By Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
September 13, 2011
Most people do not relate politics to philosophy, but that is exactly what they should be doing if they care to know the roots of the fruit growing from the trees of society and government. If they did, more could be done to communicate effectively to both citizen and politician. History tends to prove that public awareness regarding political philosophy grows out of mere circumstances which force basic reaction instead of intellectual response. Fortunately, it appears the United States is due for an awakening of freedom as the philosophy leading us down the road of slavery is at a natural end. But to hasten its end, this series of articles is written to educate the political student and concerned citizen about the origins of philosophy used to get the United States to where it is today.
You have likely heard the American Declaration of Independence described as an expression of new concepts relating to man, politics, and government. Some have gone so far as to describe it as “God-inspired.” Historically, this description is not true. The Declaration of Independence was a reflection of ideas presented by philosophers of the Enlightenment Period (approx. 1630-1800) and in particular, John Locke (1632-1704). Some of the verbiage used by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence was all but direct quotes from John Locke’s An Essay Concerning The True Original Extend and End of Civil Government. Some have even accused Thomas Jefferson of plagiarism given its similarities. Their comparisons in the endnote below prove this.
The foundational concepts the American Colonies used to secede from Great Britain were not new. They were specific ideologies expressed and expounded by philosophers for at least 150 years. Ironically, a 150 year period of development of ideology which created the renowned “freest nation on earth” suffocated just after the birth of the United States. No sooner had Enlightenment philosophy created the United States of America in 1776, a new philosophy had infiltrated and eventually revolutionized the politics of the United States. It destroyed the foundational concepts of the “State.” This new philosophy began by a person known as “the Aristotle of the Modern Age”:
Georg Wilheim Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831).
Hegel and his like attempted to prove through the science of philosophy that the STATE was the only way through which subjective freedom is realized. Instead of the State existing for the people, the people existed for the State. Hegel used the word “freedom” often in his work and uplifted its importance. That sounds nice—until you realize his definition of “freedom” meant something entirely different than it did to Enlightenment philosophers and the United States’ founding generation. Likewise, when politicians today use words such as “freedom,” “liberty,” “equality,” etc., their use of these words have a fundamental difference from those who sowed the seeds of liberty from 1630 to 1787.
For those who do not know, Hegel’s work was Karl Marx’ text book. Marx studied Hegel intently and used his philosophy as a basis and justification for his political works on communism. Adolf Hitler likewise used many of Hegel’s ideologies to justify his reign in Germany and the extermination of the Jews who threatened his goals of a strong nation of patriotic Germans.
Before you discount the significance of Hegel’s philosophical work on our own nation’s political philosophy, consider: it is a fact that the public education system in American has been shaped and determined by those who purposely incorporated Hegelian philosophy. In particular, an ardent student and follower of Hegel was William Torrey Harris, who literally changed the landscape of education in the United States. In 1889, Harris was appointed U.S. Commissioner of Education, a position he held until 1906. Since Hegel’s Philosophy of Right was published, “top educators” have incorporated his principles into all of American public education, including the highest learning institutions. It has been deeply woven into the fabric of U.S. society and government ever since.
When one compares and contrasts the ideology of the Enlightenment Period with Hegel’s work, the why’s and how’s of societal, political, and constitutional development become very plain to see. We continually hear the questions from concerned Americans, “how do we take our country back?” and the like. I say, look no further than the comparison of philosophies adopted by the United States higher political and educational institutions during its existence. From 1787 to mid-1800, theEnlightenment philosophy prevailed. From late 1800s to today, the Hegelian prevails.
If you are serious about “getting our country back” to the values that made the United States what it was—the principles which formed the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and United States Constitution—you must start with the higher thoughts of cognition: philosophy.
In the forthcoming parts of this article, we will compare and contrast the concepts advanced by Hegel with Enlightenment philosophy. At the conclusion of the article series, we should have an understanding of how to approach politicians and require them to answer these vital questions of philosophy. Whether they realize it or not, they likely fall into one or the other. They should be held accountable to which philosophy their actions and beliefs adhere. And the people are the ones to highlight and expose this. For part two click below.
