“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting”
Alas, it seems that the Kindle has backed up my colon!
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.
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.
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.”