Concordance to Crooked Timber of Humanity

compiled by Nick Hall

The current edition (2013) uses a freshly revised text, forming the second edition. All previous issues of Against the Current used the typesetting of the first, 1990, edition. This updated edition also adds several letters written by Berlin in the form of appendices, and should be the edition referred to in all new translations.The concordance does not include the 2013 foreword or appendix, since these were not present in the first edition.

1990    First Line     US 1991–9  US 2013 
1 There are, in my view, two factors 1 1
2 such ends of life are based. These beliefs 2 2
3 social thinkers, of the mid-nineteenth century 3 3
4 solutions to the central problems existed 4 4
5 impressed by the vast new realms 5 5
6 discovery of these truths; in the third 6 6
7 reason would triumph; universal harmonious 7 7
8 how to seize opportunities and use 8 8
9 itself and of its relations to its own 9 9
10 Machiavelli conveyed the idea of 10 10
11 ‘I prefer coffee, you prefer champagne. 11 11
12 know what they mean. If they are human, they 12 12
13 for the liberty of others, to allow justice 13 13
14 accepted as unbreakable law; or 14 14
15 This seems to me a piece of metaphysical 15 15
16 the motive, the millions slaughtered 16 16
17 If the old perennial belief in the 17 17
18 maintain a precarious equilibrium 18 18
19 in a moment of illumination, ‘Out of 19 19
20 The idea of a perfect society is a very old 20 20
21 is, Utopia cannot be Utopia, for then 21 22
22 What is common to all these worlds 22 23
23 inspiring anti-Roman revolts 23 24
24 notion of the broken unity and its 24 25
25 with one another. At best, these truths 25 26
26 Let me continue with this argument 26 27
27 the nature which surrounds him 27 28
28 by Socrates, developed by Plato 28 29
29 faculties and powers. Crime, vice, 29 30
30 better to dominate them and exploit 30 31
31 drink, shelter and security; all men want 31 32
32 possibility that the Christian and the 32 33
33 obey Rome. Why should Franks, Teutons 33 34
34 plants and minerals, in zoology, botany, chemistry 34 35
35 that which is irrational in man. 35 36
36 height which it reached in the quattrocento 36 37
37 dross – the perishable goods of 37 38
38 is an enormous fallacy. Homer is not 38 39
39 own, whose behaviour, reactions 39 40
40 man’s or a people’s nature, which depends 40 41
41 Weltanschauung. For the young Friedrich 41 43
42 Not so those who are influenced by the 42 44
43 those of modern Frenchmen, then a 43 45
44 as it has remained to this day. It is clear that 44 46
45 pessimism of the bourgeoisie made uneasy 45 47
46 organisation of human life. But enough progress 46 48
47 thing’; good government versus self-government 47 49
48 it might yet prevent mutual destruction 48 50
49 The study of their own past has long been 49 51
50 sinful or foolish, but real and unalterable 50 52
51 consequences of their activities, what 51 53
52 the peaks, not the valleys, of the 52 54
53 another on the banks of the Oxus 53 55
54 The very notion of cultures – of 54 56
55 studied seriously and sympathetically 55 57
56 immutable natural law, whether as 56 58
57 not celebrate this as a virtue 57 59
58 vision, to set aside which in response 58 60
59 generalised types of Livy or Tacitus 59 61
60 other visions and values, but never wholly 60 62
61 In a sense, the mere existence of an 61 63
62 critical methods insufficient – but the 62 64
63 and in some ways the most formidable opponent 63 65
64 to us, and in our words, not theirs; 64 66
65 of expression, their values, outlook 65 67
66 quod semper, quod ubique 66 68
67 not, for that very reason, possess 67 70
68 up with a culture some aspects of which 68 71
69 by his own conscious aims as well 69 72
70 It is an accepted truth that the central 70 73
71 disease, insecurity, poverty, misery, injustice 71 73–4
72 universality of ultimate human values, founded 72 75
73 centaurs and dragons, miracles and prodigies 73 76
74 every kind of civilised man there is Diderot’s 74 76–7
75 each stage of the historical cycle of 75 77–8
76 a systematically misleading, at worst scarcely 76 79
77 relativism of Vico and Herder which 77 80
78 appearance or illusion and reality entailed 78 81
79 cruel and avaricious élite of ‘heroes’ 79 82
80 by different societies at various times, or by 80 83
81 [illus]tration of this view. 81 84
82 At the heart of the best-known type of modern 82 85
83 we shall see that the values of these remote 83 86
84 but no progress towards an optimum. But for 84 87
85 Relativism is not the only alternative to 85 88
86 see other worlds through the eyes of those whom 86 89
87 society. Herder is not being inconsistent 87 90
88 in his polemic against Voltaire’s disparaging 88 91
89 one with the Enlightenment: there is only one truth 89 92
90 entirely, a legacy of the schools of thought which 90 93
91 The personality and the outlook of Joseph de Maistre 91 95
92 to be fitted into the familiar categories 92 96
93 and Novalis, of illuminists and Martinists 93 97
