Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 9, No 1 (2013)

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Towards an Ecological Civilization: A Gramscian Strategy for a New Political Subject

Gerard Ahearne

Abstract


While much work has been done theorising the concept of an ecological civilization, the actual transition to an ecological civilization is another matter. One possible strategy for transforming our world from a death-rattle industrial civilization to a life affirming ecological civilization may be found in the later work of Antonio Gramsci. It is argued that as Gramsci became increasingly disillusioned with Soviet communism, he diagnosed its failure as due to the way opposition movements tend to mirror the ways of thinking, practices and organization of those they are opposing. To avoid this tendency, Gramsci called not for a ‘counter-hegemony’, but an alternative hegemony based on a different conception of the world. The notion of ‘ecological civilization’ could provide this, offering the foundation for the moral leadership required in a war of position to genuinely overcome and replace existing socio-economic forms.

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