Social democracy does not represent an ideal future; it does not even represent the ideal past.
American social arrangements, economic arrangements, the degree of inequality in American life, the relatively small role played by the government in American public life and so forth, compares to exactly the opposite conditions in most of the European societies.
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.
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.
As citizens of a free society, we have a duty to look critically at our world. But if we think we know what is wrong, we must act upon that knowledge.
No one wants to live in a wheelchair unable to talk, only winking once for yes and twice for no. It’s perfectly reasonable that there will come a point where the balance of judgment of life over death swings the other way.
In the grip of a neurological disorder, I am fast losing control of words even as my relationship with the world has been reduced to them.
It would be suicide in the American academy to show too early an interest beyond your doctoral specialization: charges of everything from charlatanry to ambition would be levied and tenure denied. I’ve seen this first-hand.
You don’t have to be Jewish to understand the history of Europe in the 20th century, but it helps.
Nationalist, anti-European, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim public political figures, seem a worrying picture of a possible European future. We could still fall back into pre-Europe… and it worries me.