The Autoworkers of General Motors, Oshawa:

Integration or Alienation?

©1999 Reuben Roth

(Some preliminary thoughts on the embourgeoisement thesis)

This is a DRAFT ONLY of my doctoral dissertation proposal - please do not quote this material without permission of the author

By Reuben Roth, Ph.D. student

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

252 Bloor Street West, Toronto Ontario Canada M5S 1V6

Tel. 416-923-6641 ext. #2392

If you have any comments on this very preliminary essay, please write me at:

If they are an hourly-rated worker..they're going to be making good money by anybody's standards, sixty five to seventy five thousand, in that range. If they are a skilled tradesman, then they will be much in demand and they will probably be into six figures. These are people who have at least two cars - brand new - probably got a boat, probably got a camper, probably got a cottage. These people are concerned about how they accumulate wealth, how they hold onto it; taxation is a big problem.. (Mike Breaugh, Oshawa NDP MP, 1990-1993 on "The House" CBC Radio One broadcast, July 24, 1999).


It is a well-known modern aphorism that revolution is long-dead, or so the prevailing ideology goes (see for example, Gorz, 1982). Unquestionably stagnant are the kinds of enormous social and political upheavals which characterized the industrial nations of Europe from the mid-eighteenth century until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. These convulsions, according to Davies (1970), were associated with changing patterns of social mobility (1970: 9).

For those adherents of political ideologies which profess the inevitability of an eventual class-based insurrection, even discussing the very notion of embourgeoisement might be considered a counter-revolutionary activity. For example, Goldthorpe (1987) wrote that:

..the charge has been made, from a variety of Marxist and other left-wing positions, that mobility research is ideologically biased in that it gives to mobility a central place within the study of stratification and thus served to devalue other more basic problems, notably those of class division and class conflict (Goldthorpe, 1987: 1).

In the current era of collective stock ownership through individual or jointly-held mutual funds, one wonders whether this accusation can still be avoided. Does the study of mobility research overemphasize the possibility of capital accumulation for individual wage-earners?

There has been a massive shift of personal savings from bank accounts into more speculative stocks and bonds, mainly through mutual funds which are the contemporary equivalent of the penny stocks of the 1880s. Not only do shareholders threaten to outnumber wageworkers in advanced capitalist countries, but growing numbers of workers are becoming shareholders. Worker ownership, usually of small and failing enterprises, is also a growing trend during the present age of global expansion (Livingstone and Roth, 199x: xx). Recent U.S. studies have shown that almost half of all American households own stocks, and an "estimated 49.2 million U.S. households - 48 per cent - own equities either individually or through mutual funds ("Half of U.S. Households play stock markets." Toronto Star, 10/22/99, p.E2)." This represents a substantial increase of 15.5 per cent from similar studies a decade earlier.

Mann (1970) posed a set of Goldthorpian questions, which aimed to discover the extent to which "internalized norms, values and beliefs ..legitimate the social order," and whether these norms, values and beliefs constituted either a 'true or false' consciousness (1970: 425). 'Normative acceptance' by the working-class was distinguished from 'pragmatic acceptance' and occurred when "the individual internalizes the moral expectations of the ruling class and views his (sic) own inferior position as legitimate (1970: 425). Mann characterized the traditional Marxist approach as one where "normative acceptance is "false" in the sense that it leads workers to ignore their own true interests (1970: 425).

In his study, Mann shows that "false consciousness" indeed has a scientific basis in fact, that there is a conflict between "dominant and deviant values taking place within the individual (1970: 436)." Moreover, he singles out the school system as one of the operative players in the socialization process (1970: 436) and suggests:

..we can see agencies of political radicalism, like the trade unions and the British Labour Party, struggling against their opponents' ability to mobilize the national and feudal symbols to which the population has been taught to respond loyally in schools and in much of the mass media (1970: 437).

Mann concludes that the liberal democratic state's most typical form of coordinated socialization does not attempt to alter values. Instead, the common form of class socialization tries to selectively sustain those norms and values that hinder the proletariat from deciphering the reality it experiences (1970: 437).


The postwar period has seen the refutation and denial of the very existence of class. Authors such as Gorz (1982) and Bell (19xx) have declared the end of the working-class as a distinguishable category. More recently, in Le Monde Diplomatique, advisor to Tony Blair and Anthony Giddens (1999) is paraphrased as follows:

There is no longer any point in talking about a confrontation between management and labour. The working class has largely disappeared ("Privatising social democracy." Le Monde. July 1999: 16).

