November 5, 2010


Leftists and rightists merely argue about who is to have possession of industrial society.
The reactionary longs for its death.

Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección, p. 354


  1. The original Spanish is:

    Izquierdistas y derechistas meramente se disputan la posesión de la sociedad industrial.
    El reaccionario anhela su muerte.

  2. I don't get it... isn't industry a good thing, that provides goods & services to mankind?

  3. Sylvain,

    Yes, industry does provides goods and services, but industry is not equivalent to the providing of goods and services. After all, people were providing goods and services for each other millennia before the advent of industrial society. What, then, is distinctive about industrial society?

    The problem of industrial society, for Gómez Dávila (and for other thinkers), is the victory of the bourgeois ethos: "The bourgeoisie is not so much a social class as the ethos of industrial society itself" (#494). What then are the problems with the bourgeoisie? Aphorism #2,181 shows some of the problems Gómez Dávila associated with the bourgeoisie and industrial society: "the nationalist state, rationalist technology, anonymous urban agglomerations...the mass man, and finally the process in which society wavers between the despotism of the mob and the despotism of the expert."

    Hopefully, that gives you some idea of why Gómez Dávila said that the reactionary desires the death of industrial society. If you want to read more aphorisms, there are more here. Another helpful essay is "Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind" by Christopher Dawson, who concluded all the way back in 1935 that "we are all more or less bourgeois and our civilization is bourgeois from top to bottom," and that "there is a fundamental disharmony between bourgeois and Christian civilization."