Raymond Aron was a worthy heir to the philosophers of the Enlightenment. Writing with a force and lucidity which no other Frenchman of his generation could equal, he stood for democracy in the dangerous decades of the Nazi and Communist threats to the West and its civilization. It is a reflection of the times that the Columbia Encyclopedia, which lays claim to authority, has space for assorted Nazi and Communist dupes and sympathizers, but not for him.

Twenty years ago, Aron founded Commentaire, a journal to promote democratic values through debate at the highest intellectual level. To celebrate this anniversary, today’s editors (Aron died in 1983) have invited contributors to comment on two principal themes: the present situation in France and whether it is valid to equate Communism with Nazism.1...


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