Privilege and Tyranny

It is the nature of privilege and tyranny to be unconscious of themselves, and to protest, when challenged, that their horns and hooves are not dangerous, as in the past, but useful and handsome decorations, which no self-respecting society would dream of dispensing with. But they are the enemies, nevertheless, both of individual culture and of social amenity. They create a spirit of domination and servility, which produces callousness in those who profit by them, and resentment in those who do not, and suspicion and contention in both. A civilized community will endeavour to exorcise that spirit by removing its causes. It will insist that one condition, at least, of its deserving the name is that members shall treat each other, not as means, but as ends, and that institutions which stunt the faculties of some among them for the advantage of others shall be greatly recognized to be barbarous and odious. It will aim at making power, not arbitrary, but responsible, and, when it finds an element of privilege in social institutions, it will seek to purge it.

– R. H. Tawney