wholly unfeasible to connect Burkenwith Locke. To Burke, the revolutionaryntheories of the Commonwealthnradicals were outside of the Whignpolitical tradition. It is remarkable indeednthat O’Brien’s “child of the Enlightenment”nshould have provokednover four hundred replies to his Reflectionsnand other writings on the FrenchnRevolution, from the true children ofnthe Enlightenment, those who followednLocke. I have read more than anhundred of these “replies” to Burkenwritten between 1790 and 1797, andnLocke is cited either by name, or bynquoting him, or by referring to hisndoctrines, particularly to “naturalnrights,” “equality,” and “the sovereigntynof the people.”nO’Brien’s frayed use of categoriesnleaves him wondering about how muchnBurke understood his political differencesnwith the “New Whigs.” In thenintroduction to his edition of Burke’snReflections, O’Brien writes: “It is probablenthat Burke had never fully realized—nuntil the events in Francenprovided the critical test — how profoundlynhe was at odds with much thatnwas fundamental in the philosophy ofnEnglishmen with whom he had alliednhimself: Englishmen who cherishednthe principles of the Glorious Revolutionnand of the Enlightenment, and feltnthese principles to be essentially thensame.” Burke was too well read innBritish history and politics, and toonperceptive, not to know how andnwhere he differed from any of hisnLIBERAL ARTSnAND THEY’REnGOING BANKRUPTnAs a New York Times advertisementnread last February 9, “Bloomingdale’snCares”: “The battle against AIDS continuesnon the home front, and becausenwe’ll never surrender, we’ve opened an’Red Hot and Blue’ Shop on 2, with thengreater portion of profits going to AIDSnresearch and treatment. . . . Stop bynour windows (or the new Shop) to seenthe video and hear the Cole Porternsounds of some very cool — and caringn— people.”n54/CHRONICLESnfellow Whigs who were deceived bynthe myth Locke had created about hisnpolitical orthodoxy. In discussing thenRevolution of 1688 Burke heaps praisenon many of its defenders, but he nevernmentions Locke. This is no carelessnoversight. Toward Locke Burke practicesnwhat he called “the precedence ofnreserve and decorum,” which “dictatesnsilence in some circumstances.”nAll that I have said against O’Brien’snclaim that Burke is in the religious andnpolitical tradition of Locke’s Enlightenmentnhas great bearing upon thenconviction of many Americans todaynthat Burke is the founder of modernnpolitical conservatism. For if O’Brien isnright, then the liberals, not the conservatives,nhave the better claim to Burke.nThis claim should surprise no one whonhas read O’Brien’s essay, “A NewnYorker Critic,” in the New Statesmann(June 1963), where he agrees withnTom Paine, who pictures Burke as an”gifted liberal” who “kisses the aristocraticnhand that hath purloined himnfrom himself” O’Brien agrees with thenleft critics of Burke that he was anpotential revolutionary, an Irish outsidernand alienated man, who hypocriticallynserved the English Whig aristocracynagainst his true political convictions.nIn the introduction to his 1968nedition of Burke’s Reflections, O’Briennseverely castigates Ross Hoffman, RussellnKirk, and me for claiming thatnBurke was a political conservative. Hisncriticism assumes that conservatismnconsists of a mindless defense of anynestablished political authority, regardlessnof the beliefs or actions of those innpower. Since Burke was a severe criticnof King George Ill’s ministers duringnthe American War of Independencenand attacked the established ProtestantnAscendency in Ireland and GovernornWarren Hastings’ misrule in India, bynO’Brien’s reasoning he was not a conservative,nbut a liberal.nThis line of reasoning totally ignoresnthat conservatism includes a body ofnnormative moral, legal, and constitutionalnprinciples by which to judgenthose who use or abuse political power.nSince, as I showed in Edmund Burkenand the Natural Law, Burke adherednstrictly in his politics to the norms ofnmoral natural law and constitutionalnlaw in holding rulers accountable forntheir uses of power, he was never morennnconservative than when he condemnednthose in power who violated thesennorms.nO’Brien attacked Ross Hoffman andnRussell Kirk for making an analogynbetween Burke’s account of the FrenchnJacobins and contemporary Communists.nHe even quoted with approvalnAlfred Cobban’s glib comment thatn”Burke has escaped from the morenfoolish jibes of the Left in Britain onlynto fall victim to the uncritical adulationnof the Right in America.” But ironically,nin 1990, in “A Vindication ofnEdmund Burke,” O’Brien himselfngreatly extends the very same analogynmade by Hoffman and Kirk, but hendoes it in the name of liberalism.nApparentiy it was all wrong in 1968 fornHoffman and Kirk to “make the equationnJacobin equals Communist,” andnto “derive from Burke’s later writings anrepertory of maxims and incitementsnin support” of a conservative foreignnpolicy, but if Burke can be claimed as anliberal, then O’Brien is justified innusing the analogy.nIt is to be regretted that the conservativenclaim to Burke should be attackednin National Review, by a mannwho in 1965 identified himself as ansocialist and the type of liberal who isnnot “a false friend” to the revolutionarynaspirations of “Africa, Asia andnLatin America.” In his article “ThenPerjured Saint,” in the New York Reviewnof Books (November 1964),nO’Brien defended Alger Hiss throughna sustained attack on the moral integritynof his accuser, Whittaker Chambers,na longtime NR contributor, whom henpictured as a chronic liar.nO’Brien’s “A Viridication of EdmundnBurke” is an attempt to destroynthe thesis of Russell Kirk in The ConservativenMind by claiming that Burkenis not the founder of modern politicalnconservatism, but a liberal like JohnnLocke and O’Brien himself. Fortunately,nthe case for Burke as a moral naturalnlaw and constitutional political philosophernis too well-established.nPeter ]. Stanlis edited Studies innBurke and His Times for thirteennyears and is the author and editor ofnsix books on Edmund Burke and hisnera. His seventh, Edmund Burke:nThe Enlightenment and Revolution,nhas just been published bynTransaction.n