Has the Canadian working class likewise embraced the tenets of capital accumulation, and thus been incorporated within capitalism, or do they continue to survive separately, outside the mainstream? In this study I will focus on Local 222's highly concentrated workforce of auto assemblers, centred at General Motors, Oshawa in order to discover whether this heavily unionized (cite), workforce is in the process of transforming its traditional culture, lifestyle patterns and working-class consciousness. The chief question I am concerned with is whether GM Oshawa unionized autoworkers are becoming more middle class.

Abercrombie et al. (1980) contend that "..Marx and Engels did not adopt an incorporation theory (1980; 8) but neo-Marxian adherents view the proletariat through the blinders of the "ideological incorporation of the working-class in capitalist societies (1980; 8)," taking their lead from earlier works such as the German Ideology.

But as observed from within the confines of capitalism, the proletariat indeed appears to be a waning force under capital. In fact, the death of social class has been a persistent theme in the industrial West, especially during the postwar era. Devine (1992) indicates that

[o]ne of the main debates within British class analysis since the Second World War has centred on the demise of the working-class as a demographic formation and, more importantly, as a distinctive socio-political entity (1992:1).

Moreover, there has been much effort expended to convince members of 'advanced' industrial societies that the social political and material differences between the major social groups has all but vanished. But whether designated a 'working-class', 'proletariat' or other label, what is really being addressing is the distribution of social groups in relation to the prevailing structures of power, an Aristotlian precept (see Davies' reference to Aristole p.115 ff1. Note, however that this counters Marx's general assertion that class constitutes a bilateral relationship).

British Marxists Callinicos and Hartman (1987) contended that the demise of British Labour during the 1980s paralleled the very predicament that the British Labour Party faced during the 1959s. The apparent demise of Labour Party votes spurred Goldthorpe et al. in their quest to answer the question of the embourgeoisement of the British working masses. Almost two decades after the initial study Goldthorpe wrote:

There has always been a political underplot involved in this idea [that the working class has been obliterated as both a social and political force]. ... The claim that the working class is in decline has been used to justify the[ir] strategy of a 'broad democratic alliance' again Thatcherism stretching as far rightwards as the SDP-Liberal Alliance. [this]... definition of class which focuses on consumption is therefore likely to lead to a belief in the dissapearance of class antagonisms and the merging of working and middle classes. Those who argued, after labour had suffered three successive electoral defeats in the 1950s, that the working class was undergoing 'embourgeoisement' --becoming middle class -- appealed to the evidence of manual workers' greater affluence and changed lifestyles (1987: 3).

Within the Oshawa context, Goldthorpe's description parallels the view of former federal MP Michael Breaugh, the successor to past leader Ed Broadbent in the Federal riding of Oshawa. Breagh recently stated that:

[the NDP] ...has to address its connection with organized labour. We're kind of hanging out there, seen by our political enemies as the lackies of the trade union movement and seen by the trade union movement as being totally irrelevant. "You've got nothing to do with me and my life" (Mike Breaugh, Oshawa NDP MP, 1990-1993 on "The House" CBC Radio One broadcast, July 24, 1999).

A left-sectarian element might insist, when it comes to the question of social class membership, that it would be tempting to deny any definition which relates social class to a status position, or the purchase and consumption of goods, and simply cast one's lot with the so-called 'vulgar' Marxists. These high-minded adherents continue to make the flat assertion that class is plainly defined by one's relationship to the means of production, and nothing else. This oversimplification closes the door on questions that have confounded theorists for generations. These adherents hope to simply pose the question: 'do you sell your labour in order to survive?' If the answer is affirmative, then your objective class position is that of a member of the proletariat --like it or not-- or so the sectarian logic goes. But this particular definition of social class has largely faded from the collective memory of the current masses.

** The reader should note that John Goldthrope and David Lockwood's early work did maintain a production, not consumption view, although that shifted in their late 1970s work.

From the time of Marx's death until the beginning of World War I, Marxist theory tended to focus on the positivist side of his economic theories. That is, that the downfall of the capitalist mode of production was an inevitability as certain as Newton's laws of physics (Abercrombie et al, 1980; 9). A causal link was drawn between Marx's economic laws and the social organization of capitalism. In other words, as viewed in this stage of Marxist thought, "[t]he social could simply be read off from the economic (1980; 9)."

