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Of course, the major standoff that put a stop to Gramsci's life as a free man was the standoff between Italian Fascists and their opponents in the Resistance.
This standoff didn't always take the form of "debate"; sometimes it was just a question of domination. But all of Gramsci's work should be read against the background of Fascism and Resistance, because one of Gramsci's goals was precisely to spark debate where it appeared to be closed off or ruled out by simple domination.
In this sense, at least, he accomplished his mission.