Saturday, 13 August 2016

Persons On The Periphery

Satire, albeit of a rarefied kind, eats itself and passes the waste with the suggestion that the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are, of all things, Gramscians.

A friend of mine, who is now a Corbyn ally of some importance, once never quite finished a PhD on the Gramscian roots, via Marxism Today, of New Labour.

I am always irritated and amused in equal measure when some rightish hack or other purports to have "discovered" all of that. Who ever did not know?

I am coming to believe the rumour that Gramsci returned to the Church on his deathbed. Even though he was cremated, and his ashes interred in the Cimitero degli Inglesi.

Where Keats is buried. Gramsci was a Romantic hero born out of his time, really, wasn't he?

Hence, I am coming to believe the rumour that he returned to the Church on his deathbed. It is something that I have heard by word of mouth from time to time.

He was only 46, and if the trajectory of his thought had continued, then the Faith would have been where it ended up: the insistence on the unity of theory and practice, the rejection of economic determinism and of metaphysical materialism, the celebration of the "national-popular", the call for an organic working-class culture and self-organisation including worker-intellectuals.

Of course, the tradition out of which Corbyn and Corbynism do indeed spring was always way ahead of him on all of those points.

I sometimes think that when I die, then I should like to be cut in half, after the manner of Saint Catherine of Siena. Her top half is in Siena, her bottom half is in Rome.

But which half of me should go to the Cimitero degli Inglesi with Gramsci and Keats, which half to Père Lachaise with Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, and why?

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