Antonio Gramsci 1891-1937

Antonio Gramsci Reader: VI Hegemony, Relations of Force, Historical Bloc

9 Validity of Ideologies

SPN, 377 (Q721), 1930-32

Remember the frequent affirmation made by Marx on the ‘solidity of popular beliefs’ as a necessary element of a specific situation. What he says more or less is ‘when this way of conceiving things has the force of popular beliefs’, etc. (Find these statements and analyse them in the contexts in which they are expressed.) [10] Another affirmation of Marx’s is that a popular conviction often has the same energy as a material force or something of the kind, which is extremely significant. [11] The analysis of these propositions tends, I think, to reinforce the conception of ‘historical bloc’ in which precisely material forces are the content and ideologies are the form, though this distinction between form and content has purely indicative value, since the material forces would be inconceivable historically without form and the ideologies would be individual fancies without the material forces.