Theories of domination are primarily attempts to understand the value of justice, freedom, and equality by examining cases where they are absent. Such theories seek to clarify and systematize our judgments about what it is to be weak against uncontrolled strength, i. There is, of course, considerable disagreement about what domination really is. Even so, theorists of domination tend to agree about this much: domination is a kind of unconstrained, unjust imbalance of power that enables agents or systems to control other agents or the conditions of their actions. The basic idea has the following components:.
When a people have lived under external domination for centuries, the nature of their existence calls for solidarity if they are to extricate themselves. In a society where status is ascribed on the basis of physical characteristics, individualism among the oppressed is a luxury which the group can ill afford. And individual instances of social mobility become a major method of cooptation. Unity, therefore, is a necessary precondition for liberation. It is not sufficient, for a unified people are not necessarily free from outside control, but without unity is is unlikely that liberation can be achieved.