El intelectual desaparecido

En esta primavera se cumple el centenario del nacimiento de dos intelectuales polifacéticos, encarnaciones ideológicas de la época de la guerra fría: Raymond Aron y Jean-Paul Sartre. Aron nació el 14 de marzo de 1905 y Sartre el 21 de junio.

Sartre y Aron iniciaron su relación, que se prolongó durante 50 años, con una educación francesa minoritaria compartida, de la que formó parte un período de formación en Alemania justo antes del ascenso del nazismo. Cada uno de ellos desplegó a su inimitable modo el espíritu de contradicción a un tiempo apreciado y detestado en los intelectuales: Aron fue partidario del liberalismo angloamericano antes de que se pusiera de moda, mientras que Sartre siguió siendo comunista después de que esa moda hubiese pasado.

Aron escribía una prosa fría y pulcra sobre los conflictos geopolíticos más candentes, mientras que Sartre podía convertir cualquier trivialidad en una crisis existencial. Y, sin embargo, con frecuencia adoptaron posturas comunes contra la clase política dirigente francesa. Los dos se unieron a la Resistencia, cuando Francia era un Estado títere nazi y los dos pidieron la independencia de Argelia después de que Francia recuperara su soberanía.

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