Edmund Burke Quote of The Week

December 20, 2012

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Attributed to Edmund Burke, (1729-1797)


Known as the Father of Conservatism, Burke, a native of Dublin and longtime Member of Parliament, was supportive of the American Revolution but condemned the French Revolution for its excesses. He wrote extensively on the role of government and was widely praised for his ability to clarify philosophical issues.

This quote, made popular by John Kennedy and attributed by him to Burke, is a good example of how difficult it can be to pin down exactly who said what several hundred years ago. According to The Quote Investigator, who often refers to The Quote Verifier by Ralph Keyes, it is likely that it may have been first pronounced in similar form by the Reverend Charles Aked, but is also attributed to Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill and others. As with many of the quotable sentiments of the famous it has its roots in scripture, and expresses an ancient recognition that it is the duty of persons of good will to act, not merely to hope.

Greg Bover

About Joey C

The creator of goodmorninggloucester.org Lover of all things Gloucester and Cape Ann. GMG where we bring you the very best our town has to offer because we love to share all the great news and believe that by promoting others in our community everyone wins.
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One Response to Edmund Burke Quote of The Week

  1. Bruce says:

    Thanks Greg, as always you put the star on the top of the GMG tree!

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