'Political utopias are a form of nostalgia for an imagined past projected on to the future as a wish . . . No matter that Greek democracy was built upon the institution of slavery; no matter that the Italian city-states were feuding and unequal oligarchies. Utopias never have to make their excuses to history; like all dreams they have a timeless immunity to disappointment in real life'.
Michael Ignatieff, The Needs of Strangers. London: Chatto & Windus, 1984): 107.