The Utopian Sorcerers

"The character of a magician is not forced on the activist by thinkers not sharing his dream. The symbolism belongs to the activist's language of self-interpretation. The better minds among them are quite proud of the magical character of their enterprise and of their position as sorcerers. Hegel speaks of his System der Wissenschaft as the attempt to find the Zauberworte and the Zauberkraft, the magic words in the magic force, that will determine the future course of history by raising "consciousness" to its state of perfection. Marx, who understood the magic component in Hegel's System only too well, resumes from Goethe the alchemistic symbol of the Superman when he wants to characterize the change in the stature of man to be achieved by revolutionary action. And Nietzsche, finally using the same symbol, is proudly explicit on the force that will secure the Superman's advent. In a famous passage of Dur Wille zur Macht (749) he writes: 'The charm (Zauber) that works for us, the Venus eye that fascinates even our foes and blinds them, is the magic of the extreme...'" -- Eric Voegelin, "Wisdom and the Magic of the Extreme," in Collected Works, Vol. 12, p. 324


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