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September 8, 2009

On Neo's Reading List and Now on Mine

neo-neocon Everything old is new again: Raymond Aron and other intellectuals of the anti-Left

Aron's subject is the bewitchment -- the moral and intellectual disordering -- that comes with adherence to certain ideologies. Why is it, he wondered, that certain intellectuals are "merciless towards the failings of the democracies" but ready to tolerate the worst crimes as long as they are committed in the name of the proper doctrines? Aron's title is an inversion of Marx's contemptuous remark that religion is "the opium of the people." He quotes Simone Weil's sly reversal of the epigraph, "Marxism is undoubtedly a religion. in the lowest sense of the word -- [I]t has been continually used "as an opiate for the people." In fact -- and fortunately -- Weil got it only partly right. Marxism and kindred forms of thought never really became the people's narcotic. But they certainly became -- and in essentials they still are -- the drug of choice for the group that Aron anatomized: the intellectuals.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 8, 2009 7:59 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

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