The Four Paretos of Raymond Aron

Author(s): Stuart L. Campbell
Source: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 47, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1986), pp. 287-298
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press
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20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This investigation led Aron to the study of Pareto. he closed our conversation by observing that. 489-521. "L'Ideologie. This content downloaded from 185. 27 October 1984. after all. #43 (1978). and Natalie Z. For the prewar Aron. whom he soon described as a contributor to and a participant in the fascist wave threatening to engulf Europe in a new series of wars. To settle the question to his satisfaction. Pareto allowed no escape from a conflict whose source he * The author wishes to thank Emiliana P. and I have written on each one of them. 2 November 1982. served an obvious strategy." Recherchesphilosophiques. INC. eventually focused upon the differences separating his prewar and postwar appraisals of Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923). 16. Ontario. finally. 65-84.2 He did so as a young and moderate leftist professor associated with Celestin Bougle's Centre de Documentation Social. Aron first analyzed the ideas of Pareto in 1936-37. where he devoted much of his effort to analyzing the nature and sources of German and Italian fascism. Toronto. Lewis Coser. and he portrayed Pareto as a fascist thinker whose sociology represented little more than a Marxian deviation turned to conservative purposes. Although he acknowledged that a reorientation in political understandingpartially accounted for his change of heart toward Pareto. Interview with Aron.6 (1937). and "La Sociologie de Pareto. "There are. largely concerned with Aron's political convictions during the interwar period. Our discussion. but unlike Marx. fascism represented a virulent attempt to avoid a leftist revolution. to show how those assessments reflect certain features of Aron's political thinking during that period and.44." My purpose here is to survey Aron's several assessments of Pareto over nearly half a century. 2 Raymond Aron. 287 Copyright 1986 by JOURNALOF THE HISTORYOF IDEAS. The theory of ever-circulating elites exploiting society and the logico-experimental concept of residues. I have used the reprints in Revue europeennedes sciences sociales. to indicate how Aron came to conclude that there were in fact four Paretos. THE FOUR PARETOS OF RAYMOND ARON BY STUART L. an earlier version of which was presented at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Asso- ciation. Noether. four Paretos." Zeitschriftfir Sozialforschung. Pareto's sociology was a study in psychological uniformity that denied the relevance of history by gainsaying the possibility of progressive change. both of which emphasized the constancy of human behavior. Davis for their comments and suggestions concerning this paper.145 on Fri.78. Aron refused to allow the matter to rest on that note. CAMPBELL* This article originated in a November 1982 conversation with Ray- mond Aron (1905-83). Struggle admittedly remained preeminent in human affairs. 6 (1936-37). 5-35. 35-50.

as Aron put the matter even more succinctly. But.. Marxism for its sensitivity to man's historicity as opposed to the ahistorical quality of Paretoan sociology and alluded to "Marxist humanism" as a theory informed by a sophisticated diagnosis of nineteenth-century European society (ibid. the demagogue prepared to manipulate the sentiments of the masses while remaining "consciously hypocritical" toward the values being espoused: "We have here. 42-48). This substitution made. 5 He applauded. Rather. He argued. no such demonstration is needed. Violence becomes the title of success and success a guarantee of right. Aron wrote that in Paretoan sociology: The terrain is changed in order to avoid the Marxist solution. on the other hand. served the needs of a weakened and frightened bourgeoisie which-having lost faith in progress and no longer able to pretend that its interests served the com- munity-surrendered the state to a new and violent elite prepared to suppress the revolutionary left.. "In order to arrive at the cynical and fascist attitude of Pareto. make no doubt of it. during the prewar period Aron treated fascism as symp- tomatic of a European crisis resulting from liberalism's inability to guar- antee bourgeois preeminence.e. for example. The economic and social structure is placed on a secondary level. that of the intellectual or demi-intellectual.5 Aron. CAMPBELL located in social psychology and politics. a type of fascist leader."4 In general. that Pareto's description of a properly logical and empirical politician traced the profile of a certain kind of fascist leader. The exaltation of elites and their creative will replaces the analysis of historical tasks and takes the place of a program. 4 "L'Ideologie. in short.288 STUART L. Aron felt a clear affinity with the latter even though he refused to endorse fully their social and political philosophy. which suppresses class.145 on Fri. [class struggle] is defined in terms of a psychology more individual than collective. Pareto's theory. there is no longer any means of demonstrating the superior truth of a cause .. Pareto's sociology provided a the- oretical weapon for those who conspired to subvert leftist and Marxian attempts to transform man's condition.." 29-30. A witness to the ensuing struggle between fascists and Marxists. plus qa change. the idea that class struggle is as eternal as history itself.44. i. [its existence] confirms the necessity for an absolutist regime. its reality is not denied.. plus c'est la meme chose. Yet.3 Or.78. it suffices to substitute for the hope and prediction of revolution. Class struggle remains. identical in all climates and societies. one freed of prejudices and who above all scorns intellectuals. This content downloaded from 185." 40. All the theories of the 3"La Sociologie. in a manner that makes it eternal. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . did grant a certain descriptive value to Paretoan sociology insofar as it provided an insight into the operation of fascism. Based upon the old adage.for example.

