Advertisement

The Totalitarian Negation of Man: Raymond Aron on Ideology and Totalitarianism

  • Daniel J. Mahoney
Part of the Recovering Political Philosophy book series (REPOPH)

Abstract

Raymond Aron’s life and political reflection was coextensive with the totalitarian epoch that emerged with the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and came to an end with the implosion of the Soviet Union in the years immediately following his death in 1983. He did a great deal to educate western public opinion about the nature of totalitarianism, but he did not live to see the final defeat of the regime based upon the ideological Lie. His was a posthumous victory.

Keywords

Thinking Politically Soviet Regime Totalitarian State Final Defeat Bolshevik Revolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Raymond Aron, “On the Historical Condition of the Sociologist,” in Raymond Aron, Politics and History, ed. Myriam Bernheim Conant, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction, 1984, 65.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Raymond Aron, “États Démocratiques et États Totalitaires,” in Raymond Aron, Penser la liberté, penser la démocratie, Paris, Gallimard, 2005, 55–106.Google Scholar
  3. I will cite the English-language translation by Anthony M. Nazzaro in Raymond Aron, Thinking Politically: A Liberal in the Age of Ideology, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction, 1997, 325–347.Google Scholar
  4. 18.
    Raymond Aron, The Opium of the Intellectuals, with a new Introduction by Harvey C. Mansfield, Foreword by Daniel J. Mahoney and Brian C. Anderson, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction, 2001.Google Scholar
  5. 21.
    Raymond Aron, “Le romantisme de la violence,” in Raymond Aron, Chroniques de Guerre: La France libre, 1940–1945, Paris, Gallimard,1990, 438.Google Scholar
  6. 23.
    Winston Churchill, Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Great Speeches, ed. David Cannandine, London, Penguin, 2007, 177–178.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    Raymond Aron, “Tyrannie et mépris des hommes,” in Raymond Aron, Chroniques de guerre: La France libre, 1940–1945, Paris, Gallimard, 1990, 466–478.Google Scholar
  8. 27.
    See Raymond Aron, Chroniques de guerre: La France libre 1940–1945, Paris, Gallimard, 1990, 925–948.Google Scholar
  9. 32.
    Raymond Aron, Memoirs: Fifty Years of Political Reflection, trans. George Holoch, Foreword by Henry A. Kissinger, New York, Holmes & Meier, 1990, 477.Google Scholar
  10. 33.
    Raymond Aron, “Le totalitarisme,” in Raymond Aron, Les Guerres en chaîne, Paris, Gallimard, 1951, 457.Google Scholar
  11. 40.
    Raymond Aron, Democracy and Totalitarianism, ed. and with an Introduction by Roy Pierce, trans. Valence Ionescu, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1990, 245.Google Scholar
  12. 58.
    Alain Besançon, “On the Difficulty of Defending the Soviet Regime,” in F. Flagg Taylor IV (ed.), The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism, Wilmington, DE, ISI Books, 2011, 31–50. The quotation is from 44.Google Scholar
  13. 66.
    See the use of this evocative phrase in Alain Besançon, A Century of Horrors: Communism, Nazism, and the Uniqueness of the Shoah, trans. Ralph C. Hancock and Nathaniel H. Hancock, Wilmington, DE, ISI Books, 2007.Google Scholar
  14. 68.
    Raymond Aron, “Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and European ‘Leftism’,” in F. Flagg Taylor IV (ed.), The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism, Wilmington, DE, ISI Books, 2011, 369.Google Scholar
  15. 70.
    Raymond Aron, In Defense of Decadent Europe, with a new Introduction by Daniel J. Mahoney and Brian C. Anderson, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction, 1996.Google Scholar
  16. 79.
    Peter Baehr, Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism and the Social Sciences, Palo Alto, CA, Stanford University Press, 2010, 87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 81.
    See Pierre Manent, “Raymond Aron éducateur,” Commentaire, no. 28–29, Février 1985, 155–168.Google Scholar
  18. For an unusually thoughtful and detailed account of Aron’s “philosophical” engagement with modern tyranny, see Giulio De Ligio, “Tirannia, totalitarismo e saggezza: Raymond Aron e il male della vita politica,” in G. Chivilò, M. Mennon (eds.), Tirannide e filosofia, Venezia, Ca’ Foscari University Press, 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© José Colen and Elisabeth Dutartre-Michaut 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Mahoney

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations