“World history is a court of judgment”
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
The Dialectic in Praxis
Reality’s Tug of War
In opposition to Nietzsche, Georg Hegel believed in everything—quite literally everything. He was an idealist of the first degree. Looking into his philosophy, I was surprised to find an alignment of sorts between his thinking on what lies outside our ability to determine and thinking of my own. I found we use common words to describe, in essence, the same thing. I also found some serious contradictions.
The Hegelian belief system holds that, nested within the constructs of reality, are the means for reversing the nature of that reality. Hegel’s philosophy depicts reality as a tug of war between what is and what will be.
The Struggle is Real: Interpreting Hegel
The philosophy of Hegel is often described as unknowable. Some scholars consider his musings ridiculous and the ponderings of a madman. This criticism is usually sourced through fellow ponderers whose own ramblings contradict those they rail against.
There are men and women out there who have spent lifetimes struggling to find substance and meaning here. I am not one of them. My primary concern is what is found downstream from his body of work. What I find in history blessed with Hegelian thinking is crisis and struggle. What it is that synthesizes from crisis and struggle is misery, pain and mass murder. Imagine that. I don’t think this was his intention, but it lies squarely in tune with his philosophy.
There are forces in opposition tugging away on the battlefield of ideas. Hegel’s entry into the great philosophical war of enlightenment is his dialectical model. The dialectical model holds that one reading of nature is balanced with another reality, a mirror image cohabiting the same space and time. Inside every aspect of what constitutes and surrounds us is a struggle for existence. An anti-reality competing for dominance and real-world positioning. This fundamental transformation is called negation.
This tug of war is continuous and eternal. The “Whole” of the Universe is in perpetual flux with one face of reality being, and another becoming. The idealistic polarities of whatever constitutes reality ebbing to and fro, flip-flopping and evolving into place, all negating one another into the here and now is the Hegelian worldview.
Hegel believed the very act of existence is due to inherent contradiction. Internal crisis is the mechanism that allows for substance and being. To try and simplify something few, and that includes me understand: Every atom in the Universe consists of two opposing nuances in contradiction. A matter substance; “Being” and its anti-matter counterpart” “Spirit” compete in a state of perpetual crisis – One side becoming, in effect the other. The wobbling of a child’s toy – a top, losing its spin struggling to remain vertical, negating one wobble with a corresponding wobble induced as a product of the first could be attributed to Hegel’s dialectical compensation. This wobbling negation would be inherent to every atom, idea or structure in the Universe. It is known as the “Dialectical March” and this thinking annihilates what logic constitutes as “truth.” It also gives credence to failure as we’ll see.
Yin is Yang
Constrained within every truth (reality) are the means for its reversal. Springing from the essence of truth, The Hegelian’s “Thesis,” is its “Antithesis.” Antithesis is an internal contradiction; a hypocrisy that places Thesis into crisis. Under this crisis condition Antithesis merges with Thesis lowering it in the process and progressing it forward. This lessened and “progressed” Thesis is called “Synthesis.”
Synthesis is a compensated, consensus between these polarities. This “consensus” becomes and manifests as reality, in turn becoming Thesis. Thesis is reality driven into existence through this fluctuation. This dialectical swapping is ceaseless. Synthesis at the point of Now, becomes Thesis as it’s driven into three-dimensional, reality. Once Synthesis is reached and becomes Thesis, it is by default forced into crisis by a modified Antithesis geared to contradict the progression. This, forming the ever-changing, pulsating blob we call home.
This is why you can never get a straight answer out of a Leftist. A lie is not a lie, it is truth becoming. We’ve all heard Bill Clinton’s – “that depends on what you mean by is,” dialectic. Or that in the essence of capitalism lies communism, slowly becoming, spurting into being through crisis and revolution. The sky is both colorless and blue. Day becomes night and night becomes day, over and over. There are no points of reference here… only points of view.
Collective Salvation: Totalitarianism
“All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State.” — 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Hegel was a statist, a totalitarian believing the State construct was the vehicle best used to evolve society into totality with the ideal. Mankind is freed to become whole – at unity with the cosmos with the blessings of security and common direction provided by the State. This is the genesis of Collective Salvation, the means for which the collective of man can reach a higher plane of existence and become one with the “Whole.” It is also the basis for the modern-day rendition of totalitarianism… Just minus Hegel’s “whole” nonsense – His higher thought.
“The whole is the false” — T Adorno, Frankfurt Marxist
The Apple Crisis A Return to Eden: A Social Collective – Oneness with God
A Conservative Dialectic
With one decision, one bite of the apple the assumption of control is granted. The acceptance of free will comes with a price – a degree of separation from God. The responsibility of consequence is unconditional with this acceptance and is borne by all. A longing to return to this idyllic, pre-conditional state of humanity processed with the misconceptions of human desire and ego has gifted mankind with the elitist ideology of collective salvation though socialism.
Free will is Man’s natural state and our collective apple cannot be un-bitten. We cannot simply decide to remove our individuality… our free will. Neither of our own accord nor through the intent of others can it be stripped. Personal feelings of misplaced necessity and the delusion of control; political power have no bearing on this decision made, by proxy for the benefit, or the burden of all who follow.
If it were only that easy – this flaw, our downgraded nature is apolitical and cannot be unwritten, amended, wished away or corrected by anybody… Especially by those with “good intent.”
Hegel’s historicism: his vision of how the Universal timeline operates describes a “history becoming.” Hegel alone could see this from his perch in the cat-bird’s seat. He somehow felt he was above and apart from the comings and goings of life that clouded humanity’s ability to even contemplate what he could see with such sparkling clarity.
Such was his elite standing. This “elite standing” and positioning outside the fray would soon be acquired by a protege who would manipulate the philosophy of Hegel into his own. Karl Marx would help progress Georg Hegel’s worldview into never before plumbed depths of human cruelty.
What stuns me is how Hegel’s operating system seems to coincide with what is glimpsed at the quantum level – Particles becoming waves and vice versa. Stranger yet… A utopian socialist, like the author, sliding out of the realm of Leftist thought and into Constitutional Conservatism.
There is no logic in this place for logic is binding. It is also fading to a becoming, dialectical mish-mash of meaninglessness. We are immersed in increasingly, illogical times and Georg Hegel’s dialectical understanding is significant as to why.
This is the “struggle”—the relativistic methodology behind “hope and change.”
Next The Road to Ruin: Karl Marx
A Conservative Dialectic is a response from a “conservative” point of view that is also a play on the word. This in the manner that cutting loose with both barrels might not seem “conservative” at all. Link here to others. Here to Nietzsche. Here to Maher.