Cultural hegemony is defined by Gramsci as the creation of a cultural framework by the ruling class of a certain community to legitimize its power and to make the broader part of the population to accept the status quo as something natural that does not require to be changed or that can't be changed.
In the middle ages and prior, the ones in charge of cultural hegemony were often religious institutions that kept people under divine law. They legitimized the existance of kings, withheld all knowledge and prosecuted anyone critizing the status quo.
As soon as the holy texts started to be understood by more and more people, they realized the great incoherences that served to substantiate the church and, eventually, it began losing its grip through the renaisance.
Later on, a new ruling class was to emerge, challenge and ultimately defeat the Moarchy - the bourgeoise.
The bourgeoise has created its own far more complex form of cultural hegemony based on far more material things than the church which has made it far more difficult for people to get rid of.
This capitalist cultural hegemony consists of deluding the masses into believing that those that have achieved the greatest wealth have done sone solely by their own effort; deluding people into believing their condition is natural; the imposition of social darwinism; the creation of scientific management which to a great extent could be the cynical precursor to the current neoliberal cultural hegemony where individualism, economic competition and hostility have been exacerbated and where people have fallen into the new low of even feeling guilty for "not working hard enough" or break their backs of so others won't take their job from them. People have come to accept wage slavery to such an extent athat they're even eager to compete and give the maximum effort to preserve their position as slaves.
The new cultural hegemony includes witty terms such as "competitivity" to describe euphemistically the eagerness of a worker to be exploited and do as much effort to suffice the needs of his employer, being outstanding among workers. Or the creation of the term "human resources" which is the rather cynical objectification of people as nothing more than numbers useful to serve the interests of a company. Competitvity being the factor that makes the best workers to difer from the least useful. The realization of Frederick Taylor's scientific management.
Taylor in his theory of scientific management proposes that 1) knowledge on the productive process be isolated from the workers in orer for them to be impossible to independently work and thus making them dependant on companies and 2) that there's no better worker than the one that critizes the least and works the harder regardless of the load of work or its purpose. What would be defined as a "beast of toil".
Capitalist cultural hegemony has achieved to a great extent these objectives and the fall of the Soviet bloc which due to the collectivist nature of its capitalist proposal posed a threat and a concurrent to the neoliberal capitalist model, just sped the disemination of this cultural hegemony up and strengthened its position.
People have been dehumanized and transforme into nothing but cogs of a machinery. People now build their identity around the notion that they have to be succesful and "competitive" workers or should I say "wage slaves"? Or better yet "human resources".
It's become the priority of many to succeed first in these regards leaving their individuality aside. "I work my ass off to make someone else rich, then I exist", that's the motto of the new workers' generations.