Gramsci’s Plan Volume I encompasses almost 700 pages. This is a thick board even for skilled readers. Gramsci’s interpretation of Kant had to be sufficiently supported by quotations. The historical drama of the Enlightenment, which began in the Renaissance/Reformation and culminated in the American and French Revolutions, needed to be preserved in its unity, not divided among several books. The following text contains a summary of the 2nd chapter “Kant and the Enlightenment 1500 to 1800”. The genesis and content of Kant’s rational law foundation of the democratic republic are presented in this text in about 20 pages. Quotations, historical facts, and a number of topics such as the treatment of Spinoza’s philosophy have been largely omitted. This summary is intended, first, to convey the core message of Gramsci’s Plan Volume I more easily to the world and, second, to arouse interest in extended reading. In presenting this philosophical topic, the author is not merely concerned with providing historical insight or moral support. It is also intended as an effective argumentative handout in the worldwide struggle for the democratic republic.
Kant and the Enlightenment appeared on January 7, the day after a coup attempt took place in the U.S.
From the author’s preface:
Almost no month goes by without hundreds of thousands of people in some nation protesting against a repressive regime and demanding a democratic republic. In the past 12 months, these protests have taken place primarily in Sudan, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Belarus, Thailand, but also as Black Lives Matter in the United States and around the world. I would like to take this opportunity to express my solidarity with all those who are risking their freedom, their physical integrity and their lives in the struggle for the democratic republic.
Fascist moments were evident in Trump’s policies from the beginning
Fascist moments were evident in the policies of Trump, his party, and his movement from the beginning: the attacks on the institutions of the democratic republic, the targeting of the critical press as “enemies of the people,” the practical support for white supremacy ideology and structural racism in the U.S., and finally the attempt to implement a herd immunity strategy in the pandemic, which is also referred to as an acceptable “natural selection” at German regulars’ tables (in German: Stammtische).
A first culmination took place on January 6, 2021, with the storming of the Capitol
The fascist moment in Trump’s politics was further charged by the rejection of the November 3, 2020 election results. This led to an initial culmination on January 6, 2021, when several thousand Trump supporters attempted to storm the Capitol to prevent the two chambers of the U.S. Parliament – Congress – from certifying the election results in a ceremonial event. The Stop the Steal campaign, which has been going on for several months, reached its climax that day. These events demonstrate the fragility of parliamentary democracies, even in nations where such events previously seemed unthinkable. The declaration of a state of emergency and a military coup in the U.S. would have been a historic catastrophe of incalculable proportions.