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What do you think about concept of false consciousness?

+2 votes
While concept of false consciousness (like exploiters create idealogies for exploited to make sure exploitation persists) makes sense to me, it also implies that there is a true consciousness which can suppress my own point of view.

asked Dec 1, 2014 by Metalist (780 points)
I don't see how anything can suppress your own point of view. You always have one, whatever it is.
I draw a line between my point of view and my own point of view. While i always have a point of view it does not have to be my own, it can be made by other than my own.
interesting. i guess i don't make that distinction. while my point of view is obviously influenced to varying degrees by everything and everyone i experience, i still ultimately consider it to be my own.

I suppose i'm saying that i don't even see the distinction between "my own" and "my", as you do. can you elaborate on what that difference is for you, and how you are (or become) aware of that difference?
My point of view can be ideological, a view that is imposed to me and subordinates me. My own point of view does not subordinates me, it springs from me, it begins and ends with me. It does not in search of completeness unlike the concept of true consciousness which implies that there is defined end of my thinking.
I hope this answer is satisfactory. If it is not, i can try to expand it later on.
i'm still a little confused.

how does the distinction you make between the point of view you own versus your point of view that is ideological, affect you in daily life? is it (the difference) something you're aware of at any given moment, or something that you realize later, in the latter case moving (or removing) a viewpoint from the imposed to the owned?
that might help me to better understand what you're saying, if you're still interested in elaborating.

1 Answer

+2 votes
i think this is a great question, one with contradictory tendencies (not that i have a weakness for that sort of thing!).

on the one hand, the concept is a favored tool of essentialists and reductive thinkers and mind fuckers in general. "you don't know what is good for you, you don't know what you really think". i have definitely encountered this accusation (ie the concept of false consciousness in its most boring and superficial form) from identity politicians.
related to this is the tacit (?) assumption that there is a true consciousness, which i disagree with on general principles.

on the other hand, i agree that -- based on what we're taught by the status quo (system? our enemies? leviathan? etc?) -- we all (perhaps to varying degrees) do things against our own best interests (occasionally, frequently, or all the time)... and even against what we believe, and want, and would do if we had more time or a slightly different perspective. does it make sense to call that "false consciousness"? i don't know. sometimes?

those are my thoughts atm.

answered Dec 1, 2014 by dot (50,790 points)
false and true are difficult concepts for me. i perceive things, or believe i perceive things, and then i act based on those perceptions, or not. in that sense, everything is true that I'm aware of or perceive....false and true are always someone else's judgment of my perceptions, and mine of theirs, or even my judgments about my own perceptions.
I basically agree with dot here. In addition, if someone's trying to tell you that your consciousness is 'true' or 'false' then I'd say they have an agenda (which they may not even know).

Trying to say what's 'true' and 'false' when it comes to something so incredibly vast and overwhelming as 'consciousness' (how somebody perceives oneself in relation to the world) is either incredibly naive or an attempt at swindling. And given the fact that 'raising consciousness' is a thing from Marx, I'm going to go with the latter.

Also: anarchists don't seem to agree on consciousness. I highly get the impression that we all see ourselves navigating the world through very different lenses.

(unless I'm incorrectly defining consciousness?)