Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 6, No 11 (2017)

What Is a “Hegemonic Crisis”? Some Notes on History, Revolution and Visibility in Gramsci

Fabio Frosini


History appears already to the young Gramsci as a system of forces in unstable balance, which struggle to position themselves on the side of history, to identify with it. For this reason, in his reading of Marxism, the unity of history is a result, the product of a successful strategy of hegemony building. This article reviews the Gramscian theory of hegemony and tries to show its coherence with the philosophy of praxis, that is, with the notion of the fundamentally practical nature of reality. In particular, it is argued that, on the one hand, a crisis of hegemony must be understood as disintegrating (and not emptying) a hegemonic system, which allows subordinated hegemonic moments to emerge; on the other hand, the crisis itself is determined by the formulation of hegemonic discourses that try to escape their condition of subordination.