“The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.”

This revealing statement is attributed to a member of the radical 1960’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), in David Horowitz’s pamphlet “Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model” (p. 9).

The saying is and has always been the guiding principle of leftists going back at least to Marx and Lenin, and probably to the Jacobin leader, Robespierre, of the French terror in 1793-94. Lenin, after all, was an admirer of Robespierre, calling him a “Bolshevik before his time.”

Put in cliché terms, the statement says, “The end justifies the means.”

Horowitz elaborates the meaning of the SDSer’s statement: “In other words the cause—whether inner city blacks or women—is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution” (p. 8).

This is the gospel of Saul Alinsky, Marxist teacher of our former president and his secretary of state. Our former president, of course, said on the eve of his election that his goal was to fundamentally transform American society. Alinsky denied that he was a Marxist, but that is also part of his gospel because facts don’t matter in revolutions.*

To elaborate Horowitz’s elaboration of the SDS statement, Marx and Machiavelli were too timid. Revolution is war and in war deception and fraud are justified; lying, cheating, ritual defamation (character assassination), smears, intimidation, threats, psychological terror, sit-ins and other obstructions, and, if you can get away with it, assault, battery, and more serious forms of violence, all should be part of your arsenal.

If one cause is not successful in securing power, immediately promote another one. And then another, and another. Be relentless. The enemy is naïve and will not believe that what they are facing is naked dishonesty. And the enemy is anyone who disagrees with you, especially anyone who promotes the values of Western civilization, namely individual rights, political freedom, and capitalism.

Now this “Alinsky model” of revolution is still consistent with Marx and the communists. David Horowitz has written extensively on the subject, largely because he was a red-diaper baby and himself a communist sympathizer for many years, but has since become a conservative.

Horowitz’s parents were members of the American Communist Party, but never admitted it in public. They preferred to call themselves progressives. The Communist Party explicitly promoted this kind of deception.

The Communist magazine in 1937 urged teachers who were Party members to teach Marxism and Leninism in every class, but never let anyone know that they were communists. Teachers “must take advantage of their positions, without exposing themselves,” and they must “inject [Marxism-Leninism] into their teaching at the least risk of exposure and at the same time conduct struggles around the school in a truly Bolshevik manner” (quoted in Sidney Hook, Out of Step, p. 499, Hook’s italics omitted).

Facts don’t matter because lying and putting on a front are the essential requirements for winning revolutions. In today’s political climate, this means that opponents are viewed literally as evil monsters who must be defeated and destroyed at all cost, which includes making up whatever will sound good and succeed.

This, too, is consistent with the Marxist/Leninist/communist mantra. When it is opportune, leftists, whether old or new, will not hesitate to call themselves advocates of democracy, freedom, reason, and justice, and then denigrate, or rather, smear, their opponents as the opposite, usually in the vilest terms they can find. Today, in particular, they like to call themselves liberals and progressives and their opponents fascists or Nazis.

Of course, by “justice” they mean “social justice,” which is the opposite, and obfuscation, of giving each person his or her due. “Social justice” means taking wealth (legal plunder) from those who have earned it and giving it to those who have not. More generally, it means cutting the “fat cats” down to size, motivated by envy or what Ayn Rand called “hatred of the good for being the good.” (Capitalists are the “fat cats,” whereas wealthy leftist “fat cats,” funders of the activists, are never called out as such or criticized.)

What about the end that justifies the means, the socialism that the revolution aims to establish? A line sometimes heard spoken to socialists and communists is “I admire your end but not your means.” Such a statement, however, is a disastrously unfortunate concession to leftists because it is a compromise of Enlightenment principles. The end of socialism is as despicable, if not more so, than the means claimed necessary to achieve it.

Government ownership of the means of production, that giant post office Lenin wants us all to work for, cannot be achieved without massively initiated coercion that must be run by a just-as-massively coercive and elitist bureaucracy or deep state. Unless propped up with remnants of capitalism (as Lenin did with his New Economic Policy) or from the generosity and imports of capitalist outsiders, socialism must inevitably collapse in ruin (as did the USSR).

Socialism—and all its variants—is an act of violence and destruction, as we have witnessed throughout the twentieth century and today in certain countries, such as Venezuela.

Why don’t leftists see the violence and destruction? Horowitz says they first set up their ideal as a heaven on earth, a Garden of Eden in which the lion lies beside the lamb and horns of plenty are given to everyone. Then, they ignore all consequences of socialism when put into practice and blame the violence and destruction on depraved dictators who have usurped the leftists’ rightful power and destroyed their heavens on earth.

The fantasy projection of a socialist state, allegedly creating a “New Man” or “New Woman,” was built on the principle of self-sacrifice that today and in the recent past has implemented the destruction of individual and private property rights on a scale never before seen. It has created nothing but sacrificial lambs, millions of which have been slaughtered on the altar of the elitist beasts—“lion” is too benign a word—of the “collective good” and “revolution.”

Facts are facts, and delusions of grandeur, like heavens on earth and Gardens of Eden, are just that, delusions.

More likely, they are rationalizations for highly destructive and viciously heinous ends, as well as viciously heinous means.

No amount of “virtue signaling” can justify dishonest, coercive methods of establishing allegedly noble—though actually despicable—ends.

Robespierre, interestingly, was apparently the first virtue signaler. “Terror,” he said, “is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible . . . an emanation of virtue.”

Terror as the implementation of virtue? Was Robespierre well intended and noble, and did his end justify his means?


* Alinsky’s world is “corrupt and bloody” (p. 24), divided into the “Haves” and “Have-Nots.” Machiavelli’s The Prince was a guide to the Haves on how to keep power, whereas Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals is a guide to the Have-Nots on how to take power away from the Haves (p. 3). His world is a Hobbesian war where “the end justifies almost any means,” (p. 29) because morality is time and situation bound, that is, subjective. Nevertheless, to “clothe” methods and arguments “with moral garments” is one of his rules (p. 36).

Postscript. David Horowitz is not one to kowtow to the communist/fascist left. He speaks with courage and vigor. For example, “when rioters and ‘protesters’ defend criminals and attack the police it is not a protest. It is an attack.” In other words, the acts are criminal and the criminals should be arrested. On the recent “show trial” of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominee for the Supreme Court, Horowitz calls it “the equivalent of a modern-day lynching.” And on the howling (and screeching) of today’s toxically hostile feminists, he says, we need to “grant women true equality by confronting their lies and their reckless accusations with the same candor and frankness we would if they were coming out of the mouths of men.” Because: “despite half a century of women’s ‘liberation’ and ‘hear me roar’ proclamations the feminist attitude towards women is still Victorian. Women are fragile violets who wilt before the raised voices and impassioned claims of male innocence.” (Italics added.)