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The Aphorisms of Nicolás Gómez Dávila

June 23, 2010

Here are some of my favorites:

  • 1,088: “Democracy is the political regime in which the citizen entrusts the public interests to those men to whom he would never entrust his private interests.”
  • 1,312: “Dying societies accumulate laws like dying men accumulate remedies.”
  • 1,323: “Political blunders repeat themselves, because they are the expression of human nature. Successes do not repeat themselves, because they are the gift of history.”
  • 1,269: “The two terms of the democratic alternative today—oppressive bureaucracy or repugnant plutocracy—are canceling each other out. Combining into a single term: opulent bureaucracy. At once repugnant and oppressive.”
  • 1322: “Universal suffrage in the end does not recognize any of the individual’s rights except the ‘right’ to be alternately oppressor or oppressed.”
  • 1,288: “No folktale ever began this way: Once upon a time, there was a president…”
  • 1,284: “The more complex the functions which the state assumes, the more subordinate the bureaucrats on whom the citizen’s fortune depends.”

“Opulent bureaucracy” could be the phrase of the year. Hat tip, Moldbug.


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