The Politics of Edmund Burke as Related to Classical Liberalism and its Derivatives

835 WordsJun 16, 20184 Pages
Edmund Burke was a political philosopher and a member of British Parliament who is generally considered to be the founder of modern conservatism. His politics are a fusion of other political theorists, and thus aren't particularly cohesive or systematic. However, Burke is an important figure in the history of political thought and he was known for his ability as an orator and statesman. Burke saw society as if it was an evolving organism. He felt that, like a body, all aspects of a society must be functioning properly in order for society as a whole to remain healthy. Also like a body, he saw society as always attempting a homeostasis. He claimed that there was a delicate balance with all the institutions of society. When one…show more content…
This concept was known as subsidiarity. One other concept that Burke advocated is that of virtual representation. Burke felt that when one was elected, the people elected an individual, not a populist mouthpiece. Therefore it wasn't necessary for him to reflect the positions of his constituents. Instead he would use his own judgement in governmental decisions. This is one area that is can be traced to modern conservatism, as conservatives typically feel the need to legislate their personal morality. Even though Burke is considered to be the founder of modern conservatism, his ideas are directly connected to classic liberalism. This political ideology placed an emphasis on individual and economic liberty, as classic liberals believed this would result in the greatest prosperity for all. The term liberal originally was derived from the idea that they were liberating the economy and citizen from needless government constraint. This ideology eventually evolved into libertarianism. Libertarianism is most directly connected to the British philosopher John Stuart Mill. Mill felt that government should never get so big that it is encumbered by its bloated size. This ideology places a strong emphasis on liberty. They believe that the market economies are self-regulating and need no government intervention of any kind. The government's sole

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