American Perceptions of Class

“…what the recent past has shown us is that Americans can possess a high degree of worker consciousness and still have no viable socialist movement. In fact, workers’ resistance to capitalism can actually become weakened, as the declining trend in unionism and the growing power of corporate power so visibly demonstrates. This is because, as Vanneman and Cannon insist, it is not class consciousness or political ideology that in the last instance determines who wins and who loses in a given society. It is the political, economic, and legal institutions that set the rules, and in doing so, preordain the outcome. The primary role of the dominant ideology is to consecrate the winners, making them seem like the better players of the game, when in fact the game has been rigged in their favor all along.”

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