War is smaller in scale than in recent memory, but it is far more ambiguous, intractable, and nasty. Money flows more quickly than ever, but it is still somehow manages to gather and puddle in certain places, for certain people rather then others.
Socrates was likewise right that pissing people off is how we first, and maybe best, go about the business of provoking thought.
Never before, I suspect, have so many people been so rich to so little purpose.
Books, like lives, are always unfinished even when they end, for to write is to struggle with contingency, to impose a certain false order upon the endless, and endlessly frustrating, nature of thought.
We tend to think of the problems of globalization and cultural identity as peculiar to our times. In fact they are rooted in ancient problems of civic belonging.
Ambition is ever tempered by experience. Otherwise, fortune makes fools of us all.
I hold to the idea that civility, understood as the willingness to engage in public discourse, is the first virtue of citizens.
Friendship requires a leap, not of faith but of regard.
Politics is rather the creation of the best possible polity out of the deep inner needs of its citizenry - who are only some of its members.
Paradoxically, the problems of politics often arise not in the form of a problem of scarcity, but as one of abundance.
Dreams are evidence that we are creatures who produce more meaning than we can ourselves understand.
We don't know what the future will bring, but that's because we are ever in the process of creating it, not because it is an alien force to which we have to submit.
But what I mean is not as odd as it might sound - and is by no means intended as the last word on the subject, only the first.
For every apparent gain, in short, we now observe a balancing danger. This is the world we have created.
Tyranny is abhorrent, freedom benefits all, whereas violence benefits no one for long.