Edmund Burke on Secession, Tea Parties, Obama, and the ACLU

It was pointed out by a commenter yesterday that many of my recent postings have revolved around hotness, both actual and alleged. Because I read each comment and reflect and sometimes respond accordingly, I checked my recent titles. Three of the last eleven did indeed use the word "hot" in the headline.

Game, set, match, Mr. Commenter.

I would say that you can never get too much hotness, except that I actually think you can. (Proof.) I believe I've fulfilled my quota for a while, so I'll share with you excerpts from my nightly readings, which are always philosophical, political, or spiritual in nature and almost never include the word "hot."

I came across last night's reading yesterday, as I was perusing a junk antique store. Tucked into the far corner of the little shop: English Men of Letter: Burke. (A series by John Morley). Being a sucker for all things old and all things Burke (I kid you not, I'm wearing a t-shirt with a Burke quote emblazoned across the back as I type this), I purchased it. The book is a 1909 edition and has markings and notes throughout left by the previous owner in the most beautiful script. (I almost felt I should apologize to the book as it now has an owner that would lose a penmanship contest to a four-year-old.)

As with all of the truly great writers, Burke's thoughts trascend the era in which they were written, remaining applicable in the era in which they are read. (In other words, blogs do not a great writer make. Reason number #671 why I should spend less time writing blog and more time writing, uh, something else.)

Below, I highlight some of his best quotes against current cultural and political issues of our day.
1) "The revolutions that come to pass in great states are not the result of chance, nor of popular caprice ... It is never from a passion for attack that it rebels, but from impatience of suffering."
One has to wonder if the recent talk that Texas may secede from the Union stems from such an impatience. (If you haven't heard much on the subject, check out Ron Paul's video on the issue in which he says secession is "very American.")
2) No men could act with effect who did not act in concert; that no men could act in concert, who did not act with confidence; and that no men could act with confidence, who were not bound together by common opinions, common affections, and common interests."
Acting in concert, with confidence, common interests and opinions? I think he means Tea Parties!
3) "Revolutionary politics have one of their sources in the idea that societies are capable of infinite and immediate modifications, without reference to the deep-rooted conditions that have worked themselves into every part of the social structure."

"Infinite and immediate modifications." Does that ring a "hope and change" bell with anyone? Those two things may be a worthy goal, but unless Obama takes a long and careful look into the principles that have resulted in our current societal status, for better and for worse, what we end up changing to may be much worse than what we end up changing from.

This next one may be a little inflammatory, but if you feel the need to resort to the commenting section to air your frustrations, please refer to Burke's blog, as these are his words not mine:
3) "The most horrid and cruel blow that can be offered to civil society is through atheism . . . The infidels are outlaws of the constitution, not of this country, but of the human race. They are never, never to be supported, never to be tolerated. Under the systematic attacks of these people, I see some of the props of good government already beginning to fail; I see propagated principles which will not leave to religion ever a toleration."
Mmm, can we say ACLU, much? I can't be the only one that had those four (horrible) letters flash through my head upon reading that final phrase.

And, so you don't feel that the last 2.7 minutes of your life have been squandered, let me affirm you with one final quote from the man himself:

"Reading, and much reading, is good. But the power of diversifying the matter infinitely in your own mind, and of applying it to every occasion that arises, is far better; so don't suppress the vivida vis." (read: 'lively power of the mind and body')
In closing, I would like to say simply that reading is hot, and Edmund Burke is, too.


  1. A perfect example of remembering where we come from as conservatives and a poignant reminder of how we have strayed.

  2. In those days Israel had no king. Each man did what he considered to be right. Judges 17:6. In those days the government of the U.S.A. did not consider God the source of its power. Each politician wrote laws according to what he considered to be right.


  3. Still a hot post by the way.


  4. this posting is hot.. Paris Hilton told me so.

  5. Nice post. I need to start reading up on Burke, maybe when I hit the library to return the two books I recently finished.

    Reading is indeed hot...

  6. Hotness is as hotness does.

    And as far as reading is concerned, it can be a double-edged sword. My folks always gave me a choice when growing up - a book or a toy. I took the book. Now I have (no lie) over a thousand books in my home, and I can't walk past a bookstore without feeling an irresistible pull to go in.

    Of course, reeding maed mi a gud speler, two!

  7. Watcher, that was way too funny!

    I am behind you for now but as an English teacher I'm sure I'll catch up at some point.

  8. Anonymous15.5.09

    Your penmanship may not be great- okay its definitely not great- but your writing is amazing as always! Thanks for making me laugh :)