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Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke (January 12, 1729 – July 9, 1797) is known as the “modern founder of political conservatism”. He was a philosopher, an author, an orator, a statesman and served in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig Party for many years. Later, his opposition to the French Revolution led to him becoming the leading figure of the conservative Whigs also known as the “Old Whigs”.
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Edmund Burke understood that the individual’s own natural reasoning would never be as deep or profound as the wisdom of our ancestors, bequeathed to us through tradition and custom. He believed that looking inwards, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau advocated, would precipitate our demise...
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Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism... The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006)
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Christian chivalry harmonized human relations. Without it, society could only be held together by brute force and cold reason. Gone would be the warmth of considerate human relations, corrupted would be the morals of men, and all would be reduced to slaves... Today’s offering in our...
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A conservative is not, by definition, a selfish or a stupid person; instead, he is a person who believes there is something in our life worth saving... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Russell Kirk as he explores...
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The sorriest aspect of the twentieth century has been the rallying of the intellectuals to the arrogant banner of nationalism, which rejects universal and eternal truth for the sake of national and passing advantage... Thirty years ago,...

As revolutionary as they claimed to be, the French Revolutionaries were as old as sin, Edmund Burke assured his readers. “Trace them through all their artifices, frauds, and violences,” he argued, and “you can find nothing at all that is new...”
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The qualities that I would love most of all to see in all our students could not be better described than by Edmund Burke’s account of the chivalric demeanor: "that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself,...
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To be a conservative is first and foremost to defend or to conserve something good: to protect family, neighborhood, local community, and region... Louis de Bonald Of the many attempts to define conservatism in recent decades,...

It would be difficult to find a more beautiful republican thought in all of Edmund Burke’s writings than this: "A man full of warm speculative benevolence may wish his society otherwise constituted than he finds it; but a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how...

The French Revolutionaries, Edmund Burke rightly understood, sought not just the overturning of the old, but, critically, they also desired the destruction of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Only by lying about the nature of the human person could they accomplish their goals...
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Religion “works,” in Edmund Burke's view, when it stands apart from the whims of those who practice it. Only then can it enable self-discipline, give meaning, and provide a real sense of the sacred and the sublime in life... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series...
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The principal difficulty of mankind today is the decay of the moral imagination in our civilization... In the spring of 1989, videographer Ken Martinek and I made the trip to Piety Hill to interview Russell about the moral imagination (as first conceived by Edmund Burke...

The job of every conservative is twofold: First, he must fight tirelessly against the centralized, unitary state; second, he must do everything possible to promote that which makes the free society not just an ordered one, but a good one...

Power, in and of itself, has become an “ideology,” according to Robert Nisbet. It is, by its very nature, incapable of understanding nuance... As I had the opportunity to write in my previous essay...