An article in The Guardian today examines the reason behind working class support for the right in the US almost as if it were discovering something new. But of course the notion of hegemonic control is as old as the hills.
Imperial hegemony, where the control of states within your Empire was maintained by taking control over their culture was seen as a far more efficient and cost effective way of subjugating states than relying on military force.
The Marxist philosopher Gramsci applied the notion of class to the theory hegemonic control, using the term to denote the predominance of one social class over others. This represents not only political and economic control, but also the ability of the dominant class to project its own way of seeing the world so that those who are subordinated by it accept it as ‘common sense’ and ‘natural’.
Persuading the serfs that it is not only the right order of things for them to be serfs and their masters to be masters, but that it is also in their own class interest is the greatest conjuring trick of the ruling elites.