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Gramsci's Presence in China

Abstract

In this paper, I attempt to examine the process of reception of the thoughts of the great Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci in China.

On the one hand, as a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy, Antonio Gramsci is widely regarded as a highly original and influential thinker within the Marxist tradition, and well-known for his theoretical contributions to the Western Communist movements. Obviously influenced by Marx and Lenin, Gramsci also built his intellectual formation upon a number of Italian philosophers: Niccolò Machiavelli, Antonio Labriola, Giovanni Gentile and Benedetto Croce. When Italian Fascism finalized its dictatorship over the country in the 1920s, Gramsci was arrested at Mussolini’s orders and spent nine terrible years in prison, which eventually killed him in 1937. Prison Notebooks, the most significant work of Antonio Gramsci, contains numerous enigmas because of the censorship and the insufficiency of the resource in the prison. Some of these enigmas still remain unsolved by contemporary scholarship.

On the other hand, the People’s Republic of China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.3 billion people. Located in East Asia, China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China after its victory in the Chinese Civil War since World War II. China is unique in the contemporary world for the reason that it is considered to be the largest existing socialist country.

Gramsci’s presence in China is a combination of two particular issues in the development of the modern Communist movement. In order to explore this topic, I have analyzed the existing articles and books published by Chinese intellectuals who intended to introduce the thoughts of Gramsci to China.

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