Tuesday, July 31, 2018

An Introduction to a discussion of The Female Man

I committed my first revolutionary act yesterday. I shut the door on a man’s thumb. I did it for no reason at all and I didn’t warn him; I just slammed the door shut in a rapture of hatred and imagined the bone breaking and the edges grinding into his skin. He ran downstairs and the phone rang wildly for an hour after while I sat, listening to it, my heart beating wildly, thinking wild thoughts. Horrible. Horrible and wild. I must find Jael.

Women are so petty (translation: we operate on too small a scale).

Now I’m worse than that—I also do not give a damn about humanity or society. It’s very upsetting to think that women make up only one-tenth of society, but it’s true. For example:

My doctor is male.
My lawyer is male.
My tax-accountant is male.
The grocery-storeowner (on the corner) is male.
The janitor in my apartment building is male.
The manager of the neighborhood is male.
My landlord is male.
Most taxi-drivers are male.
The designers of my car are male.
The factory workers who made the car are male.
The dealer I bought it from is male.
Almost all my colleagues are male.
The Army is male.
The Navy is male.
The government is (mostly) male.
I think most people in the world are male. (Russ 203-204)

Joanna’s declaration of war contained in the conclusion of The Female Man has produced a number of valuable symptomatic readings by critics, particularly in the novel’s initial reception. As Sarah Lefanu has noted, the particular section of the text has been labeled as ‘hysterical’, ‘angry’, defensive’, amongst other dismissals. (Lefanu 19) It’s also one of a small number of passages that have given the novel its reputation as a particularly violent text. As a number of critics[1], particularly Russ herself, have pointed out, the number of acts of violence are fairly limited compared to any number of contemporary science fiction texts. (Russ 144-5) However to remain on that surface level of analysis, one loses the ability to ask why the novel has produced these particularly errant effects. Answering that question involves a serious engagement with the political project found in Russ’s critical reading and rewriting of the literary conventions of science fiction, and with the form of the novel itself, an engagement that can only be understood within those literary traditions of science fiction. To put it another way, we need to read Russ’s work in the terms introduced by Sarah Lefanu in her text on feminist science fiction, In the Chinks of the World Machine, as “a part of science fiction while struggling against it.” (Lefanu 5) For Russ, the project of feminist science fiction is committed to bringing out the full potential of the genre, a potential found in its ability to estrange the ideological assumptions of the present by presenting a potential futurity.

The section of the narrative opens with a declaration of an opening, of a shift in subjectivity through what is declared a revolutionary act, the act of smashing a man’s thumb into a door. Even as the narrator, Joanna revels in the excess and violence contained in the act, and recoils from its potential consequences, she also declares the act as occurring for ‘no reason at all.’ Indeed, Joanna goes on to declare the action in line with the ‘petty’ nature of women’s activities, which ‘operate on too small a scale.” The text continues by connecting the ‘petty’ acts of women to their systemic occlusion from ‘society’ and even by implication ‘humanity.’ She marks that occlusion through noting the variety of occupations and social positions that women do not hold, positions that deeply shape the daily lives and horizons of expectations for those women. The productivity of the sexual contract, the construction of women as a sort of commons accessible to a cross class alliance of men is both deeply productive in its ability to harness and discipline the labor of women into a narrow set of reproductive tasks and a profound if implicit act of domination. As has been previously noted, the household as an institution has been consciously developed over the twentieth century, drawing from the models of industrial production developed by Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford, but modifying them to deal with the contingent realities of the household.[2] Rather simply imitating the reform processes developed in the factory, the household is industrialized on very different grounds.

The work of Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James in their pamphlet, The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, published in 1972, can contribute to our understanding of the relationship between the occlusion of women from the public sphere of humanity and the modes of social reproduction and consumption in the Fordist regime of accumulation that depends on that occlusion. Through that analysis, we can begin to understand the productive element of the forms exclusion and petty domination that the text attempts to critique. We need to understand those actions within the context of the productive labor that women contributed to the maintenance of that system. Within the context of trying to understand the work of housewives to the social reproduction of Fordism, the authors challenge the limited notions of labor power contained in conventional Marxist analyses, insisting on understanding the unpaid labor of the household as playing a central role in the reproduction of surplus labor, noting.

The community is not an area of freedom and leisure auxiliary to the factory, where by chance there happen to be women who are degraded as the personal servants of men. The community is the other half of capitalist organization, the other area of hidden capitalist exploitation, the other, hidden source of surplus labor. It becomes increasingly regimented like a factory, what Mariarosa calls a social factory, where the costs and nature of transport, housing, medical care, education, police, are all points of struggle. And this social factory has as its pivot the woman in the home producing labor power as a commodity, and her struggle not to.

The demands of the women’s movement, then, take on a new and more subversive significance. When we say, for example, that we want control of our own bodies, we are challenging the domination of capital which has transformed our reproductive organs as much as our arms and legs into instruments of accumulation of surplus labor; transformed our relations with men, with our children and our very creation of them, into work productive to this accumulation. (James and Dalla Costa, 11-12)

The forms of informal social relationships that make up the ‘community’ including the domestic sphere are recognized as playing a significant role in the social reproduction of capitalism. On one hand, Dalla Costa and James recognize the intense political and disciplinary pressure put on the household, pressure designed to increase and intensify the accumulation of capital through the extraction of surplus labor. The household literally becomes the social factor, producing the crucial labor power needed for the entire system to work. The intimate relationships of the household, whether in the form of romance or raising children, are crucial to the reproduction of labor power, transforming the woman’s body into an instrument for the reproduction of capital. On the other hand, the varieties of forms of feminist activism are forms of resistance to that regime, whether they are recognized as that as such. The household is both a space of the social reproduction of capital, and a myriad of forms of resistance, both formally and informally. As such, the disciplining and reproduction of that workplace becomes a central concern, one that involves both private and public interests. The construction of conventions and norms of femininity becomes a regulatory mechanism and way of creating forms of consent for this necessary condition for the reproduction of capital. Despite the attempts on the part of a number of theorists to place the household economy outside the disciplinary and pedagogical apparatuses of the state and capital, we find an institution that is intertwined within the modern capitalist state as any other.

