By Ralf Dahrendorf
The essays assembled during this quantity are a considerate and energetic observation on Europe after the revolution of 1989. needs to revolutions fail? definitely, the open society has its personal difficulties, now not least that of electorate looking for which means. the nice Society has to sq. the circle of prosperity, civility and liberty. Social technology may help us comprehend what has to be performed, and intellectuals have a accountability to begin and accompany swap. All this increases questions for Europe which expand a long way past the all too slim confines of the ecu Union.
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Extra resources for After 1989: Morals, Revolution and Civil Society
For two centuries it seemed good enough to devote the energies of liberty to the creation of wider options for more people, and to relegate deeper structures to the private sphere, or simply to assume their existence. Perhaps this is still good enough. If it is not, we are in trouble. Whatever citizenship and the open society are, they are not a new religion. In this respect too, Burke was right and the French Revolution was wrong. It remains important to know what we do not want, which is any kind of closure, of monopoly and of dogma.
However, I feel at home here, not just for reasons of style but for reasons of intellectual substance as well. The peculiar strength of St Antony's lies in the way in which its members bring historical depth and theoretical insights to bear on contemporary events. I like theory. Indeed I am not immune to the extravagant luxuries of non-Euclidean worlds of the human imagination. But as I grow older - and it has to be said that theory thrives on youth, so that ageing may be the real change which I am describing - I feel more and more strongly about what I like to call social analysis.
While he accepts that not everybody can stay in the same place forever, 'the tides of population must move slowly if old communities are not to be devitalized by emigration and new communities overwhelmed by unassimilable immigration. ' This is certainly not the American way of life, indeed it sounds like a positively anti-American defence of homogeneity. The subject is topical enough, and it is important to refrain from scoring cheap points. There are degrees of migration which are necessary and even desirable, but a point may well come when communities either lose their identity or are no longer able to assimilate newcomers.