The 100 best phrases of Edmund Burke
Apr 27, 2022
Edmund Burke was one of the main referents of British culture. Irish-born writer, politician, and philosopher who was later known as the "Father of Conservative Liberalism" in the UK, Burke promoted a society that preserved its traditions despite the technological advance that would come, so it was against the Revolution French.
In this article you will find a summary of Edmund Burke best quotes, which express the philosophy and political views of this author.
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Great quotes from Edmund Burke
To remember his work and legacy, we have brought in this article a compilation of Edmund Burke's most memorable phrases about the importance of conservatism in society.
1. As the arts progress toward their perfection, the science of criticism progresses just as rapidly.
Art cannot exist without its critics.
2. Science is easily corrupted if we let it stagnate.
Science must be a tool to move forward, not to stop us.
3. Money is the technical substitute for God.
About the importance we give to money.
4. Abuses are like the old outdated: there comes a time when they stop commanding respect.
People get tired of being mistreated.
5. After love, sympathy is the divine passion of the human heart.
We respond better to people who are likeable.
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6. It is well known that ambition can both fly and crawl.
Depending on whether you dominate it or let yourself be dominated by it.
7. No group can act effectively if the concert is missing; no group can perform in concert if trust is lacking.
Trust is essential for an organized group.
8. Religion is essentially the art and theory of the reconstruction of man.
What he considers about the composition of religion.
9. Bad laws are the worst kind of tyranny.
An unjust law is the worst crime.
10. The only thing that evil needs to succeed is that good men do nothing.
Many times evil triumphs because there is no one interested in defeating it.
11. The people never renounce their liberties except under the deception of an illusion.
The only way peoples are dominated is with false hope.
12. People who never care about their ancestors will never look to posterity.
It is always necessary to learn from our history to build a better future.
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13. If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
It is better to leave something that works intact, instead of wanting to improve it and ruin it.
14. No work of art can be great except to the extent that it deceives; to be something else is only the prerogative of nature.
Talking about the false charm of works of art.
15. Superstition is the religion of weak minds.
There is even fanaticism that stems from superstition.
16. You should not do what a lawyer tells you, but what humanity, reason and justice tell you.
There are lawyers who only move for the money and the favors they can obtain.
17. Fear is the most ignorant, the most insulting, and the cruelest of advisers.
There is nothing beneficial when we are guided by fear.
18. Is intolerance to be tolerated?
A very interesting question to reflect on.
19. No passion so effectively removes the ability to act and reason from the mind as does fear.
Fear prevents us from moving forward.
20. Someone said that a king can make a noble, but he cannot make a knight.
Nobles could be anyone, but knights fought for honor.
21. The path of the human spirit is slow.
Slowly but surely, if we know how to listen.
22. The tyranny of a multitude is a tyranny multiplied.
A difficult tyranny to defeat.
23. Human society constitutes an association of the sciences, the arts, the virtues and the perfections.
We need all these elements to be complete.
24. In a democracy, the majority of citizens is capable of exercising the cruelest repression against the minority.
A warning about the danger of democracy.
25. Never despair. But if you get there, keep working despite the desperation.
Staying in despair makes us lose focus.
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26. All kinds of governments - and, in fact, all benefits and satisfactions, all virtues and prudent actions - are based on compromises and agreements.
Commitment is essential for any act.
27. The idea, speculative or practical, that it falls within the powers of the Government, as such, or even of the rich, by virtue of being rich, to provide the poor with those necessary goods that Divine Providence wanted to take away from them temporarily.
The government only leads a nation, it does not have the right to impose itself on its people.
28. Only one who has the capacity to suffer a lot can aspire to do great things.
People who overcome their difficulties are capable of great things.
29. Falsehood has a perennial spring.
Falsehood is a weapon disguised as kindness.
30. Laws, like houses, support each other.
The way in which the laws should work.
31. The law is the safety of the people, the safety of each of the governed and the safety of each of the rulers.
Therefore, the laws must protect and care for everyone equally.
32. Happy the one who was young in his youth, happy the one who knew how to mature in time.
Each stage of life must be lived.
33. The first and the simplest emotion that we discover in the human mind is curiosity.
Curiosity is the most natural emotion of people.
34. Freedom must also be limited to be possessed.
Unrestrained freedom becomes anarchy.
35. Vice itself loses half of its wickedness when he loses all of its rudeness.
When things stop having power over us, they get smaller.
36. Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.
Flattery creates self-centered and submissive alike.
37. What once separates men from God also separates men from men.
Human understanding must go beyond beliefs.
38. Someone who confuses good and evil is an enemy of good.
Because you can excuse a bad act, being a good intention.
39. The press, the fourth power!
The press has the power to communicate or destroy.
40. Just as wealth is power, so all power infallibly draws wealth to itself by one means or another.
The relationship between power and money.
41. Jealous love lights its torch in the fire of furies.
Jealousy are never good allies.
42. A great educator: time.
Time teaches us things that we did not understand before.
43. The age of the knight has passed. That of the sophists, the economists, the calculators has succeeded him; and the glory of Europe is gone forever.
Lamenting the way Europe was evolving at that time.
44. The concessions of the weak are concessions of fear.
Fear makes us vulnerable.
45. While shame watches, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be completely exiled from the minds of tyrants.
Shame can make us reflect on our actions.
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46. The kings will be the tyrants by policy when the subjects are rebellious by principle.
Criticizing both the crown and senseless rebellions.
47. Man according to his condition is nothing more than a religious animal.
A harsh view on people.
48. Your representative owes you, not only his industry, but also his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
Many threaten their workers to prevent them from disclosing their ill-treatment at work.
