— Antonio Gramsci Italian writer, politician, theorist, sociologist and linguist 1891 - 1937
Due to German student movement leader Rudi Dutschke, who coined it in 1967 as „Der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen“.
See Strategy, Hegemony & ‘The Long March’: Gramsci’s Lessons for the Antiwar Movement http://carldavidson.blogspot.com/2006/04/strategy-hegemony-long-march.html, by Carl Davidson, April 06, 2006.
It was popularized in the protests of 1968, and Dutschke’s posthumous 1980 work is titled Mein langer Marsch (My long March).
See Marsch durch die Institutionen at German Wikipedia for extensive discussion.
A reference to the Long March of the Chinese Communist Red Army in 1934 & 1935; note that Gramsci died in 1937.
Various corruptions include “through the culture” or “slow march”.
Widely attributed to Gramsci, Joseph A. Buttigieg http://english.nd.edu/faculty/profiles/joseph-a-buttigieg/, the editor of the English critical edition of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks asserts that the phrase does not originate with Gramsci.
Footnote 21, page 50, reads: [“long march through the institutions”<sup>21</sup>] “This phrase is not Gramsci’s, even though it is ubiquitously attributed to him.”
[10.1215/01903659-32-1-33, 0190-3659, 32, 1, 33-52, Buttigieg, Joseph A., The Contemporary Discourse on Civil Society: A Gramscian Critique, boundary 2, 2010-06-30, 2005, http://boundary2.dukejournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/32/1/33]
The idea is connected with Gramsci's theory of cultural hegemony, but does not originate with him – he called the concept a “war of position”.