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Edmund Burke, Progressive Coalitions and – yet again – passionate pragmatism.

July 9, 2017

On the sad occasion of the 220th anniversary of Edmund Burke’death, I’m going to reblog everything I have with “Burke” in the title…



Now that I’m an Irish citizen, I’m allowed to celebrate Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke at one and the same time.

What I miss about Burke, or rather, miss about Burkeian thinking (Burke’s been dead since 1797 and I’m over it) is not a set of political positions, or even a framework of political belief.  No, I miss an ethical methodology for political decision making.  I miss passionate pragmatism, needed now more than ever.

I’m repeating myself.  I’ve said this before, and I’ve written this before, but right now the case for passionate pragmatism becomes more and more urgent.  And passionate pragmatism isn’t about being more or less radical and it certainly isn’t about being “centrist”.  I have no time for people who are instinctively “centrist”.

Burke was, even in his lifetime, accused of being a “turncoat” because he was sympathetic to the rebellious American colonists but hostile to the…

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