Among the more recent contributions to Marxist thought is a recognition of the existence of the multiple dimensions and varied, often antagonistic, relations between the major classes under capitalism. Social theorists such as Wright (1978) have taken great care to separate (the primarily economic) exploitative relations under capital, from its (primarily social) relations of domination.

The pivotal difference is captured by the contrast between the favorite buzz-words of each theorectical tradition: life chances for Weberians, and exploitation for Marxists. The reason why production is more central to Marxist and than to Weberian class analysis is because of its salience for the problem of exploitation; the reason why Weberians give greater emphasis to the market is because it so directly shapes life chances (Wright, 1996: 31).

A more nuanced outlook still, would recognize the durability of capitalism, its expansionary possibilities and adaptability, as well as its genuine contribution to the living standards of the industrial proletariat (use lifespan table from w.c. book). Within this framework, Livingstone and Seccombe (1996) write that

[u]nder capitalism, integrated subordination and economic marginalization are two sides of the proletarian condition (1996: 142).

There is no denying that a 'comfortable' lifestyle acquired via the purchase of consumer goods is a social construct (Livingstone, 1996: 142). But this is a condition to which only a minority of lucky souls within the ranks of the proletariat can look forward (cite). But the move from working-class origins to a middle-class occupation does not necessarily call for either a transformation of lifestyle or consciousness.

In the midst of the U.S. postwar economic boom, Miller noted (in "What's Happening to Our Social Revolution?" from Class, Status, and Power. Bendix & Lipset, 1966) that the myth of increasing income persisted - despite the actual existence of growing poverty. Yet, regardless of the existence of widespread poverty and high levels of economic disparity between the rich and poor in the United States, there seemed to be a general agreement that substantive levels of living were much higher than they were only a decade earlier. He noted that the general feeling (bolstered by optimistic pronouncements from a Kennedy administration advisor) was that "prospects for future increases are very good."

This parallels the current situation, where the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Without regard for the monumental discrepancy in the distribution of economic wealth, most Canadians apparently agree with Miller (cite) who notes that as long as the majority's share of assets is expanding, the "general agreement" is that the inconsistency seems to matter little. Curiously, this assumes that the share of wealth is more important than the gap itself. Miller cites Sumner Slichter who maintained that

Marx held that wages depend upon the customary wants of the laboring class. Wages, so determined, might rise in the long run. Hence, Marx conceded that real wages might rise, but not the relative share of labor. Even if real wages rose, misery would grow, according to Marx, since workers would be worse off relative to capitalists (1966: 623)."

Marx did briefly discuss the ancillary effects of capital accumulation on the working-class in Capital. During the explanation of the "technical composition" of capital and simple reproduction, he commented that "the demand for labour and the subsistence-fund of the labourers clearly increase in the same proportion as the capital (1867: 613)." Moreover, Marx remarked on the relatively beneficial conditions of the English proletariat during two distinct historical periods of accumulation, during both the 1400s and early 1700s, where:

[t]he more or less favourable circumstances in which the wage-working class supports and multiplies itself, in no way alter the fundamental character of capitalist production. As simple reproduction constantly reproduces the captial-relation itself ... so reproduction on a progressive scale ... reproduces the capital-relation on a progressive scale, more capitalists or larger capitalists at this pole, more wage-workers at that (1867: 615).

Thus the proletariat cannot help but to grow as simple accumulation swells and contracts their numbers. But there is another cause-and-effect relation that goes beyond the simple quantity of wage-workers:

[u]nder the conditions of accumulation supposed thus far, which conditions are those most favourable to the labourers, their relation of dependence upon capital takes a form endurable, or, as [Sir F.M.] Eden says: "easy and liberal." Instead of becoming more intensive with the growth of capital, this relation of dependence only becomes more extensive [my emphasis], i.e., the sphere of capital's exploitation and rule merely extends with its own dimensions and the number of its subjects. A larger part of their own surplus-product, always increasing and continually transformed into additional capital, comes back to them in the shape of means of payment, so that they can extend the circle of their enjoyments; can make some additions to their consumption-fund of clothes, furniture, &c., and can lay by small reserve-funds of money (Cap.v1. Chap. 25, Sect.1 [1867] 1967: 618).

The "easy and liberal" lifestyle which allows the current proletariat to "extend the circle of their enjoyments" does not seem to be all that different from the working-class of Marx's study. Although the process of accumulation results in an increase in wages, Marx indicated that the wage relation remains unchanged. Even under these conditions; the worker must still sell his labour-power to the capitalist.

