Raymond Aron and the End of Europe

The construction of the European Union is an attempt to protect a "European identity." Aging and mass immigration are bringing big changes to Europe. There is no prospect of constraining that change unless the continent’s social contract (starting with its welfare states) is reformed. But Europeans fear that such reforms threaten Europe with "Americanization." What is European identity? How much of it can reasonably be preserved? This month marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the French political scientist, philosopher, sociologist and historian Raymond Aron. For all his multidisciplinary brilliance, his main legacy is what one of his more celebrated students recently called "intellectual hygiene"—a rigorous preference for uncomfortable reality over ideological wishful thinking. It is through his work that we get the best idea of how much of "Europe" is reality, how much myth, and how much will remain in fifty years.

Christopher Caldwell is a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, a columnist for the Financial Times and a contributing writer for the New York Times magazine.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

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