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Reflection on the revolution in France - Essay Example

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REFLECTION ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE Edmund Burke, member of the parliament and an Irish author is best known for his renowned 1790s book called ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’. In the book he discusses his political philosophy that denounced the French Revolution…
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Download file to see previous pages Burke’s stand is clarified when he writes “no man should be the judge in his own cause”.1And “this can only be done by a power out of themselves and not in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue”. 2The French revolutionists demonstrated this point when they overlooked their main cause, which was freedom and started demanding equality, which is also known as ‘freedom’s enemy’. Burke opined that liberty although a necessity, should however be limited, otherwise it can result in extreme chaos. Burke also focused primarily on presenting practical solutions instead of fixating on the metaphysics when he writes “What is the use of discussing a man's abstract right to food or to medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them. In this deliberation I shall always advise to call in the aid of the farmer and the physician, rather than the professor." 3He was a Whig and a Protestant and while rejecting a monarchic government he also accentuated the need of adhering to rules of the government to keep the nation functioning in the appropriate order. Burke stresses upon man’s complex nature and the subtleties that affect it when he says: “The nature of man is intricate; the objects of society are of the greatest possible complexity: and therefore no simple disposition or direction of power can be suitable either to man’s nature or to the quality of his affairs”. 4 He criticizes the governments for being ignorant and not fully capable of making the right decisions by keeping in mind man’s complicated temperament and the situation at that place and time. “Political reason is a computing principle; adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, morally and not metaphysically, or mathematically, true moral denominations”. 5 Here Burke assumes that man’s actions are related to his own being or points of interest and he does not necessarily act according to his fellow’s welfare. With this in mind Burke believed that there is a need for a flexible social control depending on the circumstances at that particular moment. Burke was in fact, both a monarchist and a democrat. At times he looks up to the controlled regime of a King or a dictator whereas sometimes he consents a democratic government and the rights it gives its citizens. During Burke’s time there was a lot of confusion about the way things should be. The way governments worked was changing and if we follow his ways we see not so much political philosophy as everyday rationality. Burke was a true traditionalist and it was his words that defined conservatism. Having read his writings in this day and age, it can only be hoped that he would approve of the way our governments’ work. However nothing can be said about whether he would approve of the results because governments nowadays cross several norms and have many different ways to work around various rules. We are not sure of what the individual rights of people really are and have lost the focus to more false rights of masses that beg for increased modifications. This has affected society in more ways that we know. We are getting lost in this distorted society that we live in, something that Burke would have not respected or supported. Burke tried his best to create a balance between political requirements and the realities of human nature. We cannot say that his solutions were flawless however they also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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