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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Edmund Burke Quote # 5

From "Speech Before the House of Commons in Support of Mr. Rose Fuller's Motion that the Commons Move to a Committee of the Whole in Order to Discuss the Threepence Tax on Tea":
...among vices, there is none which the House abhors in the same degree with obstinacy. Obstinacy, Sir, is certainly a great vice; and in the changeful state of political affairs it is frequently the cause of great mischief. It happens, however, very unfortunately, that almost the whole line of the great and masculine virtues, constancy, gravity, magnanimity, fortitude, fidelity, and firmness, are closely allied to this disagreeable quality, of which you have so just an abhorrence, and, in their excess, all these virtues very easily fall into it.
One of the most amazing, and yet utterly unsurprising, aspects of political discourse in this age is the degree to which people are loyal to ideas that have absolutely no track record of actually producing the benefits which they were supposed to produce.

I'm never one hundred percent sure whether it's idiocy, ignorance, willful blindness, lying in shameless pursuit of power, obstinacy--as Burke suggests here--or some hideous combination of all of them.

Probably it's the hideous-combination-thing. Yeah, that's it.

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