Gramsci and Lenin

As I have briefly touched upon previously there has been some disagreement on the ideological relationship between Lenin and Gramsci. I believe this mainly has two reasons.

1. For posterity the ideology of “Leninism” or rather “Marxism-Leninism” was established by Stalin after Lenin’s death. Lenin then became a vehicle to promote Stalins own ideas and to legitimize his power, often with great disregard to Lenin’s actual ideas (two obvious examples – Lenin’s disregard of statues and other forms of idealization of great men, and Lenin’s attempt to remove Stalin shortly before his death).

Posteritys ideas of Leninism therefore often had little connection to Lenin’s actual thought and the discrepancy with the ideas of Gramsci therefore became greater than they had to be.

2. The other reason is that the most influential part of Gramsci’s work – the prison notebooks – were written after Lenin’s death, and it is therefore impossible to know how Lenin – who always was a politician writing for the here and now – would have evaluated the situation at the time Gramsci was then writing.

Gramsci himself, e.g. in Q7§16 about war of position and war of manouvre, believed that Lenin was moving toward the same ideas Gramsci was:

“It seems to me as Ilitch had understood the need of a change away from war of manouvre, which had led to victory in the east in 1917, towards a war of position, as the only possible war in the west.” (My translation).

Gramsci therefore can be said to be a Schrödingers Leninist – both a Leninist and not a Leninist at the same time. Whether he is one is disclosed only when the definition of “Leninist” in question is revealed. He was a Leninist as far as he himself believed to be mainly in line with Lenin’s thoughts. He was however not a Leninist in the sense the term was used in the orthodox soviet sphere after Stalin’s seizure of power.

Skriv ny kommentar

Innholdet i dette feltet blir ikke vist for andre.
  • E-postadresser og URLer vises automatisk som linker.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Linjer og paragrafer brytes automatisk.

Mer informasjon om formatering