False Consciousness

Discipline: Political Science

Marxist theory of 'deception' of the working class.

Members of the working class in capitalist societies have interests which would rationally lead them to revolutionary action against the system. However ideology creates a 'false consciousness' which hides this reality from them. They therefore require leading into 'correct' political activity by a vanguard party, a central concept of Leninism.

Also see: bolshevism

Source:
L Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, 3 vols (Oxford, 1978)

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