the exaltation of human willfulnessand the value of action. As an editor of La France libre (the Free French monthly published in London). #65 (Fall 1984). These three typical elements suffice to characterize not so much a doctrine as a certain manner of thinking politics which is the common base of all the would-be totalitarian philosophies. from which results a phi- losophy of human development and the techniques of power. 7 Aron. as indicated in the Bolshevik coup of 1917. World War II marked the beginning of a gradual reevaluation that drew its inspiration largely from a growing distrust of Communism. an experimental and rational method which." Salmagundi. however. FOUR PARETOS OF RAYMOND ARON 289 [Pareto's] Treatise become clear if they are seen as a system by which such a demagogic leader justifies and organizes his conduct.7 In these articles. An abridged English translation by Anthony Nazzaro has appeared:"Democratic States and Totalitarian States. Indeed. by 1943-44 Aron exhibited a growing willingness to employ certain Paretoan concepts as instruments of political and social analysis. seems to lead to an aggressive amoralism and an exclusive concern with power. 26-50. the movement derived its character from the nature of its leadership. Aron gradually attributed a somewhat different character to Pareto. Machiavellian theory is defined by the joining together of the following elements: a pessimistic conception of human nature."6 While Aron's prewar writings expressed a left-wing understanding of Pareto's significance. Fascists. according to Aron.8 With Communism and fascism joined on the basis of a supposedly common approach to politics and a shared totalitarianism." 29. April 1941. for example. and in one case he treated Marxism as a form of secular 6 "La Sociologie. applied to the political domain. In a paper presented in 1939 to the Societe Francaise de Philosophie and published after the war as "Etats democratiques et etats totalitaires. This content downloaded from 185. doctrine des tyrannies modernes." Bulletin de la Societe de Philosophie. embraced a Machiavellian/Paretoan philosophy.145 on Fri. once in power. the imposition of economic tyranny. 16. 1946). Aron also placed the Communists in the Machiavellian camp. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Aron argued that Pareto's emphasis upon the role of elites provided an important insight into the operation of fascism since.78. while at the same time recognizing that they and the fascists were not one and the same. while Communists merely employed the tactics of Machiavellianism. finally. Aron's articles. 1940. This distinction between Machiavellian philosophy and practice allowed Aron to conclude: In sum. 8L'Homme contre les tyrans." La France libre." La France libre. 11-21 and 22-36. Both were later included in a collection of Aron's wartime writings. and "Le Romanticisme de la violence. began to contain frequent references to the importance of elites in di- recting society. Aron addressed the question of Pareto in two articles linking Paretoan theory and fascist practice by way of Machia- vellianism. 42-92.40 (1946). Nov.44. L'Homme contre les tyrans (Paris. and the erection of a totalitarian state. "Le Machiavelianism.