94 the doctrines and the acts of the French Revolution 94 98
95 him) calls him the ‘hangman’s friend’ 95 99
96 future issue. This is a point of view 96 100
97 The problem uppermost in public consciousness 97 101
98 Consequently attempts to analyse this state 98 102
99 destinies of men and nations. Conservatives 99 103
100 The Constitution of 1795, just like its 100 104
101 power, whether by monarchs or popular assemblies 101 105
102 relatively trivial differences. The two men 102 106
103 Joseph de Maistre was born in 1753 103 107
104 his life long ecumenism – his yearning for 104 108
105 not unlike that to be found in conservative 105 109
106 and power, and of course an unyielding adversary 106 110
107 [re]ligion and ethics, while Hume did not 107 111
108 and knowledge of them, if it were spread 108 112
109 harmony and eternal peace, the necessity 109 113
110 Bourdaloue, in fact did not owe a great deal 110 114
111 Marquis de Condorcet? The very opposite; that 111 115
112 This is Maistre’s famous, terrible vision 112 116
113 founded on the social contract between the quick 113 116
114 Yet life is not for Maistre a meaningless slaughter 114 117
115 or his society’s ends, to perceive them 115 117–8
116 maintenance of the fixed and rigid hierarchy 116 119
117 horizontal cross, he raises his arm; there 117 120
118 This is not a mere sadistic meditation about 118 121
119 masters must do the duty laid upon them 119 121
120 such creatures they would have made themselves 120 122
121 advances to subject him to the same fate if he can 121 123
122 all it is thought to be, mad and destructive. 122 124
123 be more irrational than marriage and the family 123 125
124 justified only when it derives from that tendency 124 126
125 the world of grace and that of nature 125 127
126 nation, that is by a political faith 126 128
127 reactionaries who immured themselves against 127 129
128 Rome, but much the best that can be achieved 128 130
129 Revolution drew weapons from that great armoury 129 131
130 whereby it can be questioned, and omnipotent 130 132
131 divine providence, even though they may not 131 133
132 or madness that is at work. 132 134
133 The eighteenth century is full of paeans 133 135
134 plunged into cruel massacres, what are these rights? 134 136
135 conservatives and churchmen. More immediately 135 137
136 but against usurpers. The Spanish Inquisition 136 138
137 Pascal, Maistre decides that he owed nothing 137 139
138 benefit of a private individual. If a man has 138 140
139 Protestantism had disrupted the unity of mankind 139 141
140 Maistre’s, as it is in Tolstoy’s, doctrine 140 142
141 Bonald firmly deny. To think is to use symbols 141 143
142 enough in the face of the militant lack of historical 142 144
143 memories of a people or a church, to reform 143 145
144 and the group of advisers with whom Tsar Alexander 144 146
145 supposed that society was an artificial 145 147
146 which shallow thinkers who ignore both facts 146 148
147 again: ‘Every time something is perfected in 147 150
148 government.’ He detests it because it is arbitrary 148 150
149 (which men like Robespierre are deluded enough 149 151
150 said Bonald (quoting Bossuet and echoed by Dostoevsky 150 152
151 especially after the Emperor’s liberal phase was 151 153
152 it on religious authority – control by priests 152 154
153 effect rigorously followed in Russia for half a 153 155
154 Again: what an inexplicable delusions, whereby a 154 156
155 which might be conceived by ignorant or 155 157
156 which would lead to the dismemberment of that 156 158
157 father, a loyal, delightful and sensitive friend 157 159
158 friends have left to the sweetness of his character 158 160
159 more darkness. Voltaire hated the Roman Church so 159 161
160 shock treatment, has entered into modern political 160 162
161 An eminent philosopher once remarked that, in 161 163
162 pattern in which what had earlier seemed to be a casual 162 164
163 possessed by men before the Flood, of which 163 165
164 by it. What then of written constitutions? 164 166
165 And whence do prelates, nobles, great officers of 165 167
166 proposition that whatever is written is a feeble 166 168
167 social scientists, the bold political and economic 167 169
168 sharp, by no means useless, antidote to their 168 170
169 among the first to use the term ‘société des nations’ 169 171
170 said, ‘… it is like an orang-utan among the apes’ 170 172
171 is by that token the instrument chosen by providence 171 173
172 do, by deduction from such general notions as the 172 174
173 mystery which alone resisted sceptical enquiry 173 175
174 sinful, helpless human beings, torn by contradictory 174 176
175 It is by now a melancholy commonplace that no century 175 186
176 assumed, was equally visible to all rational minds 176 187
177 outside it; so that if there is a conflict between my 177 188
178 but ‘scientific’ analysis will always reveal that 178 189
179 try to save their reactionary brothers from defeat 179 190
180 men to look on many millions of their fellow men 180 191
