want the same changes, and if the changes wanted are rational, the individual can be multiplied an impressive number of times and can obtain a change which is far more radical than at first sight ever seemed possible.80

Therefore, Gramsci argues that any significant change must be initiated by what he calls “collective man.”

An historical act can only be performed by “collective man” and this presupposes the attainment of a “cultural-social unity” through which a multiplicity of dispersed wills, with heterogeneous aims, are welded together with a single aim, on the basis of an equal and common conception of the world.81It is important to note that, unlike Marx, Gramsci is much more interested in individual rather than class consciousness inasmuch as it formed the core of his thought. Furthermore, when Gramsci does write about groups or class, his emphasis is significantly different from that of Marx. According to Nemeth:

Instead of defining a ‘social group’ in socio-economic terms, Gramsci shifts the focus to ideas. According to him, each of us belongs to that ‘social group,’ i.e., class, which collectively shares the same basic world view.82

Consequently, it is Gramsci’s emphasis on the importance of ideas over purely economic factors that differentiates him from most orthodox Marxists. In his writings, Gramsci goes to great lengths to stress the determining role that ideas play in the creation of a social group.83 Most succinctly, he emphasizes: “It is not ‘thought’ but what people really think that unites or differentiates mankind.”84Since Gramsci’s ultimate aim was the construction of a successful counter-hegemonic movement, he did not want to restrict his message to a specific socio-economic class or group but, instead, was focused on diffusing his ‘ideology’ to as large and receptive an audience as possible. In fact, according to Simon, if a particular counter-hegemonic movement attempts to restrict its message solely to the economic or corporate realm, it will inevitably fail because any activity “must take into account the popular and democratic struggles of the people which do not have a purely class character, that is, which do not arise, directly out of the relations of production.”85 Chantal Mouffe makes this point most explicitly:

According to [Gramsci] the subjects of political action cannot be identified with social classes. As has already been seen, they are the collective wills which obey specifically formed laws in view of the fact that they constitute the political expression of hegemonic systems created through ideology. Therefore, the subjects (the social classes) which exist at the economic level, are not duplicated at the political level; instead, different ‘inter class’ subjects are created… to think hegemony beyond a simple class alliance as the creation of a superior unity where there will be a fusion of the participant elements of the hegemonic bloc.86

In the end, all individuals who experience the alienation and disempowerment of increased economic globalization are potential members of this “anti-globalization” bloc, not just those individuals who are reducible to the economic exploitation of the base. As a result, it is a commonality or similarity in experiencea shared perception of repression, exclusion, and marginalizationwhich creates a counter-hegemonic bloc regardless of a common or shared economic condition.87 According to Bocock:

[It] depends in turn upon how ‘exploitation’ is seen as being located… [Many contemporary writers, such as] Laclau and Mouffe go further and look to other groups other than the economically ‘exploited’ classes in arguing that other forms of subordination exist outside the economic sphere. Subordination may be political, social, or cultural, as well as economic, especially among groups such as women, ethnic minorities, gay peoples, and the old and sick.88

It is clear that Gramsci’s concentration on ideas over purely economic factors links into his overall strategy of the importance of intellectual, moral, and cultural reform rooted in the superstructure of civil society as the most effective means through which to challenge and defeat the entrenched power of the hegemon.

In the context of international relations, certain writers concur with the view that a Gramscian framework helps to focus on exploitation in terms of subjective or relative deprivation, and not solely as a form of objective economic alienation.  Robert Cox states quite succinctly that:

Today ‘class’ has become a more ambiguous notion. [Yet] [t]he common sentiment among them is a sense of oppression or exclusion… and the need of forging links among divergent and disadvantaged groups.89

Rupert adds that “all subordinate groups” have a key role to perform in the construction of a unified and effective anti-globalization coalition.90

Furthermore, it is clear that such a counter-hegemonic force cannot and should not be constrained by the contemporary nation-state. Since the primary struggle is against a transnational elite that exists at the global level, according to Rupert, any truly effective resistance to continuing economic integration and unlimited empowerment of this neoliberal bloc “need not be circumscribed by the borders of the state.”91 He continues by stating that…

it is difficult for me to see how it would serve [Gramsci’s] larger purposes – or the political purposes of the present – to delineate the terrain of the political struggle within the territorial boundaries of the nation-state, or to insist that the notion of civil society has no meaning at a transnational scale because we are unable to identify a global counterpart to the ‘political’ state.92