Aron's active participation in the Rassemblement du Peuple Frangais. 10Aron's Le Grand Schisme (Paris."12While still acknowledging that Machiavel- lianism involved certain dangers. the other pluralistic and free- Aron joined the fray. Aron did grant the validity of Burn- ham's suggestion that Machiavelli and Pareto had served freedom by making the case for a realistic appraisal of political power. This article also appears in another collection of Aron's wartime writings. paid tribute to James Burnham's argument that the conservative-Machiavellian tra- dition that included Pareto provided a meaningful antidote to the dangers of Communist millenarianism. these eight years included his break with Jean- Paul Sartre. Helene Claireau (Paris. given their pessimistic understanding of politics. From the likes of Ma- chiavelli and Pareto.78.9 Whereas fascism dominated his prewar and wartime concerns. Aron summoned up yet another Pareto. As a crusade to achieve the impossible. Les Machiavelians: D6fenseurs de la liberte. With these new concerns in mind. when he became a professor of sociology at the Sorbonne. Aron arranged for the book's inclusion in the Libert6de l'esprit series he directed for Calmann-Levy:James Burnham. " Aron. after 1945-46 Aron gave increasing attention to the related problems of Com- munism and the Soviet Union. 237-48. arguing that France should side with those who represented political liberty. the Machiavellians had shown the value of a divided elite unable to impose a unified system upon society. until 1955. L 'Age des empires (Paris. trans. "L'Avenir des religions seculieres. it necessarily led to radical measures destructive of liberty. the article is reprinted in R. xxv. 1952). I have used Conant's translation. during the period from 1947. "Histoire et politique. 1949). for example. 287-318. and publication of The Opium of the Intellectuals. This content downloaded from 185.290 STUART L. still the Machiavellian. all of which indicated that attempts to join moralism and politics ran the risk of either "abstention or hypocrisy. A 1949 essay. Polemiques (Paris. Aron's reference to Burnham concerns the latter's The Machiavellians: Defenders of Liberty (New York. 1948) provides the most important expression of these concerns in the immediate postwar period. when he joined Le Figaro. Indeed. but now a practical thinker to be enlisted in the struggle against Marxism. 1945). Convinced that Europe was dividing into two hostile camps-the one totalitarian. Aron echoed Burnham to the effect that.11Aron suggested that Bolshevism repre- sented a case where the struggle to establish an ethical world had been carried to extreme lengths. July 1944. according to Aron. 9 Aron. 12 Aron. a Paretoan characterization that he had earlier noted and point- edly refused to endorse. Politics and History: Selected Essays of Raymond Aron (New York. Aron engaged in intense verbal combat with the French left. Further. Helene Claireau (Paris.145 on Fri.?1As a result. 174-95. trans. CAMPBELL religion. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1978)." La France libre.). La Diplomatie armricaine. and is translated in Miriam Conant (ed. Aron. 1943)." Revue de metaphysiqueet de morale (1949).44. 1955). Preface to George Kennan.