Although his work in not frequently considered helpful in the field of women’s studies, Marx’s description of the reductive qualities of factory labor can contribute to our understanding of this situation. The immense cooperative capacity of the factory, its power, is dependent on a reduction of the activities of the individual workers that make up that collectivity. Marx forces us to recognize the repressive violence contained in that process that reduces labor to an increasingly small set of rote, physical gestures. He notes, “Factory work exhausts the nervous system to the uttermost; at the same time, it does away with the many-sided play of the muscles, and confiscates every atom of freedom, both in bodily and in intellectual activity. Even the lightening of the labor becomes an instrument of torture, since the machine does not free the worker from the work, but rather deprives the work itself of all content.” (Marx, Capital, 548) At a surface level, Marx’s description captures the repressive nature of the disciplinary structure of the factory, the experience of physical, emotional, and intellectual pain produced by such an operation. He links that pain to a state of unfreedom, both intellectually and physically, marking the profound destruction of the potentiality contained in the body and the mind. Moreover, he argues that this act of violence is inescapable within the logic of the regime of accumulation that is capitalism.

But we have to understand that this particular repression is a secondary effect of capital’s domination. The primary effect is the unleashing the profound productive capacities of the factory in order to facilitate the production of surplus value. Anachronistically, the regime of accumulation produced by the factory is dependent on the production of the docile body of the mass worker. The analogy between the social factory of the home and the industrial factory has its limitations, in the forms of sociality contained in the respected locations, and the relationship each plays to social reproduction and production respectively, but the connection nonetheless allows for a way of connecting both to the expanded regime of accumulation, along with its costs. Moreover, each aspect of this regime can be understood as the result of the geometry of forces that might be reductively called the class struggle, the struggle between the complex and at times contradictory forces of living labor, and the logic of accumulation of capital, the geometry of forces, it might be added, that created the conditions in which women could be treated as a form of the commons by a cross class alliance of men.

Turning back to the text, we find a world in which ‘most people in the world are male.’ That world, the world of the public sphere, operates through the exclusion of women, who only make up 1/10th of that world. Similar to the world of the mass factory worker as described by Marx, we need to understand the acts of repression and exclusion that separate the public from the private, the domestic labor of social reproduction from the production of value in the public sphere. The small and petty act of shattering a man’s thumb acts as the rhetorical destruction of the distinction of the two spaces, of the act of enclosure that constructs that very act of distinction.[3] The act of smashing a thumb holds additional significance, referencing the legal structures of patriarchal violence legitimated by the American legal system, structures that were revealed as a part of the collective historical project that arose out of the radical and cultural feminist political engagements. In that context, Joanna’s act can be defined as an act of transgression, rather than liberation, a temporary respite from the tyranny of enclosure, and presumably the first act of many. After all, Joanna recoils from the very real consequences contained in her act, gesturing towards a continuation of the status quo. The text oscillates between these small acts of resistance and the expansive vision between a multiplicity of worlds, radically different social systems, containing radically different economic, social, and political forms. The act of shattering a thumb mushrooms into a shift from inactivity to activity, in the form of an implicit entrance into the women’s movement[4], disrupting the myriad of forms of common sense that produce the forms of common sense that allow for the construction of social hegemony.

That explosion of possibilities can only be understood within the horizon of the social movements that defined the time of the text’s production. The Female Man was produced between the years of 1969-1971 with an additional three years to find a publisher for the text. At that same time, we see the crystallization of a series of structural crises in the capitalist world system, transforming into what Immanuel Wallerstein argues constitutes ‘a single revolution.’ (Wallerstein 355) That revolution constituted a challenge to the U.S. hegemony of the world system, and a challenge and protest ‘against the “old left” antisystemic movements (Wallerstein 358). It shattered the world created by the failed and partial transformation of those previous social movements, and its mixture of social mobility and social control. In doing that, it ended a series of assumptions about radical transformation, and the role of minoritarian groups, moving from a conventional assumption that the problems of minoritarian groups would be resolved after the revolution. As Immanuel Wallerstein notes that after 1968, none of the minoritarian struggles “would ever again accept the legitimacy of “waiting” upon some other revolution.” (Wallerstein 363) The radical feminist movements that exploded globally were a prime example of that refusal to be put into the waiting room of history.

Reading both the polemical work of the period along with the retrospective historical analysis produced by Alice Echols in Daring to Be Bad allows for one to recognize the breadth and depth of that struggle. Thousands of formal and informal political circles formed and broke up in the period, meeting to engage in consciousness raising sessions, organizing protests, and challenging a variety of cultural and political organizations, ranging from conventional women’s magazines to countercultural institutions such as underground newspapers and a variety of new left groups. As Echols notes, radical feminists both challenged liberal feminism’s attempt to fight for formal equality within the contemporary structures of domination of the capitalist world system, and rejected the radical left’s placement of class as the primary contradiction, instead positing an alternative primary contradiction of women as a sex-class. (Echols 3-7) Despite the attempt to construct a united class project, radical feminism did not constitute a homogenous project, defined as much by its explosive conflicts, personal attacks categorized as ‘trashing’ by the movement, its multiplicity of political approaches, as much the movements commitment to unity. (Echols 51-101) Every attempt to construct a stable foundation for the category of woman translated into even more expansive conflicts and contradictions, even greater political and theoretical instability. At one level, we can understand this failure at a theoretical level, the inability to recognize the extraordinary historical contingency tied to the class category that radical feminists wanted to understand as a trans-historical one. One can turn to the work of any number of Black feminist thinkers to see those criticisms.[5] At the same time, this instability aligns with the very nature of the revolutionary project. Antonio Negri’s analysis of Marx’s Grundrisse offers a useful lens for this aspect of revolutionary politics through his critique of the dialectic along with his conception of class, a concept he draws from the work of Mario Tronti and expands upon.

Before we look at Negri’s critique of the dialectic, we should first turn to the concept of class, a concept central to radical feminism, through its construction of women as a class. The novel draws on the concept of women as a class and explores its potential construction as a central point of the novel, through the collective engagements of women from four very different versions of the Earth. Turning to Negri allows us to explore the idea of class composition, a concept that is referenced in the feminist turn to understanding women as a class, but is not theoretically developed. Instead, radical feminist take this category for granted, conceiving of it as a trans-historical concept, rather than one born out of a very particular history. Negri’s work does something very different, despite some of its limitations. Negri, following the work of Mario Tronti, conceives of class composition as a result of the terrain of struggle, rather than its cause. To put it another way, class identities are produced through the formation of working class institutions, cultural forms and common sense assumptions produced in the conflict with a variety of dominant institutions. Class identity is a result of a history of struggle, rather than a cause of it, and as such, is continually mutating into different forms as it breaks apart and coagulates together within the terrain of the class struggle.

