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"But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tradition or restraint."— Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke's Reflectionson the Revolution in France (1790) is the undisputed foundation of modern conservatism. It is a brilliant pamphlet against the French Revolution, one rooted in the solid ground of a practical political philosophy. Burke's central argument is that the French Revolution was driven by a utopian egalitarianism, which was dangerously disconnected from the actual experience of politics. A conservative, he grants centrality to the practical rationality of existing socio-political traditions and institutions, criticizes radical changes at all costs, and advocates gradual political reforms.