The Modern State and Future Society: Gramsci’s Two Conceptions of the “Ethical State”

Takahiro Chino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gramsci’s concept of the “ethical state” has been interpreted as a synonym for the “regulated society”—a future society in which everybody participates in governance following the rationalization of labor. However, this reading has neglected the idea of the “integral state,” Gramsci’s other conception of the ethical state, which highlights social mobility between the ruling class and the ruled. Moreover, according to this reading, educational reform is necessary to close the gap in cultural capital, thereby promoting the talented among the ruled to participate in governance. A careful examination of Gramsci’s concept of the ethical state reveals that it contains two distinct visions for mass democracy: whereas the integral state signifies that anybody can govern, a regulated society assumes that everybody governs. Even if the latter scenario cannot be adopted in our times, it shows—even more than Gramsci realized—that the former scenario that stresses social mobility and the role of education in it is the crux of the modern state.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Legacy
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • cultural capital
  • ethical state
  • Gramsci
  • Marxism
  • regulated society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy

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