This alterative concept of collective class identity is deeply embedded in Negri’s reconceptualization of the dialectic. Negri argues that the dialectic represents the struggle between labor and capital from the perspective of capital. Because of its need for the force of living labor, capital can never entirely succeed in what might be considered a complete victory, in the annihilation of the alterity of its opposite, is impossible. Instead, it draws on the logic of the dialectic, continually trying to come up with forms of mediation to neutralize this force, to come up with new modes of synthesis, which will accomplish the impossible, the incorporation of this alien force, the proletariat in its many guises. The logic of the force of living labor operates from a considerably different perspective, that of antagonism. Unlike capital, the collective assemblage of living labor can easily exist without the organizing logic of capital. Its project is defined by the multiplicity contained in the non-value defined as use value within Marx’s project, the dense thicket of needs, structures, and relationships that exist outside the logic of capital, but are necessary for its reproduction. Cleaver spells out the implicit telos of this alternative and antagonistic project in his introductory notes to Negri’s text.

The antagonistic logic of working-class separation reaches its conclusion as it explodes and destroys capital’s dialectic. It explodes all binary formulae, as Negri says, bursting the dialectical integument and liberating a multi-dimensional and ever-changing set of human needs and projects. (Cleaver xxvi)

If the dialectical logic of capital finds its highest form in the increasingly thinly mediated moments of synthesis, then the logic of its opposite explodes that binary into a dense and complex explosion of forces, a multiplicity that aligns itself with the form of non-value and refusal of equivalence contained in the category of use, that Cleaver describes us as “a multi-dimensional and ever-changing set of human needs and projects.” That explosion, the explosion of needs, desires that are linked into a set of new collectivities, new subjectivities are inextricably linked with a dense array of texts, taking the form of manifestos, theoretical analyses, rants, poetry, and fiction. Turning back to the radical feminist movement, we find alongside its political engagements a prodigious textual production, operating at the performative, critical, and analytical level to shatter the forms of domestic containment discussed in the previous chapter, to unleash the suppressed multiplicity disciplined in service of the accumulation of capital.[6] Joanna Russ explicitly embraces this revolutionary project in her text, the destruction of imagining its own obsolescence produced through the revolutionary transformation to come.[7] In order to make sense of how science fiction is brought into service of a revolutionary project, we need to shift from the broad historical conversation contained above, into the exploration of the formal qualities of the novel, that is, its strategies for estranging and dismantling the regime of domestic labor of the post war period, and the particular intersection of the discursive formations of femininity and sexuality that produce its infrastructure. To do so, we need to begin with a generic engagement with the novel, only to move onto the modes of temporality and subjectivity contained in the novel. Only then, can we appreciate the radical engine of destabilization contained in the text.

[1] For a longer discussion of this, see Sarah Lefanu, In the Chinks of the World Machine: Feminism and Science Fiction (London: The Women’s Press Ltd., 1988). See Tatiana Teslenko, Feminist Utopian Novels of the 1970’s: Joanna Russ and Dorothy Bryant (London Routledge Press, 2003) for a feminist reading that replicates some of these assumptions.

[2] For a longer conversation, read Ruth Schwarz Cowan, More Work for Mother (New York: Basic Books, 1983), McHugh, Kathleen Anne. American Domesticity: From How-to Manuel to Hollywood Melodrama. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, and Stein, Sally. ‘The Graphic Ordering of Desire: Modernization of a Middle Class Women's Magazine 1914–1939’, Heresies, 18, 1985.

[3] A more immediate reference might be the misogynist song by The Rolling Stones, “Under My Thumb.”

[4] See Lisa Maria Hoagland, Feminism and Its Fictions: The Consciousness Raising Novel and the Women’s Liberation Movement (Philadelphia: University of PennsylvaniaPress, 1998) for an example of this interpretation of the novel.

[5] See bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margins to Center (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2000), Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press, 1984) are two early examples, but we can find a significant archive beyond these two texts.

[6] See, liberation now!: Writings From The Women’s Liberation Movement, Ed. Deborah Babcox and Madeline Balkin (New York, Dell Publishing, Inc,, 1971), Sisterhood is Powerful; an Anthology of Writings From the Women's Liberation Movement, Ed. Robin Morgan (New York: Random House, 1970)

[7] “Do not complain when at last you become quaint and old-fashioned, when you grow as outworn as the crinolines of a generation ago and are classed with Spicy Western Stories, Elsie Dinsmore, and The Son of the Sheik; do not mutter angrily to yourself when young persons read you to hrooch and hrch and guffaw, wondering what the dickens you were all about. Do not get glum when you are no longer understood, little book. Do not curse your fate. Do not reach up from readers’ noses.

Rejoice, little book!

For on that day, we will be free. (Russ 213-214)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

tensions within the definition of utopia

     Thomas More created the word utopia with a deliberate contradiction.  The word is a deliberate play between the term eutopos, the good place and outopos, no place.  Tensions over the meaning of the word have only intensified over the succeeding centuries, and one can now find a multiplicity of definitions of the term that are not only mutually exclusive, but are radically disconnected from each other.  It would be futile to try to cover the full extent of the proliferation of meanings that the term has taken, but many of those meanings have taken the form lazy polemics against any effort to create a more socially just word and aren't really worth the engagement.  Instead, I want to look at the way the term has been taken up in very different and distinct ways in relationship to a series of radical projects, notably the anti-utopian turn of thinkers ranging from Michel Foucault to James C. Scott, the embrace of the term by Ernst Bloch, and finally the subsumption of the term into the generic framework of science fiction by radical critics such as Darko Suvin.

Before I get into that conversation, it's remarkable to the degree that these distinct camps, those who reject and embrace the term, don't engage with one another.  In each case, the term not only takes on a different meaning, but is placed in reference to radically different objects and social formations.  The utopian project critiqued by Michel Foucault and James C. Scott is distinctively a state formation, although Foucault is focused on the forms of knowledge that construct that state formation, directed towards creating spaces that are easily comprehended by an outside observer.  For instance, both thinkers discuss the organization of the French state, and in particular, the efforts to transform Paris into a kind of garden city.  The utopian state project transforms the muddle of daily life into something that is easily graspable within a single gaze.  It reduces complexity to create order. Foucault's rather lengthy description in The Order of Things provides a useful description of this particular framework.