He indicted French leftist intellectuals of bad faith." 245. Aron relied heavily upon Paretoan categories without referring to the sociologist by name. but there are degrees of imperfection. an attack upon French communisant intellectuals. Despite claims to the contrary. 1-16. as implemented by the Soviet Union.78. To attain the absolutely sound end. The Opium of the Intellectuals. Terence Martin (New York. Marxism. whose adherents strove to establish heaven on earth (ibid.44.. In a work that experienced a succes de scandale. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and #2 (1950).14 The book. they-so Aron's argument ran-had turned 13 "History and Politics. results: a totalitarian system in which economic authority. and political power were placed in the hands of a single and unified elite (ibid. A person with no other goal than to lessen as much as possible the ills inseparable from the human condition. Aron followed Pareto's example by ex- plaining such behavior in terms of sentiment. will do more for the welfare of his fellow humans. They persecute millions of human beings guilty of not recognizing in the new regime the accomplishment of the human vocation. Aron went beyond supporting Burn- ham's attempt to establish Pareto's liberal credentials. Accus- tomed to a global audience and resentful that their importance had declined with that of France.. The breed of optimists produces the likes of Robespierre and Trotsky-the breed of pessimists a Talleyrand or a Louis Philippe.'3 During the early postwar period. trans. ideological control. 14 Aron. In the attempt to explain how intelligent people confused Communist propaganda with Soviet reality. 48-100.145 on Fri. Hierarchy and exploitation re- mained. had brought not liberation but a reorganized society controlled by a new and ruthless elite. This content downloaded from 185. FOUR PARETOS OF RAYMOND ARON 291 . accused its targets of allowing ideology to blind them to political reality. the most tolerable ones are those whose divisiveness deprives them of authority. In the latter case he argued that France suffered the effects of an excessively divided elite. 93). Often the prophets of perfection are precisely those who construct the most oppressive societies. 1. with the proletariat at the bottom of the social ladder. and who does not forget the existence of wickedness. Aron accused them of employing ideology to camouflage their pique. The very title of Aron's polemic revived the Paretoan theme of so- cialism as a manifestation of man's ubiquitous religious impulse. The Opium of the Intellectuals (1955). a condition that weakened the state and left the community open to Communist destabilization. The article is reproduced in Lewis Coser (ed. Aron attempted to employ for practical use the ideas of both Marx and Pareto. the prophets of the absolute requireunlimited power." British Journal of Sociology. 258). Aron even referred to Marxism as a Christian heresy. Political Sociology (New York. There is no perfect society. 1967).. while in fact leaving himself open to the charge of psychological reductionism.). Describing his leftist colleagues as "em- bittered" over the diminished status of France as a world power. The attempt to organize utopia had brought predictable. In "Social Structure and the Ruling Class. but frightening. 126-43. 1962). #1 (1950). one can garner rules of human wisdom: if all elites are tempted to abuse their power..

In fact theirquarrelwith the UnitedStatesis a way of rationalizingtheir own guilt (ibid. all too proneto the bitternessarisingfromnationalweakness. and translated by Valence Ionescu as Democracy and Totalitarianism (New York. if not converge. La Lutte de classes (Paris. Bottomore (London.'5 To provide sociological substance to these hopes. Indeed. the combative Aron.especiallyin France. M. however. The Dix-huit leqonsmakes the strongest case for the common features linking the two systems.oughtto show the inescapablereasons for permanentsolidarityand encourage the ignorantfeelingsof the massesby adducinghypocriticaljustificationsfor them. 1967).to betraytheir mission. The man in the streetis all too disposedto resentmentagainstthe too-powerful ally. Joining with those in the United States who. Whereas his endorsement of the end of ideology was generally restrained during this period. Aron observed. Rather.But the intellectuals oughtto restrainthesepopularemotions. Aron from 1955 to 1958 organized his courses at the Sorbonne around Auguste Comte's theme of "industrial society. industrial society. K. his endorsement of the idea was usually qualified and seldom complete. 1962) and translated as Eighteen Lectures on Industrial Society.292 STUART L.145 on nostalgia for past glory and hope for a differentand betterfuture.78.Insteadof fulfillingthe role of guides. No longer so obsessed with the grand schisme that divided the world into two hostile camps teetering on the brink of war. Their feelings. The Opium of the Intellectuals represented something of a last hurrah for the anti-Communist polemicist who had emerged from the late 1940s. 1965). trans. 1964). the Soviet Union. according to Aron. Democratie et totalitarianisme (Paris. Aron began to suggest that the two rival systems might." Aron employed the term to emphasize the goals and institutions common to advanced capitalist and Communist systems. the United States.not in the least aliento the restof theircompatriots. 258). 1969). predicted the end of ideology. like Daniel Bell. it was the professor of sociology entering the Sorbonne in 1955. In a word. 16 The lectures for these three academic years were subsequently revised and published as Dix-huit legons sur la societe industrielle (Paris.. Aron by 1955-56 had become relatively optimistic about the effects of Stalin's death in 1953 and the possibility of liberalization in the Soviet Union. This content downloaded from 185.44. CAMPBELL their wrath against the two major symbols of their predicament. arenot in the least esoteric. attacking Communism in the decade after World War II. who made the greatest use of Paretoan categories.16Characterized by an overwhelming dependence upon the man- ufacturing and tertiary sectors of the economy rather than upon agri- culture. capi- talism and the United States. as we shall see below. It was not. Aron strongly affirmed the idea that industrial society provided the basis for widespread and meaningful progress. at least reach a rapprochement.they prefer. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and to a lesser extent Western Europe were merely variations of the same socio-economic model. but. exhibited a progressive 15 Aron even alluded to the "end of ideology" in The Opium of the Intellectuals.

