Tag Archives: Political Economy

23rd October – Antonio Gramsci on Working Class Education and Culture

As part of a series on Culture, Memory and Resistance, Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss work by Antonio Gramsci on October 23rd at Atelier Stroud, 19A Lower St, Stroud, GL5 2HT, 7.30-9.30pm (there is a small amount of parking at Atelier, alternatively a short walk from Parliament St car park, or a 15 minute walk from Stroud train and bus stations).

We will discuss writings on “Working Class Education and Culture (3.5Mb pdf download)” by Italian Marxist philosopher and communist politician, Antonio Gramsci. Included in this pdf download of our focus chapter for discussion is the introduction to the book by Eric Hobsbawm. Much of Gramsci’s writing concerns ideas about the role of culture and ideology in maintaining the status quo through the development of “common sense” values and norms, rather than merely through violence, economic force, or coercion. Radical Readers are encouraged to explore Gramsci’s larger body of work if they wish. Our focus chapter is one set of texts from a larger Gramsci Reader (selected writings, 1916-1935 – 56Mb pdf download), edited by David Forgacs -chapters 6, 7, 11 and 12 are more relevant to questions of culture and “hegemony” for anyone interested in additional reading.

The session with be introduced by Stroud resident and recovering Trotskyist, Jeremy Green.

As people have different styles of learning, we like to include audio and visual materials where possible. You may wish to listen to this Desolation Radio podcast episode on Gramsci (80mins), or watch this short video introduction to key concept ‘hegemony’:

The session is followed by our November session Post-War to Post-Wall, as part of the Berliner Zeitgeist programme, and was preceded by Insurgent Empire – Stroud Radical Reading Group on 25th September.

Stroud Radical Reading Group events are free to attend but we ask for a donation of £2-3 from anyone who can afford it to cover venue costs. Please contact us about any accessibility requirements. We aim to make the sessions a welcoming space for anyone interested in the topic, you do not need to have a university education or have ever been to a reading group before, and we even welcome people who have not read the text but would like to listen! Please contact us if you have any questions.

Britannia Unchained?

The first sessions of Stroud Radical Reading Group in 2019 will form a mini-series: “Britain: Class, Race and Gender in past, present and future.” We’ll meet at the Black Book Cafe at the bottom of Nelson St (next to the Laundrette), 7.30-9.30pm, usually the third Wednesday of the month.

Our first session will focus on “Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity”, written by several British Conservative Party right-wing MPs (Chris Skidmore, Kwasi Kwarteng, Dominic Raab, and Priti Patel). It was released in September 2012, arguing that Britain should adopt a different and radical approach to business and economics or risk “an inevitable slide into mediocrity”. We will focus on the title chapter “Britannia Unchained” and the conclusion, pages 100-116.

To offer insight and alternative perspectives, we have also selected
* Molly Scott Cato’s BadBoysOfBrexit website, and
* Paul Kingsnorth’s “Brexit & the culture of Progress”.

Readers may elect to focus on one of the three, or dip into each.

Additional notes:

Molly Scott Cato is Green Party MEP for the South West (including Stroud). Readers may also like to browse the section of Molly’s website devoted to Brexit.

Paul Kingsnorth’s views were also covered in “The lie of the land: does environmentalism have a future in the age of Trump?” published in the Guardian in March 2017.

The following events in the series – Britain: Class, Race and Gender in past, present and future are:

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala – 20th February
Why I’m No Longer Talking (To White People) About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge – 20th March
“Me And White Supremacy Workbook” – Layla Saad – 17th April