Utopias afford consolation: although they have no real locality there is nevertheless a fantastic, untroubled region in which they are able to unfold; they open up cities with vast avenues, superbly planted gardens, countries where life is easy, even though the road to them is chimerical.  Heterotopias are disturbing, probably because they secretly undermine language, because they make it impossible to name this and that, because they shatter or tangle common names, because they destroy 'syntax' in advance, and not only the syntax that we construct sentences but also that less apparent syntax which causes words and things (next to and also opposite one another) to 'hold together.' This is why utopias permit fables and discourse: they run with the very grain of language and are part of the fundamental dimension of the fabula; heterotopia (and those to be found so often in Borges) desiccate speech, stop words in their tracks, contest the very possibility of grammar at its source; they dissolve our myths and sterilize the lyricism of our sentences. (Foucault xviii)

For Foucault,the utopia brings together the ease of the gaze with the flow of the narrative.  It is a place of order untroubled by the complexities and contradictions of ordinary life.  It's a space that is simultaneously impossible but easily imaginable.  It's not hard to see the connection between this vision and the structures of knowledge that Foucault discusses in the initial section of the text itself, the grids of intelligibility created by figures such as Linneus.  We find our space of tables and grids, individualization constructed through forms of gradation and differentiation.  It's also tempting to draw a line from this conception to Foucault's later critique of the prison found in Discipline and Punish.  The panopticon, after all, operates through the internalization of the gaze of the prison guard, which can only occur through the potential universal access of that gaze.  At the same time, Foucault still holds onto the tension as created by More.  After all, utopias 'have no real location' and are 'fanastic.' Within this context, it's not surprising that he creates a tension between the 'fantastic' utopia and the indescribable but very concrete and real heterotopia.  The latter shatters the illusion of the order of the former with its messy complexity of daily life.

It's hard not to see a strong connection between this critique and the critique presented by James C. Scott in his text, Seeing Like a State.  Scott begins his text by looking at German forestry in the 18th century and moves into a discussion of state projects, ranging from the attempt to reorganize the rationalize the city of  Paris in the 19th century to agricultural projects in the United States and the Soviet Union in the 20th century and the construction of the city of Brasilia.  Through that process, Scott critiques a phenomenon that he labels 'high modernism.'  'High modernism is an attempt to create a sort of order and productivity through a process of simplification.  To give a sense of the project, Scott opens by describing efforts on the part of German Foresters to expand lumber production.  These individuals come to the conclusion that the production of lumber is being limited by the scrub and underbrush of the forest.  This junk, the hypothesize, is getting in the way of the trees growing as quickly as they can.  They then went about removing all of the underbrush in order to allow for the most efficient growth of the forest.  The plan went well for the first few years, but then the forests collapsed.  It turns out all of that underbrush was crucial for the working ecology of the forest.  In this sense, Scott also replicates the tension found both in Foucault and in More.  The high modernist project turns out to be a chimerical fantasy that can only be implemented by force and results in only disaster.

Utopia's sympathizers imagine a very different framework for the utopian impulse, focusing on the literary tradition of the word and on a very different reception history, the unintentional and unruly uptake of the tradition by social movements.  Probably the most intense version of this perspective is taken up by the German philosopher Ernst Bloch, who offers a radically different understanding of the word than any other person discussed in this posting.  Bloch against the tendency of later thinkers who borrow from his framework, shows very little interest in the literary tradition of the utopia.  Bloch is not a genre theorist and finds those works a distraction from the phenomenon that he wants to discuss.  For Bloch, one must understand the utopia as a sort of impulse, a trace that marks out the existence of other possibilities, for other ways of life.  Bloch looked for this trace in every conceivable place, from dreams to advertisements to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan.  These traces pointed to other possibilities of life and the desire for transformation in even the vilest of social formations.  It was also an impulse that he linked to insurrectionary social movements, most notably the eschatological formations created by Thomas Muntzer and others during the civil wars of Germany in the 16th century.  Throughout all of these examples, Bloch looks for the expression for the desire for something new, something different.  Bloch frames this impulse through the concept of the Novum, "the unexpectedly new, which pushes humanity out of its present towards the not yet realized" (Moylan para 4).

Despite his aversion to the generic formation of the utopia, Bloch's insights were most quickly embraced by a school of science fiction critics who were interested in embracing the utopia as the forerunner of the genre of science fiction.  This branch of thought is largely started through the work of Darko Suvin and his work on the genre, notably his text, The Metamorphoses of Science Fiction, but the work has been taken up by a variety of other critics such as Philip Wegner and Fredric Jameson.  Suvin emphasizes a number of things about the genre that distinguish his take from the above thinkers.  Most significantly, Suvin conceives of the utopia within the shifts in the understanding of history that were going on at the time of the construction of utopian narratives.  Suvin notes that there is a radical shift in the nature of More's narrative.  Rather than imagining a sort of golden age, More imagines a community that has a sort of history, a beginning and just as significantly, an open and unfolding process of becoming.  The nation has come across a set of rules that work for it, but it also continues to interact and transform its neighbors.  (Interestingly, Benedict Anderson makes a similar observation about the construction of utopian narrative forms and the rise of the empty homogeneous time that undergirds the logic of the nation-state, which is synthesized in Wegner's Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity.)

Suvin takes up the concept of the Novum as developed by Bloch and uses it as a key term for the understanding of science fiction.  The Novum still remains a novelty that points to something new, but that newness loses the eschatological framework that dominates Bloch's thinking.  The Novum continues to be some sort of novelty, whether in the form of some sort of invention or some sort of sociological or political transformation, but instead offering a moment of redemption, the Novum creates the conditions for the kind of totalizing cognitive estrangement, which presents a radically different society.  Contrary to many of his critics, Suvin is far less concerned about the technoscientific veracity of such a Novum, and is far more concerned about its engagement with its engagement with the class struggles that define its present.  Within this context, the work of H.G. Wells is more significant than the work of Jules Verne, despite Verne's greater concern with technoscientific veracity.  In effect, the Novum becomes a way of using the shifts in the concept of time that were introduced with capitalist accumulation in order to imagine radically different ways of life.  Suvin looks to the Novum to provide the means to imagine new ways of life, but ways of life that still remain historical in nature, even if the future societies are different.

