Wikipedia: A long con is a scam that unfolds over several days or weeks and involves a team of swindlers, as well as props, sets, extras, costumes, and scripted lines.
The myth of the rugged American individualist works so well because it convinces the poor that they should not act in concert or they will never be rich. The rich, after all, have become that way by being rugged, independent entrepreneurs. Most of them have not, however, as Thomas Piketty has just demonstrated.
In general the rich have got that way by acting in concert, and the poor will remain poor as long as they fail to do the same. Schools, country clubs, corporate bureaucracies, professional societies, stock exchanges, and a wide variety of other social, economic and political organizations are the cooperative tools of a class that habitually acts in concert to advance its interests. One of the ways it advances them is to persuade the poor that nothing of the sort is going on: that each rich man got that way all by himself, and anyone who hopes to imitate him must do the same.