Selections from the Prison Notebooks and Ideology
On page 376 of Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci specifies that:
“‘ideology’ itself must be analyzed historically, in the terms of the philosophy of praxis, as a superstructure.”
Indeed, Gramsci argues that “it seems to me that there is a potential element of error in assessing the value of ideologies, due to the fact (by no means casual) that the name ideology is given both to the necessary superstructure of a particular structure and to the arbitrary elucabrations of particular individuals.”
Gramsci goes on to identify three processes that lead up to what he believes is an erroneous theorization or “bad sense” of ideology, writing that the first error occurs when “ideology is identified as distinct from the structure, and it is asserted that it is not ideology that changes the structure but vice versa.”
Compare and contrast Gramsci’s critique of ideology on pages 376-377 to Michel Foucault’s claim that “a régime of truth is not merely ideological or superstructural; it was a condition of the formation and development of capitalism” (in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews
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