49. Between cunning and credulity, the voice of reason is stifled.
Two extremes in which we must not fall.
50. Contempt is not something to be hated. He can be endured with a calm and impartial mind.
Contempt is not always a bad thing, if it keeps you away from the wrong people.
51. Many times, a light supper, a peaceful sleep, and a serene morning emboldened even heroism. a man who, with a heavy stomach, little sleep, and a rainy morning, would have been a coward.
The simplest things are the most appreciated.
52. Liberty, not slavery, is the antidote to anarchy; just as religion, not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition.
What really eliminates ignorance.
53. Reading without reflection is like eating without digesting.
An apt comparison.
54. It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.
Perfection does not exist.
55. All human laws are, properly speaking, only declarative; they have no power over the substance of original justice.
Justice should try to be as fair as possible.
56. I know that sensitivity of principles was forever, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a painful wound.
The honor of yesteryear was left behind after the revolution and industrialization.
57. A war never leaves a nation in the same place it found it.
He always kills her.
58. A very large part of the evils that afflict the world derive from words.
Many hard-to-heal wounds are those caused by cruel words.
59. We cannot fight the future. Time is on your side.
And time never stops.
60. Men who go bankrupt always do so on the side of their natural inclinations.
People fall for their own ambitions.
61. The words of a poet are already acts.
Respecting the word of poetry.
62. The greater the power, the more dangerous its abuse.
This is because powerful people believe they are untouchable.
63. Tolerance is good for everyone, or it is not good for anyone.
We cannot tolerate something unfair just out of obligation.
64. There is a limit at which tolerance ceases to be a virtue.
It becomes a mockery for people.
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65. Education is the best defense of nations.
Education is the infallible tool to create whole people.
66. One must not always judge the generality of opinion by the noise of the acclamation.
Never fall into the trap of generalizing something.
67. Custom is the soul of states.
When something cannot be changed, it becomes routine.
68. Before congratulating ourselves for giving people freedom, we must ask ourselves what they will do with it.
There are tyrants who take advantage of freedom to suppress the people.
69. The biggest mistake is made by those who do nothing because they could only do a little.
All our actions count, big or small.
70. Custom reconciles us with everything.
Trying to make known the importance of traditions.
71. We all must obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.
When we don't adapt to changes, we fall behind.
72. But what is freedom without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; because it is foolishness, vice and madness, without guardianship or restriction.
A debauchery without responsibility.
73. The woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one.
Women are not objects.
74. We the people should be judicious, and realize that it is not by breaking the laws of commerce that we can hope to mitigate Divine disfavour.
A call to reflection on overthrowing the laws, instead of improving them.
75. The laws of commerce are the laws of Nature and therefore the laws of God.
Giving importance to the laws of commerce.
76. No one can mortgage her injustice as a pledge of her fidelity.
Fidelity must be a voluntary internal act, not an obligation.
77. What shadows we are, and what shadows we chase!
We chase what we need.
78. Abstract freedom, like other simple abstractions, cannot be found.
There is no such thing as abstract freedom.
79. As its ends cannot be achieved in many generations, not only the living participate in this association, but also those who have died and those who are yet to be born.
Everything we do today affects future generations.
80. Favoritism burdens us more heavily than many millions of debt.
Favoritism breeds injustice.
81. Many believe that moderation is a kind of treason.
Especially those who want to have absolute and unlimited power.
82. If we control our wealth, we will be rich and free. On the other hand, if our wealth dominates us, we will be poor.
A difference that not everyone can be clear about.
83. Our antagonist is our helper.
Because it makes us discover our true strength.
84. The various species of government compete with each other in the absurdity of their constitutions and in the oppression they make their subjects suffer. Take them in any form you like, in fact they are nothing more than a despotism.
Governments in an eternal power struggle.
85. Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.
A lesson that many nations have yet to learn.
86. Precocious and far-sighted fear is the mother of security.
When we move forward despite fear, we gain confidence.
87. Since he is the most shameless, he is also the most fearless. No man apprehends in his person that he can be subject to punishment.
They all believe that their actions are justified.
88. To please when taxes are collected and to be wise when one loves are virtues that have not been granted to men.
Unfortunately, public powers are exercised by less than human people.
89. He who fights against us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill.
They help us to be better.
90. The approval of their own acts has for them the appearance of a public judgment in their favor. A perfect democracy is therefore the most shameless thing in the world.
For Burke, democracy is a utopia for those who have delusions of power.
91. You can never plan the future through the past.
If you drag your past, you will never reach your future.
92. I need not apologize to Your Lordship, nor, I believe, to any honest man, for the zeal I have shown in this cause; because it is an honest zeal, and for a good cause.
Without regretting his ideals.
93. Consider the ravages committed in the bowels of all the republics.
For Burke, the Republics are the worst tyranny.
94. The passion for fame: a passion that is an instinct of all great souls.
Everyone has ever dreamed of being famous.
95. Man is not a finished creation.
We are constantly evolving.
96. No group can act with confidence if it is not bound by common opinions, common affections, common interests.
Every united group must have things in common to share.
97. Kings are ambitious; the haughty nobility; and the tumultuous and unruly populace.
The people in constant struggle against the monarchy.
98. Vices that might get little support from a state of nature, but flourish and flourish in the staleness of political society.
What is engendered in democracies.
99. I have defended natural religion against a confederation of atheists and theologians. I now advocate natural society against politicians, and natural reason against all three.
The origin behind its cause.
100. Complain about the times in which we live, gossip about the current rulers, lament the past and conceive extravagant hopes for the future, these are all dispositions common to most men.
Complaining is an excuse not to seek change.