Monday, June 3, 2013

"Burke Was Liberal Because He Was Conservative"

Thus spake Russell Kirk of the subject of this article by the Financial Times' John McDermott — Burke & Sons. "Edmund Burke’s admirers make the case for his greatness – but can he be claimed as the father of conservatism?"

So asks the author, drawing attention to "Burke’s 'five great political battles': for more equal treatment of Irish Catholics; against British oppression in the American colonies; for parliamentary restraints on monarchical power; against brutal exploitation by the East India Company; and, of course, against the ideas and actors of the French Revolution." The author notes that "his were thoroughly liberal causes," and "all have in common the desire to resist the imposition of arbitrary power by a sovereign (or the mob) on individuals."

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