There can be no doubt the East German authorities were quite proud of their handiwork in building the wall. They even issued stamps celebrating its anniversaries. It did after all solve some pretty sticky problems for them. It stemmed the flow of their own population to the West, and forced the West to take them seriously. There followed a period of stability, and even a degree of prosperity, which eventually led to the much longed-for recognition of the East German State by the Western powers. Up to then, many West German newspapers had put inverted commas round the name of the East German State, like this -"DDR"- as though to constantly question its legitimacy. In the 1980's, these commas disappeared. East Germany had indeed become another country. It looked different, its people looked different. It even smelled different, due to the many dirty-engined Trabant cars that sputtered along the roads, in contrast to the Mercedes of the West. After a few visits to Berlin, I began making friends there, mainly among the Americans from the military garrison. They were amused by this crazy Brit, for whom Berlin was the centre of his mental universe. To me and my friends it seemed like the way things were then were how they would be for ever, and I would never lose 'my' Berlin. In next month's essay I'll go on to tell more about my experiences there, and the first straws in the wind which presaged the recent historical and political earthquake.
Berlin did not argue that the concept of positive liberty should be rejected — on the contrary, he recognised it as one human value among many, and one necessary to any free society.  He argued that positive liberty was a genuine and valuable version of liberty, so long as it was identified with the autonomy of individuals, and not with the achievement of goals that individuals 'ought to' 'rationally' desire.  Berlin argued, rather, that these differing concepts showed the plurality, and incompatibility of human values, and the need to analytically distinguish and trade-off between, rather than conflate, them.