In the end, these particular takes on the word are irreconcilable.  Constructing an antagonism between the camps would itself assume too much ground.  Instead, the two perspectives constitute a kind of non-relationship, perhaps close to what Jean Francois Lyotard refers to as the Differend, "a case of conflict, between (at least) two parties, that cannot be equitably resolved for lack of a rule of judgement applicable to both arguments.  One side's legitimacy does not imply the other's lack of legitimacy (Lyotard xi).  My own work has tended to work on one side of this bifurcation or another.  For instance, my readings of China Mieville like many other critics has framed that work in relationship to hybridity and heterotopia, while my work on writers such as Ursula Le Guin has engaged with the utopian tradition, again, not unique.  Just as significantly, I've found myself continually returning to the work of Suvin, who draws on the tradition to frame the history of the development of science fiction. Utopia within that context is a continual haunting, a gesture towards other possibilities and a refusal to naturalize the present. At the same time, Foucault and Scott's critique of high modernism has an equally significant influence over how I think of social and political projects, ranging from long term prospects for transformation to the processes of daily life. I suspect that this disjunction will not be changing any time soon.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

a short update

       It would seem that every time that I make any sort of promise about future activity on this blog, I find myself breaking those promises for any number of reasons.  My last posting was no exception it would seem. I've been fairly busy for the past couple months teaching.  It's the first time I have had to deal with four classes at the same time, and it was a bit overwhelming for me.  I'm hoping that I will be in a better position to deal with that kind of workload in the near future.  In addition, I'm about to go in for hip replacement surgery in the next couple weeks and I've been dealing with that reality as well, but, if I'm going to be honest, I've also hit a bit of block in terms of writing as well, and haven't gotten much writing accomplished aside from the short talk that I gave at the Comparative Literature conference in Los Angeles a month or so ago.  My hope is that I will be able to take more time to work on the blog as well as my academic writing over the summer as I recover from my surgery.  I'm in the process of reading the material for the upcoming Hugo Awards, which are finally fully Puppy free, and still want to put something together about Charles Dickens' Hard Times.  I'm not sure if I will get around to either any time soon though.  I might also put up a draft of my talk at the conference, which is an essay about George Schuyler's Black No More, a book that I highly recommend if you have not read it yet.  In any case, I wanted to supply a short update and this is it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Gramsci and Chakrabarty: Some Thoughts

I thought that I would rescue another older paper and put it up on the blog.  In this case, its an essay about Gramsci and he work of Chakrabarty that I wrote for a class on Gramsci about seventeen years ago.  At this point, I'd probably write a far different paper, being far more skeptical of Chakrabarty at this point in my life and far more sympathetic with the work of Gramsci.  Because of that, I'm going to leave the essay as it is and I've made no edits to the essay as it was originally written.  

         There has been a considerable transformation in the word subaltern from the time that Gramsci first appropriated it to the manner that it is deployed within current theoretical methodology.  A movement that redeploys the word from one indicates a certain type of subordinate officer to one that implies a connection to a complex series of hierarchical relationships.  There is an interesting genealogical project implicit in that statement, in which one can move from Gramsci to Guha in a similar manner in which one can move from Gramsci to Mouffe.  However I’m interested in something else, in circling back in order to use the concepts which Gramsci set into motion.  Instead of using Gramsci to read the subaltern studies collective, let’s read Gramsci through the subaltern studies collective.  In a sense, this means examining Gramsci as individual coming from the margins (the south) of a marginal country (Italy). This is also a country that it was still ‘immature Italy’ with ‘no capital to import’[1], but also had sections of the elite strata that saw Imperialism as the tool to get it out of the crises that it was in, that is between the discontinuous development between the industrial north and agrarian south.  To put this another way, it would be valuable to look at Gramsci as a subaltern thinker working with the tools of European modernity.

            What do I mean by this?  Gramsci spends a considerable time analyzing Italian historical development.  This can be seen most prominently within the groups of fragments gathered under the rubric of “Notes on Italian History”, and “The Modern Prince”, as well as some of the writing under “State and Civil Society.”  These historical writings can also be supplemented with some of the notes contained within Selections from Cultural Writings.

            We need to look at the way the Gramsci deploys the tools of modern European thought.  Gramsci is engaged in a certain type of historicism common to both liberalism and Marxism.  This historicism in Gramsci’s hand is highly complex and differentiated, but nonetheless is caught within a certain type of thinking in regards to the nation-state.  In effect, the manner in which the model of the nation that is exemplified by France, and a lesser extent, England and Germany.  When one does that, it is clear that Italy simply cannot live up to those expectations.

            A central trope of those writings is one of inadequacy.  The text return again and again to a sense of lacking in Italian politics, culture, and even in the classes themselves.  The specter of the Jacobins and the French popular novel loom heavily over Gramsci’s understanding of Italian history, and it (Italian history) can never quite live up to what is expected of it. 

            Interestingly enough, Dipesh Chakrabarty sees the same phenomenon within Indian history within the first essay contained in Provincializing Europe.  “The tendency to read Indian history in terms of a lack, an absence, or an incompleteness that translates into “inadequacy” is obvious in these excerpts.  As a trope it is ancient, going back to the beginnings of colonial rule in India.  The British conquered and represented the diversity of Indian pasts through a homogenizing narrative of transition from a medieval period to modernity.  The terms have changed with time.  The medieval was once called “despotic” and the modern “the rule of law.”  “Feudal/capitalist has been a later variant.”[2]   

            Why bring up this seemingly tangential comment about Chakrabarty’s reading of a series of readings of Indian history?  It is important because in many ways, the two so far apart, stand together in one sense, in the sense that both are countries recently decolonized through revolutions seen by many of the parties involved as incomplete.  Just as Antonio Gramsci describes the Risorgimento as a passive revolution, one can find the same analysis of Post-colonial India with Guha.  Also the process of decolonization placed both nations in positions of periphery within the global capitalist order.  But this global positioning which is so emphasized within the realm of subaltern studies thought (and most postcolonial thought) is pushed to the periphery.  The nation’s failures tend to be internalized rather than seen within structural terms.

