It is generally known that infinite symmetric groups have few nontrivial normal subgroups (typically only the subgroups of bounded support) and none of small index. (We will explain later exactly what we mean by small). However the standard analysis relies heavily on the axiom of choice. By dint of a lot of combinatorics we have been able to dispense—largely—with the axiom of choice. Largely, but not entirely: our result is that if X is an infinite set with ∣X∣ = ∣X × X∣ then Symm(X) has no nontrivial normal subgroups of small index. Some condition like this is needed because of the work of Sam Tarzi who showed  that, for any finite group G, there is a model of ZF without AC in which there is a set X with Symm(X)/FSymm(X) isomorphic to G.
The proof proceeds in two stages. We consider a particularly useful class of permutations, which we call the class of flexible permutations. A permutation of X is flexible if it fixes at least ∣X∣-many points. First we show that every normal subgroup of Symm(X) (of small index) must contain every flexible permutation. This will be theorem 4. Then we show (theorem 7) that the flexible permutations generate Symm(X).