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Thursday, May 25, 2006
Liberty and Authority

Having been denied my first choice hero to represent on this first class blog, I will have to settle for my second, the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. As a Wiltshire man and an English bloke from the small town of Purton just outside of Swindon, it will be my distinct privilege to provide The Monarchist with enough English content to more balance the blog's coverage across the British Commonwealth. I purposely say English content instead of British content, in order not to offend our shared Britishness and pride in the British Crown and tradition that obviously is the mainstay of this project. It is the thing that unites us all.

But why does it unite us? Fundamentally it does so because unlike almost all other nations on this planet, we were the ones who succeeded in finding the right balance between liberty and authority. We escaped the tyrannies of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, because men like Edmund Burke made us understand that one without the other was impossible. Authority without liberty is dictatorship, and liberty without authority is the mob. Churchill on Burke says it best:

"On the one hand [Burke] is revealed as a foremost apostle of Liberty, on the other as the redoubtable champion of Authority. But a charge of political inconsistency applied to this life appears a mean and petty thing. History easily discerns the reasons and forces which actuated him, and the immense changes in the problems he was facing which evoked from the same profound mind and sincere spirit these entirely contrary manifestations. His soul revolted against tyranny, whether it appeared in the aspect of a domineering Monarch and a corrupt Court and Parliamentary system, or whether, mouthing the watch-words of a non-existent liberty, it towered up against him in the dictation of a brutal mob and wicked sect. No one can read the Burke of Liberty and the Burke of Authority without feeling that here was the same man pursuing the same ends, seeking the same ideals of society and Government, and defending them from assaults, now from one extreme, now from the other."

And that's all that needs to be said on that. Look for much more Burke in the coming days.

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