Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Satire of Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is remembered for supporting the American colonies' fight for independence from Britain, and for his opposition to the French Revolution: rights, liberties, and restrictions "vary with times and circumstances, and admit of infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish to discuss them upon that principle." 

In 1750, Burke traveled to London to study law, but gave up his studies to travel Europe. In 1756, A Vindication of Natural Society appeared anonymously in 1756, but he disavowed the work once he was nominated into office, claiming it was a satire. 

Defense of Anarchism:
Arguing for a peaceful social order based upon individual conscience
and mutual agreement, without legal constraint or political authority.

(Burke joined Parliament in 1765 as a member of the governing Whig party, who lost power in 1783. He remained in Opposition until he retired in 1794.)

Burke as Mercury carrying on his shoulders Marie Antoinette 
who in turn carries Louis XVI ©

"Those who would either transcend the concrete conditions of history or ignore the legitimate concerns for the preservation of human happiness in order to take flight into utopian realms of abstraction succumb to a double weakness; their minds blithely reduce reality to theory and, in pursuing a theory, may brutally cause real suffering."

Robiespierre's head in the clouds attitude became his fate...

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