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Unformatted text preview: Frank, Gramsci’s Black Marx: Whither the Slave in Civil Society?”, Social
Identities, Volume 9, Number 2, 2003, Accessed 8-4-12, MR)
Students of struggle return, doggedly, to the Prison Notebooks for insights regarding how to bring about a revolution in a society in which state/capital formations are in
some way protected by the ‘trenches’ of civil society. It is this outer perimeter, this discursive ‘trench’, constructed by an ensemble of private initiatives, activities, and
an ensemble of pose-able questions (hegemony), which must be reconfigured before a revolution can take the form of a frontal assault. But this trench
called civil society is not, for Gramsci, in and of itself the bane of the working class. Instead it represents
a terrain to be occupied, assumed, and appropriated in a pedagogic project of transforming ‘common
sense’ into ‘good sense’. This notion of ‘destruction-construction’ is a War of Position which involves agitating within civil
society in a ‘revolutionary movement’ that builds ‘qualitatively new social relationships ’ (Sassoon, 1987, p. 15): [A
War of Position] is a struggle that engages on a wide range of fronts in which the state as normally defined…is only one aspect. [For Gramsci a War...
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