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Edmund Burke

Geburtstag: 12. Januar 1729
Todesdatum: 9. Juli 1797
Andere Namen: ਐਡਮੰਡ ਬਰਕੀ, Эдмунд Берк

Edmund Burke war ein irisch-britischer Schriftsteller, Staatsphilosoph und Politiker in der Zeit der Aufklärung. Er gilt als geistiger Vater des Konservatismus.

„Menschen, die nicht auf ihre Vorfahren zurückblicken, werden auch nicht an ihre Nachwelt denken.“

—  Edmund Burke

Betrachtungen über die Französische Revolution
"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors." - Reflections on the Revolution in France. 2nd edition. London 1790, p. 47-48 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=Vn0OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA247

„Neigung zum Erhalten und Geschicklichkeit beim Verbessern machen zusammen nach meiner Ansicht den großen Staatsmann aus.“

—  Edmund Burke

Betrachtungen über die Französische Revolution
"A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman." - Reflections on the Revolution in France. 2nd edition. London 1790, p. 231 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=Vn0OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA231

„Wenn die Untertanen aus Prinzip rebellieren, wird die Politik der Könige tyrannisch.“

—  Edmund Burke

Betrachtungen über die Französische Revolution
"Wenn Unterthanen Rebellen aus Grundsätzen seyn wollen, so werden Könige aus Staatsklugheit Tyrannen seyn." - Betrachtungen über die französische Revolution, nach dem Englischen des Herrn Burke von Friedrich von Gentz. Stuttgart und Leipzig 1836, S. 142 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=aisIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA142
"Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle." - Reflections on the Revolution in France. p. 116 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=Vn0OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA116&dq=tyrants

„Das Böse triumphiert allein dadurch, dass gute Menschen nichts unternehmen. - Edmund Burke“

—  Edmund Burke

letzter Zwischentitel im Hollywood-Film "Tränen der Sonne" (2003), imdb https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314353/quotes
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - :en:Edmund Burke#Disputed
Zweifelhaft

„Ein Volk gibt niemals seine Freiheit auf, außer in irgendeiner Verblendung.“

—  Edmund Burke

Reden, 1784
"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." - Speech at a County Meeting of Buckinghamshire 1784

„Der Adel ist ein köstlicher Schmuck der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Es ist das corinthische Capital [Kapitell] wohl geordneter und gebildeter Staaten.“

—  Edmund Burke

Betrachtungen über die französische Revolution, nach dem Englischen des Herrn Burke von Friedrich von Gentz. Stuttgart und Leipzig 1836, S. 237 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=aisIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA237
"Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society." - Reflections on the Revolution in France. 2nd edition. London 1790, p. 205 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=Vn0OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA205

„Der Mensch ist seiner Beschaffenheit nach ein religiöses Tier.“

—  Edmund Burke

Betrachtungen über die Französische Revolution
"We know, and it is our pride to know, that man is by his constitution a religious animal;" - Reflections on the Revolution in France. 2nd edition. London 1790, p. 135 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=Vn0OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA135

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„[…] Anbetung dem Urheber und Beschützer der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft zu weihen, […], ohne welche der Mensch in alle Ewigkeit nicht die Vollkommenheit, deren er fähig ist, erreichen könnte, […]“

—  Edmund Burke

Betrachtungen über die französische Revolution, nach dem Englischen des Herrn Burke von Friedrich von Gentz. Stuttgart und Leipzig 1836, S. 174 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=aisIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA174
"[...] homage to the institutor, and author and protector of civil society ; without which civil society man could not by any possibility arrive at the perfection of which his nature is capable, [...]" - Reflections on the Revolution in France. 2nd edition. London 1790, p. 146 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=Vn0OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA146

„Ich kenne keine Methode, nach der man eine ganze Nation unter Anklage stellen kann.“

—  Edmund Burke

Reden, 1775
"It looks to me to be narrow and pedantic to apply the ordinary ideas of criminal justice to this great public contest. I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people." - On Conciliation with America. House of Commons, March 22, 1775