if not utopia. 17 Aron. Actes du troisieme congres mondial de sociologie (London. Aron's heavy and open reliance upon Paretoan sociology while he outlined the character of industrial society served an obvious strategy: to portray the Soviet Union as subject to the same general sociological rules that applied to the West and thereby establish that the USSR was unable to pretend to any special status. to a certain degree. First. whether it should exist or not.18Given these promethean hopes. This content downloaded from 185. that social heterogenity and hence inequality remained inevitable. and that exploitation hardly remained a monopoly of the capitalist variant of industrial society. like Pareto also." Transactionsof the Third World Congressof Sociology. made Aron's intent equally clear. Memoires: 50 ans de reflexion politique (Paris. at least the good society. To the extent that class struggle implies consciousness and or- ganization of classes.44. "The dom- inant and perhaps least banal idea in the second course concerned the establishment of the relationship between the social structure and the political regime-an idea emanating from reflection upon Marx and Pareto. 1956). Aron even alluded to the possible unification of humanity in the great struggle to establish. Like Pareto.78. The three courses concerning industrial society therefore suggested that. see Aron. Aron the believer in progress predictably found Pareto too cynical and skeptical about man- kind's ability to improve social conditions. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .argued. 1983). 1966) and translated as The Industrial Society: ThreeEssays on Ideology and Development (New York. he underscored the fun- damental reality of class struggle in all societies. it depends upon the state and legislation whether this struggle will become manifest or not. and even. 18 Expressions of Aron's productivism are The Dawn of UniversalHistory (New York. La Lutte de classes. he affirmed the autonomy of politics and further challenged the Marxists by arguing that Communist rule had so effectively suppressed liberty that the reality of class antagonisms in the Soviet Union remained partially hidden and even unexpressed."17 Aron nevertheless remained unpreparedto embrace a purely Paretoan social philosophy. relying heavily upon the theories of Colin Clark. Politics and History. As Aron would later explain. for example. 42-53. Indeed. For Aron's understanding of history as progress and Colin Clark as its prophet. in both its Marxist and non-Marxian forms. published as Dix-huit leqonssur la societeindustrielle. 1967). represented a pro- gressive "mutation" in the human condition. FOUR PARETOS OF RAYMOND ARON 293 movement toward increased productivity. This in turn ameliorated pop- ular conditions to the point of softening the effect of political alienation. The title of the second course. Aron defended Comte's productivist vision and suggested that industrial so- ciety.145 on Fri. 398. The first course. "Remarquessur les particularitesde '6evolution sociale de la France. He treated it as flawed and incomplete for at least two reasons. whatever the value of Soviet social theory. 212-33. 1961) and reprinted in Conant (ed.). in which poverty and want would no longer exist. Trois essais sur lage industriel (Paris. it sorely needed Paretoan modification.

