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Berck Edmund

( The statesman, politician, philosopher)

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Biography Berck Edmund
photo Berck Edmund
(1729-1797)
As with the opposition benches of the British Parliament raised a stocky figure of Edmund Burke, then after his first words, spoken with an incorrigible Irish accent, the room froze in tense silence. Sometimes, she persisted until the end of the speech, but more often than it succeeds indignant murmur of government supporters, and even cry of indignation, accompanied by stamping feet. However, anyone and never managed to stop the speaker. In his dark eyes flashed anger, his voice rang louder and louder, somewhat clumsy gestures grew more vigorously, and the words rolled roaring rock slides. Sometimes, his neighbors on the bench, noting that the effusion of rhetoric is about to leave the mainstream of parliamentary vocabulary, the speaker gently pulled the hem of her dress, calling for prudence. But amazingly, as soon as it appeared in print, it became clear - it is not impromptu, not the result of turbulent emotions, and amazing style and depth of thought philosophical work.

Wonderful and contradictory fate of this man. In politics he was flesh and blood of the son of his century - the century of the Enlightenment, in philosophy - all his life struggling with educational ideals. As a statesman, despite the dedicated efforts, he lost all his major political battles, as a thinker, not only surpassed most of his contemporaries, but also long survive his era. So who's this Edmund Burke? He had been born fifty years earlier, perhaps could have been the son of an obscure lawyer in Dublin, besides another Irishman, to become one of the most eminent statesmen of Great Britain? Hardly. This opportunity gave him the XVIII century, when talent and hard work began to be appreciated at times no less than greatness and wealth. Edmund turned 27 years old when his father deprived him of material support, knowing that his son was sent to London to study law, had chosen for himself a literary path. Issued in 1756-1757, respectively, and later reprinted many times in different languages early philosophical writings of Burke brought the author of some fame, but did not give wealth. I had almost nine years into the shadows and earn his living by becoming a journalist, then private secretary to a Member of Parliament William Hamilton, a man of rich and noble, but, alas, the lazy, close and self-confident. In the end, after a quarrel with the patron Burke, who had a very independent character, chose to leave, but stayed because of this destitute. The situation is that to say, unenviable. He is already under forty, but he still has no firm position, no regular income, no big names. And then fortune smiled at him. In 1765, Burke gets a place of personal secretary of government, the Marquis Rokingema, one of the leaders of the Whig. This opened to him and the way to Parliament. In the same year Beck was elected member of the House of Commons.

In 60-ies of the eighteenth century the once powerful party of the Whigs as being an pretty pitiful. It broke up into several rival factions, headed by major aristocratic clans. The split was caused not by any fundamental differences, . but only competition leaders coat-tions, . strove for public office for themselves and their klientelly, . that often led to the formation of self-myh bizarre coalitions and unpredictable zigzags in policy,
. These contradictions are skillfully used in their imperious and determined to King George III (reigned 1763), who yearned to revive the former importance of the monarchy and strove to subdue the Parliament. He openly bought votes of many members, giving them pensions and sinecures. Based on the current parliamentary 'party of the court', George could displace virtually any objectionable to him prime. That's cabinet Rokingema lasted just six months. Together with the patron went into opposition and Burke.

With wit and uncommon energy, he quickly becomes the chief ideologist and organizer (on parliamentary terminology - 'whip') faction Rokingema. Already in the first speeches he proposed and developed a new concept for the time of the parliamentary party, who later became the standard. Politicians, he believed, should not unite around a leader, but around the principles of. An overall program will determine whether the political-Niya, for reasons of national benefit, and not a group of self-interest, asserted Burke. Implementation of this principle, and he spent the next 30 years of its activity.

As political thinker Burke stood out among contemporary philosophers. Received as a child a good religious upbringing, Burke until the end of his days preserved the Christian perception of the world as an abode of good and evil, lying close and inextricably linked. His moral duty, he saw that as the forces to do good and leave behind this world a little more open to happiness. At the same time, he knew perfectly well that people are not able to completely get rid of vices and create an absolutely perfect society (absolutely perfect just the kingdom of God). Chasing a tantalizing but unattainable ideal, they with their limited knowledge of nature and society are capable of causing harm through ignorance, far surpassing anything that would correct. That's why Burke can not accept fashionable at the time called the Enlightenment expose everything in the world court of reason and eliminate what is deemed 'unreasonable'. It is impossible, he believed, to approach life with abstract notions of what should be, we should go from the reality created by the long historical development. Not all of mature age to understand the traditions of modern man, but this does not mean that they are bad. Tradition and faith keep the wisdom of many generations, and to treat them should be carefully. 'What would happen to the world as the fulfillment of all moral duties, all public US-toi depended on how their meaning is clear and accessible to everyone? " - Excitedly asked Burke.

