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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

„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

„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

„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

„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

„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

„[…] 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

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

„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

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„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

„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

„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.“

—  Edmund Burke

Second Speech on Conciliation with America (1775)
Kontext: 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. <!-- Works of Edmund Burke Volume ii, p. 136

„Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves.“

—  Edmund Burke

Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791)
Kontext: Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

„The rights of the people are every thing, as they ought to be in the true and natural order of things.“

—  Edmund Burke

Final Speech at the Trial of Warren Hastings, 28 May 1794; in The Works of the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke, vol. 8 (1877) 5th edition, p. 51
On the Impeachment of Warren Hastings (1788-1794)
Kontext: On one side, your lordships have the prisoner declaring that the people have no laws, no rights, no usages, no distinctions of rank, no sense of honor, no property; in short that they are nothing but a herd of slaves to be governed by the arbitrary will of a master. On the other side, we assert that the direct contrary of this is true. And to prove our assertion we have referred you to the institutes of Ghinges Khân and of Tamerlane: we have referred you to the Mahomedan law, which is binding upon all, from the crowned head to the meanest subject; a law interwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and most enlightened jurisprudence that perhaps ever existed in the world. We have shown you, that if these parties are to be compared together, it is not the rights of the people which are nothing, but rather the rights of the sovereign which are so. The rights of the people are every thing, as they ought to be in the true and natural order of things.

„Power gradually extirpates from the mind every humane and gentle virtue. Pity, benevolence, friendship, are things almost unknown in high stations.“

—  Edmund Burke, buch A Vindication of Natural Society

A Vindication of Natural Society (1756)
Kontext: The rich in all societies may be thrown into two classes. The first is of those who are powerful as well as rich, and conduct the operations of the vast political machine. The other is of those who employ their riches wholly in the acquisition of pleasure. As to the first sort, their continual care and anxiety, their toilsome days and sleepless nights, are next to proverbial. These circumstances are sufficient almost to level their condition to that of the unhappy majority; but there are other circumstances which place them in a far lower condition. Not only their understandings labour continually, which is the severest labour, but their hearts are torn by the worst, most troublesome, and insatiable of all passions, by avarice, by ambition, by fear and jealousy. No part of the mind has rest. Power gradually extirpates from the mind every humane and gentle virtue. Pity, benevolence, friendship, are things almost unknown in high stations.

„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.

„Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.“

—  Edmund Burke

Speech to the Electors of Bristol (3 November 1774); reported in The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 2, p. 95
Kontext: Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs,—and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.
But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure,—no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

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

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