Edmund BurkeEdmund Burke, (1729-1797) Irish-born British statesman, parliamentary orator, and political thinker

Edmund Burke Quote

“Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.”

Edmund BurkeEdmund Burke
~ Edmund Burke

Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, 3 April 1777

Ratings and Comments

chandru, chennai / india

very true - will people, wherever they may be ever change their ways?the fact remains that' the few have always dominated over the many' in this world under whatever system of government.

Mike, Norwalk

A generally corrupt people accept compelled compliance, license, larceny with impunity, victimless crimes, suspension of habeas corpus, suspension of religious freedoms, a dept system for economic security, torture for information, a theocratic collective / oligarchy of despots at the death of liberty's representative republic, etc., etc., etc. Liberty's existence, reduced under absolute despotism's long train of abuses and usurpations is crying out, with a last desperate breath, to a deaf and generally corrupt people.

jim k, austin, tx

As usual, Mike nailed it. For a maximum corruption example, look to Washington,DC. Most of the members of congress are lawyers, is there a connection here ?

  • Reply
RobertSRQ    5/5/08

Bring on the Patriot Act and Homeland Security - O those devilish politicians...

  • Reply
    RobertSRQ    5/5/08

    We nee Robin Hood and his Merry men back - does anyone have their address?

    J Carlton, Calgary

    I don't believe the American people are generally corrupt. I do believe the ones who aren't outright apathetic are too disgusted to perticipate in the system though. I wonder how far the Government will go with its agenda of control and fascism "lite" before the regular Joe starts to fight back? Its an eventuality for sure.

    Ken, Allyn, WA

    The natural human condition is corruption. Human beings, however, have the ability to rise above their nature. That is what separates us from the animals (if we choose to to be separate). It is easy to be corrupt. It takes constant work to choose a nobler path. The reward for that work is liberty.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    We see the nobler path at work all the time Ken if we will but open our eyes. We use to see littered highways, a sure sign of a corrupt people, then Lady Bird started her "Miles of trash from little eyesores grow" campaign and local groups took up the idea of highway clean up. A simple account but I think a demonstrative of what can happen when people stand up for the right course of action. I agree Ken that there was probably someone on the take (a contractor) when the first pyramid was built so society, taxpayers, businesses always need checks and balances and auditors insure correctness. We will always here stories of corruption and of courruption caught and corrected. Let it not discourage the majority of us to do right so that we can keep and attain an even greater republic of liberty.

    E Archer, NYC

    Honesty and fair dealing are the foundations of trade and governance. Cultures throughout time have embodied these tenets as foundations to their civilization. I believe that humanind is 'good' to start with, that we are 'real' and thus 'of the truth' if that makes any sense. Greed and corruption are a function of desire and hunger. The lust for power is based on a false premise that we are lacking, that we are not whole and complete. Hence spiritual thought has always been the counterweight to the drive for power. Can a person change his/her ways? Happens all the time, and indeed can be very liberating.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Archer it seems we are if not in sync here at least walking parallel paths. The cops tell mucltiple traffic violators that the reason for them being in court is that "you think you are doing what every body else is doing" stop doing what you think every body else is doing and start doing what you are suppose to being doing. Same with corruption.

    warren, olathe

    I am so glad that the liter on the highways that was corupting us is a thing of the past.

    Crying For Fairness, Quezon City

    Yes, it is all true, especially to the Philippine governance, husband of Pres. Arroyo is legally corrupt but she sent his husband to U.S.A with millions....Big shame on you Pres. Arroyo!!!


    Get a Quote-a-Day!

    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.