Saturday, March 10, 2012

Edmund Burke, on the Right to Defend 4

Edmund Burke:

“That fury which arises in the minds of men, on being stripped of their goods and turned out of their houses by acts of power, and our sympathy with them under such wrongs, are feelings implanted in us by our Creator, to be (under the direction of His laws) the means of our preservation. Such fury and such sympathy are things very different from men's imaginary political systems concerning governments. They arise out of instinctive principles of self-defence, and are executive powers under the legislation of nature, enforcing its first laws. These principles, prince and commonwealth (whatever they may think their rights) cannot always attack with perfect impunity. If princes will, in cold blood, and from mistaken ideas of policy, excite the passions of the multitude against particular descriptions of men, whether they be priests or nobility, in order to avail themselves of the assistance of that multitude in their enterprizes against those classes, let them recollect that they call in the aid of an ally more dangerous to themselves than those whom they are desirous of oppressing.”

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