Open Cultural Studies 2 (1):236-248 (2018)

Claudia Leeb
Washington State University
Why did the white working classes in the United States and elsewhere turn to the far right instead of uniting with the raced and gendered working class to overthrow capitalism? In this paper, I bring core concepts coined by Karl Marx in conversation with Jacques Lacan to show how the far-right exploited desires and fears around subjects' fundamental non-wholeness, which the insecurities of neo-liberal capitalism have heightened, for its political gain. I explain how the far-right offered its followers several unconscious fantasy objects petit a to cover over subjects' non-wholeness: first, the money fetish, which is also at the center of the American Dream, serves to secure the illusion of wholeness on earth; second, religion offers the illusion of wholeness in the sky, producing subjects who endure rather than rebel against their suffering on earth. Finally, it brands the sexed and raced working classes as inferior to uphold the illusion of the white working-class subjects as superior and whole, which further undermines the creation of a revolutionary proletariat.
Keywords Karl Marx   Jacques Lacan  United States  Far right
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rebelling Against Suffering in Capitalism.Claudia Leeb - 2018 - Contemporary Political Theory 17 (3):263-282.
Marx and the Gendered Structure of Capitalism.Claudia Leeb - 2007 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (7):833-859.
Lacan, Marx E Il Sintomo.Bruno Moroncini - 2012 - International Journal of Žižek Studies 6 (4).
A Cause Without Rebels? Om emancipationens forsvundne subjekt.Andreas Beck Holm - 2015 - Slagmark - Tidsskrift for Idéhistorie 71:29-43.
Rich Conscious Perception Outside Focal Attention.Ned Block - 2014 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18 (9):445-447.
Political Consciousness in Marxist Theory.Oliver Ohaeri Iwuchukwu - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
Marx in America: The New Deal.John F. Manley - 2003 - Science and Society 67 (1):9 - 38.


Added to PP index

Total views
165 ( #66,553 of 2,461,991 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #31,691 of 2,461,991 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes