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“Totalitarianism is the possession of reality by a political Idea — the Idea of the socialist kingdom of heaven on earth, the redemption of humanity by political force.  To radical believers, this Idea is so beautiful it is like God himself.  It provides the meaning of a radical life.  It is the solution that makes everything possible; it is the end that justifies every regrettable means.  Belief in the kingdom of socialist heaven is the faith that transforms vice into virtue, lies into truth, evil into good.  For in the revolutionary religion, the Way, the Truth and the Life of salvation lie not with God above but with men below — ruthless, brutal, venal men — on whom the faith confers the power of gods.”

David Horowitz, in Peter Collier and David Horowitz, Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts about the Sixties (New York, 1989), page 287.


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3 thoughts on “The beautiful Idea: still active today”

  1. Steve says:

    The high priest of the socialist kingdom is non-other than Saul Alinsky, who in his book “Rules for Radicals” dedicates his methods to the prince of the power of the air.

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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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