Burke, Edmund

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Edmund Burke (1721-1797) was born in Ireland. He became a British statesman in 1765 and a voluminous political and philosophical writer. Reflections on the Revolution in France became an inspiration for counter-revolutionary movements during the French Revolution.

"It is far from impossible to reconcile, if we do not suffer ourselves to be entangled in the mazes of metaphysical sophistry, the use both of a fixed rule and an occasional deviation; the sacredness of an hereditary principle of succession in our government, with a power of change in its application in cases of extreme emergency. Even in that extremity (if we take the measure of our rights by our exercise of them at the Revolution) the change is to be confined to the peccant part only; to the part which produced the necessary deviation; and even then it is to be effected without a decomposition of the whole civil and political mass, for the purpose of originating a new civil order out of the first elements of society. A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation. Without such means it might even risk the loss of that part of the constitution which it wished the most religiously to preserve."

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. London: Parsons, 1793, 29.

[We have not yet been able to locate the source of Dr. Ambedkar's first Burke reference in AOC].

Professor Dennis Dalton considers the impact of Western intellectual thought on Gandhi and Ambedkar.