Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Hegel and Marx 3 October 2008. Dialectic Undifferentiated unity (e.g., the family, early civilizations) Disunity (e.g., civil society, later civilizations)

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Hegel and Marx 3 October 2008. Dialectic Undifferentiated unity (e.g., the family, early civilizations) Disunity (e.g., civil society, later civilizations)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hegel and Marx 3 October 2008

2 Dialectic Undifferentiated unity (e.g., the family, early civilizations) Disunity (e.g., civil society, later civilizations) Differentiated unity (e.g., the state, contemporary German civilization)

3 Recognition The master and the slave –The master wants to force recognition from the slave –But the only way the recognition is worth anything is if the slave is free to give it Genuine recognition always requires the freedom of the other

4 States and Sovereignty States are sovereign insofar as they can receive recognition, which is only given by other states But the sovereignty of states also reflects their status as the embodiment of real values

5 Hegel’s critique of Kant War is part of the rational process of history and a possibility that is inherent in sovereignty The “purpose” of war is not to lead to perpetual peace, but to preserve and enhance a particular manifestation of spirit, a cultural identity in rational form

6 Hegel’s Critique of Kant Without the possibility of war (of existential conflict), the state would disintegrate into civil society A federation of states could not eliminate this possibility without also eliminating sovereignty

7 War and the state War enhances shared values – the unity of the state –Lifts people out of their concern with material possessions characteristic of civil society: promotes civic virtue (as “selflessness”) –Enhances the unity of the state which is likely to fragment by prolonged peace

8 Limits on war War should be limited by the fact of mutual recognition: it ought to come to an end in a way that preserves the possibility of peace –Hostility in modern war should be abstract, not individualized –War is a conflict between states, and hence militaries as the class of people who have the function of warmaking in the state and embody its courage –Yet war can always devolve into a war of survival; this is necessary for war to serve its function

9 Limits on war The treatment of soldiers, etc. depends merely on customs, but these customs embody valid conceptions of right in a historical time period –In modern times war is limited in the European context through common customs, etc.

10 Limits on war War is not to be justified with reference to its general salutary effects in any particular case –The justification of any particular war will always have to do with the specific “welfare” of a state, but not with the abstract preservation of a state’s unity

11 The historical process History is the World’s Court of Judgment: the rise and fall of states in history reveals the judgment of spirit –In every age, certain states rise to be the representatives of dominant cultural forms that embody certain moments of the historical process –Hegel identifies “Oriental” states, Greece, Rome, and the German states as important stages in the development towards ever more differentiated unity

12 Some problems Hegel predicts that modern warfare will be more “rational” because more abstract and less individualized The “individuality” or “sovereignty” of the state is in tension with the idea that war must, and can, be limited The idea of a historical unfolding of the spirit leading to the ethical state seems to lead to perpetual peace anyway (“The End of History”)

13 Marx Marx “inverts” Hegel –Existing states do not embody any special values; they represent dominant classes –History unfolds in a rational process towards greater freedom and rationality, but through a conflict of classes over resources rather than a conflict of ideas over recognition

14 The individual and society In all hitherto existing forms of society (including Hegel’s rational state), the individual is alienated from his social existence Only in communist society can the individual be reconciled to the community without losing his or her individuality

15 Marx and Rousseau Early forms of society start as undifferentiated unities (e.g., no division of labor) The division of labor introduces conflict and exploitation But the rationality of history ensures that such conflict will eventually be healed

16 Forms of society Each form of society is characterized by its mode of production, the way in which labor is typically divided so as to produce and reproduce human life

17 Forms of society Each mode of production involves some characteristic and deep-seated conflict: –Between slaves and masters in slave societies –Between lord and peasant in feudal society –Between capital and labor in capitalist society

18 Forms of society Yet each new form of society represents an advance in freedom –Feudal societies are freer, in important ways, than slave societies –Capitalist societies are freer, in important ways, than feudal societies

19 Forms of society And each form of society prepares the way for the next –So feudal society paves the way for the development of capitalism –And capitalism paves the way for the development of communism

20 Capitalism Capitalism is characterized by the conflict between capital and labor –Labor is alienated from its products and exploited by capital –Human beings fail to control their joint activity

21 Capitalism Yet capitalism is an advance over other forms of society –The productive forces unleashed by capitalism increase the possibilities for human self-realization, even if they restrict them to the capitalists –The formal freedom of choice afforded to labor is a real increase in freedom

22 Communism Communism represents the socialization of the means of production –It heals the alienation of labor from its products: there is no more conflict between capital and labor –It represents the conscious control of social life by its producers –It represents an ideal of self-realization –It may or may not be brought about by violent revolution

23 Capitalism and war War is ultimately caused by the same conflicts that characterize a mode of production, and can only be eliminated by their elimination Capitalism leads to war But it also leads to the conditions for the elimination of war: global capitalism is the precondition of communism

24 Marx and perpetual peace? Like Kant, Marx subscribes to a version of the perpetual peace thesis Like Hegel, Marx believes one can say that history is essentially rational Unlike Hegel, Marx believes one can predict the future: communism, and hence perpetual peace, is inevitable

Download ppt "Hegel and Marx 3 October 2008. Dialectic Undifferentiated unity (e.g., the family, early civilizations) Disunity (e.g., civil society, later civilizations)"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google