His name is probably not a household name in America today, but legions throughout our society are marching to his ideas and carrying out his designs in virtually every aspect of American culture. You need to know who he was, what he believed, and how his thoughts are dominant in American politics, media, education, and entertainment. Antonio Gramsci was born in Sardinia in 1891, and he died in Rome Italy in 1937. As a native Sardinian he saw how the mainland Italians would put down and take advantage of his people, and he greatly resented it. He wanted a world that would remove such injustice and replace it with a fair system. In 1911 he moved to Turin where he studied at the university.
There in college his pals were socialists…Marxists actually. He heard daily reports about the unfair or dangerous situations in the factories that kept the Italian economy humming along. Gramsci never owned a farm or a factory. He never owned a business of any kind. Yet, like his fellow Marxists he was long on theory and short on actual first hand experience of employing people, operating on a budget, and providing a superior product that others would want to buy. Among his fellow college Marxists, Antonio Gramsci learned that the key to a revolution was in convincing enough people through “class consciousness” that they were victims of other powerful classes, and that life would never improve unless and until the oppressor class (anyone who owned land or businesses) is overthrown. Then all the wealth would be “redistributed” fairly and a utopia would follow.
(None of the Marxists explained what is a “fair share” of what others earned, or how they arrive at “fairness” in a godless world view in which there are no moral absolutes. They also never explain who would be in charge of re-distributing the wealth, or how they got to be in charge. But I digress…)
Gramsci worked for socialist newspapers to agitate for communist revolution; he also worked with an international team of communists, such as Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ulyanov (aka “Lenin”). They advocated labor strikes in order for employees to take over businesses and ostensibly gain better working conditions. In 1923 Gramsci traveled to Vienna where he met Georg Lukacs—a leader of the Hungarian Marxists. These two would later heavily influence a German Marxist philosophy that has taken the Western world by storm, known as Critical Theory. More on the development and threat of that theory later…just remember its origin.
Gramsci was imprisoned by his fellow socialist, Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, in 1926. He was released from prison in 1934 due to health problems. Antonio Gramsci died in 1937, but his legacy lived on in his works, published as “The Prison Notebooks”. In his notes he outlines his thoughts for attacking and replacing every bit of culture that stands in the way of a communist revolution.