181 world is but a fragment, and in my framework 181 192
182 interpreters of God – churches and priests – and 182 193
183 common to all men – that the needs were all 183 194
184 opponents believed that every man could in 184 195
185 neuroses, forms of personal or social malaise 185 196
186 heart and mind and soul had not been perverted could 186 197
187 nothing that can be called ‘my’ as against ‘your’ 187 198
188 concepts of biological drives and goals and those of 188 199
189 expert, the sage – in virtue of which indeed he was 189 200
190 knows to be his mission, of what the inner voices tell 190 201
191 sovereign will on dead matter, afterwards so 191 202
192 enters into life as part of its essence, not as something 192 203
193 acquired in the early nineteenth century an absolute 193 204
194 Napoleon, whose art is the making of states and peoples 194 205
195 other tribes, to this man and this civilisation but 195 206
196 walls and hedges against the chaos caused by absence 196 207
197 classical tradition, and had entered deeply into 197 208
198 private feelings, the composition of one’s own blood 198 209
199 ‘liquidation’, and Trotsky, in an equally picturesque 199 210
200 Too many men were prepared to defend their principles 200 211
201 sometimes even denied that there is a source to seek 201 212
202 equality, we may sacrifice some degree of 202 213
203 we accept them? May it not be true, as some 203 214
204 little finger, or someone who genuinely sees no harm in 204 215
205 do not recognise them, they must be lying or deceiving 205 216
206 evidence, whether they pretend otherwise or not 206 217–8
207 The history of ideas is a comparatively new field 207 219
208 realism; or tolerance, even though these virtues 208 220
209 which seems to me to have become articulate in 209 221
210 prophets and seers, the doctrine and tradition of 210 222
211 from it, or some other breach in the original harmony 211 223
212 rest on the three pillars of social optimism in the west 212 224
213 Communist Manifesto to modern technocrats, communists 213 225
214 other, emotion has never been absent from human relationships 214 226
215 the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning 215 227
216 purchased only at the price of putting chains on the free 216 228
217 determinism that reigns in nature – on which 217 229
218 follow only through some mistaken conception of what 218 230
219 sprang from wounded pride. The German reaction at first 219 231
220 Leisewitz, Lenz, and even the gentle Carl Philipp Moritz 220 232
221 force, social or natural, that is celebrated. Nothing 221 234
222 children by him, she is a true tragic heroine 222 235
223 Nowhere was German amour propre more 223 236
224 delicate plants which great conquering empires – Rome 224 237
225 universally right in Kant, but something which 225 238
226 that I am what I am, aware of my aims, my nature 226 239
227 must identify my own finite desires if I am to 227 240
228 before I have painted it? Where indeed? 228 241
229 Manfred, Beppo, Conrad, Lara, Cain – who 229 242
230 again, ‘God brooded over the void and a world arose’ 230 244
231 genius but by his heroic readiness to live and die 231 245
232 sociological – no less than that of common sense 232 246
233 living is discovered to be the dead; the organic 233 247
234 Dostoevsky’s underground man, and Kafka’s lucid 234 248
235 Marx to integrate the tensions, paradoxes and 235 249
236 bold, universal, once-and-for-all panacea. It may 236 250
237 as individual liberty and social equality, spontaneous 237 251
238 The rich development of historical studies in the 238 253
239 future. Prophecy, which had hitherto been the 239 253
240 from Condorcet’s dreams. So, too, Condorcet’s 240 255
241 [admin]istration of things’: this Saint-Simonian 241 256
242 pessimists begin. The poet Heine warned the French 242 257
243 return to a pre-capitalist and pre-industrial 243 258
244 emergence as a coherent doctrine may perhaps 244 259
245 place, as the French lumières taught, but 245 260
246 Countries. German towns and principalities, both 246 261
247 romantics, and, after them, of the Russian Slavophils 247 262
248 derive from them is certainly unjust. Even the 248 263
249 As for Marx and Engels, for them, I need hardly 249 264
250 Revolution, it is fair to say, was genuinely 250 265
251 [ob]structed the advance of the enlightenment 251 267
252 this may indeed account for the reaction of wounded 252 268
253 seem, to say the least, to weaken the orthodox Marxist 253 269
254 In the face of this, faith in countervailing forces 254 270
255 the validity of the laws and customs and ancient ways 255 271
256 issues of the future could be decided on the basis of 256 272
257 human beings as specifically human, that is, as 257 273
258 powers, to insult them into awareness of the totalitarian 258 274
259 is the very triumph of scientific rationalism everywhere 259 275
260 ‘interested error’ of the ruling class which rational 260 276
261 [resist]ance. There is something of the same 261 277