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Raymond Aron and the Intellectuals: Arguments Supportive of Libertarianism

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07/30/2014James R. Garland

"Intellectuals . . . seek neither to understand the world nor to change it, but to denounce it,” so wrote Raymond Aron (1983, p. 158) in a damning critique of those who were very much his intellectual kindred. Such a sentiment may at first seem surprising since Aron was, after all, a Marxist scholar and lifelong socialist who felt comfortable with the social welfare states prevalent in postwar Europe— welfare states that his fellow intellectuals strongly supported. This would lead some to believe that Aron’s take on politics and economics would be in opposition to that of libertarians who are, generally speaking, fierce advocates of less government intervention in social and economic matters. Aron’s philosophy, however, clearly reveals liberal underpinnings.

Volume 21, Number 3 (2007)

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Garland, James R. "Raymond Aron and the Intellectuals: Arguments Supportive of Libertarianism." Journal of Libertarian Studies 21, No. 3 (2007): 65–78.

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