The Burke Academy of Aristocracy

As I’ve been reading The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and the Birth of the Right and Left by Yuval Levin, I have come to appreciate the writings of these men more, particularly that by Edmund Burke.

In the book they cited a particular pamphlet by Mr. Burke entitled, An Appeal From the New to the Old Wigs. In this essay he touches on the idea of the natural aristocrat.


A true natural aristocracy is not a separate interest in the state, or separable from it. It is an essential integrant part of any large body rightly constituted. It is formed out of a class of legitimate presumptions, which, taken as generalities, must be admitted for actual truths.

– Edmund Burke


This concept that reminded me of a previous post I wrote on Quality and Inequality from the Virginian.

farmer

Source – flickr.com

Now what, you ask, does this have to do with the American Dream and how is it even remotely related to farming? The answer is simple, a farmer should be easily considered among the “Natural Aristocracy,” his deeds are for his future generations, his land is inherited by his children in the hope that they continue doing his good work. There is nothing that form these qualities that cannot be called what Benjamin Franklin referred to as, “The values of the middling class.”

If America is to be governed by the people, should not the people strive to emulate the qualities that make good leaders?

Check back here later Friday for our first lesson, Good Breeding.

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