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65 Insightful Edmund Burke Quotes That You Must Share

Famous As: Statesman
Born On: January 12, 1729
Died On: July 9, 1797
Born In: Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Died At Age: 68
Edmund Burke was an eminent Irish statesman, philosopher, orator, author and political theorist. He served as the Member of Parliament in the House of Commons with the Whig Party between 1766 and 1794. His thoughts, views, writings, books and opinions covered varied subjects that included manners in society and significance of religion if moral life. He also strongly opposed the British treatment of the American colonies which also included taxation policies. He also encouraged Catholic emancipation and supported the rights of the colonists. He strongly opposed the French Revolution. We have compiled some notable quotable quotations by Edmund Burke which are till date quoted extensively. Read through the quotes and thoughts by Edmund Burke on power, abuse, dangerous, education, tyranny, service, people, will, freedom, despair, wisdom, freedom, unjust, superstition, religion, arrogance, welfare and more.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke
Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

Edmund Burke
Woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one.

Woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one.

Edmund Burke
Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

Edmund Burke
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Edmund Burke
Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.

Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.

Edmund Burke
Our patience will achieve more than our force.

Our patience will achieve more than our force.

Edmund Burke
Never apologise for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologise for the truth.

Never apologise for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologise for the truth.

Edmund Burke
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." [Preface to Brissot's Address to His Constituents (1794)]

Edmund Burke
It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

Edmund Burke
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Edmund Burke
No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

Edmund Burke
Liberty does not exist in the absence of morality.

Liberty does not exist in the absence of morality.

Edmund Burke
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

Edmund Burke
Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.

Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.

Edmund Burke
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.

Edmund Burke
If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.

If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.

Edmund Burke
Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.

Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.

Edmund Burke
It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.

It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.

Edmund Burke
It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.

It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.

Edmund Burke
People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.

People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.

Edmund Burke
Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.

Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.

Edmund Burke
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination.

There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination.

Edmund Burke
I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that the delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it.

I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that the delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it.

Edmund Burke
Kings will be tyrants by policy when subjects are rebels from principle.

Kings will be tyrants by policy when subjects are rebels from principle.

Edmund Burke
They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.

They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.

Edmund Burke
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

Edmund Burke
For there is in mankind an unfortunate propensity to make themselves, their views and their works, the measure of excellence in every thing whatsoever

For there is in mankind an unfortunate propensity to make themselves, their views and their works, the measure of excellence in every thing whatsoever

Edmund Burke
The greatest gift is a passion for reading.

The greatest gift is a passion for reading.

Edmund Burke
The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.

The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.

Edmund Burke
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

Edmund Burke
A state without the means of some change, is without the means of its own conservation.

A state without the means of some change, is without the means of its own conservation.

Edmund Burke
It is our ignorance of things that causes all our admiration and chiefly excites our passions.

It is our ignorance of things that causes all our admiration and chiefly excites our passions.

Edmund Burke
Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear.

Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear.

Edmund Burke
The human mind is often, and I think it is for the most part, in a state neither of pain nor pleasure, which I call a state of indifference.

The human mind is often, and I think it is for the most part, in a state neither of pain nor pleasure, which I call a state of indifference.

Edmund Burke
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their appetites.

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their appetites.

Edmund Burke
Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.

Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.

Edmund Burke
No man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him.

No man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him.

Edmund Burke
Ambition can creep as well as soar.

Ambition can creep as well as soar.

Edmund Burke
He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one.

He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one.

Edmund Burke
There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief.

There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief.

Edmund Burke
Those who attempt to level, never equalize.

Those who attempt to level, never equalize.

Edmund Burke
The nature of things is, I admit, a sturdy adversary.

The nature of things is, I admit, a sturdy adversary.

Edmund Burke
Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.

Edmund Burke
We set ourselves to bite the hand that feeds us

We set ourselves to bite the hand that feeds us

Edmund Burke
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.

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.

Edmund Burke
Society is indeed a contract. ... It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection.

Society is indeed a contract. ... It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection.

Edmund Burke
All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.

Edmund Burke
It is generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles and design.

It is generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles and design.

Edmund Burke
Society is indeed a contract ... it becomes a participant not only between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.

Society is indeed a contract ... it becomes a participant not only between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.

Edmund Burke
There is a sort of gloss upon ingenious falsehoods that dazzles the imagination, but which neither belongs to, nor becomes the sober aspect of truth.

There is a sort of gloss upon ingenious falsehoods that dazzles the imagination, but which neither belongs to, nor becomes the sober aspect of truth.

Edmund Burke
I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases.

I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases.

Edmund Burke
It is a dreadful truth, but it is a truth that cannot be concealed; in ability, in dexterity, in the distinctness of their views, the Jacobins are our superiors.

It is a dreadful truth, but it is a truth that cannot be concealed; in ability, in dexterity, in the distinctness of their views, the Jacobins are our superiors.

Edmund Burke
A representative owes not just his industry but his judgement

A representative owes not just his industry but his judgement

Edmund Burke
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.

Edmund Burke
The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints.

The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints.

Edmund Burke
Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.

Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.

Edmund Burke
Politics ought to be adjusted not to human reasonings but to human nature, of which reason is but a part and by no means the greatest part.

Politics ought to be adjusted not to human reasonings but to human nature, of which reason is but a part and by no means the greatest part.

Edmund Burke
No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

Edmund Burke
Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver, and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings.

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver, and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings.

Edmund Burke
A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper, and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.

A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper, and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.

Edmund Burke
Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.

Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.

Edmund Burke
Nothing is such an enemy to accuracy of judgment as a coarse discrimination; a want of such classification and distribution as the subject admits of.

Nothing is such an enemy to accuracy of judgment as a coarse discrimination; a want of such classification and distribution as the subject admits of.

Edmund Burke
Society is a partnership of the dead, the living and the unborn.

Society is a partnership of the dead, the living and the unborn.

Edmund Burke
A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.

A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.

Edmund Burke