Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Note to the Young Hegelians

You can't know what the "Right Side of History", even if there is a Right Side, until History is over.  Because--according to the guy who gave us this moral interpretation of History with that sententiously capital "H", Hegel--until History is over, the Historical Dialectic is still mulling things over.  Hegel thought that Napoleon had ended History with the Battle of Jena in 1806, thereby deciding that the Ideals of the French Revolution would henceforth rule the world, but the Historical Dialectic unfortunately could not decide whether those ideals pointed to Capitalism or to Socialism.  And, thus, History staggered on.  Fukuyama thought History was over when Capitalism won the Cold War in 1989, but then twenty-nine years later we had the China Syndrome of Financial Meltdowns, which prompted Greenspan to declare History resurrected.  And as far as I know, that dialectic is still going on.  True, the United States, Merkel, and the other forces of Globalized Neo-Liberal Darkness seem to be winning, but the Socialists in Spain, Italy, and even still in Greece refuse to be snuffed out, and even in this country, the home of Neo-Liberalism itself, Bernie Sanders is giving the Capitalist Class something to worry about.

To paraphrase a philosopher far wiser than Hegel, History is not over 'till it's over.  You got that?


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