We Are the New Oppressed

“In the liberal state, individuals negotiated for the right to live as they choose so long as they do no harm to others. In the contemporary state, groups campaign for something never before held to be the business of politics: recognition, regard, self-esteem. Culture has become political. So has self-image. The traditional curriculum of canonical texts – the Bible, Shakespeare and the rest – is held to represent the hegemony of dead white males, and must therefore be set aside. This body of literature leads excluded groups to have a negative self-image, and this impacts on their life-chances. Marx had spoken about economic oppression. His latter-day successors speak about psychological oppression: our group underachieves because it is discriminated against, if not explicitly then implicitly. This is an offence against the right of each group to self-esteem. We are the victims, not of a crime, but of a culture. We are the new oppressed.”

Morality, Chapter 14, p. 206