The New Demons. Chapter 6: Secular Religions, Political Religion

It can be said that these religions are both spontaneous and fabricated. They are spontaneous because man, of his own accord, will contribute his worship of the supreme head, the father, the saviour, the director. He has need of grandeur, of truth, of justice, of good, of pardon. He will find these there, and only there. They are fabricated because the power, in its role as technician, is precisely in need of love and adoration. The state no longer is willing to be “the coldest of all the cold monsters.” It needs to be warm, friendly, neighbourly, hence the paternal and benign visage of Stalin, and the joyous, open, and understanding visage of Mao. One can say that the more a power is organized, rationalized, and strict, the more it needs the irrational and mystical behavior of the people with respect to it. It has to be given a love and a warmth by Man.

By Jacques Ellul

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