A sense of the collective was alien to most Americans. Not so surprising. All that shovelling individualism down their throats.
Social class depended on the relationship to the means of production. If you owned the factories and businesses, you were in the capitalist class.
If you were a worker in a factort, you were in the working class. Workers were taught a false consciousness [ideology]. A belief system that justifies inequality.
Workers were persuaded everyone had the same opportunity to succeed. If someone were in poverty, it was his own fault. He was lazy and unmotivated.
Workers exhibited a false consciousness by identifying more with the capitalist class than with members of their own rank.
Workers had to unite and develop a class consciousness. A feeling of unity with one’s class and the belief that inequality was unjust.
Social class was the wallpaper in America’s front rooms. Classism was rarely used to describe class discrimination. Yet the so-called underclass were labeled inferior.
Whiteness was the distinction many clung to when they had nothing else. Yet poor whites always had more in common with poor blacks than with anyone else.
‘White trash’ were the primary targets of the eugenics movement. Sterilization would prevent the cycle of poverty and ignorance.