Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Men of intemperate minds cannot be free"

This day in 1729 was the birthday of Edmund Burke (1729-1797), political philosopher, statesman, abolitionist, friend of liberty, conservative.
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
Speech at a County Meeting of Buckinghamshire (1784)

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
Letter to M. de Menonville (October 1789)

Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to any thing but power for their relief.
Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791)

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. 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. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791)
Edmund Burke - Wikiquote