20 The most important expressions of this reappraisal appeared in Les Etapes de la pensee sociologique (Paris. 87-101. certain questions immediately arose: e. particularly those concerning Pareto's value as a counterweight to Marx- ian exaggerations.44. An abridgededition of Les Etapes (trans. 1967). 1968) and reproduced in Aron.19For Aron. (New York. whatever the merits of Paretoan sociology. viz.. and what structural restrictions limited the exercise of their authority? Aron responded that while the Soviet elite was essentially unified and political in character. Although eager to acknowledge what he con- sidered to be a primary Machiavellian/Paretoan insight. 463-64. derivations (i. 307-16.145 on Fri." a paper Aron delivered in 1969 at the Institut Cultural Italien de Paris and published in both Contrepoint.. and he accordingly described Pareto as a political and Machiavellian thinker who had "amended"Marxism to take into account the political dimension.21In a similar vein Aron argued that Pareto. drawn from diverse sources.78. CAMPBELL There was. a second concern that followed from Aron's anti-Communism.20Aron at the same time returned to various themes presented during the previous decade. Les Etapes. This work was the product of Aron's lectures given at the Sorbonne during the early 1960s and then revised in 1967. 131. 125-45 (I have used the latter) and 2) "Machiavel et Marx. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 2 vols. Richard Howard and Helen Weaver) is available: Main Currentsin Sociological Thought. This paper is also translated and available in Conant (ed. that it would be an era marked by violent elites struggling for political power. on the other hand. 1967). Aron remained unwilling- the industrial society notwithstanding-to ignore certain specifics that seemed to make the Soviet experience a special case. Etudes politiques (Paris.. extensive postwar use of Paretoan categories led Aron to a new and more favorable assessment of Pareto. In a word.e. sensitive to the multifaceted character of social reality.22 Aron also portrayed the author of the Treatise as an observer who possessed remarkableforesight concerning the character of the twentieth century.).294 STUART L. 1971). had tried to grasp the interdependence of the several components of social dynamics- residues. I have used the French edition.#4 (1971).. Drawing upon this Paretoan insight. 63. 22 Ibid. 587-602.g. Aron nonetheless demanded that more be said. 56-74 (I have used the latter). By the 1960s. 407-96. ideology). social diversity. 9-21 and Etudes politiques. how did various elites employ their power. Politics and History. 21 Etudes politiques. Western elites. necessarily allowed for the political pluralism essential to liberty. Aron delivered a message to liberals hesitant to face the harsh realities that characterized recent history: 19This theme is central to Democratie et totalitarianisme. The oli- garchic principle having received its due. and economic in- terests-rather than try to reduce social causation to a single factor. Aron's other writings during this period that deal with Pareto are essentially two: 1) his preface to the French edition of the Traite de sociologie generale (Geneva. Pareto employed a generalizing approach that too easily avoided such distinctions. the inevitability of oligarchy. This content downloaded from 185.

23 Aron clearly agreed with Pareto that decadence. Aron's final word on the sociologist's meaning and significance..26 These four Paretos established. excessively dominated by the instinct for combination and increasingly incapable of employing the force necessary for governing societies. by the weakening of bourgeois will" (ibid. however. Arguing that Pareto was not really a fascist. merely strengthened those who were intent upon destroying liberal institutions. Indeed.44. 175-91. Aron minimized the association by referring to it as "limited" (ibid. An English translation. This content downloaded from 185. 476). 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Etudes politiques. n. FOUR PARETOS OF RAYMOND ARON 295 For Pareto. Aron now denied any necessary linkage between Paretoan thought and fascist action. The article was originally presented as a paper the previous year in Rome at the Academia dei Lincei. 43-53." appeared in Encounter.78. he described Pareto as a pessimistic but astute observer of Italian political affairs who recognized. that Giolitti's policy of divide and rule had ultimately discredited parliamentary institutions. 26Aron. when. 47 (No- vember 1976).25 Aron's Pareto for the 1960s-the Machiavellian liberal-was not.. 25 Aron noted that: "Extremist in tone and style. He saw the emergence of new elites which would utilize more force than ruse . Rather. The final assessment appeared in 1973-74. 128. Given his reassessment of Pareto. the authoritarian Machia- vellian.. Pareto would have certainly recognized in the fascist or Communist elites those violent elites belonging to the family of lions and which take possession of power in decadent societies.24 As for Pareto's col- laboration with Mussolini's regime. for example. and also the least possible (or the least durable). 24Ibid. aggressive toward everything and all. residues of the first and second class. Pareto in the final analysis professes moderate opinions." Contrepoint. and the cynic. helped to explain how certain historical movements such as fascism could in part be understood as "a reaction of the social body to troubles caused by an excess of residues of the first class. as he began to reflect upon the meaning of his own career. 493-94. he insisted that the sociologist's ideas had merely nour- 23Les Etapes. combines in appropriate proportions. Aron nonetheless attempted to hedge the impact of the fascist interpretation.145 on Fri. Aron concluded that the multifaceted Pareto consisted of four persons: the fascist. The regime the least bad. 476). the liberal Machiavellian. He alluded to the sociologist's pro- foundly "liberal convictions" on the issue of freedom of thought and described him as desiring a regime best defined as authoritarian. Aron concluded. the societies of western Europe were governed by plutocratic elites belonging to the family of foxes. 17. "Lectures de Pareto. by the exaggerated development of humanitarianism. intellectual liberties for the privileged and moral and patriotic values for the people.. I have used the French version. Paretoan sociology. entitled "Interpreting Pareto. 470. he regarded Pareto by this time as a Machiavellian liberal. yet moderate and finally liberal. #13 (1974).. as manifested in the unwillingness to employ force.