While it is true that Gramsci’s focus was on the domestic level, specifically as it pertained to Italy in the 1920s under the fascist regime of Mussolini, this does not preclude Gramsci’s contribution to the conceptualization of a broad-based and global alliance between all those individuals seeking to confront or destroy what they perceive to be the oppressive and exploitative tactics and ideas of the current hegemonic force. Since the evolution of globalization and the neoliberal economy now means that such hegemonic powers are more concentrated and directed from the global level through a transnational elite, those that now confront this neoliberal bloc –- trade unions and new social movements, environmentalists, feminists, anti-poverty movements, peace movements, anti-imperialist movements, human rights activists, indigenous peoples, students, consumer advocates, ethnic minorities93 –- must necessarily be global in nature, transcending traditional national boundaries.94 While the struggles against globalization and the current neoliberal bloc are still evolving, in the future, it is clear that these types of broad and shifting coalitions will continue to transcend traditional state boundaries to resist the unrestricted and absolute power of capital mobility and neoliberal economic integration on a worldwide scale.


Most importantly, Gramsci demonstrates that the focus must remain on the ideological level in terms of the need to transform “common sense” by challenging the standard discourse, interpretations, and meanings attached to the ideas of neoliberalism and globalization and to emphasize its corresponding failure and inability to satisfy the immediate needs and wants of many of the world’s people. In a world in which neoliberalism and its ideas continue to be championed and seemingly unchallenged, and where opposing the elites in the post 9-11 era can entail severe personal risks, it is now that such neo-Gramscian interpretations are more essential than ever. In the end, Gramsci provides a clear context through which contemporary revolutionary transformation and emancipation may occur, and for many of the world’s downtrodden that are increasingly excluded from the wealth and dignity of increased economic globalization, Gramsci has at least allowed the “altra classe” an opportunity for a more just, equal, and humane world.


1. While many of its detractors use the terms “anti-globalists” or the “anti-globalization” movement, it does not seem to be either a fair or accurate depiction of those groups and individuals that have been the most vocal in their denunciation of current neoliberal policies. Bruce Podobnik uses the term “the globalization protest movement,” while John D. Clark more positively refers to members of this group as “ethical globalists.” See Bruce Podobnik, “Resistance to Globalization: Cycles and Trends in the Globalization Protest Movement,” in Bruce Podobnik and Thomas Reifer, eds., Transforming Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities in the Post 9/11 Era (Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2005); and John D. Clark, Worlds Apart: Civil Society and the Battle for Ethical Globalization (Bloomfield IN: Kumarian Press Inc., 2003).

2. In his examination of the revolutionary process, Gramsci assists in reconceptualizing what is meant by the very concept of “revolution.” A revolution should not be perceived simply as a seizure of state power but, more importantly, as a long-term transformation reflecting advances in the consciousness and organizational capacity of the majority of the population.    

3. Antonio Gramsci as quoted by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. “Introduction” in Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, eds. (New York: International Publishers, 1971), p. xciii.

4. Antonio Gramsci, The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935, David Forgacs, ed. (New York: New York University Press, 2000), p. 58.

5. Forgacs, Gramsci Reader, p. 323.  

6. Joseph Femia, “Hegemony and Consciousness in the Thought of Antonio Gramsci,” Political Studies 23, 1 (March 1975), p. 34.

7. Or as Gramsci asserts: “[A] cultural battle to transform the popular ‘mentality’.” Gramsci Reader, p. 347.  

8. See Ibid., p. 41; and Christine Buci-Glucksmann, “Hegemony and Consent: A Political Strategy,” in Anne Showstack Sassoon, ed., Approaches to Gramsci (London: Writers and Readers, 1982), p. 120. It is because of this fundamental belief that Gramsci argues: “A social group can, and indeed must, already ‘lead’ (i.e., be hegemonic) before winning governmental power.” Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 47.

