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Man was not made for the Government : Good government is not about enforcing uniform order, but about maximising liberty among a particular people.
Man was not made for the Government

From A Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol by Edmund Burke MP (1729-1797).

Edmund Burke, MP for Bristol, would have had little truck with European ‘harmonisation’. He argues that the job of any government is to judge sensitively, for a particular people, the smallest degree of restraint needed to keep their freedom fresh — in that country, and at that time — and then stop.

LIBERTY, too, must be limited in order to be possessed. The degree of restraint it is impossible in any case to settle precisely.

But it ought to be the constant aim of every wise public council to find out by cautious experiments, and rational, cool endeavours, with how little, not how much, of this restraint the community can subsist. For liberty is a good to be improved, and not an evil to be lessened.

For as the sabbath (though of Divine institution) was made for man, not man for the sabbath, government, which can claim no higher origin or authority, in its exercise at least, ought to conform to the exigencies of the time, and the temper and character of the people with whom it is concerned; and not always to attempt violently to bend the people to their theories of subjection.

From A Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol by Edmund Burke MP (1729-1797).

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Picture: © Jonathan Billinger, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
‘Freedom is a good to be improved, not an evil to be lessened.’ Ponies on common land below Hay Bluff and above Wenallt near Llanigon in Powys, central Wales.
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