Society, he argued - is a complex organism, evolving over the established laws, which are as little dependent on the will of the people as the laws of the natural world. Religion and inseparably connected with it give an idea of morality existing in the Universe Divine order. Transmitted from one generation to the moral norms ensure continuity in the development of society. It is impossible for people to consider themselves entitled to make history in its sole discretion. Everyone is accountable for their actions a moral responsibility to lived up to it and to those who come after. Just realizing this, you can very carefully to improve the fragile social mechanism, which is so easy to break, but extremely difficult to recover.

Burke emphatically rejected as absurd abstraction of 'natural rights' rights - a favorite theme of the philosophy of the Enlightenment. People, he declared, have only those rights that guarantee them a society. Burke, highly valued and respected historically acquired freedom of the British and spare no effort, fought for their preservation and deepening of. He fiercely defended the freedom of the press, . when the 'party of the court' tried to prosecute newspaper editors for publishing reports of parliamentary sessions, . required to soften mandatory penalties for insolvent debtors and for gay, . strongly called for the abolition of the slave trade and protested against the oppression of the Jews,
. But all this - only a few strokes of its multilateral activities. As its main events were the five great battles for freedom, in which he played a leading role.

The first such battle was the American war of independence. From the beginning of the crisis Burke joined the minority of supporters of the compromise. Yes, technically you have the right to demand obedience from the Americans, he said to the deputies, but to overcome differences and preserve the unity of the empire requires careful and informed decisions. True statesmanship, he tried to convince colleagues, is the ability to find a mutually beneficial compromise. America is linked with Britain by close ties of a common language, culture, traditions, economy - just to be able to agree. Peacemaking efforts Burke earned him such wide popularity that in 1774 residents of a major trading port Bristol, known estates Tories elected him, Whig, his deputy in the new parliamentary elections. It was an undoubted success, but Burke took it very discreetly. When the jubilant crowd of townspeople had invited him to lead a triumphal procession, he refused to support 'so stupid expression servility'. Experience has shown that enthusiasm and actually were premature. Majority in parliament have hardliner. Burke and his supporters were defeated. War broke. The split became inevitable. England has lost the American colonies.

The second battle for freedom - is an attempt to limit the power of the King in England. Still at war, when Burke put forward in 1780, a bill proposed by the elimination of numerous sinecures, giving a monarch who bribed MPs. However, only in 1782, after the confusion caused by military defeat, allowed Rockingham again head the government, this law is passed, albeit in very abbreviated form. Burke longed to exploit success, but death from influenza Rokingema crossed all expectations. King called for a new prime minister, who hurried to get rid of the reformers.

Again found himself in opposition, Burke began the third great battle. With the support of his friend and the new leader of the Whig Charles Fox, he demanded that the Governor-General of India Warren Hastings to justice for the many abuses. Tori, . had in 1784 with an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons, . Burke attempted to arrange obstruction, . but, . overlapping screams and running feet, . pontificate like a biblical prophet: 'Wrath of Heaven, sooner or later fall on the country, . allowing such rulers with impunity oppress the weak and innocent ',
. Time and again he appealed to the conscience of the deputies, citing new evidence of ill-treatment of Indians all-powerful governor. And his perseverance to succeed. In 1787, the deputies adopted a resolution for the impeachment of Hastings. However, the hearing was delayed for a long eight years. Only 28 May 1794 Burke began his final speech, which became a masterpiece of oratory. As many as eight days, sounded under the arches of Westminster Hall the words of bitterness and anger: 'No, . is not the accused stands trial, . is the whole British nation was brought before a court of other peoples, . before the court of the present generation and many, . many generations of descendants ... ' Seemed, . he can rasstrogat even stones,
. But it took another 11 months, and finally Hastings last appeared in the hall to hear the verdict, but what! 'On all charges is not guilty! " Burke lost again ...

Lost as well as the fourth battle for Ireland. With pain in the heart of Burke saw the suffering of his homeland under the yoke of England. Once he confessed, . what, . if it ever would have been considered worthy of awards for state action on behalf of the UK, . he would ask parliament only one thing: 'Do something for Ireland! Make the same something for my people, . and I will be more than rewarded! " Throughout his parliamentary career, he continually fought for the abolition of restrictions on the rights of Irish Catholics,
. Although Burke himself belonged to the Church of England, from childhood he had gained plagued his family the spirit of religious tolerance. Burke's father and brothers were the same as Protestants, but his mother and sister - Catholic. Little Edmund Ho-ing the first in a Catholic school, then - in the Quaker. Charming Jane Nugent, the marriage which was the happiness of his life, married, changed her Catholicism to Anglican. Not surprisingly, the militant intolerance of other religions, has numerous simple English, are deeply saddened Burke, and he passionately urged them to refrain from discrimination Catholics. It was far from safe. When the government seems to have inclined to make concessions, in London, began mass demonstrations against the Catholics, culminated June 5, 1780 in a bloody revolt. Drunken mob looted and burned houses, shops, churches. Especially they were eager to deal with the 'primary defender of Catholics' Burke, who had to seek refuge with friends.

