– He fought against the egalitarian’s foolish attempt to destroy artificial and natural aristocracies
– Civil society naturally generates an order that man is reasonable enough to comply with – we’re never in a natural states because we have reason. We’re not immature and infantile which is anarchy
– Burke strongly opposed defining natural rights because it was an impossible task
“Men have no right to what is not reasonable, and to what is not for their benefit.” (52)
– When a natural right conflicts with justice, it ceases to be a right
– Man gave up the natural right to self-imposed justice when he framed societies. It defines the man version of justice
– Society is based on trust between people that they respect each other and their arbiter of justice. Individuals cannot dish out justice themselves.
“But a surrender in trust, one notes; although a man cannot enjoy civil society, he receives in its place a guarantee of justice. Violation of that trust can justify resistance, but nothing else can. Not only the dictates of justice bind men to mutual dependence, but the dictates of general morality also. Neither the savage nor the civilized man can help elbowing his neighbors; and whenever he does, in some degree his “natural” freedom must be restrained, for it endangers the prerogatives of others.” (53)
– Man cannot have “absolute liberty” because there is never a time when his actions don’t effect another or abdicate him of responsibility
– Providence is the natural guide of rights
“If civil society be made for the advantage of man, all the advantages for which it is made become his right. It is an institution of beneficence; and law itself is only beneficence acting by rule. Men have a right to live by that rule; they have a right to do justice, as between their fellows, whether their fellows are in public function or in ordinary occupation. They have a right to the fruits of their industry, and to the means of making their industry fruitful. They have a right to the acquisitions of their parents; to the nourishment and improvement of their offspring; to the instruction in life, and to consolation in death. Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing upon others, he has a right to do for himself; and he has a right to all which society, with all its combinations of skill and force, can do in his favour. In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not equal things.”(54)
– In society, man has a right to equal justice, but not equal outcomes. Nature has no role for man to share equally without consideration of benefits for his production.
– Government is established to ensure justice and maintain order to the society that structured it