What I am against is false optimism: the notion either that things have to go well, or else that they tend to, or else that the default condition of historical trajectories is characteristically beneficial in the long-run.
Obviously a primary liberal conviction is that we should be tolerant of other peoples' convictions. But if we believe in something, we had better find ways to say so convincingly.
The people whose necks hurt when I write about the Middle East tend to live in Brooklyn or Boca Raton: the kind of Zionist who pays another man to live in Israel for him. I have nothing but contempt for such people.
I grew up in a world where the social democratic state was the norm, not the exception.
Steven Patrick Morrissey
W. G. Sebald