Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Hegel Knew There Would Be Days Like These
There have been places and periods of history when only a congenital optimist could have had any hope for the future of our species. Think of the end of Athens’s golden age, the fall of the Roman Empire, the petering out of the Renaissance, the close of the Enlightenment, the rise of fascism…
It’s when things look bleak indeed that it pays to remember the German 19th century philosopher Hegel. In his Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, published in 1830, Hegel offered us a way of looking at the darker periods of history that neither glosses over their pain nor refuses to give up hope — but intelligently helps us to understand why human progress cannot be linear while encouraging us to trust that it does occur nevertheless.
For Hegel, history moves forward in what he termed a dialectical way. A dialectic is a philosophical term for an argument made up of three parts:
- A thesis
- An antithesis
- And a synthesis
Both the thesis and the antithesis contain parts of the truth, but they are also exaggerations and distortions of the whole, and so need to clash and interact, until their best elements find resolution in a synthesis.
Lady Liberty leading the People
Hegel thought this pattern a constant in history. The world makes progress by lurching from one extreme to another, as it seeks to compensate for previous mistakes and generally requires three moves before the right balance on any issue can be found.
For example, the Ancient Athenians discovered the idea of individual liberty, but their regime was blind to the need for collective discipline and organisation. The Ancient Persians knew all about that and were thereby able to conquer the Athenians on the battlefield, yet they were also despotic enemies of free thought, which with time became its own liability. It took many centuries for the correct synthesis between liberty and discipline to be worked out in the form of the Roman Empire.
In Hegel’s own era, the stifling, unfair 18th-century system of inherited monarchy had been abolished by the French Revolution — but what should have been the peaceful birth of representative government ended up in the anarchy and chaos of the Terror. This in turn led to the emergence of Napoleon, who restored order but became a military brute, trampling on the liberty he had professed to love. Only after forty years and much bloodshed did the modern ‘balanced constitution’ emerge, an arrangement which more sensibly balanced up popular representation with the rights of minorities.
Or to take another example, the European Enlightenment had stressed the importance of Reason, but it had in many parts been sterile and reductive. The movement known as Romanticism had then swept in to assert the importance of Emotion but this had carried excesses of its own. Only eventually had a correct reconciliation been worked out between the legitimate, competing needs of Reason and Emotion.
Hegel’s argument has a highly consoling feel at moments when it seems that one kind of progress has been entirely lost. He is on hand to reassure us that we are merely seeing the pendulum swing back for a time. Yet he also wisely counselled that this was needed because the initial move forward had been blind to a range of crucial insights. All sides on a matter will contain important truths lodged amidst exaggerations, and bombast — yet will eventually be sifted through the wisdom of time.
Hegel reminds us that big overreactions are eminently compatible with events broadly moving forward in the right direction. The dark moments aren’t the end, they’re a challenging but even in some ways necessary part of an antithesis that will — eventually — locate a wiser point of synthesis.
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There are so many common sense thoughts returning to the fore and so much garbage political correctness BS going where it belongs. I have not been this HAPPY since…………..wait for it………….Bush. Egads!
In less than 24 hours since Donald Trump has been named the President-elect of the greatest nation on this earth, it’s become apparent he’s being given far more credit than he’s due. There’s anguished cries of, ‘How will my children grow up knowing not to discriminate?’ or, ‘How can I look my daughter in the eye and tell her she has purpose?’ Really? Really, America? You have given Donald Trump, a mere mortal man, far more credit than he deserves, especially considering the man hasn’t even taken office yet. Trump does not have the power to mold our families, that is our flat-out our responsibility.
Your children will learn to love or hate, be respectful or disrespectful, wise or foolish, not by the character of the family in the White House, but by the family in their house. May I submit to you that your sons and daughters will be…
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In this election year 2016 we have come to the point where we are more concerned with being “right” than we are with doing the best thing for the country.
We cannot afford four more years of ‘business as usual’ by the Democrat OR Republican Party because we’re broke. We must stop spending what we don’t have. The money wasted on political advertising alone would feed the country of Chad for 5 years.
Let’s try something – how about we let the members of Congress go back to their respective constituencies and earn a living doing something for the community instead of wasting time and OUR money, sitting on the floor and flopping and whining. Just like it used to be. Plain Civil Service. It’s supposed to be an honor to serve your fellow citizens – not a privilege. Back in the day – Congresspeople volunteered their time to build this nation and their expenses were covered when they were doing public good. They held a job back home and were inconvenienced from their careers and lives working in Congress. They worked for the People after all.
DONALD TRUMP IS NOT A CAREER POLITICIAN. HE IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK.
Continuing and Preserving the Obama Legacy
It makes total sense. When Barack Obama won the Peace Prize in 2009 it subsequently tipped the balance in his favor during the 2012 election.
This year they have not yet announced the award date for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
That is probably because it is a new category: Outrageous Fictional Literature
I could be wrong, though. It might just be total BS. Not unlike 90% of the mainstream media reporting on Donald Trump.
It is Obvious that the Experts and their push for “Gun Free Zones” are not forming the right answer.
Example: Are there too many guns in the U.S.A.? This graphic would stroke your fear but it does not tell you the whole story.
Again, be mindful that this data does not tell the whole story. Per Capita would be meaningful if the gun demand was equal on all segments of society – sex, age, location and type. Most people do not live alone and that reduces the number of guns per household by 50% right off-the-bat. Cyprus has a population of less than 1.2 million and a very turbulent history – How can that be compared in a simple per capita analysis with the U.S.??
Be educated about ALL of the facts before you form your own opinion.
Follow the Money! It is not big business that benefits the greatest.
What is the news media NOT telling you?
Climate is ALWAYS Changing. Is it all a Hoax?
#OursToLose This most recent publicity campaign follows the monstrous failure by the same purveyors made in 2009. The CLIMATE DATA since then has not added to the concept that humanity has caused climate change to the degree being so gloriously claimed.
Check out: https://youtu.be/TqVE-uiHs7w Dr. Easterbrook presents a level-headed analysis and makes sure to discredit every conceived argument which Warmists have developed with FACTS.
Al Gore stated in 2008 that 40% of the polar icecap at the north pole will be gone in 5 years. FACT: there is no north polar icecap to begin with. Watch the video above! THIS is how careers are made and misinformation corrupts the global economy.
Climate Change (the newest flavor of global warming) is a hoax. It’s my opinion as well. Some readers will not make it this far to comprehend and they will not read it all. That in itself is not being open-minded. Try to remove the emotion and listen to your logic and try to understand. Please.
NOTE: All graphics are active URL links to the original sources.
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