Edmund Burke Quotes

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.

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

All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.

Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

Beauty is the promise of happiness.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Our patience will achieve more than our force.

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

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.

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

Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.

Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.

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

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

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

You can never plan the future by the past.

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.