Title, Democracia y totalitarismo. Volume of Biblioteca Breve · Biblioteca Breve. Ciencias Humanas · Biblioteca breve (Seix Barral).: Ciencias humanas. Democracia y totalitarismo. Front Cover. Raymond Aron. Seix Barral, – pages Bibliographic information. QR code for Democracia y totalitarismo. Democracia y totalitarismo by Raymond Aron; 1 edition; First published in

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In short, democracy can disappoint, but alternatives are much worse.

Democracy and totalitarianism includes the nineteen democtacia Aron taught at the Sorbonne University inwhen France was immersed in the Algerian war and the General De Gaulle was about to take power to establish the presidential rule of the French Fifth Republic.

In this regard we democraxia reflect on a Montesquieu quote, transcribed by Aron, who affirms that whenever we see everybody tranquil in a state that calls itself a republic, we can be sure that liberty does not exist there. These are very capable, as Lenin and Stalin showed, of sacrificing doctrine for the relevant action.

In these terms all others are traitors. Raymond Aron studies as well the monopolistic political regimes, particularly the Soviet Union. Rubio Plo Democracy and totalitarianism. There is no doubt that by then changes were introduce in the economic aspect and the revolutionary fervor of the Marxist faith seemed to be weakened.

Democracia y totalitarismo

During his life, he wrote outstanding economic analysis, but this was not incompatible with his affirmation that it is not always easy to know what economic powers want, although he underlines that it is very simple to affirm that it is a unitary force. In this way, as Aron correctly remarks, the Fifth Republic really became the Third Empire, of course a parliamentary and plebiscitary Empire.

One of his most interesting observations is the presence of contrast between the soviet reality and the constitutional fictions. This is not the case of Raymond Aron, the French political analyst and sociologist who some would want to circumscribe its relevance to the interwar period and the Cold War.


Ideology has become a mean to an end.

Democracia y totalitarismo : Raymond Aron :

There was no need to wait for an uprising of the governed. De Gaulle did not need to use sedition to bury the Forth Republic. Soviets had several constitutions that on paper meant a plural regime. We will be told that the world has changed and each time it changes daymond, that there are few certainties and that the thinkers of the past, although this one is recent, are not of great utility.

Here, fanaticism is tofalitarismo incompatible with some scepticism. The author reviews presidential and parliamentary democracies and compares the European toralitarismo American political systems. When revolutionary movements take power, one oligarchy usually replaces other.

Nevertheless, this could not be used for the transformation of the system because party monopoly, ideological orthodoxy and bureaucratic absolutism continued. In any case, politics are more important to Aron than economics, and this will be one of its various objections to Marxism, the dominant creed among French intellectuals from the second half of the 20th century.

They will doubtlessly useful. Once again, the unconditional unanimities.

On another level, the author underlines the contrast between communist determinism and the role played by the will of the leaders. In reaction to the accusations claiming that parties only represent some particular oligarchies, Aron believes them to be necessary for the existence of political pluralism. Until which point could it evolve after the de-Stalinization driven by Khrushchev? Aron also emphasizes the weaknesses of democracies in the foreign policy domain, due to its tendency to question plain facts and their doubts when assuming risks.

The monopoly is justified since the political party is the only rxymond representation, because its objective is the construction of a new and more fair society.

All are imperfect, but paraphrasing Orwell, we could say some are more imperfect than others. Aron believes in liberal democracy, but distrusts the unanimities and even more the ideologies which aim at building perfect systems.


As opposed to Nazism and Fascism, which never conceal their hate towards liberal democracy, communist used to make a clear commitment to democracy, even though they never applied it.

It is always worthy wondering if the authors raised to the category of classics are men of their time who could be considered old-fashioned nowadays.

It was still a fiction because, for them, only the single political party represented the proletariat. On the other side, Aron does not believe in the usual conspiracy theories, even less in those saying economic powers make use of political puppets, as usual common place.

On the contrary, he knew how to use his seduction abilities until the point of becoming a dictator like the ones of the Roman Republic, a man lauded by citizens who looked for a savior of France that could put an end to the discredit of the parliamentary republic institutions that existed up to then. Aron knew perfectly the man who was going to govern France.

Democracia y totalitarismo – Raymond Aron – Google Books

Review by Antonio Rubio Plo, international politics analyst and professor of comparative politics and Spanish foreign policy.

As Aron suggested, change will come from a split in the privilege minority owning the power. The book conclusion is the imperfection of both regimes, democracies and totalitarianism, but it is necessary to distinguish between a regime essentially imperfect and other one evidently imperfect. Otherwise, which political regime would be free of not being identified as an oligarchy? The logical conclusion is the identification between State and party.

Review by Antonio R.

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