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Raymond Aron

Died on this date in 1983. My co-authored chapter on Aron’s The Opium of the Intellectuals for Anthem’s Companion to Raymond Aron is now in press. liberalityopium of the intellectualsraymond aronregressive left

The Opium of the Intellectuals [Yet Idiot]

Raymond Aron’s classic freely available here. One of the causes of the popularity of Marxism among educated people was the fact that in its simple form it was very easy; even Sartre noticed that Marxists are lazy. Indeed, they enjoyed having one key to open all doors, one universally applicable explanation for everything, an instrument…

Raymond Aron

Born on this day. Below is Daniel J. Mahoney’s entry in the Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought. Raymond Aron (1905–83) was a distinguished French philosopher, political thinker, social scientist, and journalist. He wrote influential columns for Le Figaro (1947–77) and L’Express (1978–83) and played a major role in shaping moderate and conservative opinion in France in…

Raymond Aron’s Memoirs

It’s been 34 years since the death of that independent-minded and incredibly lucid writer — Raymond Aron. I chanced upon his Memoirs: Fifty Years of Political Reflection which has been made freely available here. LiberalismMarxismPolitical philosophyraymond aronSociology

The Opium of the Intellectuals

What with the “communisants” (the priesthood and their bureaucratic Stasi-like enforcers) in charge of the academy, Raymond Aron’s classic The Opium of the Intellectuals (the original English translation freely available here), still has resonance. (Want to know more about Aron? — a good place to start is here and here and I’d highly recommend Aron’s wonderfully lucid two-volume Main Currents of Sociological Thought).…

Model of Civility

Aron strikes me as the very model of a responsible intellectual, a social philosopher of intellectual power and prudence who served his society with great courage and considerable style. — John A. Hall. The Importance of Being Civil: The Struggle for Political Decency, Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 105 Couldn’t put it better. Take a moment…

Michael Oakeshott and the Left

Here’s a new paper by Luke O’Sullivan: No one has ever really studied Michael Oakeshott’s relationship to the left. After all, since Oakeshott is generally classified as a conservative political thinker, there is presumably little to study. Yet on a second glance there is more to the matter. His contemporaries certainly found Oakeshott hard to…