Home > Vol 6, No 11 (2017): 155-189 > Doğan

On the Intellectual Movement in Turkey through Gramsci and Luxemburg

Sevgi Doğan


A petition signed by Turkish and Kurdish intellectuals denouncing the attacks in South East of Turkey and demanding a return to peace opens up to question how this intellectual movement can be evaluated as a political action and/or a form of resistance. Here I will try to analyze it from two different aspects: 1) the role of intellectuals leading social change; 2) the form of this movement. The first aspect is associated with the relation of theory to praxis that matters most. The questions are: Is the role of intellectuals in society only educative or pedagogical? Or can they also play the role of directors, organizers, and illuminators of larger groups? Regarding the second aspect, we should ask whether or not the movement led by this petition is spontaneous or organizational, which addresses us to the form of resistance. For this purpose, firstly, I will use Antonio Gramsci's theory of intellectuals. In the Prison Notebooks, Gramsci considers the problem not only as a cultural problem but as a problem directly linked to the concept of hegemony, praxis, and ideology. I will concentrate on some paragraphs in his fourth (§ 33, § 49, § 51), twelfth (§ 1, § 3), and eleventh (§ 12) Notebooks. Secondly, I will try to analyze this movement through Luxemburg’s concept of spontaneity and her understanding of consciousness especially by use of Mass Strike and Stagnation and Progress of Marxism.


Hegemony; Spontaneity; Organization; Theory; Praxis, Consciousness.

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