The history of western societies can be seen to involve the growth of groups or categories of persons who have obtained the right to be ‘heard’. This development has been an important part of the struggle for democracy and the dismantling of different types of autocratic and paternalistic forms of domination. Nowhere have rights to have a say in one’s own affairs been won without serious struggle. Without necessarily being a zero-sum game, it is evident that acquiring rights and privileges on the part of so-far suppressed people means reducing the power of hitherto superordinate groups of people. ‘Worker’s and ‘women’ are only the more conspicuous examples of collectivities who have obtained at least the formal right to defend their own interests.