9. Gramsci, Gramsci Reader, p. 70.

10. Ibid., p. 44.

11. Seattle of course refers to clashes around the WTO meetings held in that city in November 1999. The risks of direct confrontation seem even greater in the post 9-11 environment when such actions can be more easily repressed in the name of “national security.” Jeffrey Ayres argues that by “criminalizing dissent” the US government and other state authorities are more willing to and in fact have “publicly equated protests against neoliberal globalization with terrorism.” Jeffrey Ayres, “Anti-Globalization to the Global Justice Movement: Framing Collective Action Against Neoliberalism,” in Podobnik and Reifer, eds., Transforming Globalization, p. 22.  

12. See Duncan Green and Matthew Griffith, “Globalization and its Discontents,” International Affairs 78, 1 (January 2002), p. 58.  

13. For some examples of Gramsci’s conceptualization of “common sense,” see Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, pp. 157-58, 323-33, and 419-25.  

14. In this sense, Teodros Kiros argues that the primary aim of the hegemonic projection of “common sense” is that of “mystifying reality.” Teodros Kiros, Toward the Construction of a Theory of Political Action; Antonio Gramsci: Consciousness, Participation, and Hegemony (Lanham, MD: University of America Press, 1985), p. 101.

15. Giuseppe Fiori, Antonio Gramsci: Life of a Revolutionary (Translated by Tom Nairn) (London: New Left Books, 1970), p. 238.

16. Thomas Nemeth, Gramsci’s Philosophy: A Critical Study (Brighton, Sussex: Harvester Press, 1980), p. 134.

17. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 423.

18. Chantal Mouffe, “Introduction: Gramsci Today” in Chantal Mouffe, ed., Gramsci and Marxist Theory (London, Boston, & Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), p. 8.

19. In her examination of the French movement Attac (Association pour une taxation des transactions financieres pour l’aide aux citoyens) formed in 1998, Sarah Waters assumes such an approach regarding its focus on the superstructure and ideological issues over structural and more direct confrontation with the neoliberal elites. According to Waters: “Attac stands apart from the wider anti-globalization movement in that it places emphasis on intellectual production as an instrument in the struggle against globalization and this tends to take precedence over direct physical action. Where other movements may take to the street in protest, organize demonstrations or symbolic actions or even resort to violence to make themselves heard, Attac attaches value to argument and debate as a critical tool of social contestation.”  Sarah Waters, “Mobilizing against Globalization: Attac and the French Intellectuals,” West European Politics 27, 5 (November 2004), p. 862. In summarizing her views on Attac she states that: “For the leaders of Attac, it was necessary to confront economic globalisation first and foremost on the ideological level.” Ibid., p. 863.

20. Mark Rupert, Producing Hegemony: The Politics of Mass Production and American Global Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 35.

21. Ibid., p. 109.

22. Mark Rupert, Ideologies of Globalization: Contending Visions of a New World Order (London and New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 11-12. 

23. Ibid., p. 41.

24. Ibid., pp. 68.

25. A good example is the concepts associated with free trade and the ideas its supporters employ to defend their positions on international trade. According to Frank Trentmann, part of the reason that free trade continues to possess such a pertinent ‘ideological power’ is the ability of liberal proponents to portray free trade as “a scientific fact as indisputable as gravity.” Thus, their success has been based on representing liberal free trade doctrine as “non-ideological” and through their efforts to “dehistoricize it.” Frank Trentmann, “Political Culture and Political Economy: Interest, Ideology, and Free Trade,” Review of International Political Economy 5, 2 (April 1998), pp. 225-26. In a more practical and contemporary sense, according to Waters, much of the recent success of Attac derives from its ability to critique this idea that neo-liberalism is “a natural or inescapable process, an ‘inevitability’ against which all forms of opposition are futile.” Waters, “Mobilizing against Globalization” (note 19), pp. 863-64.

26. Between May 1995 and December 1998, the OECD unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate the MAI or Multilateral Agreement on Investment, a wide-ranging agreement that would have significantly liberalized existing rules in the area of foreign direct investment. While differences between the core negotiating states were key in scuttling the final agreement, a number of NGOs did play an important role in emphasizing some of the potential negative repercussions of the deal and, in the process, helped to hand the neoliberal bloc its first significant setback.  

