This is a follow up to a previous article on Georg Hegel (click here for the article). I have to admit, Hegel is one hard guy to read. I tried to read his book, “Phenomenology of Spirit”. I did not like the writing style, nor the tone of his writing. What I do know about Hegel is what I have gathered from other writers.
The reason I do not like Hegel is because he develops his own vocabulary for everything. It is not like reading Aristotle where the words in Greek translate directly into English. No, Hegel just comes up with his own vocabulary. I read him to learn philosophy but 50% of the effort is essentially learning a new language. In the book that I mentioned above, he admits this, and defends his position. Essentially he states that he knows it is hard but if you want to be good in philosophy and hear what he is saying, then you better shut up and start learning the vocabulary.
Nevertheless, Hegel is important because of Marx and the term “Marxian Dialectic”. You know, that stuff about the Thesis and the Antithesis destroying each other to create the Synthesis. Or in political terms, the Capitalist and the Worker clashing to create The Worker’s Paradise.
Well, there was one other thing that Hegel is really famous for, the “Master-Slave Dialectic”. In my opinion, the Marxian Dialectic is a bunch of “phoney bolognie”. But the Master-Slave theory, hmmm, that is a whole different thing. I have had the luxury of ample time to study psychology, narcissism, borderline personalities, and related things. I no expert in psychology; but, I really think Hegel is on to something here.
The Master-Slave Dialectic is an enmity that exists between employer and employee. Here is the real meaning of Hegel’s message: Those in power let it go to their head, they want to dominate others; not being happy with simply dominating, they want the dominated to look them in the eye and admit domination. Sad portrait for the future of mankind.
If you accept this assertion, just imagine what will happen if Marx gets his way, and the USA becomes communist? Imagine a system with no private property, communal living, the State owns everything and provides everything, and a bunch of narcissistic wackos in a politburo with complete power over you.
I think that history has proven this aspect of Hegel’s theory correct. The future is now.