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Samarskaya, E. A. Raymond Aron. ‘Ideal Typical’ Approach to Studying Industrial Societies

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2014-10 in rubric "Social dynamics", pages 1441-1449.

Resume: The subject being studied is the ideal typical approach of Raymond Aron to studying industrial societies. Raymond Aron created that method in the 50th of the 20th century when working on lectures about industrial societies and analyzing their economic and social structure, political regimes and culture. The method was opposed to the principle of the linearly ascending social progress followed by many Marxists of those times both in the Soviet Union and abroad. Aron’s method was based on the comparison of the industrial policy in different counties and classification of the types of industrial growth and therefore was also called ‘descriptive – generalizing’. The author of the present article touches upon this topic for the purpose of solving modern issues regarding future interaction between different historical communities. The author’s methodology included, first of all, comparison of Aron’s intent and his conclusions that were not always the same; and secondly, comparison of Aron’s liberal views with the views on the same matter showed by the French non-traditional left party. The novelty of the article is in the fact that the author addresses to a very interesting historical and philosophical issue about the struggle against Marxism and liberal concept of history on the 50th of the last century. The author concludes that Aron initially wanted to destroy Marx’s theory of progress but later came to the solution that allowed ‘reverse Marxism’ when Aron put Western capitalism at the peak of the historical development instead of the Soviet socialism. The other conclusion made by the author completes the first one and touches upon Aron’s concept of the heterogeneity of cultures in the world. Based on the ideas of the non-traditional left party (presented by Castoriadis and Ellul), the author show that the process of rationalization of modern societies involves the sphere of culture, too. This creates a strong ideological opposition to Aron’s thesis about national cultures being independent from the industrial growth.

Keywords: history, industrial society, historical types, science, technology, progress, politics, economics, rationalization, non-traditional left parties.

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2014.10.12883

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