Sunday, September 30, 2018

Rage and frenzy

Via Steven Hayward in "Our Present Discontents, Then and Now," quoting Edmund Burke from Reflections on the Revolution in France: Hayward thinks Burke's words have contemporary relevance.
You began ill, because you began by despising everything that belonged to you....

Compute your gains; see what is got by those extravagant and presumptuous speculations which have taught your leaders to despise all their predecessors, and all their contemporaries, and even to despise themselves, until the moment in which they became truly despicable....

They would soon see that criminal means, once tolerated, are soon preferred. They present a shorter cut to the object than through the highway of the moral virtues. Justifying perfidy and murder for public benefit, public benefit would soon become the pretext, and perfidy and murder the end — until rapacity, malice, revenge, and fear more dreadful than revenge, could satiate their insatiable appetites....

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