Friday, November 25, 2011

The Intelligentsia's Love Affair with Alien Ideologies, Explained

Roger Kimball at PJ Media brings up this intriguing point:

How many people still remember The Opium of the Intellectuals, the French philosopher Raymond Aron’s masterpiece? First published in France in 1955, at the height of the Cold War, L’Opium des intellectuels was an immediate sensation. It caused something of a sensation in the United States, too, when an English translation was published in 1957. Writing in The New York Times, the historian Crane Brinton spoke for many when he said that the book was “a kind of running commentary on the Western world today....”

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 toward 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”?...

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