Burke Vs Hobbes

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Edmund Burke, after a visit to France in 1773, wrote a pamphlet titled Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) to express his disdain for the events and methods of the French Revolution. Where other political writers of the Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment Eras propose theories of politics and government, Burke does not promote a theory, set of premises, a call to action, or even a succinct conclusion. He rather details his attitude and disposition of consensual government and politics. He believed that the human condition is far to complex to be described by science and therefore avoids commonly held political science views of the Enlightenment Era. However, Thomas Hobbes, as relayed in Leviathan (1651) believed that all political…show more content…
Burke’s most prominent difference from Hobbes’ social contract arises from the common criticism that consent to a social contract can be tacit. Burke holds the notion that the social contract transcends generations, where each new generation inherits the rights from the previous [PG 428]. Yet Burke does concede that the original social contract arose similarly to that of Hobbes. Thomas Hobbes’ prefaces his discussion of the social contract by giving credence to what he understood as science. Hobbes’ approach hinges on this understanding. “[R]eason is not … born with us, not gotten by experience only, as prudence is, but attained by industry.” It is attained through nomenclature, understanding the order of elements, and how they connect to each other. “[Till] we come to a knowledge of all the consequences of names appertaining to…show more content…
(The natural freedom to take what you want is void however one gains the freedom of maintaining property without worry.) However, Burke does not look at the social contract as something to which every citizen who is born into a commonwealth consents. Burke pinnacle argument divers from Hobbes in that a commonwealth cannot ever be undermined by its citizens. Burke believes that after the original contract, a commonwealth, the rights its people have, and the way it is governed are only iterations, thus the social contract is indissoluble unlike that of Hobbes. A rebellion is dangerous and futile because it is impossible to erase generations of tradition which have added to the human condition under which the citizens currently live. Once citizens realize that the contract is among generations and time, and that they have no right to take it away from those who are not yet born, they will realize they have no right to rebel. Burke argues that the contract preexisted current citizens and it will exist after their death, that every right citizens think they have is a product of the original social contract. Burke argues that if one wants to rebel, look at the death and brutality of the French

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