But just as little as better clothing, food, and treatment, and a larger peculium, do away with the exploitation of the slave, so little do they set aside that of the wage-worker. A rise in the price of labour, as a consequence of accumulation of capital, only means, in fact, that the length and weight of the golden chain the wage-worker has already forged for himself, allow of a relaxation of the tension of it ([1867] 1967: 618).

At this stage the reader might ask: why not end this study here? After all, if the wage relation remains constant and the effects of accumulation on the wage-earner are predictable, then surely these **in the future I'll discuss Weber's market definition vs. Marx's relationship to Means of Production here**

The reader should note that it is not the evolution of a working-class lifestyle that is under examination, but rather the underlying class allegiance, or class consciousness, which is being considered here.

Within the Canadian context, for many generations, notions of a stable, continuous and progressive social mobility have prevailed. Inside this framework, it is maintained that workers have entered the ranks of the middle class, and moreover, they have done so by virtue of their 'generous' wages (and the resulting conspicuous consumption). A strata of industrial workers may now indulge themselves with once-taboo goods such as comfortable homes, multiple automobiles, summer cottages, boats, mutual funds and a plethora of consumer products, just to name a few.

The acquisition of commodities by the proletariat is often cited as the core reason that working-class people have turned their backs on social democratic political organizations, at least when they are given the opportunity to lend these political parties working-class votes and support (see CBC Radio, 1999).

[Former NDP MP Mike] Breaugh says the city's population has changed , and so has the city's workforce. Oshawa is still a union town, but it's no longer blue collar-- not with the money earned by GM workers (reporter Chris Hall on "The House" CBC Radio One broadcast, July 24, 1999).

It is generally argued that as workers gain monetary concessions from their employers, and consequently spend these earnings in a profligate manner on a multitude of consumer goods (see Ehrlich), they reach the hallmark of the middle-classes in a process known as embourgeoisement. However the connection between political consciousness and consumerism has yet to be firmly and empirically established.

A Brief Review of the Literature

At the three-quarter mark of the century, few works focused on the conundrum of finding a definition of either social mobility or embourgeoisement, or the factors which distinguish the two. While social mobility speaks of the movement from working-class origins toward middle class occupational roles, this does not necessarily mean the 'taking on' of a bourgeois lifestyle or consciousness. However, embourgeoisement refers to a working-class which is increasingly affiliated with the hierarchical order of capitalism. The former, a reference to the conscious, deliberate movement from a lower to a higher status role, the latter an involuntary, unconscious donning of a new ideological mantle. In a useful footnote, Davies (1970) complained that:

There are no satisfactory books which use changes in social stratification as the basis for a general theory of political change. Observations such as de Toqueville's and Durkheim's have hardly produced serious attempts at generalization. For the past half-century the main problems have been the refinement of definitions of mobility and the improvement of the tools of analysis (Davies, 1970: ff.122).

Social mobility refers to more than simply one's occupational role. It can also be defined in geographic, social and cultural spheres. In 1966, Gino Germani had formulated a nuanced three- level analysis of social moblility:

[t]he first is nature, individual (or group) characteristics, and quantity involved in mobility. The second is the intervening psycho-social variables such as gratification/frustration of individuals, acculturation, identification, personal adjustment. The third is the intervening contextual variables such as the structure of the stratification system, degree and rate of economic growth, and the configuration of mobile and non-mobile sectors (Davies, 1970: 46).

This allows for a much broader interpretation of mobility, well beyond mere occupational role, one which is situated within its proper context. For example, using Germani's schema one might ascertain class, racial, linguistic or gender mobility, and so forth. [**contrast Germani with Bordieu here]

The social mobility literature found its origins in the postwar period in Britain and the U.S. ** [Blauner in Alienation and Freedom does do a summary of the literature in the U.S.]

In the early 1960s, a large-scale British study found that there was no case to be made for the process of embourgeoisement among the relatively affluent Vauxhall Motors workers of Luton (Goldthorpe: 1968-9). Yet the popular press on both sides of the Atlantic consistently ignore the evidence that downward mobility is the most common form of movement among the major social classes (Devine: 1992).

