Beyond Right and Left: Democratic Elitism in Mosca and by Maurice A . Finocchiaro

By Maurice A . Finocchiaro

A research of the relationship among Gaetano Mosca and Antonio Gramsci, holding that they either belong to an analogous political culture of democratic elitism. It argues that Gramsci's political concept is a positive critique of Mosca's.

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Extra info for Beyond Right and Left: Democratic Elitism in Mosca and Gramsci (Italian Literature and Thought)

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Moreover, aside from the question of the origins of Gramsci's thought, it would be an error of one-sidedness to claim that the study of his thought exhausts the interest in his personality and its relevance. Obviously, his life was a drama in which thought and action entered into dynamic interplay, and it must be studied and understood in relation to the history of his time. In the case of Gramsci, the history of his time has a triple aspect: not only the period preceding and contemporaneous with his lifespan (18911937), but also the developments following his death.

Html6/20/2010 3:19:52 PM next page > page_25 < previous page page_25 next page > Page 25 ruler or rulers are not hereditary but elected by a part or all of the citizens. Mosca's main objection to these classifications is that they are insufficiently realistic. That is, for example, by Aristotle's own definition, we would have to say that the class of democracies known to him was an empty one because even in Pericles' Athens most of the inhabitants were slaves or foreigners who had no rights of citizenship, and so it was really an aristocracy rather than a democracy.

In fact, with this phrase he refers rather indiscriminately to politicians in general, elected officials, civil service bureaucrats, intellectuals, property owners, and the whole middle class. 47 The objection on grounds of explicability is not the only one closely related to the normative objection. Actually, the normative criticism discussed earlier is only one of a family of evaluation-oriented objections. That is, besides being charged with normative elitism, Mosca has also been accused of advancing, under the guise of a science, what some call a "myth" and others regard as an ideology.

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