The term “cultural hegemony” originates with Antonio Gramsci within Marxist dominated cultural studies and refers to the dominant set of beliefs and assumptions within a culture.
Gramsci argued that the failure of the workers to make an anti-capitalist revolution was due to the successful capture of the workers’ ideology, self-understanding, and organizations by the hegemonic (ruling) culture. In other words, the perspective of the ruling class had been absorbed by the masses of workers. In advanced capitalist societies hegemonic cultural innovations such as compulsory schooling, mass media, and popular culture had indoctrinated workers to a false consciousness. Instead of working towards a revolution that would truly serve their collective needs, workers in “advanced” societies were listening to the rhetoric of nationalist leaders, seeking consumer opportunities and middle-class status, embracing an individualistethos of success through competition, and/or accepting the guidance of bourgeois religious leaders.
In today’s ruling elite culture those beliefs however ARE Marxist. No hegemon’s power is absolute however. There are always fissures and fractures in it’s power which allow for the alternative views to arise and seek influence. It is my goal to make sure that the conservative culture and view, which had been ascendent until the rise of Neo-Marxism and the long slow march through the institutions began, has an outlet. I believe something profound is going on within Conservatism and Conservative Culture. It is this rise I hope to document and this battle I wish to fight.
Gramsci therefore argued for a strategic distinction between a “war of position” and a “war of manoeuvre”. The war of position is a culture war in which anti-capitalist elements seek to gain a dominant voice in mass media, mass organizations, and educational institutions to heighten class consciousness, teach revolutionary analysis and theory, and inspire revolutionary organization. Following the success of the war of position, communist leaders would be empowered to begin the war of manoeuvre, the actual insurrection against capitalism, with mass support.
The goal of this blog, Cultural Hegemony is to engage in this “war of position” and examine instances of Conservative/Libertarian examples of Cultural Production and how they shape/reflect/comment upon our political moment. Culture is a battlefield in an ideological war for our Country. The Left certainly believes that to be the case. It is a war we can and must win. But not if we do not take up the fight. With my background in theater and culture studies I feel this is the best way I can provide cultural commentary with the goal of helping to advance the conservative cause and push back against Marxist dominated culture.