Vindication of Natural Society Hogeye Condensed Version
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  • Government necessarily involves submission to an artificial religion. Is Burke referring to "religions" like patriotism, nationalism, militarism, and imperialism?

  • Is the State "a Protector, a Nurse, and Increaser of Blessings"? Or does it exacerbate the "natural evils" it purports to protect men against.

    Burke is going to compare the State to Natural Society. Which is a more just society? Has the State been successful in protecting people's rights? Or has it caused even more death and destruction than would otherwise have been the case? Burke walks us through the State's long, bloody, authoritarian history, and argues that people would have been better off in Natural Society.

Civil Government borrows a Strength from ecclesiastical; and artificial Laws receive a Sanction from artificial Revelations. The Ideas of Religion and Government are closely connected; and whilst we receive Government as a thing necessary, or even useful to our Well-being, we shall in spite of us draw in, as a necessary, tho' undesirable Consequence, an artificial Religion of some kind or other. To this the Vulgar will always be voluntary Slaves; and even those of a Rank of Understanding superior, will now and then involuntarily feel its Influence.

It is therefore of the deepest Concernment to us to be set right in this Point; and to be well satisfied whether civil Government be such a Protector from natural Evils, and such a Nurse and Increaser of Blessings, as those of warm Imaginations promise. I freely enquire from History and Experience, how far Policy has contributed in all Times to alleviate those Evils which Providence, that perhaps has designed us for a State of Imperfection, has imposed; how far our physical Skill has cured our constitutional Disorders; and whether, it may not have introduced new ones, cureable perhaps by no Skill.

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