            Within “Notes on Italian History”, these tropes can be seen within the comparisons between the Action Party and the Jacobins.  By in large, this is a trope of failure and lack.  The axis of this failure can be seen on the grounds of two overlapping binaries, 1)North/South 2)Urban/Rural.  In both cases, the Jacobins succeeded where the action party failed.  There is an element that is recognized.  An element out of control of the actors, but Gramsci de-emphasizes this and returns continually to the trope of the Action Party failing to recognize what should have been so apparent.  

This becomes clear in his descriptions of both the Jacobins and the members of the Action Party.  Let’s begin with the Jacobins. “For not only did they organize a bourgeois government, i.e. make the bourgeoisie the dominant class—they did more.  They created the bourgeois state, made the bourgeoisie into the leading, hegemonic class of the nation, in other words gave the new state a permanent basis and created the compact modern French nation.”[3] This occurred because the Jacobins understood the need to form an alliance with the masses of the peasantry.  They put in place the necessary agrarian reforms, and in response, the peasantry recognized the hegemony of Paris. 

 Compare this with the comments on the Action Party.  “The southern peasant wanted land, and Crispi, who did not want to (or could not) give it to him in Italy itself, who had no wish go in for “economic Jacobinism”, conjured up the mirage of colonial lands to be exploited.  Crispi’s imperialism was passionate, oratorical, without any economic or financial basis.”[4]  Similarly Garibaldi is shown to deliberately ignore the evidence for the southern peasant’s desire for land.

The Action Party is repeatedly marked by this failure.  It is incapable of seeing the basis of a bourgeois revolution within the alliance with the agrarian bloc in the south.  It refused or was incapable of seeing beyond what Gramsci referred to as ‘economic-corporate’ interests.  This was the problem of the communes of the renaissance, and it reappeared in the Risorgimento.  In both cases, “the same narrow egoism prevented a rapid and vigorous revolution like the French one.”[5]

One can put this simply.  The Action Party never had a significant platform.  “The Action Party lacked even a concrete program of government.  In essence it was always, more than anything else, an agitational and propagandist body…”[6] It never moved beyond the simple emotional desire for independence now.  Exceptions such as Piscane were only notable in that they marked the continual poverty of the cycles of Action Party leadership.  Even when the Action Party came to power in 1870 and 1876, there was no significant change in the substance of national policy.

 In reality, the function of the Action Party was in fact a subordinate one to the Moderates.  As Gramsci puts this, “The Moderates continued to lead the Action Party even after 1870 and 1876, and so-called “transformism” was only the parliamentary expression of this action of intellectual, moral and political hegemony.”[7] Despite the expressed by the leadership of the Action Party towards the Moderates, it was the moderates who dictated the terms of the discussion.  That discussion was built on an automatic exclusion of the great masses of the peasantry that made up the vast majority of the southern part of the nation.

            Given the failure for this alliance to manifest itself, we are left with the alliance created by the Moderates.  “Out of the Action Party and the Moderates, which represented the real “subjective forces” of the Risorgimento?  Without a shadow of doubt it was the moderates, precisely because they were also aware of the role of the Action Party: thanks to this awareness, their “subjectivity” was a superior and more decisive quality.  In Victor Emmanuel’s crude, sergeant-major’s expression “we’ve got the Action Party in our pocket” there is more historico-political sense than in all Mazzini.”[8]  It was their hegemonic block that was the successful one, the block of the aristocracy and the landowners, but it was one that, “made the people nation into an instrument, into an object, they degraded it.  And therein lies the greatest and most contemptible demagogy…”[9]

            This ties in with the deep-seated problems with the bourgeois class within Italy.  As has been said repeatedly, it was incapable of becoming the leading class.  It creates a situation in which the Italian nation can be a ‘bastard.’  It can only function as a deeply flawed creation.  Within the creature known as Italy there are perhaps even two nations, the south and the north with only a common enemy, the dominance of Austria at the time. The trope of India returns once again, after all, in both cases isn’t the form of the nation defined from primarily from without, from the pressures of foreign domination rather than from an internal pressure.

            “To pose the question in such a way would have meant asserting in advance an incurable “national” rift—a rift so serious that not even a federalist solution would have been able to heal it.  It would have meant asserting the existence of separate nations, between which all that could have been achieved was a diplomatic-military alliance against the common enemy, Austria.”[10]

            The only reason that the “nation” holds together is the “weak position of the Southern urban forces in relation to the rural forces, an unfavorable relation that sometimes took the form of a literal subjugation to the countryside.”[11]  This places the southern urban forces in an almost semi-colonial position in its alliance to the northern urban forces. 

            Gramsci introduces an interesting concept.  The examination of the party can act as an examination of the nation of the whole from as certain perspective.  On understanding that view, the failure and successes of the two parties in the Risorgimento come to mean something else than particular failures of individuals, instead they become somewhat symptomatic of the problems of the nation itself.

            The siting of the location of this moment of inadequacy continually moves backwards in time within Italian history to the Renaissance.  An interesting event occurs there.  There is a radical separation between what the Renaissance does for the rest of Europe in a progressive function for the construction of the nation state, and a regressive one with the vantage point of Italy.

            “This claim can be accepted if one distinguishes within the movement of the Renaissance the break which occurred between Humanism and the national life which had gradually formed after the year 1000, if one considers Humanism as a progressive process for the educated ‘cosmopolitan’ classes but regressive from the point of view of Italian history.”[12]
            This is the moment in which Europe moves forward through the Reformation to the nation-state, and Italy, ultimately, winds up somewhere very different.  It is clear that Gramsci sees this clearly within negative terms.  He like Machiavelli before him lays the primary blame upon the papacy.  This is a legitimate claim.  They controlled the educational system and directed towards their own interests.  Those interests were one clearly defined around countering the reformation that defined much of the rest of Europe rather than the issues internal to Italy itself.  It also has tied its interests in with the forces of the moderate party, that is the landowners and aristocracy, and perhaps more significantly, ties to the former controlling nation of Austria.  After all, the papacy continues to make claims towards a universal empire that is clearly dead.  And all of Italy is clearly educated under the legacy of that empire.

