[WSMDiscuss] Ideology, culture, and critique of political economy - an historical correction

Örsan Şenalp orsan1234 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 14:22:49 CET 2018

Below is an announcement of a historical fact with hard proof, of an
essential correction with major implications for critical analysis in

Since the 1960s and 70s Marxian thinkers came to believe that it was
Gramsci who developed the first systematic ideas and concepts,
building on Marx and Lenin’s ideas, on the issues of ideology and
culture, and developed a unique conceptualization of hegemony, as an
integral part of a theory of state and civil society. The influential
contributions based on Gramsci readings of Althusser, Laclau, and
Mouffe, Miliband, Poulantzas, Anderson, Frankfurt School theorists,
cultural studies of Stuart Hall, French post-structuralists have come
to inform the most important debates on the state, classes, ideology,
MNCs, social movements, new imperialism so on.

However, below quotation from the preface to the English translation
of the first ever Marxian Political Economy study book, by Alexander
Bogdanov, shows clearly, that 30-40 years prior to Gramsci’s Prison
Notebooks, there emerged the first-ever systematic study of ideology,
culture, and social consciousness, both as an integral analysis or
critique of the political economy, and as an independent study titled:
The Science of Social Consciousness. Bogdanov’s conceptualization and
the strategy of cultural hegemony and revolution clashed with Lenin’s
concept and strategy of political hegemony and revolution. Anderson
mistakenly identified that Lenin’s conceptualization and strategy,
based on political dominance as the main influence on the ideas
Gramsci later developed. However, it has become obvious since the 80s
that Bogdanov’s work, which caused the notorious strategical rivalry
with Lenin, actually was the main influence on Gramsci’s thought and

“The chapters on ideology in this and the other courses by no means
serve as supplements to the main subject. Ideology is an instrument
for organizing economic life an is consequently an important condition
in economic development. Only within these limits and in this
connection is it touched upon here. It is dealt with independently in
a special textbook “The Science of Social Consciousness” which is
written in a form similar to this.”

Download the book:

In solidarity,

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