27. Stephen J. Kobrin, “The MAI and the Clash of Globalizations,” Foreign Policy 112 (Fall 1998), pp. 106-07.  

28. Jeffrey Ayres also examines the manner in which the battle over globalization is in many ways a “contest over people’s interpretations and understandings of the supposed benefits of neoliberal economic policies” and “[h]ow people interpret and frame understandings of current economic globalization processes.” Ayres, “Anti-Globalization to the Global Justice Movement” (note 11), pp. 9-10.  

29. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 398.

30. Ibid., p. 157.

31. See Fiori, Antonio Gramsci, pp. 240, 244; and Walter L. Adamson, Hegemony and Revolution: A Study of Antonio Gramsci’s Political and Cultural Theory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), pp. 151-52.  

32. For some examples see Anne Showstack Sassoon, Gramsci’s Politics, 2nd ed. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 118; Luciano Pellicani, Gramsci: An Alternative Communism? (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1981), p. 37; and Renate Holub, Antonio Gramsci: Beyond Marxism and Postmodernism (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), p.  55.

33. Carl Boggs, The Two Revolutions: Antonio Gramsci and the Dilemmas of Western Marxism (Boston: South end Press, 1984), pp. 222-23.  

34. Joseph A. Buttigieg, “Gramsci On Civil Society” Boundary 2 22, 3 (Autumn 1995), p. 14. Once more, Waters examines this issue in the context of Attac when she argues: “Within Attac, emphasis is placed on intellectual production as a tool of social change and it is through argument rather than direct action that it confronts its enemies. It sets out to challenge what it sees as a prevailing orthodoxy of neo-liberalism by producing a ‘counter-expertise’ that proposes an alternative political and social viewpoint.” Waters, “Mobilizing against Globalization” (note 19), p. 856. (Emphasis added).

35. In terms of conceptualizing these two opposing groups, Gramsci argues, “a theory is revolutionary precisely to the extent that it is an element of conscious separation and distinction into two camps and is peak inaccessible to the enemy camp.” Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 462. In a similar vein, Perry Anderson argues: “Revolutionary strategy in Gramsci’s account becomes a long, immobile trench-warfare between two camps in fixed positions, in which each tries to undermine the other critically and politically.” Perry Anderson, “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci,” New Left Review 100 (November 1976 – January 1977), p. 69.  

36. Green and Griffith argue that what unites these disparate groups is “a concern for social justice.” Green and Griffith, “Globalization and its Discontents,” p. 53. According to Gareth Dale: “Ultimately the common project – whether defined in anarchist, socialist, or radical liberal terms – is participatory democracy (e.g., the goal of expanding the practice of democracy).” Gareth Dale, “’Merging Rivulets of Opposition’: Perspectives of the Anti-Capitalist Movement,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 30, 2 (June 2001), p. 373. 

37. Rupert, Ideologies of Globalization, p. 17.  

38. For an example see Jagdish Bhagwati, “Anti-Globalization: Why?” Journal of Policy Modeling 26, 4 (June 2004): 439-63.

39. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p.  263.

40. Ibid., p. 239.

41. Ibid., p. 12. According to Gramsci: “[T]he supremacy of a social group manifests itself in two ways, as ‘domination’ and as ‘intellectual and moral leadership’.” Ibid., p. 45. It is clear that a great deal of the success accorded the neoliberal bloc involves its “intellectual leadership” and the attraction of liberalism as an ideology in shaping the wants, desires, and tastes of the masses. This is especially true regarding its focus on the individual as the key actor within society, and the prominence of the consumer as subject in terms of freedom, choice, and individual autonomy.

42. Ibid., p. 47. 

43. Ibid., p. 235.

44. Ibid., p. 239.

45. Roger Simon, Gramsci’s Political Thought: An Introduction (London: Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., 1982), p. 69.  

46. Rupert, Producing Hegemony, pp. 27-28.  

47. Holub, Antonio Gramsci, pp. 196-97.

48. Boggs, The Two Revolutions, p. 281. Also see Anderson, “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci,” p. 22; and Simon, Gramsci’s Political Thought, p. 69.  

49. Boggs, The Two Revolutions, p. 262.  Noberto Bobbio, “Gramsci and the Conception of Civil Society, in Gramsci and Marxist Theory, p.  37.

