Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer

Edmund Burke on Revolutionary Armies and Taxes

By |2019-08-27T16:41:54-06:00December 13th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civil Society, Conservation, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Revolution, Taxes|

Though a classic in its own right, and arguably the first book on conservatism in the modern world, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France of 1790 is inconsistent as a coherent work. And, yet, even in its unevenness, it reveals an act of genius. Burke himself points out that the greatest and truest things in [...]

Edmund Burke and the Calculation of Man

By |2019-06-13T11:30:08-06:00December 7th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Civil Society, Community, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Politics|

As Edmund Burke began to wind down his very long letter—that which would become 1790’s Reflections on the Revolution in France—he returned to the question of first principles and right reason, especially in regard to the nature of the human person. At his best and most natural, Burke argued, men understood themselves as spirited [...]

Reflecting on Edmund Burke’s “Reflections”

By |2019-10-08T17:11:09-06:00March 13th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civil Society, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Europe, Featured, History, Revolution, The Imaginative Conservative, Wisdom|

It would be difficult to find a more beautiful republican thought in all of Edmund Burke’s writings than this: “A man full of warm speculative benevolence may wish his society otherwise constituted than he finds it; but a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the [...]

Edmund Burke & the French Revolutionaries

By |2019-07-09T13:30:01-06:00March 7th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured, Revolution|

The French Revolutionaries, Edmund Burke rightly understood, sought not just the overturning of the old, but, critically, they also desired the destruction of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Only by lying about the nature of the human person could they accomplish their goals… One of the most important duties of any good [...]

The French Revolution: Did Edmund Burke Lose His Mind?

By |2017-05-25T11:14:43-06:00May 24th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, History, Liberty, Revolution|

Edmund Burke did love order, and he also loved the ordered soul and the ordered society—the one in which men freely pursued the good, the true, and the beautiful… When challenging the “coffee-house” radicals who were so gleefully leading the French into generations of ruin through their mad abstractions, Edmund Burke recognized that their [...]

Edmund Burke and the Totalitarianism of Democracy

By |2017-04-17T21:33:14-06:00April 17th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Democracy, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer|

For the “hive” that is the democratic mindset, the very spirit of democracy pushes its adherents to surmount limits, and to behave as one man with the will of a god… Writing of France in 1790, Edmund Burke asked exactly how one might categorize the revolutionary government. Is it a monarchy of the democracy, [...]

Edmund Burke Against the Antagonist World

By |2019-10-16T15:49:26-06:00October 31st, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civil Society, Civilization, Community, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, History|

Should one generation ever consider itself greater than any other generation, past or future, Edmund Burke warned in his magisterial Reflections on the Revolution in France, the entire fabric of a civilization might very well unravel and, ultimately, disintegrate. Our modern ears have no right to discount Burke’s argument as simple hyperbole. What takes [...]

Edmund Burke: Culture and the Cult

By |2019-09-25T15:58:14-06:00October 24th, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Civilization, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured, History, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

In what was, perhaps, Edmund Burke’s best writing, the Anglo-Irish statesman had argued in favor of the moral imagination, a way by which one sees the reflection of God’s glory in another. He then concluded that section of the Reflections on the Revolution in France by noting that “to make us love our country, [...]

The Romance of Edmund Burke

By |2019-09-05T10:42:41-06:00October 10th, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured, Moral Imagination, Philosophy, Russell Kirk|

For those of us who love Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, and Irving Babbitt, the extravagantly convoluted term, “the moral imagination,” rolls readily off the tongue and warms the heart like few other things. Yet, most of our closest allies on the right scratch their collective and individual heads in confusion. “What is this moral [...]

Edmund Burke, Ideologues, & Subdivisions

By |2019-07-11T10:17:22-06:00September 27th, 2016|Categories: Adam Smith, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, History, Revolution, Western Tradition|

When Edmund Burke surveyed the names of those leading the French Revolution in its first half year of existence in 1789, he despaired. Several were certainly good men, he noted, and many were quite accomplished. Yet, not a single man possessing any necessary experience in the world appeared on the list. “The best,” he [...]

Edmund Burke on Constitutions & Natural Law

By |2019-06-11T16:10:20-06:00September 20th, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured, John Locke, Natural Law, Natural Rights Tradition|

The real goal of political society, Edmund Burke claimed in his arguments against the French Revolutionaries, is not to create new laws or new rules, but “to secure the religion, laws, and liberties, that had been long possessed.” If one creates a law out of theory, he will explain much later in his Reflections on [...]

Edmund Burke & the Duties of Generations

By |2016-12-29T19:11:15-06:00September 12th, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Democracy in America, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured, History|

In the first essay of this series, I discussed the three things that one must know about Edmund Burke in order to understand the cohesiveness of his vision, a vision which spanned his adult life. While he developed this vision, he never radically altered it, as many of his opponents claims. These opponents simply could not understand [...]

Back to First Principles: Re-Thinking Edmund Burke

By |2016-12-29T19:13:00-06:00September 5th, 2016|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured|

One the things that Robert Nisbet made perfectly clear in the 1950s is that we could never understand the West and the new Western character under democracy and democratic influences without understanding the nuanced and complex thought of Alexis de Tocqueville. One of the things that Russell Kirk made perfectly clear in the 1950s, [...]