Berlin has produced one good book, some entertaining essays and numerous reworkings of 19th-century liberal cliches. But his own liberalism offers an apologia for injustice, not a critique of it. No wonder Mario Vargas Llosa appropriates his ideas; no wonder John Bayley and Iris Murdoch gush over him. As for Alasdair MacIntyre, has he forgotten that broadcast long ago in which he appealed to the British working class to reject the system that exploits and oppresses them, including its tame academics? Britain, and the rest of the world, would be better off if there were more thinkers addressing the ills of the contemporary world and somewhat fewer content to be 'playful' and 'pragmatic' over drinks in the Senior Common Room.
Patrick Heenan and
London W2Reuse content