Lenin, Gramsci, and Marzani; Response to Toporowski


  • Christopher Phelps
  • Jeff Rudin




History, Political Economy


Percy Brazil, in his tribute and eulogy to his friend Carl Marzani ("Memories of Carl Marzani," Monthly Review, March 1995), makes a point of emphasizing the place of Antonio Gramsci in the development of Marzani's independent communist world-view. The significance of Marzani's work on Gramsci is without question. His publication of a slender volume of selected Gramsci quotations, The Open Marxism of Antonio Gramsci (Cameron Associates, 1957), made Marzani the first translator of Gramsci into English. His accompanying textual notes were the interpretive lens through which many American readers viewed Gramsci for the first time. But Brazil imparts to Marzani a particular interpretation of Gramsci that he did not hold—not in 1957, at least. "Carl," writes Brazil, "was a Gramscian rather than a Leninist. Lenin's approach, simply put, was he who is not with us is against us. Gramsci's (and Carl's) approach was, he who is not against us is with us.

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