Burke on the Statesman's Duty | Harper's Magazine

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Burke on the Statesman’s Duty

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A man full of warm, speculative benevolence may wish his society otherwise constituted than he finds it, but a good patriot and a true politician always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition to preserve and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution.

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France p. 54 (1790)

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