GRAMSCI AMERICANISM AND FORDISM PDF

There are parts of the analysis, concerning the regulation of the sexual instinct, which seem odd out of context, or perhaps even passe. It became the paradigmatic model for the organisation of capitalism for some decades thereafter. Gramsci wanted to know just how much Americanisation was penetrating European production methods, and its associated cultures, and how much it was related to European fascism. He argued first that Fordism was possible to implement in the US chiefly inasmuch as the US lacked the "vast army of parasites", that is classes with no economic function, the unproductive landed gentry, clerics and middle classes, who still predominated in parts of Europe. The US had benefited from a rationalisation of its demographic composition, the prolonged psycho-physical adaptation of masses of people to urban living, so that it was possible to introduce Fordism without provoking moral, romantic opposition from significant sectors of the population. In Europe, the still acuminous weapons of the old order - the appeal to craft rights, for instance - could be wielded against industrialism.

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There are parts of the analysis, concerning the regulation of the sexual instinct, which seem odd out of context, or perhaps even passe. It became the paradigmatic model for the organisation of capitalism for some decades thereafter.

Gramsci wanted to know just how much Americanisation was penetrating European production methods, and its associated cultures, and how much it was related to European fascism. He argued first that Fordism was possible to implement in the US chiefly inasmuch as the US lacked the "vast army of parasites", that is classes with no economic function, the unproductive landed gentry, clerics and middle classes, who still predominated in parts of Europe.

The US had benefited from a rationalisation of its demographic composition, the prolonged psycho-physical adaptation of masses of people to urban living, so that it was possible to introduce Fordism without provoking moral, romantic opposition from significant sectors of the population.

In Europe, the still acuminous weapons of the old order - the appeal to craft rights, for instance - could be wielded against industrialism. Against the Fordist dreams of super-cities, complex, grandiose fantasies of future capitalist development, there was ruralism, the exaltation of artisanal life, idyllic patriarchalism, Catholicism, simplicity and sobriety.

Advocates of the latter charged that cities were sterile and unproductive: "there is love but no generation, consumption but no production". Gramsci perceived Fordism as a relatively progressive tendency away from individualism and competition, toward planning and cooperation.

The question was whether the working class itself would be able to take over this trend. Corporativismo, he said, existed as a movement, and the conditions existed for technical-economic change on a large scale. However, in Italy, workers were not in a position to either oppose it or take control of it. And because of the persistence of old social forms preserved by Fascism, the tendency would be for corporatism in the form of coordination between monopoly capital and the state to simply shore up the crumbling unproductive elements rather than eliminiate them.

Fordism required a certain type of structure, a certain type of basically liberal state, and the elimination of the old rentiers. But under fascism, the rentiers were being protected and proliferated, and more and more machinery was being elaborated to protect the old order.

In part, this was necessary because the corporatist trend operated in a situation of mass unemployment. It thus depended on certain protections for the employed to sustain conditions that would collapse if there were free competition. The relevance of morality, sex, gender and religious coercion comes in here because, as Gramsci writes, the new Fordist order required a particular kind of person.

Such corporate paternalism was not just tyrannical and intrusive, according to Gramsci, but an attempt to answer a problem from a capitalist perspective that will be relevant to any attempt to create a rational social order. Here, he seems to be influenced by Freudian psychoanalysis. This is the only way to ensure their widespread acceptance and thus their efficacy. But here he tends to contradict himself. He is sympathetic to feminism in one instance, resistant to sexual moralising.

He makes some heavy weather of the idea that American workers largely backed the Volstead Act Prohibition - which is a hostage to fortune as it is both not wholly true and omits the impact of Christianity rather than industrial rationalism in galvanising support for the Act. In fact, Ford himself was very keen on preventing his workforce from being influenced by the growing sensualisation of culture, and eager to advance Prohibition and moral rectitude, which was one of the reasons for his attempt to build a little enclave of Fordist America in Brazil, known as Fordlandia.

He also blames its downfall on the upper classes, whom he says is the only social group with sufficient money and leisure time to pursue drinking and free love. That is to say, he worries that people will express formal adherence to sumptuary and sexual norms, but will not live them, or will consistently violate them. There are other difficulties too. The brutal anti-unionism of Fordist managers is discussed only in passing, in terms of the way in which horizontal solidarity between free trade unions is turned into vertical, factory-based solidarity.

He looks at the impact of wages, literacy, gender and sexual morality on reproduction, industry, political hegemony and left-wing political formation.

Ideology, morality and culture are seen not as passive reflections of a dynamic economic base, but rather as formative, organising and shaping the economic base, allowing or inhibiting the process of rationalisation or otherwise. Again, geographic variations and uneven development play a key role here, determining the pace of development and the morphology of the political terrain. Manufacturing and industrial capitalism retains a centrality to global production, even as its spatial dimensions and distribution have been radically altered.

For my own purposes, it can help explain something about the strange, some time morbid and deadlocked, and apparently contradictory array of ideological and political forces in Britain.

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GRAMSCI AMERICANISM AND FORDISM PDF

Overview[ edit ] Fordism is "the eponymous manufacturing system designed to spew out standardized, low-cost goods and afford its workers decent enough wages to buy them. His assembly line was revolutionary though not original as it had previously been used at slaughterhouses. His most original contribution to the modern world was breaking down complex tasks into simpler ones, with the help of specialised tools. His real accomplishment was recognizing the potential by breaking it all down into its components, only to build it back up again in a more effective and productive combination, thereby producing an optimum method for the real world. Hence, common workers could buy their own cars.

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Americanism and Fordism

Kagarg It became the paradigmatic model for the organisation of capitalism for some decades thereafter. Keeping the Rabble in Line [archives]. Complex System of Pipes. Gramsci sees Fordism as the capitalist response to the objective development of the productive forces. Against the Fordist dreams of super-cities, americanims, grandiose fantasies of future capitalist development, there was ruralism, the exaltation of artisanal life, idyllic patriarchalism, Catholicism, simplicity and sobriety.

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