Citát „Die einzige Voraussetzung für den Triumph des Bösen ist, daß gute Menschen nichts tun.“

„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)
:This purported quote bears a resemblance to the narrated theme of Sergei Bondarchuk's Soviet film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, produced in 1966. In it the narrator declares "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing", although since the original is in Russian various translations to English are possible. This purported quote also bears resemblance to a quote widely attributed to Plato, that said "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." It also bears resemblance to what Albert Einstein wrote as part of his tribute to Pablo Casals: "The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it."
: More research done on this matter is available at these two links: Burkequote http://www.tartarus.org/~martin/essays/burkequote.html & Burkequote2 http://www.tartarus.org/~martin/essays/burkequote2.html — as the information at these links indicate, there are many variants of this statement, probably because there is no known original by Burke. In addition, an exhaustive examination of this quote has been done at the following link: QuoteInvestigator http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/12/04/good-men-do/.
Disputed
Variante: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

„The lawyers, as well as the theologians, have erected another reason besides natural reason; and the result has been, another justice besides natural justice.“

—  Edmund Burke, buch A Vindication of Natural Society

A Vindication of Natural Society (1756)
Kontext: A good parson once said, that where mystery begins, religion ends. Cannot I say, as truly at least, of human laws, that where mystery begins, justice ends? It is hard to say whether the doctors of law or divinity have made the greater advances in the lucrative business of mystery. The lawyers, as well as the theologians, have erected another reason besides natural reason; and the result has been, another justice besides natural justice. They have so bewildered the world and themselves in unmeaning forms and ceremonies, and so perplexed the plainest matters with metaphysical jargon, that it carries the highest danger to a man out of that profession, to make the least step without their advice and assistance. Thus, by confining to themselves the knowledge of the foundation of all men's lives and properties, they have reduced all mankind into the most abject and servile dependence. We are tenants at the will of these gentlemen for everything; and a metaphysical quibble is to decide whether the greatest villain breathing shall meet his deserts, or escape with impunity, or whether the best man in the society shall not be reduced to the lowest and most despicable condition it affords. In a word, my Lord, the injustice, delay, puerility, false refinement, and affected mystery of the law are such, that many who live under it come to admire and envy the expedition, simplicity, and equality of arbitrary judgments.

„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.“

—  Edmund Burke, buch A Vindication of Natural Society

A Vindication of Natural Society (1756)
Kontext: 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.

„A great profusion of things, which are splendid or valuable in themselves, is magnificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of grandeur. This cannot be owing to the stars themselves, separately considered. The number is certainly the cause.“

—  Edmund Burke, buch A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful

Part II Section XIII
A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757)
Kontext: A great profusion of things, which are splendid or valuable in themselves, is magnificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of grandeur. This cannot be owing to the stars themselves, separately considered. The number is certainly the cause. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, for the appearance of care is highly contrary to our idea of magnificence. Besides, the stars lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it impossible on ordinary occasions to reckon them. This gives them the advantage of a sort of infinity.

„If pretended revelations have caused wars where they were opposed, and slavery where they were received, the pretended wise inventions of politicians have done the same. But the slavery has been much heavier, the wars far more bloody, and both more universal by many degrees.“

—  Edmund Burke, buch A Vindication of Natural Society

A Vindication of Natural Society (1756)
Kontext: If pretended revelations have caused wars where they were opposed, and slavery where they were received, the pretended wise inventions of politicians have done the same. But the slavery has been much heavier, the wars far more bloody, and both more universal by many degrees. Show me any mischief produced by the madness or wickedness of theologians, and I will show you an hundred resulting from the ambition and villany of conquerors and statesmen. Show me an absurdity in religion, and I will undertake to show you an hundred for one in political laws and institutions. 'If you say, that natural religion is a sufficient guide without the foreign aid of revelation, on what principle should political laws become necessary? Is not the same reason available in theology and in politics? If the laws of nature are the laws of God, is it consistent with the Divine wisdom to prescribe rules to us, and leave the enforcement of them to the folly of human institutions? Will you follow truth but to a certain point?

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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