50. Buttigieg, “Gramsci On Civil Society,”  p. 19.

51. Ibid., p. 31.  

52. Simon summarizes such a view when he states: “What it [now] means is that the decisive struggle for state power can only be won on the basis of a decisive shift in the balance of forces in civil society, and once such a shift has taken place the opportunities for violent counter-revolutionary attacks from the right will be greatly restricted and fail even if they do take place.” Simon, Gramsci’s Political Thought, p. 75.  

53. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, pp. 234-38.  

54. One of the contemporary debates surrounding the applicability of Gramsci’s work to the current environment is its relevance outside the specific historical period in which he was writing. While not applicable to every situation, I believe Adam David Morton provides one of the most forceful arguments in defense of utilizing Gramsci’s ideas and concepts “beyond their context.” For an excellent discussion of this issue, between what Morton refers to as “austere historicism” and “absolute historicism,” see Adam David Morton, “Historicizing Gramsci: Situating Ideas In and Beyond Their Context,” Review of International Political Economy 10, 1 (February 2003): 118-46.

55. While Gill and Law would admit that a ‘global’ civil society is still clearly underdeveloped, especially in comparison to its domestic counterparts, they nevertheless consider it “discernible.” Stephen Gill and David Law, “Global Hegemony and the Structural Power of Capital,“ in Stephen Gill, ed., Gramsci, Historical Materialism, and International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 114. Or as Gill states elsewhere, there is clearly “an emerging global civil society.” Stephen Gill, “Towards a Postmodern Prince? The Battle of Seattle as a Moment in the New Politics of Globalization,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29, 1 (January 2000), p. 139.

56. See Robert W. Cox, “Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium: Prospects for an Alternative World Order,” Review of International Studies 25, 1 (January 1999): 3-28.  

57. Robert W. Cox, “Gramsci, Hegemony, and International Relations: An Essay In Method,”  Millennium: Journal of International Studies 12, 2 (Summer 1983), p. 171.

58. Rupert, Producing Hegemony, p. 37.

59. Randall D. Germain and Michael Kenny, “Engaging Gramsci: International Relations Theory and the New Gramscians,” Review of International Studies 24, 1 (January 1998), p. 7.

60. Cox, “Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium,” p. 4. In fact, Germain and Kenny argue that a common component among contemporary Gramscian scholars is their “focus upon the emerging terrain of global civil society as the principal battleground over which the struggle for hegemony is now occurring.” Germain and Kenny, “Engaging Gramsci,” p.  7.  

61. Cox, “Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium,” p. 10.  

62. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 177.

63. Boggs, The Two Revolutions p. 258.

64. Ibid., p. 170.

65. According to Walzer: “Coercion has its place in (or alongside of) hegemony, but the power of ideas lies elsewhere, and hegemony is not possible without ideas. When a ruling class has to rely on force alone, it has reached a point of crisis in its rule.” Michael Walzer, “The Ambiguous Legacy of Antonio Gramsci,“ Dissent 35 (Fall1988), pp. 447-48.

66. Pellicani, Gramsci, p. 33. According to Kiros, such an “organic crisis” or “crisis of authority” is most clearly exhibited when there is “the withdrawal of mass loyalty from political society.” Kiros, Toward the Construction of a Theory of Political Action, p. 214. 

67. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, pp. 275–76.  

68. Ibid., p. 210. In the current context, if casualties continue to mount, the war in Iraq could provide such a turning point, especially if many members of both the middle and working class fail to see any tangible benefits from such sacrifices and in fact continue to assume a disproportionate amount of the burden (e.g., higher oil and gas prices). Such displeasure with the war may even be heightened considering the dubious pretext under which justification was originally provided for invading Iraq (e.g., the debacle and deception over WMDs).  

69. Ibid., p. 239.

70. John Merrington, “Theory and Practice in Gramsci’s Marxism,” in Western Marxism: A Critical Reader (London: New Left Books, 1977), p. 154.

71. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 358.  

72.For a further examination of the “historical bloc” see Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, pp. 137, 366, 377. Also see Derek Boothman, “A Note on the Evolution of Some Key Gramscian Terms,” Socialism and Democracy 14, 2 (Fall-Winter 2000), pp. 123-26.

