Thinkers like Foucault and Derrida chafe against these equivalences, even if they assert them as unavoidable. They would like a world made entirely out of differences. Indeed, like their great mentor Nietzsche, they think the world is made entirely out of differences, but that we need to fashion identities in order to get by…It is a mistake, however, to believe that norms are always restrictive. In fact it is a crass Romantic delusion. It is normative in our kind of society that people do not throw themselves with a hoarse cry on total strangers and amputate their legs. It is conventional that child murderers are punished, that working men and women may withdraw their labour, and that ambulences speeding to a traffic accident should not be impeded just for the hell of it. Anyone who feels oppressed by all this must be seriously oversensitive. Only an intellectual who has overdosed on abstraction could be dim enough to imagine that whatever bends a norm is politically radical.
Terry Eagleton, After Theory (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 14-15.