Frasi di Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke foto
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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.

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 [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 address at the University of St. Andrew (1 February 1867)] : 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 [http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/LFBooks/Burke0061/SelectWorks/HTMLs/0005-01_Pt02_Thoughts.html Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents] (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)

„Kings are ambitious; the nobility haughty; and the populace tumultuous and ungovernable.“

— Edmund Burke
Context: Kings are ambitious; the nobility haughty; and the populace tumultuous and ungovernable. Each party, however in appearance peaceable, carries on a design upon the others; and it is owing to this, that in all questions, whether concerning foreign or domestic affairs, the whole generally turns more upon some party-matter than upon the nature of the thing itself; whether such a step will diminish or augment the power of the crown, or how far the privileges of the subject are likely to be extended or restricted by it. And these questions are constantly resolved, without any consideration of the merits of the cause, merely as the parties who uphold these jarring interests may chance to prevail; and as they prevail, the balance is overset, now upon one side, now upon the other. The government is, one day, arbitrary power in a single person; another, a juggling confederacy of a few to cheat the prince and enslave the people; and the third, a frantic and unmanageable democracy. The great instrument of all these changes, and what infuses a peculiar venom into all of them, is party. It is of no consequence what the principles of any party, or what their pretensions, are; the spirit which actuates all parties is the same; the spirit of ambition, of self-interest, of oppression, and treachery. This spirit entirely reverses all the principles which a benevolent nature has erected within us; all honesty, all equal justice, and even the ties of natural society, the natural affections. In a word, my Lord, we have all seen, and, if any outward considerations were worthy the lasting concern of a wise man, we have some of us felt, such oppression from party government as no other tyranny can parallel. We behold daily the most important rights, rights upon which all the others depend, we behold these rights determined in the last resort without the least attention even to the appearance or colour of justice; we behold this without emotion, because we have grown up in the constant view of such practices; and we are not surprised to hear a man requested to be a knave and a traitor, with as much indifference as if the most ordinary favour were asked; and we hear this request refused, not because it is a most unjust and unreasonable desire, but that this worthy has already engaged his injustice to another. These and many more points I am far from spreading to their full extent. <!-- You are sensible that I do not put forth half my strength; and you cannot be at a loss for the reason. A man is allowed sufficient freedom of thought, provided he knows how to choose his subject properly. Tou may criticise freely upon the Chinese constitution, and observe with as much severity as you please upon the absurd tricks or destructive bigotry of the bonzees. But the scene is changed as you come homeward, and atheism or treason may be the names given in Britain, to what would be reason and truth if asserted of China.

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