Edmund Burke

David Brooks: Burke is famous for his belief in gradual change. He didn’t believe in revolutionary change because he thought that society was too complicated to be planned through reason and remade according to that plan. My students [at Yale] were divided on this. Some saw wisdom in this modesty, pointing to failed efforts to remake societies, ranging from the war in Iraq to the Russian revolution. Others pointed out that most systems are constructed by those in power for those in power. If you don’t have radical change, you just allow entrenched privilege to stay in power forever.

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