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Aron and Marxism: the Aronian Interpretation of Marx

  • Sylvie Mesure
Part of the Recovering Political Philosophy book series (REPOPH)

Abstract

The purpose of evoking Aron’s “Marxism” is not, as one might suspect, to “Marxize” Aron, but to question the Aronian interpretation of Marxism—to interpret Aron interpreting Marxism1–in order to show that this French political theorist developed his ideas about history and politics through a permanent confrontation with Marx, whom he qualified without hesitation as a “genius.”

Keywords

Political Economy Diffi Cult Main Current Diffi Culties Marxist Philosophy 
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.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    On Raymond Aron’s “Marxism,” see also Max Likin, “‘Nothing Fails Like Success’: The Marxism of Raymond Aron,” French Politics, Culture and Society, vol. 26, no. 3, Winter 2008, 43–60, who tackles the subject from a more historic point of view, andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. 2.
    Raymond Aron, Le Marxisme de Marx, Préface et notes par Jean-Claude Casanova et Christian Bachelier, Paris, Editions de Fallois, 2002, 33.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jean-Jacques Salomon, “Marx vu par Aron. A propos du marxisme de Marx,” Futuribles, no. 293, janvier 2004.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Raymond Aron, Memoirs: Fifty Years of Political Reflection, New York and London, Holmes & Meier, 1990, 468: “I doubt that I still have the time to write this essay, sketched in my 1976–77 lecture course at the Collège de France. It would fill an empty space in the body of my writings. But, all things considered, the loss does not seem to me to be serious, even for me.”Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    On the young Aron see notably Jean-François Sirinelli, “Raymond Aron avant R. Aron (1923–1933),” Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire, vol. 2, no. 2, 1984, 15–30Google Scholar
  7. , as well as Nicolas Baverez, Raymond Aron: un moraliste au temps des idéologies, Paris, Flammarion, 2005.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
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  9. See, also, Raymond Aron, Thinking Politically: A Liberal in the Age of Ideology, Transaction, 1997, 41: “When I chose my intellectual itinerary, when I decided to be both an observer of, and an actor in, history, I began by studying Marx, in particular Das Kapital. I hoped to find a true philosophy of history that would provide the incomparative advantage of teaching us simultaneously that which is and that which ought to be.”Google Scholar
  10. 16.
    Ferdinand Tönnies, Karl Marx. Sa vie et son œuvre, traduction et présentation par Sylvie Mesure, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 2012 [originally 1921], 132–133.Google Scholar
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    Sylvie Mesure, Raymond Aron et la raison historique, Paris, Vrin, 1984.Google Scholar
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    Raymond Aron, D’une Sainte Famille à l’autre. Essai sur les marxismes imaginaires, Paris, Gallimard, 1969, 277.Google Scholar
  13. 20.
    See also Raymond Aron, Main Currents in Sociological Thought, vol. 1, Transaction, 1998, 161: “When Marx analyzed value, exchange, exploitation, surplus value, and profit, he wanted to be a pure economist, and he would not have dreamed of justifying some scientifically inaccurate or questionable statement by invoking a philosophical intent. Marx took science seriously, and I think we must do likewise.”Google Scholar
  14. 29.
    On the ideological atmosphere in France at that time, see Pietro Chiodi, Sartre and Marxism, Sussex, Harvester Press, 1976 [1965]Google Scholar
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  17. 30.
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  21. 47.
    P. Dardot and C. Laval, Marx, prénom: Karl, Paris, Gallimard, 2012.Google Scholar
  22. 48.
    After his course on Marx at the Sorbonne, he published: Raymond Aron, La Lutte de classes: Nouvelles leçons sur les sociétés industrielles, Paris, Gallimard, 1964Google Scholar
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  26. 57.
    Serge Paugam, “Raymond Aron et la question sociale,” in S. Audier, M. O. Baruch, and P. Simon (eds.), Raymond Aron philosophe dans l’histoire, Paris, Editions de Fallois, 2008, 191–204.Google Scholar
  27. 58.
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  30. 61.
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  31. Ironically, he presented himself sometimes as a “Left Wing Aronian,” Yann Coudé du Foresto, “Conversation avec R. Aron,” Pouvoirs, vol. 28, 1983, 175.Google Scholar
  32. 62.
    Raymond Aron, Thinking Politically: A Liberal in the Age of Ideology, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction, 1997 [originally 1981], 157.Google Scholar
  33. 63.
    Friedrich Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics and Criticism, Berlin, G. Reimer, 1838.Google Scholar
  34. 64.
    Christian Berner, La Philosophie de Schleiermacher, Paris, Ed. du Cerf, 1995, 78.Google Scholar

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© José Colen and Elisabeth Dutartre-Michaut 2015

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  • Sylvie Mesure

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