Reflections on the Revolution in France "Good Order Is The Foundation Of All Good Things"
by Edmund Burke

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"Good Order Is The Foundation Of All Good Things"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

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Context: Burke, one of the greatest political philosophers England has ever produced, steadfastly defended traditional and established rights and privileges throughout his long tenure in Parliament. In the French Revolution, which gained much sympathy in England, he saw a gross and dangerous perversion of the normal, gradual, and orderly evolution of political concepts. Toward the end of this treatise he speaks out strongly against the violence and chaos of revolutionary measures and expresses his sympathy for order and regulation:

. . . To keep a balance between the power of acquisition on the part of the subject, and the demands he is to answer on the part of the State, is a fundamental part of the skill of a true politician. The means of acquisition are prior in time and in arrangement. Good order is the foundation of all good things. To be enabled to acquire, the people, without being servile, must be tractable and obedient. The magistrate must have his reverence, the laws their authority. The body of the people must not find the principles of natural subordination by art rooted out of their minds. They must respect that property of which they cannot partake. . . .