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On Antonio Gramsci’s hidden concept: fetishism

Fifi, Gianmarco (2023) On Antonio Gramsci’s hidden concept: fetishism. Capital and Class. ISSN 0309-8168

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Identification Number: 10.1177/03098168221145857


The article sheds light on Gramsci’s use of the term fetishism. Despite not being as present and pervasive within the Prison Notebooks as other concepts, more deeply rooted in Gramscian scholarship (such as hegemony and historic bloc), fetishism is not as marginal in Gramsci’s reflection as it is usually believed. Linking his understanding of the term to the one developed by Marx and by the later unorthodox Marxist scholarship, I shall argue that fetishism can be seen as a key component of Gramsci’s theory of revolution or, better, of a theory of the failure of the revolutionary process. For this reason, the article will also link Gramsci’s occasional reference to fetishism to his use of more developed concepts such as common sense, hegemony and passive revolution. Fetishistic views of reality, in Gramsci, appear as facilitating the conservation of the status quo, while the re-acquisition of individual and collective responsibility that comes along with de-fetishising practices is the necessary component of any revolutionary project.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2023 17:18
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2024 16:45

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