‘Toughness’ and ‘credibility’ are leitmotifs that run through both Trumpian and Kissingerian deal-making. Both men insist that war and diplomacy are inseparable and that, to be effective, diplomats need to be able to wield threats and offer incentives in equal, unrestricted measure.
When the state is most corrupt, then the laws are most multiplied.
The populace is like the sea motionless in itself, but stirred by every wind, even the lightest breeze.
I just like being on my own on trains, traveling. I spent all my pocket money travelling the London Underground and Southern Railway, what used to be the Western region, and in Europe as much as I could afford it. My parents used to think I was going places, but I wasn’t, I was just travelling the trains.
In 1945, there were more people killed, more buildings destroyed, more high explosives set off, more fires burning than before or since.
But the citizens of Cincinnati loved their Reds because they won, no matter what their addresses had been the year before. They rooted for the Old-English ‘C’ on the players’ shirts.
As we get rich, the basics of life – food, clothing and shelter – become a very small part of total expenditure. And people have enough money to purchase things that enhance them spiritually, and I mean the word ‘spiritual’ not necessarily in a religious sense but in the sense that it adds to your feeling of well-being.
America is exceptional, it is asserted, because, with the exception of the abolition of slavery, it has been able to extend the promise of liberal reform mostly peacefully, through its democratic institutions.
While confronting the problems of the present, I often find myself thinking back to the world of books as it was experienced by the Founding Fathers and the philosophers of the Enlightenment.
American politics is theatre. There is a frightening emotionalism at national conventions.