Following on from my last post, my purpose in this commentary is to reflect critically on the thesis of passive revolution and whether there is something relatively “permanent” about it as a hallmark of postcolonial state formation. The initiative to do so derives directly from the conclusion to my book Revolution and State in Modern Mexico . There, it is noted that Antonio Gramsci was acutely drawn in the Prison Notebooks to consider the utility and dangers of the thesis of passive revolution ‘as an interpretation of the Risorgimento, and of every epoch characterised by complex historical upheavals’ leading to the transformation of capitalist modernity. Hence Gramsci casts out a set of reflections in his carceral research on the ‘danger of historical defeatism, i.e. of indifferentism, since the whole way of posing the question may induce a belief in some kind of fatalism’. Can the history of capitalist development in postcolonial states be marked by transformations of permanent passive revolution?