High hopes for alleviating the plight of fellow countrymen Burke linked with the appointment in 1794, the Viceroy of Ireland, Lord Fitzwilliam, the nephew of the late Rokingema. Inspired by Burke, he tried to limit the power of ruling in Dublin henchmen English court, but six months paid for it with his post. Since that moment, the Irish nationalist movement, and came under the influence of ultra-extremists. Burke's dream collapsed on the peaceful liberation of the homeland.

Finally, fifth, and perhaps the most famous of the great battles of Burke - his campaign against the French Revolution. Many British jubilation greeted the news of the fall of 'despotism' on the other side of the Channel.

However, Burke did not share their enthusiasm. Yes, he knew about the evils of the old order. In 1773 he visited the 'capital of the world' Paris, carelessly betrayed the entertainment and debauchery. In the modest, dark clothes came to Burke in the gleaming luxury saloons of the French nobility and warmly inspired them frivolous patrons that the expansion of Christian morality, leading France to the abyss. He listened with curiosity, admiration for the eloquence and wondering how the overseas curiosity. Thanks to Burke, wittily remarked one contemporary, Christianity was almost joined here in a fashion. But his warnings are not heeded ... And the disaster. However, such a striking proof of his own rectitude did not bring him joy. Sharp dissonant chorus of jubilant voices, celebrate the triumph of 'freedom of the French', sounded the best work of Burke - 'Reflections on the Revolution in France' (1790). Wake up, he turned to his compatriots, what are you rejoicing? The French destroyed the old social order, albeit imperfect, but still act to build, according to the plans of their speculative philosophers, a sort of ideal construction. But nothing did not appear! Fragile abstraction scatter as soon as they will transfer to the ground reality and illusions arise from the wreckage of a terrible despotism, what history has never seen. And because such danger is not only to the French. Their revolution - a 'revolution of doctrine and theoretical dogma', the fanatics that inevitably will try to draw in their godless religion and other peoples. That is why the British should leave the enthusiasm and prepare for an arduous struggle for life and death.

Prophecy Burke audience received with bewilderment. The events in France seemed to not give grounds for such pessimism, and the leaders of the Whigs were quick to dissociate himself from Burke. But he stood his. In May 1791 he announced in Parliament on the break with his old friend and ally against Fox because of differences in views on the revolution. 'Course, . anytime, . especially at my age, . - Said Burke, . - Inadvertently give your friends cause you to leave, . and yet the debt to society and reason make me say the last of the Arctic Ocean: run away from the French Revolution! " In front of the Fox, there were tears,
. Choking with emotion, he exclaimed: 'But this is not the end of friendship? " Burke pale as a sheet, but replied firmly, as if snapped: 'I'm sorry, but it's true! I am doing my duty at the cost of other '. The hall was dead silence. It was not only an end to years of friendship between two remarkable people. This meant a split of the former Whig. On one side - Burke, on the other - all the other.

Almost a year Burke spent in solitude. Former colleagues to avoid meeting him. Not considering himself entitled to receive, . as before, . financial assistance from the Whig-aristocrats, . although they insisted on keeping it, . Burke was in dire financial circumstances, . what, . however, . not prevent him from giving money in poverty recent immigrants from France,
. Meanwhile, developments on the continent is conclusively confirmed the correctness of his. The Revolution had swept all the new victims. She has become close to one country, and when its leaders proclaimed a crusade against the 'despots' world. The flames of war to cover all the new states. In February 1793 the French Republic and Britain challenged. Burke predictions have come true with alarming accuracy. Now most of the Whigs took him aside, making them and the Tories failed, dropping the old divisions, to form a coalition Government of National Defense

. Surely the time has come, . when the old warrior would finally be able to rest on the laurels of a well-deserved glory! No, . already terminally ill, . knowing, . that he has stomach cancer, . Burke again thrown into battle, . releasing a short time series of brilliant pamphlets, . which proves: this war is unlike all previous, . its purpose - is not new territory, . and the destruction of the revolutionary power of utopia, . threatens mankind,
. But still need time to call Burke has been appreciated and translated into practical policy. Alas, he had not lived. He died with a sad certainty that this battle and they played.

Upon learning of the death of Burke, one of the friends of the deceased wrote: "His abilities are supernatural, and only a lack of caution and prudence in politics equated it with other mortals'. But it is 'impractical' Burke-politician, who did not want to sacrifice principles for the sake of short-term benefits, turned a triumph Burke-thinker whose work has hitherto remained an inexhaustible source of state wisdom.



. 'The fact that he respects the law, must be sacred to me
. If the boundaries of the law have been violated for reasons of profit, even if the public benefit, we would have remained nothing more reliable '.

E. Burke, 'Speech on Conciliation with the colonies'


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