Cultural hegemony is the the notion that the ruling classes(The Rich People) have cultural hegemony. They determine the culture of a nation. And because of this the oppressed classes develop what is called “false consciousness”. False consciousness is when a working class person believes that his own interests are the same as the interests of the rich people.
An example of this would be how it was in the economic interest of rich people for the USA to go to war against Iraq so that private corporations could take the oil from the people of Iraq. This however is not in the interest of the working class because the price of gas is the same regardless of who owns it. However the working class man is convinced due to the corporate control of the media that it is in his or her interest to support the Iraq war and in some cases to even go to war and risk death so that the rich people can become richer.
In other words false consciousness is insanity. The Iraq war is an instance of working class people killing each other for the sake of the rich people. If a person is extremely wealthy that means they are a criminal.
“Ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker. Consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him; otherwise it simply would not be an ideological process. Hence he imagines false or seeming motive forces”.
The opposite of false consciousness is class consciousness. Class consciousness is the awareness of the oppression caused to society by capitalism. This capitalist system can oppress both the rich and the poor but the poor are more often the victims and the it is often the case that the immorality of the capitalist system is maintained and protected by the bourgeoisie class.