Monday, August 31, 2020

On Burke’s Phrase: “a swinish multitude”

“A swinish multitude”—by his use of this phrase, Edmund Burke has conveyed his low opinion of those who become part of mobs and indulge in violence to force society to accept their political agenda. In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Burke writes: “Along with its natural protectors and guardians, learning will be cast into the mire and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude.” Burke’s use of the phrase “a swinish multitude” caused a controversy in his time. In his choice of world, the radical politicians and intellectuals saw an attack on the underprivileged.

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