113+ Best Edmund Burke Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Edmund Burke was an Anglo-Irish statesman and philosopher. He was a strong supporter of the American colonies, and a staunch opponent of the French Revolution. He is often regarded as the philosophical founder of Anglo-American Conservatism. Incredibly insightful Edmund Burke quotes will help you to broaden your horizons and become a better person.

If you’re searching for powerful quotes by philosophers that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes, and famous Aristotle quotes.

Most Famous Edmund Burke Quotes

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

The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis. – Edmund Burke

But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. – Edmund Burke

We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature. – Edmund Burke

Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation. – Edmund Burke

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. – Edmund Burke

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. – Edmund Burke

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

Our patience will achieve more than our force. – Edmund Burke

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize 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. – Edmund Burke

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. – Edmund Burke

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. – Edmund Burke

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

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

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

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. – Edmund Burke

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

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. – Edmund Burke

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

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

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

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

Ambition can creep as well as soar. – Edmund Burke

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

Those who attempt to level, never equalize. – 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. – 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. – Edmund Burke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. – 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. – 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. – 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. – Edmund Burke

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. – 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. – Edmund Burke

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. – Edmund Burke

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. – Edmund Burke

Despots govern by terror. They know that he who fears God fears nothing else; and therefore, they eradicate from the mind, through their Voltaire, their Helvetius, and the rest of that infamous gang, that only sort of fear which generates true courage. – Edmund Burke

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing as they must if they believe they can do nothing. There is nothing worse because the council of despair is declaration of irresponsibility; it is Pilate washing his hands. – Edmund Burke

People must be taken as they are, and we should never try make them or ourselves better by quarreling with them. – Edmund Burke

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

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. – Edmund Burke

Circumspection and caution are part of wisdom. – Edmund Burke

You can never plan the future by the past. – Edmund Burke

True religion is the foundation of society. When that is once shaken by contempt, the whole fabric cannot be stable nor lasting. – Edmund Burke

Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones. – Edmund Burke

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

For my part, I am convinced that the method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best; since, not content with serving up a few barren and lifeless truths, it leads to the stock on which they grew. – Edmund Burke

Education is the cheap defense of nations. – Edmund Burke

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny. – Edmund Burke

The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity. – Edmund Burke

And having looked to Government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them. – Edmund Burke

History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetite. – Edmund Burke

They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance. – Edmund Burke

History is a pact between the dead, the living, and the yet unborn. – Edmund Burke

There was an ancient Roman lawyer, of great fame in the history of Roman jurisprudence, whom they called Cui Bono, from his having first introduced into judicial proceedings the argument,What end or object could the party have had in the act with which he is accused. – Edmund Burke

Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none. – Edmund Burke

People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous. – Edmund Burke

All the forces of darkness need to succeed … is for the people to do nothing. – Edmund Burke

Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation.You choose a Member indeed; but when you have chosen him, heisnotthe Member for Bristol, but heisa Member of Parliament. – Edmund Burke

But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. – Edmund Burke

To complain of the age we live in, to murmur at the present possessors of power, to lament the past, to conceive extravagant hopes of the future, are the common dispositions of the greatest part of mankind. – Edmund Burke

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. – Edmund Burke

But a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition, to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution. – Edmund Burke

Good order is the foundation of all things. – Edmund Burke

Evil prevails when good men fail to act. – Edmund Burke

Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray, to not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that, of course, they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little, shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour. – Edmund Burke

There is nothing that God has judged good for us that He has not given us the means to accomplish, both in the natural and the moral world. – Edmund Burke

The greatest sin is to do nothing because you can only do a little. – Edmund Burke

He only deserves to be remembered by posterity who treasures up and preserves the history of his ancestors. – Edmund Burke

The great difference between the real leader and the pretender is that the one sees into the future, while the other regards only the present; the one lives by the day, and acts upon expediency; the other acts on enduring principles and for the immortality. – Edmund Burke

All men have equal rights, but not to equal things. – Edmund Burke

The Fate of good men who refuse to become involved in politics is to be ruled by evil men. – Edmund Burke

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

When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people. – Edmund Burke

Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion. – Edmund Burke

The essence of tyranny is the enforcement of stupid laws. – Edmund Burke

In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority. – Edmund Burke

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 anything but power for their relief. – Edmund Burke

When you fear something, learn as much about it as you can. Knowledge conquers fear. – Edmund Burke

By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation. – Edmund Burke

Silence is golden but when it threatens your freedom it’s yellow. – Edmund Burke

Manners are of more importance than laws. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe. – Edmund Burke

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

Men love to hear of their power but have an extreme disrelish to be told their duty. – Edmund Burke

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing. – Edmund Burke

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

Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. – Edmund Burke

This sort of people is so taken up with their theories about the rights of man that they have totally forgotten his nature. – Edmund Burke

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