Hegemony and the hidden persuaders the power of un-common sense

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Hegemony and the hidden persuaders

the power of un-common sense

George Clark (June 2002) www.srds.co.uk

It is not by accident that we come by our 'common sense'. People who think freely and independently are quick to realise how they have been taught to imprison and enslave themselves. In breaking free they become the champions of un-common sense. May their thoughts be clear, fruitful and infectious.

This short article explores the concept of Hegemony by offering some definitions and quotations and listing some web links for those who want to drill down into the concept.


  • Hegemony = leadership or dominance, especially by one state or social group over others

  • The ability of one class to persuade other classes to see the world in terms favorable to its own ascendancy

  • The balance between coercion and consent will vary from society to society, the latter being more important in capitalist societies

  • The more prominent is civil society, the more likely it is that hegemony will be achieved by ideological means

  • For capitalist society to be overthrown, workers must first establish their own ideological supremacy derived from their revolutionary consciousness

  • Gramsci especially emphasized the role of intellectuals in the creation of hegemony

  • The role of intellectuals is to create a 'counter-hegemonic project', that is, an alternative form of political and moral leadership

  • Revolution is seen not only as the transfer of political and economic power but as the creation of an alternative hegemony through new forms of experience and consciousness


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