Frasi di Edmund Burke

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Edmund Burke

Data di nascita: 12. Gennaio 1729
Data di morte: 9. Luglio 1797
Altri nomi:ਐਡਮੰਡ ਬਰਕੀ, Эдмунд Берк

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Edmund Burke, detto il Cicerone britannico , è stato un politico, filosofo e scrittore britannico di origine irlandese, nonché uno dei principali precursori ideologici del romanticismo inglese.

Per più di vent'anni sedette alla Camera dei Comuni come membro del partito Whig , avversari dei Tories . Viene ricordato soprattutto per il suo sostegno alla lotta condotta dalle colonie americane contro re Giorgio III, anche se si oppose alla loro indipendenza, lotta che portò alla Guerra di indipendenza americana, come anche per la sua decisa opposizione alla Rivoluzione francese con l'opera Riflessioni sulla rivoluzione in Francia. Il dibattito sulla rivoluzione rese Burke una delle figure principali della corrente conservatrice del partito Whig , in opposizione ai “New Whigs” filo-rivoluzionari, guidati da Charles James Fox. Burke pubblicò anche opere filosofiche sull'estetica e fondò l'«Annual Register», una rivista politica. La polemica di Burke sulla Rivoluzione stimolò il dibattito in Inghilterra: ad esempio l'anglo-americano Thomas Paine rispose alle Riflessioni con I diritti dell'uomo, mentre William Godwin scrisse l'Inchiesta sulla giustizia politica condannando gli esiti sanguinosi della rivolta, ma senza ripudiare i principi che l'avevano ispirata, come fece invece Burke.

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Frasi Edmund Burke

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„È lenta la marcia della mente umana.“

—  Edmund Burke
da The Second Speech on Conciliation with America, 1775

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

—  Edmund Burke
This is probably the most quoted statement attributed to Burke, and an extraordinary number of variants of it exist, but all without any definite original source. They closely resemble remarks known to have been made by the Utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill, in an address at the University of St. Andrew (1 February 1867) http://books.google.com/books?id=DFNAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA36&dq=%22Bad+men+need+nothing+more+to+compass+their+ends,+than+that+good+men+should+look+on+and+do+nothing%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RUh5U6qWBLSysQT0vYGAAw&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22Bad%20men%20need%20nothing%20more%20to%20compass%20their%20ends%2C%20than%20that%20good%20men%20should%20look%20on%20and%20do%20nothing%22&f=false : Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. The very extensively used remarks attributed to Burke might be based on a paraphrase of some of his ideas, but he is not known to have ever declared them in so succinct a manner in any of his writings. It has been suggested that they may have been adapted from these lines of Burke's in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/LFBooks/Burke0061/SelectWorks/HTMLs/0005-01_Pt02_Thoughts.html (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." (see above)

„Parties in religion and politics make sufficient discoveries concerning each other, to give a sober man a proper caution against them all.“

—  Edmund Burke
Context: I need not excuse myself to your Lordship, nor, I think, to any honest man, for the zeal I have shown in this cause; for it is an honest zeal, and in a good cause. I have defended natural religion against a confederacy of atheists and divines. I now plead for natural society against politicians, and for natural reason against all three. When the world is in a fitter temper than it is at present to hear truth, or when I shall be more indifferent about its temper, my thoughts may become more public. In the mean time, let them repose in my own bosom, and in the bosoms of such men as are fit to be initiated in the sober mysteries of truth and reason. My antagonists have already done as much as I could desire. Parties in religion and politics make sufficient discoveries concerning each other, to give a sober man a proper caution against them all. The monarchic, and aristocratical, and popular partisans have been jointly laying their axes to the root of all government, and have in their turns proved each other absurd and inconvenient. In vain you tell me that artificial government is good, but that I fall out only with the abuse. The thing! the thing itself is the abuse! Observe, my Lord, I pray you, that grand error upon which all artificial legislative power is founded. It was observed that men had ungovernable passions, which made it necessary to guard against the violence they might offer to each other. They appointed governors over them for this reason! But a worse and more perplexing difficulty arises, how to be defended against the governors? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? In vain they change from a single person to a few. These few have the passions of the one; and they unite to strengthen themselves, and to secure the gratification of their lawless passions at the expense of the general good. In vain do we fly to the many. The case is worse; their passions are less under the government of reason, they are augmented by the contagion, and defended against all attacks by their multitude.

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