Did this mean." 181 and 189. Aron asked. This more hopeful Pareto. absolute power. Aron never confused the adoption of such measures with the necessary condition of 27 "Lectures de Pareto. that Pareto was after all a Marx of the bourgeoisie? Perhaps. CAMPBELL ished fascism. Pareto number three not only valued social equilibrium as a condition of freedom but held open the possibility of progress. but it was "in contrast to the Marx of the proletariat. 181). given Pareto's willingness to grant that science could gradually enlarge its effect upon society.27 Aron did go so far as to describe Pareto as a "professor of energy in the service of the bourgeoisie" but one who had remained a step short of becoming the Marx of the bourgeoisie (ibid.. This content downloaded from 185. is that not the best method of preserving the rights of the people? (ibid.296 STUART L. could thus be understood as a thinker who remained convinced of the power of the human spirit (ibid. 185).) Of the two Machiavellian Paretos. and the regimentation of intelligence? To limit the powers of a strong state. but supposedly more idealistic.145 on Fri. with the view of a free society and not of a revolution degenerating into despotism" (ibid. 190-91).44. he conceded. Aron's fourth Pareto became the century's preeminent critic of ideology. and veiled the intentions behind political activity. On the other hand. an interpretation similar to the second. Aron described Pareto number four as a cynical theorist embittered by humanity's refusal to understand its true nature. Refusing to take his own final step. Spe- cifically. this Pareto recognized the social centrality of force and violence and the need for a revitalized bourgeois will in order to maintain an equilibrium of classes conducive to political freedom. Aron suggested that the fourth interpretation probably came closest to the psychological truth about Pareto. Aron obviously preferred the liberal.. Although he never denied during the postwar period that authoritarian measures might at times be necessary to preserve liberty. Finally. The third reading of Pareto as the liberal Machiavellian provided yet another difference in degree. according to Aron. This fourth Pareto perceived men as given to self-deception. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . continually erect- ing systems of thought that obfuscated reality. Purporting to speak for those who saw life without illusion. The interpretation of Pareto as an authoritarian Machiavellian pro- vided what Aron called a moderate version of the fascist reading.78. he found particularly valuable the Machiavellian Paretos: What is more contrary to fascism and all totalitarian movements than the rejection of utopia. Improvement remained theoretically possible.. still capable of acting. Aron closed the matter by suggesting that Pareto's ideas had been used-but not necessarily misused-by the fascists. Aron suggested.

