Notes on Liberty

John Gray, Literary Review, September 2015.


Today the thought that democracy can be repressive of liberty is all but forbidden. If a democratically elected government persecutes minorities, we are told, the reason can only be that democracy isn’t working properly. Berlin embodied an older tradition of liberal thought, which recognised that democracy may itself be illiberal – a truth that has not become less pertinent in the quarter of a century that has passed since he reminded his academic correspondent of it.

Literary Review