            The notion of inadequacy is traversed in a quite interesting manner within some of the initial questions posed within “People, Nation, and Culture”.  They are as follows, “’Why is Italian literature not popular in Italy… 2.) is there an Italian theatre… which should be connected with the other question concerning the greater or lesser vitality of theatre in dialect and in standard Italian?  3)the question of the national language as set forth by Alessandro Manzoni; 4)  whether there has been an Italian romanticism? 5) is it necessary to provoke a religious reformation like the Protestant one?  In other words, was the absence of broad and profound religious struggles… a cause of progress or regression?  6)were Humanism and the Renaissance progressive or regressive?  7)the unpopularity of the Risorgimento or the indifference of the masses towards the struggle for independence and national unity;  8) the political non-involvement of the Italian people, expressed in the phases ‘rebellionism’, ‘subversism’ and a primitive and elementary ‘anti-statism’; 9) the non existence of a popular literature in a strict sense….”[13]

            Implicit within these questions, and the answers that that follow is an implicit problematic.  That problematic consists in examining the reasons for Italy failing to become a nation.  It is the same question implicit within Guha’s book, Dominance without Hegemony.  It isn’t that remarkable that Gramsci uses that precise formulation in his description of the Risorgimento and Piedmont’s function.  “It is one of the cases in which these groups have the function of “domination” without that of “leadership”: dictatorship without hegemony.”[14]  It isn’t the comparison that is the most interesting thing; after all, all that proves is that Gramsci’s formula works.  No what is interesting is the thread common to both of them.  That lack, where in both the bourgeoisie and the proletariat are incapable of creating the national popular.

            In the case of Italy, the trope of France is significant.  We are introduced it through the issue of the Jacobins, the issues of literature, etc.  I think that it is interesting that not only do the bourgeois force fail because of cosmopolitanism, but also do the subaltern forces.  “Culturally speaking, they are interested in a past that is more French than Italian.  They use French metaphors and cultural references in their language and thought.”[15] After all without an authentic national-popular tradition, aren’t they more interested in questions of French history, French culture, etc.?  Aren’t the failures implicit in the final questions, present precisely because of this unlabelled cosmopolitanism? 

            The question of literature is an essential one.  Once again, Gramsci’s questions are cogent.  “The so-called ‘artistic’ ‘national’ literature is not popular in Italy.  Whose fault is it?  That of the public, which does not read?  That of the critics, who are not able to present and extol literary values to the public?  That of the newspapers, which publish the old Count of Monte Crisco instead of serializing the ‘modern Italian novel’?  But why does the public not read in Italy, when in other countries it does?  Besides, is it true that in Italy nobody reads?  Would it not be more accurate to state the problem in this way: why does the Italian public read foreign literature and non-popular, instead of reading its own?…  What is the meaning of the fact that the Italian people prefer to read foreign writers?”[16]

            It seems to be the crux of the situation, one where the intellectuals and the people are radically separated.   “After the sixteenth century, in other words, the separation between the intellectuals and the people, which underlies these notes and which has been of such importance for modern Italian political and cultural history, becomes radical.”[17]  There seem to be two reasons for this separation.  The first is the legacy of the Holy Roman Empire.  Intellectuals tied their interests to the cosmopolitan empire rather than the nation-people.  The second is more implicit.  The years of occupation by foreign powers have enfolded Italy’s intellectuals within the projects of their nations.

            This separation is by in large driven by contempt on the part of intellectuals towards the subaltern forces of the nation.  This can be seen in ‘the anti-democratic attitude of Brescianist writers’, whose writing ‘is the form of opposition to any national-popular movement and is determined by the economic-corporate caste spirit, of medieval and feudal origin.”[18]  But it can also be seen in the writings of Manzoni, who is genuinely interested in following Tolstoy’s lead in writing literature of a national-popular nature.  He is incapable of presenting subaltern characters with any sense of inner life.  Unlike Tolstoy, it is the nobles who have a deep spiritual inner life, and give answers for the questions posed within the book. 

            The question of romanticism looms over this discussion.  It isn’t an idle one for Gramsci.  “In this sense, romanticism precedes, accompanies, sanctions and develops that entire European movement which took its name from the French Revolution.  Romanticism is the literary aspect, the aspect of feeling of this movement; it is more a question of feeling than of literature, since the literary aspect was only a part of feeling which pervaded all of life…  And in this specific sense romanticism has never existed in Italy.  Its manifestations have been at best minimal, very sporadic and in any case of a purely literary nature.”[19]
            This separation creates the conditions in which Italian readers find their needs met through foreign writers.  “It means that they undergo the moral and intellectual hegemony of foreign intellectuals, that they feel more closely related to foreign intellectuals than to ‘domestic’ ones, that there is no national intellectual and moral bloc, either hierarchical or, still less, egalitarian.”[20]  In very different circumstances, and with different effects, Chakrabarty touches upon the same phenomena,  “Faced with the task of analyzing developments or social practices in modern India, few if any Indian social scientists or social scientists of India would argue seriously with, say, the thirteenth century logician Gangesa or with the grammarian and linguistic philosopher Bartrihari…  Sad though it is, one result of European colonial rule in South Asia is that the intellectual traditions once unbroken and alive in Sanskrit or Persian or Arabic are now only matters of historical research for most—perhaps all—modern social scientists in the region.  They treat these traditions as truly dead, as history.”[21]

            In terms of popular literature, Gramsci’s analysis of the day seems to be accurate, fairly systematic, and honest in presenting a lack within Italian society.  But it seems that within a country with such high levels of illiteracy, other forms of medium would perhaps be better at capturing this national-popular sense.  Gramsci refers to the national conscious as “operatic”, but never discusses what that term entails.  Also Gramsci never gives due respect to the national popular form of opera, which he recognizes as a popular form, but never explores the production of a national popular that say, Verdi is involved in.  These forms are recognized as being important, and Gramsci points out that the ‘public’s choice in music includes “Verdi, Puccini, and Mascagni, who naturally do not have counterparts in literature.”

            Gramsci dismisses opera as a national popular form in an interesting way.  “’Verbal’ expression has a strictly national-popular-cultural character: a poem by Goethe, in the original, can only be understood and fully relived by a German (or by one who has ‘become German’).  Dante can only be understood and relived by an educated Italian, etc.  But a statue by Michelangelo, a piece of music by Verdi or a painting by Raphael can be understood almost immediately by anyone in the world, even by the non-cosmopolitan, even if they have not gone beyond the narrow circle of a province in their own country.”[22]
            One can quibble whether one needs the ability to translate non-verbal forms of communication or not, but I think that a more significant problem would be missed.  Operas have words.  As a matter of fact, most operas are constructed with fairly simple language, and fairly simple plot lines.  Verdi used this medium to express nationalist themes around the Risorgimento, and these productions were extremely popular in Italy. They may be explicitly referring to European themes as Gramsci remarks in the later section on popular literature, but are easily decoded to describe the situation in Italy.  One wonders if one could find other forms of connection with the national-popular in Italy if one looked outside of the narrow confines of ‘popular literature’ (which was apparently not particularly popular, nor very good literature).

