Hegemony and ideology in Gramsci (1979)
DOI link for Hegemony and ideology in Gramsci (1979)
Hegemony and ideology in Gramsci (1979) book
The theory of ideology was for a long time one of the most neglected areas of the Marxist analysis of society. Yet this is a key area involving some extremely important issues which are not only theoretical but also political. It is vital, therefore, to attempt to understand the nature of those obstacles which have hindered the formulation of a theory which oﬀers an adequate explanation of the signiﬁcance and role of ideology, since it is no exaggeration to say that these have constituted the main impediment to the development of Marxism, both as a theory and as a political movement. At ﬁrst sight, the answer seems fairly simple. The various obstacles all seem in eﬀect
to proceed from the unique phenomenon which a vast body of contemporary literature has termed economism. However, the apparent obvious simplicity of the term hides a whole series of problems which begin to emerge as soon as one attempts a rigorous deﬁnition of its speciﬁcity and extent. Although it is clear that all forms of economism imply a misrecognition of the distinct autonomy of politics and ideology, this generic deﬁnition is inadequate, as it gives rise to two possible spheres of ambiguity. The ﬁrst stems from the fact that the notion of the economic is indeed ambiguous and far from being clear itself (it is not clear, for example, what is the relative importance attributed to the forces of production and the relations of production in this area). The second is the result of the vagueness and imprecision characterising the mechanism of the subordination of politics and ideology to economics, since this is always deﬁned resorting to purely allusive metaphors (‘subordination’, ‘reduction’, ‘reﬂection’). In this way one is left with the possibility of the existence of complex forms of economism which are not easy to detect since they do not appear as such at ﬁrst sight.