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"Nothing Fails Like Success"

The Marxism of Raymond Aron

Max Likin

One of the most influential thinkers in twentieth-century French intellectual debates, Raymond Aron (1905-1983) spent a lifetime studying Karl Marx. Aron's adaptable interpretations of the German thinker began on the eve of the Second World War, continued in his Sorbonne lectures, and ended in his celebrated Memoirs. Far from being a mere object of derision linked to totalitarian regimes, the "semi-god" provided Aron with an unrivaled stage to promote his own evolving views on an array of critical epistemological and political issues linked to heterogeneous values, historical determinism, class warfare, and the role of Communist parties. Aron cleverly segmented his views on Marx so as to address different audiences and seduce the largest possible number of young people on the side of liberal democracy.