In their landmark study, Goldthorpe, Lockwood, Bechhofer and Platt (henceforth referred to as Goldthorpe et al.), tested the embourgeoisement thesis among the autoworkers of Luton, England. As defined by Goldthorpe et al. (1968b) embourgeoisement asserts:

... the thesis that as manual workers and their families achieve relatively high incomes and living standards, they assume a way of life which is more characteristically 'middle class' and become in fact progressively assimilated into class-class society. This thesis of embourgeoisement ... has in most versions embodied the claim that affluence brings about a change in the political orientations and party loyalties of the more prosperous sections of the working-class. Indeed, the simple theory of the economic determination of politics which is implied by this thesis was regularly invoked throughout the decade of the 1950s to explain what then seemed to be the secular decline of the Labour Party as a political force. The examination of the political behaviour of a group of affluent workers is, then, in itself one way of testing the embourgeoisement thesis (Goldthorpe, 1968b: 1-2).


... A worker's prosperity, or lack of it, is only one element entering into the formation of his class and political awareness; and, when compared with the experiences and influences to which he is daily exposed at this place of work, in his local community, and within his own family circle, the effect of such purely material factors as level of income and possessions may well be a relatively minor one. The weakness of the affluence thesis is that it fails to take account of the worker's social relationships, and particularly of the way in which they affect the meaning which the individual worker places on the fat of his prosperity or privation. Indeed, the role of these social factors may be so strong as to override considerations of affluence altogether. For, even though it may be possible to find some degree of association between affluence and voting, it may still be the case that, if one controls for other, more theoretically relevant factors, this association no longer exists (Goldthorpe et al., 1968b: 48)


..the absence, as in the case of the workers we studied, of well-defined images of the social order, other than 'money' models of a rather peculiar abstractness, does not have to be interpreted either as betokening a basic incompatibility between class consciousness and mass society or as 'false' consciousness ... convincing support for the basic claim - that affluence tends to weaken working-class attachment to Labour - has never been adduced, and that, as we have seen, empirical investigation has tended largely to disconfirm this connection (Goldthorpe, 1969: 189-190).

Goldthorpe's et al.'s landmark (1968-69) study concluded that if a process of embourgeoisement was indeed to take place, that it would occur among the most advanced segment of industrial workers. [I'll say more in a future version]

However, while our main point remains that the embourgeoisement thesis, and the general view of industrialism of which it forms part, seriously exaggerate the changes in stratification that have accompanied the development of industrial economies, this point should perhaps be accompanied by two disclaimers. First, we do not, of course, seek to rule out the possibility of more basic changes occurring in the pattern of social stratification, and conceivably ones in the direction of a more 'middle-class' society, at some future stage. In this regard we would only observe that such changes would appear to depend on certain fairly radical institutional alterations -- in industrial organisation, in educational systems and so on--of a kind which have not yet occurred to any marked extent, and which are unlikely to do so unless purposive action of a political character is undertaken to that end. Secondly, and more importantly, in rejecting the idea of embourgeoisement as part of a logic of industrialism we in no way wish to imply that the effect of economic development on working-class social life has been a negligible one. On the contrary, our own research indicates clearly enough how increasing affluence and its correlates can have many far-reaching consequences--both in undermining the viability or desirability of established life -styles and in encouraging or requiring the development of new patterns of attitudes, behaviour and relationships (Goldthorpe et al., 1969: 163).

At all events, the thesis of the incipient embourgoisement of the working class - whether explicitly related to political events of not - gained considerable popularity in

Goldthorpe interpreter Fiona Devine, approached her study of the embourgeoisement question this way:

Do working-class people lead home-and family centred lives as Goldthorpe and his colleagues found among their sample over twenty-five years ago? Or do their life-styles now take a communal form more usually associated with the 'traditional' working-class? Do their aspirations centre on the desire for material well-being in general and domestic comfort in particular, or do they hold other ideals? Are their social and political perspectives shaped by individual consumer aspirations or do working-class collective identities still inform their political attitudes and behaviour? In what ways do people's daily lives shape their aspirations, social, industrial and political perspectives. It is, therefore, a study of the relationships and interconnections between different aspects of people's everyday lives (Devine, 1992: 5).

Elizabeth Jelin (1979), claimed that it was difficult to find a "single conceptual framework" (1979: 246) underlying the variety of usages for the term embourgeoisement. She professed that

Interpretations ... were based on two types of empirical evidence. First, many of the attitude surveys carried out after the war presented the image of an "integrated" worker who does not contest the existing political system; who defines his interests in terms of reformist short-term gains rather than of a revolutionary alternative model of social organization; and who is willing to fight for his grievances only within established economic and political frameworks. Second, the standard of living of the working-class in advanced capitalist countries has improved considerably over the last few decades, and the image of an affluent society with affluent workers is gaining acceptance (1979: 247).

