Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Raymond Aron and the Intellectuals

I know, I know – you are saying “Raymond who and the what?” The fine folks over at the Ludwig von Mises Institute are publishing an article by yours truly entitled “Raymond Aron and the Intellectuals: Arguments Supportive of Libertarianism” in the current issue of Journal of Libertarian Studies (vol. 21, no. 3, Fall 2007, pages 65-78). The hard copy of the journal is being printed even as I write this. The online PDF version should be available by the end of the calendar year.

The article is a revised version of a paper originally written for a graduate level historiography class under Dr. Edward J. Hagerty, taken as part of my MA program at American Public University.

The introductory paragraphs read:

Intellectuals . . . seek neither to understand the world nor to change it, but to denounce it.” So wrote Raymond Aron 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.

Given this apparent dichotomy, this paper will examine Aron’s liberal philosophy and compare it with modern American libertarianism. The first part of the paper explores the possible rationales underlying Aron’s liberal philosophy and details the major themes detectable in his writings. This will be followed by an examination of the primary tenets of libertarianism. In conclusion, an interpretation of the similarities between Aron’s philosophy and libertarianism will be offered in order to determine whether the former can be used to support the latter.

While I have had scads of letters to the editor published in the local press, penned a commentary posted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and wrote opinion columns for the entire run of Athens Weekly News, this is my first peer-reviewed journal article. Kind of scary, huh?

Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your JLS publication!