We know oppression is bad, either in our hearts from experiencing it or in our brains from thinking beyond our own perspectives.
We believe all people are equal. A system that doles out unfair advantages to certain groups while systematically denying resources to other groups does so almost randomly. While history illuminates causes, they are rooted in both deception and misperception.
None of us deserves our lot; oppression is arbitrary. It is premised on the lie that some people are superior to others and it also perpetuates that lie by intentionally stratifying us. If society is the chorus of all our voices, an oppressive society is not the true sound of the choir.
If the goal of society is honesty–the self-determination of its peoples–it will fail so long as we do not hold the rectification of oppression as a primary concern. As Charles W. Mills writes, our discussions of justice cannot be taken seriously if we “ignore the central injustice on which the state rests.”
How do we gauge success? How do we know whether society is an honest reflection of us?