But this interpretation is an almost metaphysical one, which lacks real bodies but is abound with images of satiated workers; attitude surveys present an image of an integrated (read unalienated) worker generally pleased with the status quo, while another image of an affluent worker in an affluent society gains widespread acceptance. Which image came first?

Here, workers are seen as more or less fully integrated within capitalism and possessing instrumental interests which serves their desire for more and better material goods. These goods are purchased courtesy of an improved standard of living. The logic sees individuals' needs satisfied by goods. This logic in turn portrays individuals' own view of themselves as fitting into an increasingly affluent society with a more advantaged citizenry, hence a general lack of interest in changing the status quo. Any further modifications can be made within the confines of the present socio-economic system.

Thus the revolutionary imperative which would see the working-class overthrowing capitalism in an effort to cease their own exploitation and domination has withered away, not social classes themselves. Far from being adverse to taking action as a class, workers are deemed to be 'pleased' with the prevailing socio-economic system. In this framework, domination is moot and exploitation is disregarded. Work becomes the means to purchase greater chunks of commodities, and nothing else.

The primary meaning of work ... as a means to an end, or ends, external to the work situation; that is, work is regarded as a means of acquiring the income necessary to support a valued way of life of which work itself is not an integral part. Work is therefore experienced as mere 'labour' in the sense of an expenditure of effort which is made for extrinsic rather than intrinsic rewards (Goldthorpe (as quoted in Mackinnon) in Mackinnon, 1980: 4).

In other words, the working class is appraised as being more open to counterrevolution, receptive to the notion of defending, rather than overthrowing, the status quo. Here, workers are seen as being immensely attached to their material possessions, and labour in order to attain these goods.

In a singular irony of particular note, it is workers' own class-based organizations --their labour unions-- which are regarded as chiefly responsible for elevating their members' living standards, thus propelling workers away from their customary, class-based collectives and toward individual consumer aspirations. Furthermore, this move toward private consumption has the effect of driving workers away from the ranks of the very bodies that hold the potential to develop revolutionary class consciousness (Lenin: xx) --trade unions-- and into the higher station of the bourgeoisie.

Conversely, David McLennan (1982) tells us that:

Marx underestimated the later role of Trade Unions and the possibilities of improvement in the position of the proletariat without recourse to revolution (1982: 180).

This is a testament to the power of unions and what they can accomplish under more democratic forms of capitalism; the improvement of living and working conditions among the working-class can be realized without the need to overthrow the machinery of the state or the upheaval of society. The social implications are nothing short of miraculous: for the first time in history, major social changes could occur without a single drop of blood being shed. The material improvement of a lower order of social class was now a possibility without violence. Under these conditions, who could blame the Western proletariat for not supporting a revolutionary program?

As Tanner et al. write:

Immanence refers to a teleological conception of consciousness that is common to various strands of Marxism. Capitalism is portrayed as inherently fragile and fraught with contradictions that will eventually necessitate social change. In terms of the direction of change, workers are assumed to be inimically opposed to capitalism and drawn towards socialism in the course of class struggle. This is not to suggest that socialism is inevitable or 'just around the corner'. Quite the contrary, in fact, since much marxist theory is directed towards accounting for why revolution has not occurred. In this regard, immanentism entails not the rejection of the original assumption of a revolutionary working class, but the search for factors that have retarded its development (Tanner, 1992).

Thus Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony is popular among Western Marxists. Hegemony has been assigned the suppressor role among Marxists and is the key to understanding compliance and consent in the workplace. This offering was his major contribution to the writings of Marx, and later Lenin. Gramsci considered Marx as having greatly misjudged the pliable and adaptable nature of capitalism. Gramsci believed that too little attention had been paid to the ideological superstructure of capitalism and too much attention paid to the economic base. He believed that the masses still clung all too tightly to the capitalist visions of liberty, equality and democracy. It would not be otherwise until the back of bourgeois ideology could be broken.

Thus I conclude this section of my meanderings on working-class affluence, integration and subordination. Again I caution the reader that these remarks were meant to clarify my own thesis question and are wholly underdeveloped.

This Revision: Tuesday, October 26, 1999