Saturday, October 02, 2010

Edmund Burke, the Coalition's favourite philosopher?

Amol Rajan, in an essay in the Independent yesterday, argued that Edmund Burke is:

a thinker who personifies the spirit and philosophy of the present government, and the fusion of these two leaders, who share more than the members of their parties care to admit or are comfortable with.

In his embodiment of the common ground between liberals and conservatives, his understanding that the Big Society is really just an agglomeration of small societies, and his rewriting of Rousseau's contract within society as a contract between the generations, Edmund Burke is the authentic voice of the coalition agreement – a centuries-old Cleggeron, or Cameregg, if you prefer.

Another step in the long-overdue rehabilitation of Burke's reputation among Liberals?


Martin Veart said...

It is Burke's fundamental pessimism that is the turn-off for liberals. Sure, one has to remain in contact with what is possible but personally I believe people respond well if their better nature is given subtle encouragement.

iain said...

I rather liked the description of Burke as a 'disgruntled Whig'

dreamingspire said...

Pessimism fits well as a summary of the impression the dominant Tory component of the Coalition makes on me - their pessimism, not mine. Its really quite depressing, and, in the national context, very frightening. The 'getting people back into work' push just isn't matched with anywhere near enough help for wealth and therefore job creation. OK, there are ideas for reducing the effective marginal tax rate as you move back into work, but that on its own is no good in an economy that is at best stagnant while still letting immigrants in.
So, Jonathan, can you do some analysis, or should we leave it to the Taxpayers Alliance and Wat Tyler's Burning Our Money?