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

Famous Edmund Burke Quote

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund BurkeEdmund Burke
~ Edmund Burke

Attributed, not found in any of his writings, originally mistakenly appeared in Barlett's Familiar Quotations

Ratings and Comments

Logan, Memphis, TN

This is why nothing will change the course our country is taking-- the majority of us here are reduced to sleeping giants-- we give our good ideas to liberty quotes, and then live the same mundane and complacent lives we had before. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Apparently so.

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EGL, LA    2/14/07

Having just visited Ireland, this strikes me as not only a well said hoped for truism, but one that is very Irish.

Michael, Houston, TX

How true...and HERE is the delimma our nation faces...."Woe to those who call good evil and evil good." For indeed, there are those who do precisely that....so much so that they have embraced the demonic enemy who will surely kill them first.

E Archer, NYC

Indeed. It is each individual that is responsible for defending against evil -- one person at a time.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Too bad we define evil so differently, eh?

Ken, Allyn, WA

Failing to confront evil is a sin of omission. Everybody pays for their sins sooner or later.

Michael, Houston

Reston... Thank you for your response. Just for my information, in the context of the conversation. how would YOU define evil...? True E Archer...as far as it goes. Sometimes, we act as groups against a group evil....ie the free world against communisism or nazism. And sometimes, the evil comes upon you and you must defend yourself against it.

maddie, birmingham AL

i think that its simply human nature to just do nothing when there is a problem. People tend to rationalize by pretending everything is okay, but truth be told, they don't want to admit there's a problem, because its easier to just sit back and go about your life than it is to get involved and make a difference.

terance rex skelton, brisbane

how hard it is to be so noble, wish that i had more strength to make a difference

Carrie, Edmonton

This quote is wrongly attributed. Bartlett's confessed to publishing the quote from a letter of Burke's that never actually contained these words.

P. Reidy, Fl.

The dichotomy of war is that it is simultaneously the most heinous and the most honorable human endeavour. We rightfully spurn the Hitlers, the Pol Pots, and the Saddams of the world, those who make war for power and profit. On the other hand, those who fight wars in order to defend the defenseless, restore the peace, and establish justice, they are among those whom the apostle John was talking about when he wrote that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend.

Mike, Norwalk

Logan, well said. I used to go to court often, write incessantly to politicians and attempted to right wrongs from the inside out and outside in the system (much more than I do now - I have found working smart at a grass roots level is slow but, a lot more effective). Evil that is now the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land is growing exponentially. The courts will hear nothing of law, legislators only recognize expanding tyranny while the executive has become a police state unto its own. Where are the good men?

Ronw13, Yachats Or

We as a people, have the opportunity through mechanization, now available, to spread the truth of Liberty and all it encompasses. It is not just an American thing any longer, global treaties realign in concert the capital socialistic agendas they seek. America in its own right has planted seed world wide, which through the course of time becomes rooted, then grounded, now, to bring forth fruit globally. God has a Controversy with the nations, and he is the Governor thereof. His universal language, his natural laws of understanding good and evil, abide in all. It is a graduated scale, it is the individuals responsibility, to comply with each degree. God is not a respecter of persons, nor is our Constitution when granting Liberty to all that will embrace his natural laws of liberty. As there are 13 moral laws concerning those of a nation that lend to a free sovereign individual of the same nation, there are 13 controversies mentioned which mirror face to face. It is natural to want to be free, it takes courage to act upon, even in this once land of Liberty. Now God's laws written in the heart of man begin to bring forth fruit unto the light of Liberty. Globally. This ancient knowledge traverses all language barriers. And there will be no failure in the communication thereof. Saad al Melik by way of Delu !! I am an American of Bedoin, Jewish dissent. mingled with Scottish and native American. These are my lines of things and they are pleasant lines. Grass roots level is always a good place to start, that is the field of rescue. Rescue with knowledge. Ones faith is based upon their knowledge. Good men become a prey in these hard times. A prince,( and there are many with the increase of transgression,) that lacks understanding is a great oppressor. Elect those that, ( Gesnosco, Absolute knowledge of ), know, Liberty, never those that seek understanding. I tried to keep it short, sorry.

jim k, Austin

Ron13, get to the point . Condense your gibberish to a few dozen sentences.

Editor, Liberty Quotes

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warren, olathe

Could there not be a more fitting statement to describe our times? We can sit and morn about the abomination that is in the White House and wonder how we will ever survive all the despicable damage that has been done to our nation, but we can think of nothing personally we can do but type opinions on a website and hope we are not made to suffer for it later. I fear it is already too late and we can do nothing but watch the collapse of liberty. The constitution was the most perfect idea of how to have self government ever devised by man but it had a weakness. It required a population that was moral and held its leaders to be the same. All they had to do to destroy it was ignore it. Bastardization of our educational system and corruption of our moral character has made it possible for the Constitution to become a "living document" which leaves it meaningless.


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