By George Novack
Marxism is dialectical, Novack explains. It considers all phenomena of their improvement, of their transition from one nation to a different. And it's materialist, explaining the area as topic in movement that exists sooner than and independently of human realization.
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Additional info for An Introduction to the Logic of Marxism
The general perspective taken in this chapter on the Prison Notebooks owes much to the writings by Giuseppe Vacca cited in the bibliography, and on the insights given by Togliatti’s views on Gramsci, which are collected in a new edition, edited by Guido Liguori: Palmiro Togliatti, Scritti su Gramsci (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 2001). Some of Togliatti’s lectures and articles on Gramsci are available in English: Palmiro Togliatti, On Gramsci, and Other Writings, edited and translated by Donald Sassoon (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1979).
In January 1926 the Third Congress of the PCd’I had taken place, outside Italy, in the French city of Lyons, and this was the only party congress held while Gramsci was the secretary general. 3d GRAMSCI BEFORE THE PRISON NOTEBOOKS In the eyes of some students of the period it is this Congress which can be considered the real foundation congress of the PCd’I, and the Gramsci scholar Antonio Santucci observes that it was after that Congress that the party would succeed in taking a political path ‘in the short term harsh in battles and sacriﬁces but rich in experiences and future developments’ (Santucci 2005, 104).
These are concepts also needed to comprehend the epoch in which we live today. This new intellectual world, and the concepts that go with it, certainly take their inspiration and starting point from Marxism, and are illustrated with references to certain core Marxist texts (the nature of Gramsci’s Marxism is explored further below). Yet the Gramscian understanding of politics both extends and in a way transcends, or at the very least develops, the categories of Marxism, not least by recasting the terms of the classical base/superstructure distinction, and laying the emphasis on what Marx’s 1859 Preface called the ‘ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conﬂict and ﬁght it out’, the ‘conﬂict’ here being between productive forces of society and the property relations or existing relations of production (Marx 1973a, 426).
An Introduction to the Logic of Marxism by George Novack