Class consciousness

awareness of one's social class

Class consciousness is the set of beliefs a person holds regarding their social class or economic rank in society, the structure of their class, and their class interests.


  • In the United States you're not allowed to talk about class differences. In fact, only two groups are allowed to be class-conscious in the United States. One of them is the business community, which is rabidly class-conscious. When you read their literature, it's all full of the danger of the masses and their rising power and how we have to defeat them. It's kind of vulgar, inverted Marxism. The other group is the high planning sectors of the government. They talk the same way — how we have to worry about the rising aspirations of the common man and the impoverished masses who are seeking to improve standards and harming the business climate. So they can be class-conscious. They have a job to do. But it's extremely important to make other people, the rest of the population, believe that there is no such thing as class. We're all just equal, we're all Americans, we live in harmony, we all work together, everything is great.
  • The idea is to create a picture among the population that we're all one happy family. We're America, we have a national interest, we're working together. There are us nice workers, the firms in which we work and the government who works for us. We pick them -- they're our servants. And that's all there is in the world — no other conflicts, no other categories of people, no further structure to the system beyond that. Certainly nothing like class. Unless you happen to be in the ruling class, in which case you're very well aware of it.

False Consciousness

  • For each new class which puts itself in the place of one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry through its aim, to represent its interests the common interest of all the members of society, that is, sality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones. The class making a revolution appears from the very start, if only because it is opposed to a class, not as a class but as the representative of the whole of society; it appears as the whole mass of society confronting the one ruling class.
  • Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
    And you think you're so clever and classless and free
    But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see
    A working class hero is something to be
    A working class hero is something to be.

See also

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