73. Rupert, Producing Hegemony, p. 191.  

74. Rupert, Ideologies of Globalization, p. 132.

75. Paul G. Buchanan, “Note Sulla ‘Escuola Italian:’ Using Gramsci in the Current International Moment,” Contemporary Politics 6, 2 (June 2000), p. 115.

76. Mitchell Bernard, “Ecology, Political Economy, and the Counter-Movement: Karl Polanyi and the Second Great Transformation,” in Stephen Gill and James H. Mittleman, eds., Innovation and Transformation in International Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 84, 77.

77. Vicki Birchfield, “Contesting the Hegemony of Market Ideology: Gramsci’s ‘Good Sense’ and Polanyi’s ‘Double Movement,’ Review of International Political Economy 6, 1 (February 1999), p. 45. (Emphasis added).

78. Stephen Gill, “Globalisation, Market Civilisation, and Disciplinary Neoliberalism,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 24, 3 (Winter 1995), pp. 401-02; and Stephen Gill, “Gramsci and Global Politics: Towards a Post-Hegemonic Research Agenda,” in Gill, ed., Gramsci, Historical Materialism, and International Relations, p. 5. In an explicitly Gramscian context, Rupert adds: “As increasing numbers of Americans cast about for the cultural and intellectual resources to understand this apparently new and unfamiliar world, ideological struggles over dominant meanings of ‘globalization’ within common sense are intensifying.” Rupert, Ideologies of Globalization, p. 20.

79. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 353.

80. Ibid., p. 349.

81. Nemeth, Gramsci’s Philosophy, p. 87. This unwillingness to restrict his message to solely class factors is also demonstrated in Gramsci’s writings and his recurring theme that only an alliance between Northern urban workers and the Southern peasantry could be successful in bringing about revolutionary change in Italy. See “Notes on Italian History,” Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, especially pp. 90-101.

82. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p. 327.

83. Ibid., p. 355. Once more, this can be viewed as stressing the subjective role of ideas over the purely objective indicators of class.

84. Simon, Gramsci’s Political Thought, pp. 23, 42.

85. Mouffe, “Hegemony and Ideology in Gramsci,” in Gramsci and Marxist Theory, p. 189.

86. In his study of anti-imperialist movements in Latin America, James Petras focuses on how not just workers and the working class, but peasants, the petit bourgeoisie, middle mangers, and various new “victims” of globalization have helped to form the core of this new so–called “anti-imperialist” bloc. James Petras, “Anti-Imperialist Politics: Class Formation and Socio-Political Action,” Journal of Contemporary Asia 34, 2 (May 2004): 186-206.  

87. Robert Bocock, Hegemony (Chichester, England: Ellis Horwood Ltd., 1986), p. 105. In fact, a recurring theme in Germino’s book is the extent to which Gramsci was motivated to support and fight for the other class (i.e., l’altra classe) – the forgotten, neglected, mistreated, and oppressed or, what he states elsewhere as “the large majority of the people who have lived at society’s periphery.” Dante Germino, Antonio Gramsci: Architect of a New Politics (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University, 1990), especially pp. 67 and 256.

88. Cox, “Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium” (note 57), p. 15.

89. Rupert, Producing Hegemony, p. 30. (Emphasis added).

90. Mark Rupert, “(Re-) Engaging Gramsci: A Response to Germain and Kenny,” Review of International Studies 24, 3 (July 1998), p. 431.

91. Ibid., p. 433.

92. For some examples of the specific composition of the “anti-globalization” movement, see Cox, “Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium,” p. 18; Gill “Towards a Postmodern Prince?” (note 56), p. 138; Simon, Gramsci’s Political Thought, p. 44; Rupert, Ideologies of Globalization, p. 73; Podobnik, “Resistance to Globalization,” p. 62; and Petras, “Anti-Imperialist Politics” (note 87), p. 206.  

93. Mark Rupert presents this argument most forcefully at various points in his research. For some examples see Mark Rupert, “Alienation, Capitalism, and the Inter-State System: Towards a Marxian / Gramscian Critique,” in Gill, ed., Gramsci, Historical Materialism, and International Relations, pp. 88-89; Rupert, Reproducing Hegemony, pp. 36, 38; and Rupert, Ideologies of Globalization, p. 92.

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