Is Western Marxism Western? The Cases of Gramsci and Tosaka

Takahiro Chino

Abstract


This paper aims to show that two eminent Marxists in the 1930s, the Italian Antonio Gramsci and the Japanese Tosaka Jun, shared three important characteristics of so-called Western Marxism: the methodological development of Marxism, the focus on the superstructure, and the pessimism about the impossibility of immediate revolution. Showing that Gramsci and Tosaka shared these characteristics enables us to revisit the framework of “Western Marxism,” which confusingly consists of both theoretical characteristics and geographical criteria. Looking at Gramsci and Tosaka on the same plane allows us to revisit Marxist thought different from the orthodox Marxism in Soviet Russia, and not strictly as a Western, but as a part of potentially global movement of thought.


Keywords


Marxist Philosophy; Western Marxism; Antonio Gramsci; Tosaka Jun; Global Intellectual History

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