Sunday, February 08, 2009

On Sir Edmund Burke

A mailing list post got me searching for information about a State Income Tax, and I found that Senator Franklin has introduced SB 5104, creating an Income Tax. Of course, I found this through the conservative bill tracking service, WashingtonVotes.org.

And I got into it with some of the posters who were whining about spending, etc. Same argument as ever. Until I saw this comment from "glhadley":


What we really need are term limits and a restriction on voting to those who actually pay more taxes than they game the system for. If we could remove from the voting rolls, those who are simply voting for people who promise the most, we could really have a non-self-destructive society.


My answer was that he sounded like Edmund Burke:


The occupation of a hair-dresser, or of a working tallow-
chandler, cannot be a matter of honour to any person —
to say nothing of a number of other more servile em-
ployments. Such descriptions of men ought not to
suffer oppression from the state ; but the state suffers
oppression, if such as they, either individually or collec-
tively, are permitted to rule.


I found this quote on Archive.org, and it got me reading a bit more. Burke goes onto quote Ecclesiasticus, Chapter 38, which I think he completely misunderstood. It talks about honoring labor, and that in spite of the fact that people who do hard work are rarely consulted in political matters 2,000+ years ago, they "they will maintain the state of the world, and all their desire is in the work of their craft."

Burke thought that the ancients were saying that the workers "should not" be consulted in politics. I read the passage as cynical lore, saying that even if they are not consulted, they maintain the foundations of our lives, and should be honored for it.

What do you think?

2 comments:

Bryce Milton said...

We stil have 40 or so Republicans in the Senate that basically agree with Burke, don't we?

Chad Lupkes said...

Sure looks like it.