I do not believe that human culture can ever reach a perfect synthesis of its diversified and incompatible components. Its very richness is supported by this very incompatibility of its ingredients. And it is the conflict of values, rather than their harmony, that keeps our culture alive.-- Leszek Kolakowski
Added 24 July, from FT obit:
One of the crucial European traditions is the ability ... to look at one’s own civilisation with the eyes of others. We should be able to look at ourselves self-critically. If we are unable to do that, our civilisation will destroy itself.