Well, I haven't written about Gramsci for a long time, and as I only have 16 articles in which I mention him by name, I thought it was about time I brought him out of the closet again.
Why? Because Catholics do not think like Catholics.
Gramsci understood that neo-Thomism was a danger to Communism. He knew that Thomism and neo-Thomism were antithetical to communism and the war against culture. He quotes an article by Father Gemelli on Leo XIII in Notebook I. "To lead the world back to a fundamental doctrine by means of which the intelligence can regain the ability to show man the truth which he must acknowledge and to do so not only by preparing the path to faith, but by giving man the means to securely handle all of life's problems. Leo XIII thus offered the Christian people a philosophy, the doctrine of scholasticism, not as a narrow, static and exclusive frame of knowledge but as an organism of living thought which is open to enrichment by the thought of all the Doctors and Fathers, and which is capable of bringing the speculation of rational theology into harmony with the data of positive science, a condition for stimulating and harmonizing reason and faith, the real and the ideal, the past and the discoveries of the future, prayer and action, internal and social life, the duties of the individual and those of society, the duties toward God and the duties toward man."
This packed quote in Gramsci's Notebook, indicates that he knew that the most formidable enemy of Marxist and atheism was the rational and faithful Catholic.
A thinking Catholic who has the framework for a living faith could create activity in all strata of society and appeal to the intellectual as well as the laborer, who, in Gramsci's eyes should be one and the same.
He wanted intellectualism not to be the mark of academia, but of all levels of society. Why? Gramsci saw the power of a cohesive mind-set, a unified world view. an ideal and reality which would counteract both socialism and individualism.
The moral impetus of the Church could be found nowhere else but in Marxism.
And the strength of the unified declaration of the equality and freedom of all humans which the Marxists taught was only rivaled by the Thomism and neo-Thomism of the Catholic Church.
This is one reason why the neo-Thomists, such as Maritain and Dawson, were so interested in culture and politics. They could see the need for this application of Thomism as a wall against communism and atheism. They could see that tyranny had to be combated by a strong philosophy, the Handmaid of Theology.
Sigh, too bad Thomism was dropped as a philosophical core course by the late 1950s in America. Too bad the seminaries in Europe were infiltrated by other philosophies open to Marxist interpretations of history and progress in the 1930s. Too bad the definition of the individual changed in seminary classes.
Now, the new orders, such as the FSSPs, and the Legionaries, have realized the weaknesses of seminary training which does not apply this Catholic manner of thinking and have re-introduced this philosophy, which leads to a practical world-view. No offense, but we have many uneducated seminarians from diocesan colleges, who lack a common philosophy which ties all their courses into a cohesive world-view. They do not think like Catholics.
It is interesting to me that so many post-Vatican II priests distrust Thomism and neo-Thomism. I think it is because they want to be open to the relativism and ideologies of modernist heresies, including communism and socialism.
Gramsci knew his enemy and his enemy has failed to be vigilant.