Burke’s Speech on India: December 1, 1783

Edmund Burke had four great causes for which he fought in his life:  the Emancipation of Irish Catholics, opposition to English policy in regard to the American Colonies, reform of the British government in India and opposition to the French Revolution.  The unifying theme to these causes is that Burke viewed societies as products of their history, and not to be reshaped by outsiders or artificial theories.  His view of society is well set forth in this quotation from Reflections on the Revolution in France:

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 he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition to preserve and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution.

Here is the text of Burke’s speech: (more…)

Published in: on April 10, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments (6)