Class Struggle: Money, Power, Oppression, and Resistance
Keywords:Capitalism, Bourgeoisie, Proletariat, Poor Masses, Marxism, Capitalist Ideology, False consciousness, Culture industry, Media, Pop culture, Collective action
The paper contributes to the lifelong dialogs about the capital-labor conflict between the upper-class (bourgeoisie) and the working-class (proletariat). It unpacks the ideological underpinnings driving the insatiable quest of the capitalist class for profit, power, interminable exploitation of the working class across ages. The paper underscores the knack of the upper-classes to exert limitless authority over the working classes given their control of the means of production in ways that include dictating the working conditions, wages, hours of work, and engaging the apparatuses of the state – laws, judiciary, police, and army – as detailed by Althusser, to enforce their compliance with capitalist ideals (80). It ascribes the continued failure of the working-class to successfully resist and overthrow the brutal capitalist machinery to encumbering False Consciousness; described as a mental trap that propels the class to accept and naively participate in their own economic oppression. The predilection of the members towards individualized forms of resistance as against forming formidable alliances across interest groups to pursue collective action is equally found culpable. Alongside forming alliances, the author suggests outright rejection of bourgeois ideologies which permeate the major spheres of the society and their replacement with the workers’ own ideological alternatives as imperative. Consistent with Marx’s submission, workers’ ownership of the means of production to produce their own necessities rather than continually selling their labor for a living wage is considered expedient in their struggle to disable the capitalist machinery system (571). This is coupled with textual analysis of media and popular culture, for example, newspapers, television, advertising, games, and films, by the audience; mostly comprising the working class, to unearth and disavow the entrenched capitalist ethos. The paper examines two films that exemplify how the capitalist class systematically exploits their subjects with feeble resistance.
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