Edmund Burke was an influential Anglo-Irish politician, orator and political thinker, known for publicly expressing his opposition to the French Revolution.

Born in Dublin in 1729, Burke went to London to study law, but soon gave this up and pursued a literary and political career. He became a member of the parliament in 1765 and had a 30-year career as a political theorist and philosopher.

Later praised by both conservatives and liberals, Burke believed that the government should be a cooperative relationship between rulers and subjects. He also said that most men in a nation are not qualified to govern it, stating that those who are elected to represent the people should possess a greater level of wisdom than the public.    

The past is important, but change is inevitable so, in order to keep a balance between the new and the traditionak, society needs to learn how to adapt. Therefore, we should construct civilization by giving weight to our ancestors, but also consider ourselves and the needs of future generations.

One of Burke’s most notable works is Reflections on the Revolution in France, a book that was an immediate success and provoked a huge response.  

Here are 22 Edmund Burke quotes that still resonate today

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.

If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.

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

It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

Our patience will achieve more than our force.

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.

Liberty does not exist in the absence of morality.

We set ourselves to bite the hand that feeds us.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.

Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.

I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that the delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it.

Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver, and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings.

It is generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles and design.


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