Burke on Authority and Rebellion

Analyzed here:

"[Burke] believed [that] the fact that a government has provided for their needs—insofar as a government can do that—to the reasonable satisfaction of its subjects over a long period of time is a far better proof of their consent and a more solid title to authority over them than the express consent of individuals told by the head would be. A government endowed with such a 'prescriptive' title, according to Burke, is a legitimate government. It may lawfully he overthrown only if it commits those grave and continued abuses that have traditionally been considered to justify revolution. For the duty to obey constituted governments is an obligation under natural law that springs from men’s nature as social and political beings, and not from the sovereign wills of naturally, isolated individuals."

6 comments:

  1. Do you agree with Edmund Burke here? Do you think that if there's a benevolent dictator who's doing a good job, then it would be illegitimate for the people to have a revolution just because they want democracy?

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  2. In this post you said something to the effect that Singapore seems to be a good exemplar of final cause. Several problems with that:
    •It's corporativist (not "corporatist") as all hell.
    •Income inequality is terrible.
    •It's incredibly technocratic.
    •Some of its punishments seem to be rather cruel and unusual.
    •It's the kind of place Bloomberg would likely want to preside over.

    Honestly, I don't get why libertarians and conservatives point to that place as a model.

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    Replies
    1. "Singapore seems to be a good exemplar of final cause"

      Not only did I not say that, I don't even know what it means. A "final cause" would be something like, "The animals are mating with the aim of producing children." I have no idea how a country could be an example of a final cause!

      "Honestly, I don't get why libertarians and conservatives point to that place as a model."

      I did not hold it up as a model. But it is better governed than most of the nations on the planet. It has problems? (See your list above.) You don't say? A human society with problems! Who could imagine.

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    2. Not only did I not say that, I don't even know what it means. A "final cause" would be something like, "The animals are mating with the aim of producing children." I have no idea how a country could be an example of a final cause!

      D'oh! It appears I misunderstood what that phrase means. What I should have said was that you said it was a good example of a government that achieves its ends.

      I did not hold it up as a model.

      I didn't mean to imply you did. I was talking about libertarians and conservatives associated with groups like the Heritage Foundation, FEE, Reason, and others.

      But it is better governed than most of the nations on the planet.

      How so?

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