Biopolitics and Social Change in Italy: From Gramsci to by Andrea Righi (auth.)

By Andrea Righi (auth.)

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66 It was in the prison of Turi, in Apulia, two years after his sentence that Gramsci was finally granted what he needed to work in his cell. In the First Notebook he had sketched the outline of the work in 16 points. 67 In the prison of Formia, between February and March of 1934, these scattered references were gathered in a single work now commonly known as Notebook 22. ” Even in its last draft, Notebook 22 appears clearly unfinished. Some of the opening notes are not taken up in the development of his argument and the writing is marked by sudden jumps, as if the need to fix key points was more urgent than to elaborate the connections.

It is here that capitalism leaves behind its liberal phase in order to create a new equilibrium while transforming itself, and leaving untouched the prerogatives of its system. ”46 It is also the end of the Councils experience, which now I want to readdress in a more explicitly theoretical perspective. 2 The Councils and Philosophy of Praxis The Councils Movement potential was at once practical and theoretical. As I noticed earlier, even if grafted onto the productivist needs of modernity, the Councils for Gramsci functioned as virtual structures that contained the seed of a new political order and of a new way of fashioning collective life.

In the case of Enlightenment, the rise of reason undermined theology and its premodern form of sovereignty; while in the case of psychoanalysis, the discovery of the unconscious (sexuality) broke the (rationalist) supremacy of 34 ● Biopolitics and Social Change in Italy the mind over the psychic. This is the most straightforward reading of the linkage between psychoanalysis and Enlightenment, but there is a second one that is far more interesting. What if Gramsci perceived in both schools of thought not simply their critical capacity, but rather a more exterior element?

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