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The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 3

Edmund Burke

Book Overview: 

Reflections on the Revolution in France is a book by Edmund Burke, one of the best-known intellectual attacks against the (then-infant) French Revolution. In the twentieth century, it much influenced conservative and classical liberal intellectuals, who recast Burke's Whig arguments as a critique of Communism and Socialist revolutionary programmes.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Consultations, February 11th, 1771.">[46] I therefore applauded my right honorable friend, who, when he canvassed the Company's accounts, as a preliminary to a bill that ought not to stand on falsehood of any kind, fixed his discerning eye and his deciding hand on these debts of the Company from the Nabob of Arcot and Rajah of Tanjore, and at one stroke expunged them all, as utterly irrecoverable: he might have added, as utterly unfounded.

On these grounds I do not blame the arrangement this day in question, as a preference given to the debt of individuals over the Company's debt. In my eye it is no more than the preference of a fiction over a chimera; but I blame the preference given to those fictitious private debts over the standing defence and the standing government. It is there the public is robbed. It is robbed in its army; it is robbed in its civil administration; it is robbed in its credit; it is robbed in its investment, which forms the commercial co. . . Read More