The Quotable Don Colachos

Nicholas Gomez Davila, known as Don Colachos to his friends, was a Colombian Conservative intellectual who, up until now, has been pretty much completely unknown. Part of the problem is that most of his works haven’t been translated into English. However, by good luck, I happened to stumble across some of his aphorisms tonight, and I am now going to do my bit to make sure the whole world knows his name.

Below are some of the aphorisms of Don Colachos.

“Taste is relative” is the excuse adopted by those eras that have bad taste.

Contemporary persons do not admire anything other than hysterical texts.

Whoever says that he “belongs to his time” is only saying that he agrees with the largest number of fools at that moment.

The word “modern” no longer has an automatic prestige except among fools.

The particular creature we love is never God’s rival. What ends in apostasy is the worship of man, the cult of humanity.

In philosophy, a single naive question oftentimes suffices for the whole system to collapse.

If philosophy does not resolve any scientific problem, science, in its turn, does not resolve any philosophical problem.

What is difficult is not to believe in God, but to believe that we matter to Him.

Being a reactionary is not about believing in certain solutions, but about having an acute sense of the complexity of the problems.

Wise politics is the art of invigorating society and weakening the State.

Many love humanity only in order to forget God with a clear conscience.

The growing difficulty of recruiting priests should embarrass humanity, not disquiet the Church.

Faith is what allows us to wander astray into any idea without losing the way out.

Catholicism does not solve all problems but it is the only doctrine that raises them all.

God does not die, but unfortunately for man the subordinate gods like modesty, honor, dignity, decency, have perished.

Christianity did not invent the notion of sin, but that of forgiveness.

Power more surely corrupts the man who covets it than the man who exercises it.

Asking the state to do what only society should do is the error of the left.

“Social justice” is the term used to claim anything to which we do not have a right.

A noble society does not wait for catastrophes to discipline it before it disciplines itself.

Sexual promiscuity is the tip society pays in order to appease its slaves.

Liberty is the right to be different; equality is a ban on being different.

Vulgarity consists in striving to be what we are not.

Among ideas only the stupid ones are immortal.

“Escapism” is the imbecile’s favorite accusation to make.

The fool does not renounce an error unless it goes out of fashion.

Love and hate do not create, but reveal, qualities which our indifference obscures.

The 19th century did not live with more anguish because of its sexual repression than the 20th century with its sexual liberation. Identical obsession, even when the symptoms are the opposite.

Rudeness is not a proof of authenticity, but of bad manners.

Egalitarian societies strangle the imagination without even satisfying envy.

Rare are those who forgive us when we make it harder for them to shirk their duties.

Liberalism proclaims the right of the individual to degrade oneself, provided one’s degradation does not impede the degradation of one’s neighbor.

Where Christianity disappears, greed, envy, and lust invent a thousand ideologies to justify themselves.

Modern society only respects science as an inexhaustible provider of what it covets.

Those sins that scandalize the public are less grave than those it tolerates.

Man assures himself that life vilifies him in order to hide the fact that it merely reveals him.

Intellectual honesty is a virtue which every successive generation presumes it is practicing for the first time.

That’s just a small sampling: you’ll probably see more of him in the future.

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