Edmund Burke Quotes

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

 
Context
There are some scholars who question the authenticity of this quotation. They observe that no one who has listed this quotation has ever cited a primary source. While this is good reason to be suspicious, that are many remarks that politicians make that are not documented at the time. Attribution years later is not uncommon. We believe that this quotation is probably authentic for two reasons: First, there are literally thousands of use of this quotation that are attributed including President John F. Kennedy. And many of these were attributed before there even was an Internet and Quotation copying and scraping. Second, it is an idea that Burke had expressed though not in the same words in a fully documented quotation. See {596221}. Another similar quotation was given by John Stuart Mill--see {636525}.
Citations

Edmund Burke, 1729-1797, Irish Orator & Member of the British Parliament, Attributed

Eigen's Political and Historical Quotations


Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
  • Born: January 12, 1729
  • Died: July 9, 1797
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Profession: Statesman

Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman born in Dublin, as well as an author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, who after moving to London in 1750 served as a member of parliament (MP) between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons with the Whig Party.