Der verschwundene Intellektuelle

In diesem Frühling jährt sich zum hundertsten Mal die Geburt zweier Allroundintellektueller, den ideologischen Avataren der Ära des Kalten Kriegs, Raymond Aron und Jean-Paul Sartre. Aron wurde am 14. März 1905 geboren, Sartre am 21. Juni.

Sartre und Aron begannen ihre 50-jährige Bekanntschaft mit einer gemeinsamen französischen Elite-Ausbildung, zu der ein Studienaufenthalt in Deutschland vor dem Aufkommen des Nationalsozialismus gehörte. Jeder stellte auf seine eigene unnachahmbare Art die Gegensätzlichkeit zur Schau, die man an Intellektuellen so liebt und gleichzeitig verabscheut. Aron mochte den angloamerikanischen Liberalismus, bevor dieser modern wurde, während Sartre weiter mit dem Kommunismus sympathisierte, als dieser bereits aus der Mode war.

Aron schrieb kühle, geschmeidige Prosa über die heftigsten geopolitischen Konflikte, während Sartre jede Trivialität in eine existenzielle Krise verwandeln konnte. Trotzdem hielten sie oft gegen das französische politische Establishment zusammen. Beide traten der Résistance bei, als Frankreich ein Marionettenstaat der Nazis war, und beide forderten die Unabhängigkeit Algeriens, nachdem Frankreich seine Souveränität wiedererlangt hatte.

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