Antonio Gramsci 1891-1937

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

2 Structure and Superstructure [ii]

SPN, 365-6 (Q10,IIž12), 1932-35

The proposition contained in the Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy to the effect that men acquire consciousness of structural conflicts on the level of ideologies should be considered as an affirmation of epistemological and not simply psychological and moral value. [2] From this, it follows that the theoretical-practical principle of hegemony has also epistemological significance, and it is here that llyich [Lenin]’s greatest theoretical contribution to the philosophy of praxis [i.e., Marxism] should be sought. In these terms one could say that llyich advanced philosophy as philosophy in so far as he advanced political doctrine and practice. The realization of a hegemonic apparatus, in so far as it creates a new ideological terrain, determines a reform of consciousness and of methods of knowledge: it is a fact of knowledge, a philosophical fact. In Crocean terms: when one succeeds in introducing a new morality in conformity with a new conception of the world, one finishes by introducing the conception as well; in other words, one determines a reform of the whole of philosophy.