I wish my colon was clear

From flackette:

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting”

Edmund Burke

Alas, it seems that the Kindle has backed up my colon!

Burkean bells

There is an amusing modern historical anecdote to the author of this quote that possibly also explains why the sudden prevalence of interest in its author.

Edmund Burke was an Irish member of parliament in the 18th century who subscribed to the following philosophies:

  • against unrestrained power of the King;
  • for the use of political parties as principled opposition;
  • for the grievances of the Americans at the start and execution of the American Revolution;
  • against the French Revolution;
  • for institutions as a collection of human intellect; and
  • for traditions as the source of a moral life

Now that Barack Obama is president and the Republicans have lost control of the house, senate, and the majority of the electorate, you can see how “Burkean” liberal conservatism is back in vogue among the Republican party.

Here is an example from conservative columnist—and only man who’d fit in a salad bar at Applebee’s—David Brooks.

Yet [Obama’s plans] set off my Burkean alarm bells. I fear that in trying to do everything at once, they will do nothing well.

Principled opposition, against the power in the monarchy, restraint in the face of war—one wonders where his “Burkean alarm bells” were during the last eight years.

Another quote

Actually, Edmund Burke’s most famous quote was one he didn’t say:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

How Bartlett’s got got to this quote from:

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

is certainly worth “digesting.” 🙂

One thought on “I wish my colon was clear

  1. Here is another clearly apocryphal quote that I came upon today:

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
    —Thomas Jefferson

    From the similarity to the above, you can see that it is clearly fake.

    Note the use of “tyranny” in order to make the quote sound more authentic. This is reminiscent of many famous Jefferson quotes including:
    “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man.”
    —Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1800, quoted in the Jefferson Memorial.

    Interestingly, this quote, often used by Christian Nation defenders to show the belief in God for the Founding Fathers, is actually part of a tirade against organized religion.

    The word ordering is reminiscent of Thomas Paine.

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