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Raymond Aron

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About This Author

Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron was a French philosopher, sociologist, journalist and political scientist. He is best known for his 1955 book The Opium of the Intellectuals, the title of which inverts Karl Marx's claim that religion was the opium of the people -- Aron argues that in post-war France Marxism was the opium of intellectuals. In the book, Aron chastized French intellectuals for what he described as their harsh criticism of capitalism and democracy and their simultaneous defense of Marxist oppression, atrocities and intolerance. Critic Roger Kimball[1] suggests that Opium is "a seminal book of the twentieth century." Aron is also known for his lifelong friendship, sometimes fractious, with philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre

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