In the public consciousness of liberal states, and in the works of many academics, it is commonly assumed that a fundamental contrast even a vast and unbridgeable gulf exists between the forms of violence deployed by liberal and non-liberal states. A well-established tradition of writing presents liberalism as an ideology of quasi-pacifistic inclinations: troubled by violence, or at least by certain forms of violence such as the killing of civilians, and therefore reluctant to engage in it. The author uses liberal to refer to a broad ideological culture rather than a specific ideology or intellectual tradition. This ideological culture is defined by widespread belief in, and considerable realisation of, democratic political institutions, market-based economies, some manner of state welfare, and comparatively loose state control over public culture and expression. Similarly, from the earliest stages the bombing of German civilians occurred against the background of calls from both public and leaders in Britain for retaliation for the Blitz.