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Recent interest in Raymond Aron has focused on his “Cold War Liberalism,” but he is neither a neo-liberal nor a Hayekian libertarian. Instead, this article will argue that Aron is a “Machiavellian” liberal – that his democratic theory is underpinned by an engagement with Pareto, Mosca, and Michels. First, it will reconstruct Aron’s dialogue with Pareto. Second, it will explore his overlooked sociological writings on the ruling classes. Third, it will extend the thesis of a postwar French “Machiavellian Moment” to the Centre Raymond Aron, and ask in conclusion whether his theory of democracy can still shed light on today.