This article aims to investigate Gramsci’s early theorization on the basis of the problem of economic liberalism and free market. Our purpose is to highlight the relevance that Gramsci ascribes to liberalism in order to define a new strategy for socialism. In particular, the Author takes into account the articles published during the First World War, in which the anti-protectionist cause is deeply connected with the relevance of social sciences. The centrality of social dynamics, as well as the criticism of the Italian "economic feudalism", represent the most relevant elements in common between Gramsci and Einaudi’s liberal orientation. But despite this meeting points, the Gramscian perspective remains explicitly enrooted in the socialist strategy. As testified by the essays of 1917 Tre principii, tre ordini and Modello e realtà, what is really at stake is the possibility to develop the critical potential of anti-protectionism in order to delineate a revolutionary alternative.
Keywords: young Gramsci, liberalism, social sciences, economic feudalism, socialism