In his 1869 essay On the Subjection of Women, John Stuart Mill uses a striking image to highlight an anomaly in the legal and moral structure of his world:

... The social subordination of women thus stands out an isolated fact in modern social institutions; a solitary breach of what has become their fundamental law; a single relic of an old world of thought and practice exploded in everything else, but retained in the one thing of most universal interest; as if a gigantic dolmen, or a vast temple of Jupiter Olympius, occupied the site of St. Paul's and received daily worship, while the surrounding Christian churches were only resorted to on fasts and festivals. This entire discrepancy between one social fact and all those which accompany it, and the radical opposition between its nature and the progressive movement which is the boast of the modern world, and which has successively swept away everything else of an analogous character, surely affords, to a conscientious observer of human tendencies, serious matter for reflection. ...

Are there other such colossal artifacts of injustice in our midst today, invisible to us by force of habit? (See perhaps ^zhurnal 31 December 2000 WorthRemembering2, 11 June 2000 SufferTheAnimals, and 24 November 1999 WhatCounts)

Thursday, May 03, 2001 at 05:57:36 (EDT) = 2001-05-03

TopicJustice - TopicSociety

(correlates: ChivalrousReasoning, GibbonChapter17, HerodotusOnFreedom, ...)