" (ibid. While indicating the necessity for a realistic ap- praisal of the world and while providing an antidote to the dangers of utopian excesses. to grant the reality of scientific advancement held the possibility that mankind could improve its worldly condition." Struggling first against those who supposedly believed everything permissible in a world where nothing new was possible. Following World War II. written in a style of scathing polemic and bitter irony.). and political considerations played a major role in shaping his theoretical arguments. Despite his claim to being primarily a spectateur engage. First. in arguing that oligarchy remained in- evitable and utopia impossible. FOUR PARETOS OF RAYMOND ARON 297 liberty. including those toward Pareto. he became a defender of liberalism against the threat posed by Communism and the Soviet Union. Aron viewed Paretoan sociology as a valuable weapon for those who would defend liberal-democratic values against the revo- lutionary left.78. he also perceived that weapon as a doubled-edged sword. Aron observed: "The political theory of Pareto. a hope that to the very end of his life Aron never abandoned.44. and finally (4) an older Aron. when those to whom he reserved his rudest blows underwent the assault of adversaries sharing his pessimism and prepared to hear his appeal to force . that is to say. Aron's long career as an intellectuel engage began during the interwar period on the left and soon included a strong commitment to antifascism. and then against those who apparently believed all things permissible in their attempt to achieve the impossible. a principle Aron had frequently found lacking in a Paretoan sociology that emphasized the constancy of human behavior. inevitably becomes in certain historical situations a tool of combat. (3) the spokesman for Comte's industrial society who found Pareto a bit too cynical. I would suggest that the ambiguity of the Paretoan legacy points the way toward four Arons: (1) the antifascist of the prewar and wartime periods who described Pareto as one of the enemy. one chooses one's enemies and not one's friends. he provided at least a partial recognition of man's fundamental historicity.145 on Fri. but nevertheless useful. the liberal-Machiavellian Pareto granted scientific thought the power to enlarge its influence upon society... On the other hand. Aron commented in our conversation of November 1982: "In politics. Further. Aron was very much a participant in a half century of European conflict. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Pareto-so Aron's argument ran-gave vent to a skep- ticism corrosive of all values including those of liberalism. By the 1970s. The new configuration of European forces that emerged from the fascist defeat of 1945 led to Aron's reconsideration of previous attitudes. Second. Finally. (2) the anti- Communist combatant of the immediate postwar era who employed Pareto's Machiavellian skepticism as an antidote to Marxism. Aron as a twentieth-century liberal found in Pareto's sociology an ambiguous legacy. and he thereby accomplished two things. no longer so sanguine about Comtean productivism and increasingly reflective about This content downloaded from 185.

Editors The sixteen essays in this volume addressthe relationshipbetweenphilosophyand its historyand ask what purposethe history of philosophyshould serve.rights. literature. Editors The books in this series discuss the emergenceof variousintellectualtraditions.Aron towardsthe end of his life ultimatelysettledthe questionby projectinghis indecisionuponthe object of his study:there were four Paretos. 20 Jun 2014 22:49:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Unableto escapeambivalence. Schneewind.andmanners:A modelforhistoriansof politicalthought. Pocock Amongthe topicstreatedby Pocockare:Virtues.M.78. Quentin Skinner.95 Virtue. Private Vices..A. and History Essays on PoliticalThoughtand History. Alfred University.95 Philosophy in History Essays in the Historiographyof Philosophy Richard Rorty. Goldsmith In thisexaminationof the socialandpoliticalthoughtof BernardMandeville.The authorsdissolve arti- ficial distinctionsamong the historyof philosophy. Commerce. Hardcover$29.G. This content downloaded from 185. York.95 CAMBRIDGE 32 East 57th UNIVERSITY New NY 10022 PRESS Street. IDEASIN CONTEXT WolfLepenies. 1776:TherevolutionagainstParliament. CAMPBELL the meaning of his political odyssey through the most recent age of Europeandisorder. A specialCambridgeseries. Hardcover$39.Aron was seldomand never permanentlyof one mind as he contemplatedthe meaningof Vilfredo Pareto. andGibbon'sDeclineandFallandtheworldviewofthelateenlightenment.Duringthose fifty years. Quentin Skinner.Goldsmithshowshow Mande- ville proposedself-love as the mechanismof social developmentand attributedcivilizationto selfishness.50 Paper$12. Publishedwith the supportof the ExxonEducationalFoundation. Richard Rorty.the varioussciences.298 STUART L.and society and politics.44.145 on Fri.. Jerome B. Public Benefits BernardMandeville'sSocial and PoliticalThought M. Schneewind. Jerome B.Chiefly in the EighteenthCentury J. Hardcover$39.50 Paper$9.