MOVING MOUNTAINS

William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce

CHALLENGING A MINDSET WHEN IT’S WRONG

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this, that or the other, but it is “not done”. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, neither in the popular press nor in highbrow periodicals.   – George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier

Over the years a relative handful of people endeavoured with mixed success to move the goal posts in connection with:-

Chinese foot binding

Slavery

Duelling

‘Honour’ killing

Female genital mutilation

The plutocracy’s privatisation of the public’s rent

… amongst a number of other worthy reforms.

As Orwell says, it’s just “not done”. To achieve change is difficult, even when it’s essential. The current hegemony employs very tough minders.

It can never happen; so why bother?

All of which makes the challenge the more worthwhile.