Tags: capitalism, class, education, inequality, marx/marxism, political economy, theory, american dream, comedy, false consciousness, ideology, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: Trigger warning: In typical George Carlin style, this clip is full of expletives and vulgar sexual metaphors (although the language in the first 1:20 is OK). Here, Carlin emphasizes the gap between "the owners of this country" and the rest of us. Carlin states that the owners control the politicians by lobbying to get what they want, but they also control people through education and media. They keep the educational system just good enough to educate people to be obedient workers but keep it poor enough so that it does not teach people enough to be able to think for themselves. They use the media to tell people what to believe, what to buy, and what to think. Because people can vote, they suffer the illusion that they have "freedom of choice." Suffering from false consciousness, they support ideas that are against their own self interests; for example they accept the reduced pay, fewer benefits, and less social programs that the owners claim are in their interests. All the while, they remain powerless to the owners. This illustrates Marx's concept of ideology; Marx stated “the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas." These ruling ideas, or ideologies, obscure the structural violence and exploitation used to keep oppressed groups in their place. The clip ends with the statement "it's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it," emphasizing a fundamental ideology that legitimates social inequality and oppression.
Submitted: Jack Pold and Delano Scott
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