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April 02, 2012


Luis Enrique

It surely is not helpful to ascribe false consciousness to anyone who lacks our fine aesthetic judgments.

that's right - we want to ascribe false consciousness to anyone who lacks our fine socioeconomic judgments.

oh god I suppose i'd better ;)


I've long thought false consciousness perhaps the best example of a dangerous idea that nonetheless has some truth in it.

It too easily allows a person, or, far more dangerously, an entire political movement, to disregard contrary opinion as mere delusion. You disagree with me? Your opinion doesn't count because its based on false consciousness.

I think its been discredited by the many people who have thrown it around as an accusation rather than accept that well informed people might honestly disagree with them. (If you want an classic example, have a look at the warring factions of feminism on pornography).

Biffy Dunderdale

Patrick - I completely agree. In fact, I'd go further - I have only ever seen it used in the way you describe. I have never seen it used in the way Mr Dillow describes. I suppose it may have been in Marxist academic literature but to normal people leading normal lives, it is just a totally transparent trick to avoid having to deal with the fact that no one agrees with you outside your activist circle.

Account Deleted

I don't there is a paradox here. The disappearance of false consciousness from political debate may simply be the result of it becoming a commonplace that is accepted across the spectrum.

This has coincided with the rise of behavioural economics, the "ironic" acceptance of advertising and marketing's role in manipulation, and now the "libertarian paternalist" ideas of nudging.

The issue is not the disapperance of false consciousness as a critical tool, but the easy acceptance that there is no true consciousness, that we should embrace our inner Don Draper.

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