“The circumstances which surround different classes and individuals, and shape their characters, are daily becoming more assimilated. Formerly, different ranks, different neighbourhoods, different trades and professions, lived in what might be called different worlds; at present, to a degree in the same. Comparatively speaking, they now read the same things, listen to the same things, see the same things, go to the same places, have their hopes and fears directed to the same objects, have the same rights and liberties, and the same means of asserting them. Great as are the differences of position which remain, they are nothing to those which have ceased. And the assimilation is still proceeding.”

Dit schreef John Stuart Mill in 1859 in ‘On Liberty’. Zeer waarschijnlijk zou de filosoof zich doodschrikken als hij zich heden in om het even welke winkelstraat zou wagen, of even plaatsnemen voor de televisie, en geconfronteerd worden met bijvoorbeeld ‘De allerslimste mens van de wereld’, waarin hij Vlaanderens populairste politicus, de grote historicus Bart De Wever, de clown zou zien uithangen.  Nee, dat zou John Stuart Mill niet overleven. And the assimilation is still proceeding.