Issue 27 – Gramsci Again: Hegemony, State and Passive Revolution Issue

Editors – Deniz Yıldırım, Ebru Deniz Ozan

The Limits of Sociological Marxism
Adam David Morton

Cihan Tuğal’s Passive Revolution: Absorbing the Islamic Challenge to Capitalism (2009) is a major statement of ethnographic research in tracing the transformations of urban governance in the district of Sultanbeyli as well as a significant contribution to theorising hegemonic politics and the establishment of secularist hegemony in Turkey. My article situates the book within a broader configuration of literature known as Sociological Marxism in order to critically examine its major and rather bold revision of the theory of hegemony that posits the interaction of political society, civil society and the state as always-already separate spheres. My contention is that this revision ofhegemony and its redefinition of political society, civil society and the state is deeply problematic as it contains these spheres in what I term a relationship of ‘ontological exteriority’. The focus of the critique then moves toward offering my own reading of Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks in order to clarify better the relationship between hegemony and passive revolution. My argument here is that there is a frustrating lack of direct engagement with Gramsci’s writings in Cihan Tuğal’s disquisition on hegemony and passive revolution that has important political consequences. Chiefly, a focus on the theory of the ‘integral state’ is absent and the richness that it would bring to discussions on state theory, hegemony and passive revolution. Had it been pursued, the notion of ‘integral state’ provides a clear avenue through which to break through the ontological exteriority that distinguishes Sociological Marxism. Assessing the situatedness of theory and the role of the ethnographer is then, in conclusion, my focus. It is argued that these issues raise the significance of also asserting the need to deliver alternative accounts of emergent counter-dominant practices and analysis of new spaces of utopian vision. These features should accompany any account of the reordering of hegemony and the restructuring of spatial-temporal contexts of capital accumulation through conditions of passive revolution.
Keywords: Antonio Gramsci, passive revolution, hegemony, Sociological Marxism, civil society and the state.

Rethinking the Revolution in the Framework of Antonio Gramsci’s Conception of Organic Unity
Gökhan Demir – Ali Yalçın Göymen

Historical materialism differs from other social doctrines by its total vision of society and its concomitant historical approach that puts as its aim the transformation of that totality. Antonio Gramsci developed this vision in a significant way by studying social relations not only in the axis of structure and superstructure, but also in terms of the relationship between human practice and theory. This article dwells upon the essentials of Gramsci’s perspective to understand the totality of social relations and to transform this totality itself in the framework of organic totality which is constituted by these two axes. It is argued that a set of conceptual tools used by Gramsci such as state, civil society, hegemony, intellectuals and the political party becomes meaningful within the frame of the notions of praxis (the unity of theory and practice) and historical bloc (the unity of structure and superstructure). It is also maintained that contemplating on revolution through Gramscian perspective needs to alter the dominant ways of thinking as much as it requires the transformation of current relations of production and property.
Keywords: Organic totality, Praxis, historical bloc, hegemony, revolution.

The Political Economy of Islamic Bourgeoisie: The Case of MÜSİAD
Berkay Ayhan – Seher Sağıroğlu

The predominant discourse of center-periphery and strong state tradition in Turkish politics could also be found in Islamic bourgeoisie debate. According to this framework, Istanbul bourgeoisie and its representative TÜSİAD is ‘the bureaucratic bourgeoisie’ that owes its development to its close relationship with the state. On the contrary, Islamic bourgeoisie and its representative MÜSİAD is considered as the real ‘entrepreneurial bourgeoisie’ that developed in the market independently. This methodological standpoint proceeds from state/society dichotomy, focuses on the culture and status differences between elites and people, and does not assign any explanatory power to relations of production and to the struggle between capital and labour. Drawing from the strategic relational approach of Bob Jessop, this study provides an alternative historical materialist reading of Islamic bourgeoisie. By overcoming the state/society dichotomy, this approach considers the state as a complex web of relationships where class struggle is crystallized and class strategies are pursued. Thus, state and class are not externally related and state is becomes an important arena of class struggle through hegemonic projects and accumulation strategies. In this framework, historical development of Islamic bourgeoisie is analyzed with reference to its accumulation strategies, hegemonic projects, and attempts to provide societal legitimation of free market, entrepreneurship and consumption through the re-interpretation of Islam.
Keywords: MÜSİAD, Islamic bourgeoisie, political Islam, strategic-relational approach, Bob Jessop.

A Note on New Industrial Policies under the Shadow of 2011 Crisis
Ümit Akçay

Turkey has experienced a significant transformation since 2001 crisis in terms of capital accumulation process. One of the main characteristics of this period is the internationalization of productive capital cycles. Indeed, its effects can be observed on different components of the economic policy; such as monetary, fiscal, and industrial policies, that are pursued by the state. Accordingly, a fundemantal feature of this transformation is that it geared towards increasing the proportion of the high technonogical commodities in the total export. In conjunction with this, it can be claimed that a new capital accumulation model has been constructed after 2001, which has two main socalled side effects, constant high level of unemployment and relatively high rate of current account deficit, as an expression of the inner contradiction of the model. After 2006, the incline of the high technological commodities in the total export reached a lag period that in turn led to a greater involvement of the state in reformulating the new industrial policy. The main aim of this paper is to analyze the debate on the new industrial policy, which begins after 2006 and concentrates especially in 2008 crisis, from the historical materialist point of view.
Keywords: Crisis, industrial policies, state, internationalization of capital, exports.

Values and Value Creation Process: An Essay on Business History or The Critique of Sociological Critique of Political Economy
Koray R. Yılmaz

In this article it is focused on the relation between the world of values involving cultural, social and moral values and the Marxist concept of value. With reference to the history of Arçelik corporation, the ways in which common values in Turkish society such as being Turkish, family, father, son, confidence, reconciling, belonging, football etc. are involved into capital relation, are presented. Therefore, moving beyond the so-called cultural and sociological studies, the world of values will be analysed from a perspective of critical political economy. In sum, this study shows that although value creation process in Marxian sense has taken place by involving the world of values, they have different results and meanings for different classes.
Keywords: Karl Marx, critical political economy, world of values, value creation process, Business History, Arçelik corporation.