Politicizing Liberalism Gobetti’s Italian Legacy

  • James Martin
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


On the face of it, Gobetti’s project for a liberal revolution was not a success. Within only a few years of its enunciation, organized political opposition in Italy was outlawed, parliamentary democracy was replaced by a raft of repressive legislation, and political leaders such as Gramsci were arrested and imprisoned. The deaths of both Gobetti and Amendola in 1926 robbed the antifascist opposition of powerful, critical voices, and effective publicists. Rather than being roused to a liberal revolution, many Italians had instead succumbed, either by force or persuasion, to the authoritarian “revolution” offered by Mussolini.


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    See Antonio Gramsci, Quaderni del carcere, ed. Valetino Gerratana, 4 vols (Turin: Einaudi, 1975).Google Scholar
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    This critical relationship to the Left underlay Bobbio’s own widely read interpretation of Gramsci in the late 1960s. See his “Gramsci and the Concept of Civil Society” in Mouffe, ed., Gramsci and Marxist Theory. Bobbio’s various essays on Gramsci are collected in Saggi su Gramsci (Milano: Feltrinelli, 1990).Google Scholar
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© James Martin 2008

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