            Obviously, in a practical functional sense, having a language that operates like ‘Esperanto’ is not going to lead to a particularly functional nation.  But ultimately, in looking at the attempt to produce the national-popular one has to make do with what one has, and literature clearly wasn’t the answer.

            Although this question of the national language is one that cannot be easily dismissed, Gramsci criticizes Croce precisely on this point.  His solution would functionally disallow the participation of the subaltern forces of the nation, purely by the inability to communicate within the discussions that matter.  Although Gramsci seems to ignore other alternative ideological forums to focusing and uniting the subaltern classes, his emphasis on functional literacy, or to write a “lively, expressive and at the same time sober and measured prose”[23] as Gramsci puts it, is not an unimportant goal, especially within the European system.  However in these cases, it may have to wait until after the revolution is completed for it to be universally implemented.  

            One finds another strangely contrarian thread within Gramsci’s writing.  At the same time in which we are repeatedly introduced to the theme of France as the nation par excellence, we find another thread emphasizing its current bankruptcy.  Jaures and Zola were the last to speak for the people.  Gramsci seems to sense the crisis that the popular front government is about to head to.  He clearly states that the French form of the nation state has seen its time.  Clearly this is meant to indicate the collapse of the bourgeoisie and perhaps the rise of a new Rome of modernity, Moscow.
            But there seems to be recognition of possibilities within Italian society.  Gramsci sees the drive for cosmopolitanism within the Italian people, even when it manifests itself in clearly utopian (in the negative sense) projects such as Esperanto.  This drive and desire can lead to a new form of cosmopolitanism, one that is truly revolutionary.

            But it isn’t persistent return to a stagist conceptualization of history that throws Gramsci’s ideas into a spiral.  One can find sections within Gramsci where he recognizes that history always resides in its particulars, but those particulars must go through the nation-state form.  But the particularities of Italian history, like the particularities of Indian history can never live up to the expectations of this particular historicism.

            It’s not surprising that those engaged in postcolonial studies would take Gramsci on with such enthusiasm.  Perry Anderson is correct in part by claiming Gramsci for ‘Western Marxism.”  One can find elements (and important elements at that!) within his work, particularly the ideas contained within “State and Civil Society.”  But there is another side to Gramsci, a side that is dealing with situations very similar to that of many postcolonial nations.  Admittedly, there are Marxist works that deal with these issue on the colonial side of matters much more explicitly from colonial powers, Gramsci’s work for the most part has an expansive, open feeling that they lack.  It is this side of Gramsci that becomes relevant to the postcolonial, the one who can grasp the problems within much more direct and focused terms.

            The question of the colonies goes back as far as Marx himself.  What is perhaps more significant is that Gramsci deals with the ramification of foreign domination much more directly.  Questions that are for Marx and Lenin quite abstract, are for Gramsci the questions that he must confront directly in day to day life in Italian life to accomplish anything.  They act as a painful sore, one that is addressed with considerable emotional and intellectual intensity.

            Europe, in Chakrabarty’s sense, still reigns supreme within Gramsci’s work.  The inadequacy that is apparent in the dwelling on France’s national-popular formation represents that Europe.  This doesn’t change appreciably if one reads ‘France’ and ‘Jacobin’ as code words for ‘Soviet Union’ and ‘Bolshevik Party’.

            However, in the clarity and minuteness of Gramsci’s analysis, as well as the multiplicity of perspectives that he brings in, alternatives exist.  Gramsci is particularly unforgiving to any easy solution to the problem of the unity of Italy, whether presented by his friends or enemies.  It is this continual demand that keeps him out of the ranks of those who would place the map of any other location onto Italy.

            Clearly, Gramsci makes the most of the tools available to him.  It would be useless to criticize him for the limitations that were not in his control.  But if we look at the issue differently, perhaps in a strange sense, by pushing historicism to its limits, we can see beyond them to other possibilities of understanding history.

            Nevertheless, there must be limit put upon this.  For as much value Gramsci can have, there are limits as well.  One suspects that the following description of Italian life would have significantly different coloring from Guha or Chakrabarty. 

            “’The act for the act’s sake’, struggle for the sake of struggle, etc., and especially mean, petty individualism, which is anyway merely an arbitrary satisfying of passing whims, etc.  (In reality, the question is still that of Italian “apoliticism”, which takes on these various picturesque and bizarre forms.”[24]

            It’s at moments such as this that one wishes that another thinker would pick up and analyze these “bizarre” behaviors.  Gramsci feels comfortable to dismiss them out of hand, and to a certain extent, Gramsci’s rebellion is limited to a group of easily recognized behaviors, that are ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘European’ in themselves.  Ultimately, they may provide interesting answers to political questions, even if they don’t move directly to the revolution.  This is not the matter of dismissing Gramsci or polemicizing against him, rather it is a matter of incorporating aspects of his ideas into a different problematic that can better deal with the ambiguous postcolonial world that we live in.

[1] Antonio Gramsci, Selections From the Prison Notebooks, ed. and trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971), 68.
[2] Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 32.
[3] Gramsci, Selections From the Prison Notebooks, 79.
[4] Ibid., 67-68.
[5] Ibid., 54.
[6] Ibid., 62.
[7] Ibid., 58.
[8] Ibid., 113.
[9] Ibid., 90.
[10] Gramsci, Selections From the Prison Notebooks, 99.
[11] Ibid., 99.
[12] Antonio Gramsci, Selections from Cultural Writings, ed. David Forgacs and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, trans. William Boelhower (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1985), 220.
[13] Gramsci, Selections from Cultural Writings, 200-201.
[14] Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, 106.
[15] Gramsci, Selections from Cultural Writings, 216.
[16] Ibid.,209.
[17] Ibid., 216-217.
[18] Gramsci, Selections from Cultural Writings, .
[19] Ibid., 205.
[20] Ibid., 209.

[21] Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe, 5-6.
[22] Gramsci, Selections from Cultural Writings, 122.
[23] Ibid., 204
[24] Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, 147.