Claude Polin

Claude Polin (1937-2018) was professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He was a French political, academic and essayist philosopher. Legitimist royalist, he was a specialist in totalitarianism and liberalism, of which he was also an opponent.

Latest by Claude Polin in Chronicles

Results: 44 Articles found.
  • The Press: Hidden Persuasion or Sign of the Times?
    March 2013

    The Press: Hidden Persuasion or Sign of the Times?

    12 ¾ min

    Modern Western societies are commonly called industrial or democratic societies. They might just as well be named mass-communication societies, for the average citizen is supposed to be informed about what goes on in and around the city whose welfare and leadership he is supposed to assume.

    Read More
  • Democracy: The Tower of Babel
    February 2013

    Democracy: The Tower of Babel

    12 ¼ min

    Democracy was born as a protest against what was felt to be an oppression of man by man, a rebellion against some men having the nerve to behave as if they had a natural right to command their fellow men—whether to enslave them, to lead them, or to tell them what to think and believe.

    Read More
  • Classical Liberalism and Christianity
    December 2012

    Classical Liberalism and Christianity

    12 ½ min

    If asked to choose one word to define the basic creed and catchword of Western modernity, I would not hesitate: That word would be freedom, provided one understands that, for a modern, there can be no freedom where there is no equality.

    Read More
  • Why Democracy Doesn't Work
    November 2012

    Why Democracy Doesn't Work

    12 ¾ min

    Critical stands against democracy, when not simply ignored or mechanically rejected as mere fascist outbursts, are usually met with a supposedly wise objection: You may be right, except that you’re targeting an imperfect form of democracy.

    Read More
  • The Inner Logic of Civil Rights
    March 2012

    The Inner Logic of Civil Rights

    12 ¾ min

    As everyone knows, ideas have consequences—some immediate, others slowly unraveling as the idea gradually takes root in the public mind. The latter is precisely what happened with the idea that initiated the civil-rights movement.

    Read More
  • Christian Democracy? No Such Thing
    November 2011

    Christian Democracy? No Such Thing

    12 ½ min

    Everyone hails democracy as the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but very few realize—or dare realize—that democracy actually represents one of the most perfect forms of tyranny, because it is one the average citizen is loath to acknowledge as such.

    Read More
  • Are We Still Entitled to Some Privacy?
    August 2011

    Are We Still Entitled to Some Privacy?

    11 ½ min

    More often than not, current events offer an opportunity for meditation. This is the case today: The friends of a politician turned international financier, now to be tried for rape, have rallied round him, claiming his privacy has been invaded.

    Read More
  • The Death Wish of the West
    May 2011

    The Death Wish of the West

    13 min

    Behind the enthusiasm for democracy, and the almost fanatical devotion to the dogmas, there is the belief that each man is endowed with a freedom that entitles him to do with himself whatever he deems right for him, according only to his whims or his purely human reasoning.

    Read More
  • In Defense of Private Property
    January 2011

    In Defense of Private Property

    13 min

    For centuries, the propensity to personal ownership has been considered one of the most elementary and natural features of human nature. Criticism of private property is nothing recent, either, but has turned out to be extremely commonplace in modern times.

    Read More
  • The Necessity of Christianity
    December 2010

    The Necessity of Christianity

    13 min

    To prove the necessity of Christianity in a few paragraphs would be an entirely foolish—if not preposterous—undertaking, were it not that volumes are not necessary to present a simple idea.

    Read More
  • Authentic Communities
    August 2010

    Authentic Communities

    11 ½ min

    Deep in the heart of man there is a need imprinted by nature that may very well be his basic difference from all other animals: Being a thinking one—i.e., an animal capable of self-awareness—man needs to be something meaningful in his own eyes, something which deserves to exist, possessed of a certain dignity. All men need to give some objective value to their lives.

    Read More
  • July 2010

    The Demise of Human Understanding

    11 ¼ min

    Who in modern Western society has not heard of that category of citizens honorably known as intellectuals? They profess to be the thinking part of the nation, the people whose special calling is to ponder public or private matters.

    Read More
  • November 2008

    The West’s Guilty Feelings

    29 ¾ min

    The decline of the West may sound like a well-worn cliché, but this shouldn’t blind us to the fact that there might be some truth to it. The modern West has emerged from a rebellion against the old one, which was at least in part a parricide.

    Read More
  • The Enigmatic Professor Strauss, Part II
    August 2007

    The Enigmatic Professor Strauss, Part II

    16 ¼ min

    Where are today’s Platos and Aristotles? On this question, for once, Strauss announces that he “won’t beat around the bush in any respect”—and, actually, he doesn’t.

    Read More
  • July 2007

    The Enigmatic Professor Strauss, Part II

    23 ½ min

    One can safely claim that Leo Strauss was an enigmatic man, since he prided himself on being enigmatic. He raised the art of double-talk to the dignity of a requisite for any serious philosophizing.

    Read More
  • The Idea of Socialism
    August 2006

    The Idea of Socialism

    26 ¾ min

    The received wisdom today seems to be that, with the downfall of Soviet communism, socialism has lost its pungency.

    Read More
  • Ariadne’s Ball
    July 2006

    Ariadne’s Ball

    8 ¼ min

    There are innumerable topics of historical study, but an historian has, I believe, to choose among three styles of history.

    Read More
  • Democracy: The Enlightened Way
    June 2006

    Democracy: The Enlightened Way

    35 min

    Before American readers embark on this inquiry into the particular democracy that was born in France with the French Revolution, I should warn them that they had better be prepared to enter a world of ideas so removed from reality as to make it almost impossible to believe there were people who actually took those ideas as principles for action.

    Read More
  • March 2006

    A Fight for French Sovereignty

    8 min

    After years of running smoothly along its predetermined path, the drive toward a United States of Europe seems to have lost wind, especially in France, the place it more or less originated.

    Read More
  • February 2006

    Riots in the Suburbs

    19 ½ min

    By now, most have heard—sometimes with sorrow, sometimes with delight—of the latest fashion in the working-class suburbs of France: setting fire to cars at night. There is a lot more to this than a nocturnal rite for rival juvenile gangs.

    Read More
Results: 44 Articles found.



X