Marxists believe in “False Consciousness.” It’s part of their theory of class warfare. False Consciousness is the belief that through the long-term and systemic misrepresentation of reality by the dominant class, the consciousness of the subordinate class is warped in such a way they cannot perceive they’re being exploited.
Marx based his work on the economic relationships he perceived as the true foundation of society. This system teaches that everyone’s class is determined by their ownership of property. Although an atheistic philosophy, Marxism does address the non-physical side of life believing everyone’s personality is made up of their perceptions, thoughts, and emotions. These form the world-view or paradigm by which they interpret and understand the world.
According to Marx there’s an eternal struggle between the interests of the dominant and subordinate classes. To describe how the dominant class shape and control, the non-physical Marx outlined the process by which the dominant class systematically uses education and media to distort the understanding of the subordinate class through the promotion and distribution of errors and lies. If these mind-bending mechanisms didn’t operate the subordinate class, which always vastly outnumbers the dominant class, would see they’re being exploited and rise up to shatter the economic shackles binding them.
As a lifelong student of History and Political Science, of course in the higher educational system of Twentieth Century America, I was required to read multiple volumes of Marx and Freud every semester. The Declaration of Independence was relegated to the dustbin after memorizing the Preamble in a 1960s middle school classroom. The Constitution was discarded after memorizing the preamble to pass a state mandated test in 1963. All I ever heard of the Articles of Confederation was that they were a failure. But every year in College I was required to read the works of Marx and Freud. Every semester avowedly socialist professors mocked anything that smacked of American pride or patriotism.
As a late comer to higher education, I was secure in my beliefs and steadfast in my convictions long before I came in contact with the last bastion of Marxist true believers, America’s intelligentsia. I watched as all around me impressionable young minds were converted from the traditions taught through years of dedicated nurture and love by their parents. I saw the youth of America being taught to reject all that had made America great.
The contradictions and insanities the Marxist Priests in the temple of capitalism foster are clear to all but the illuminati of re-educators and the products of their efforts. Think of the advocates of free speech shouting down anyone who disagrees with them. Look at the anti-war protestors using violence to show their rejection of violence. Consider the proponents of academic freedom blocking the publication of anything not toeing the party line. Liberals granted tenure by conservatives seeking to ensure all voices were heard now routinely deny tenure to conservatives to ensure their voices are not heard.
I never appreciated the study of Freud. I always rebelled against his sexual undertones, simplistic answers and his cookie-cutter approach. Then one day, looking deeper and analyzing further I saw that if nothing else Freud did present and define the concept of projection. Projection, as defined by Freud, is a defense mechanism people automatically use when they feel threatened by or afraid of their own impulses which they then attribute to someone else. I could see this was true because I could discern that Freud was projecting his sexual fantasies and fetishes on everyone else.
I never appreciated Marx either. Perhaps it was that I grew up during the Cold War. Some of my earliest memories are confounded with the duck-and-cover strategy of surviving a direct nuclear attack: duck under your desk and cover your head, or as my first grade teacher explained the first time I took part in the annual race home during Civil Defense Week, “If you can’t run home in 15 minutes you’ll have to stay here and die with the rest of us.” Perhaps my aversion to Marx was based on my personal study of American History and political philosophy which began at age nine and has continued on a daily basis ever since. Whatever it was, I always railed at my yearly required dose of the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Then, after the fall of the Soviet monstrosity and after the end of a generation of fear, I took a fresh look at Marx and I realized he was right about a few things.
I had to admit, as Marx pointed out, economics does affect all aspects of society. And reflecting on the contradictory beliefs of numerous friends and relatives I have to admit false consciousness can most assuredly warp the perceptions and shape the world view of those molded and captured by a social elite.
I have relatives and friends who hate capitalism even though they’ve spent their lives earning excellent salaries working for capitalist enterprises. I know others who’re now enjoying generous pensions. They are living a life of leisure provided for them by the investment of their capitalist employers in 401 Ks and other financial vehicles fueled by capitalist activity. I know one person who vehemently hates capitalism and capitalists, he’s an inventor and an entrepreneur, who built a business, made a fortune, and is now the independent Squire on his multi-million dollar estate.
Congratulations to my Progressive colleagues. You have created a generation of Americans who hate the capitalism which has given them the prosperity to attend your classes and the limited government which has allowed you the freedom to advocate for the end of freedom.
If you want to change the world…..Change the children. Progressives learned this generations ago, Conservatives need to remember it.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org