The Conversation

False Consciousness & the Ship of the Poopie

In response to Hitting the Cultural Sweet Spot:

You're right, I was treating those comments as mutually exclusive.  But you're right, the nastiest form of anti-capitalist sneer is always directed at the poor, isn't it?  How dare they dream that they could have nice things like we have.  We, you see, are enlightened enough to know the opulence and comfort we surround ourselves with is a Lie.  We despise these material blessings (the same blessings, by the way, that give us our viciously superior attitude). 

But these stupid poor, cashing in their drink-coupons to save a buck.  How blindered they are.

Ugh.  Over on my site there is discussion of the salutary social effects of the underappreciated Punch in the Face, whether actual or just hypothetical.  Tends to keep things in check.

I believe (but I'm not sure) that communism's idea of a "False Consciousness" includes the idea of the Capitalist System inculcating a self-hatred in those with limited means, encouraging them to despise themselves for not being rich (which then, indirectly, would reduce their revolutionary fervor). 

But I'd point out that I bet a lot of these people who have so much time to sneer on CNN threads about minor cruise mishaps are also not people of great means -- I don't think they just ran in from polishing their Jaguars to snark about the hoi polloi -- and yet they are parroting what they imagine Rich People would say about the poor.  They wish to be aristocratic, or mistaken for aristocratic, and so they summon up the personality of an aristocrat sneering at the common folks.

But, being common folks themselves, they're sneering at themselves.

So there's some bonus False Consciousness for you, but this one a product of leftism.  The so-called Movement of the People seethes with aristocratic pretensions and disdain for working people.  Because they aspire to be in the class of the Champagne Socialists, they ape all of their class conceits without ever pausing to confront the ugly reality that those class conceits they're parroting are cruel conceits about their own class.

 


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