We will explore the following topics:
- A. Individual Freedom and State Supremacy
B. Formation and Purpose of the State
C. Interpreting and Applying the Constitution
D. Republicanism and Democracy
E. The People’s Right of Revolution
Individual Freedom and State Supremacy
One of the most fundamental issues concerning the formation of society, government, and federations is the lines of individual freedom verses government power. For the States and United States, there are no two philosophical schools of thought more influential on this matter than the philosophies of the Enlightenment period and Georg Hegel. As shown inPart 1, the United States was emphatically founded on Enlightenment philosophy; but in the late 1800s, Hegel’s philosophy greatly influenced and controlled the minds and actions of American law, politics, and education. However, the two philosophies are hardly compatible and form completely different structures of governance. When both are used by American politicians, collision is inevitable.
According to Hegel, the existence of “freedom” has its foundation in the “origin in the will” (Georg Hegel, Philosophy of Right, Ed. University of Chicago, Trnsl. T.M. Knox, [Encyclopedia Britannica, Oxford University Press, 1952], 12). The will goes through a process leading to self-consciousness; thus, to “posit any content in himself by his own effort” (13). Hegel calls the destination of this process “individuality” (14). From this individuality, the will creates specific determinations and seeks to realize them (15). In short, the individual attempts to accomplish in real life what his will desires.
Hegel claims that for the individual to objectify his will, his subjective determinations must be made “universal” through an objective forum (17-18), or else, his will remains in a non-rational condition—like an animal. Hegel says, “the absolute goal…of free mind is to make its freedom its object, i.e. to make freedom objective as much in the sense that freedom shall be the rational system of mind, as in the sense that this system shall be the world of immediate actuality” (18). In a word, subjective freedom must have a rational method through which to objectify or make real his freedom. Hegel calls this kind of freedom, Moral Freedom, Idea of Freedom, and Ethical Life.
Hegel determines that this individual realizes this moral freedom through the State. Hegel says, “[t]he State is the actuality of the ethical Idea.” (80). To Hegel, the State is the only means through which individual freedom has any objectivity in individual freedom. He reasons in this manner, “Whoever wills to act in this world of actuality has eo ipso [by the thing itself] submitted himself to its laws and recognized the right of objectivity…In this objective field, the right of [objective] insight is valid as insight into the legal or illegal” (46). Hegel further reasons, “the nature of man consists precisely in the fact that he is essentially something universal, not a being whose knowledge is an abstractly momentary and piecemeal affair” (Ibid). Hegel means, exercising objective Moral Freedom is only accomplished by complying with the laws of the State.
Hegel sets forth premises to justify his position regarding “objective freedom”, stating, “the origin of evil in general is to be found in the mystery of [individual] freedom” (48). In other words, evil arises out of the subjective will without the State’s laws to determine whether those actions comply with objective freedom (i.e. legal or illegal). All individual freedom without the State amounts to irrationality, absurdity, and contradiction. In particular, Hegel is extremely sensitive about people in society who might claim their actions comport to a higher law than man’s law (i.e. natural and divine law). In mocking these positions, Hegel touts, “You actually accept a law…and respect it as absolute. So do I, but I go further than you, because I am beyond this law and can make it to suit myself” (54). Of course, this higher law Hegel mocks is the same law upon which the Enlightenment philosophy is based—the foundation of American jurisprudence.
Hegel’s disdain for the Enlightenment philosophy is clear when he states in part, “this babble has made reasonable men just as sick of the words ‘reason,’ ‘enlightenment,’ and ‘right,’ &c., as of the words ‘constitution’ and ‘freedom’.” Hegel believes the Enlightenment philosophy is incredible because it is based upon reason and logic, and not upon the “concept of the State.” Hegel presupposes that since logic is based upon interpretations deduced by human mind, logic will interfere with the concept of the State, which is to objectify subjective freedom. Thus, Hegel believes the Enlightenment philosophy of America’s independence is not only unreasonable and contradictory, but evil because logic cannot and must not get in the way of the “concept of the State.”
To prevent this “evil” in society where people claim a higher law than man’s law, thus abusing their freedom, Hegel concludes, “the ethical order is freedom or the absolute will as what is objective, a circle of necessity whose moments are the ethical powers which regulate the life of individuals” (55, emphasis added). “Ethical freedom” is the STATE, to determine all objective freedom for the individual. Notice as well that Hegel equates “freedom” with the “absolute will” of the State. Thus, to a Hegelian, society is free where the State has absolute control over individuals.
Hegel further states, the State’s power “is an absolute authority and power infinitely more firmly established than the being in nature” (55). Since the power of the State is absolute and its power is infinite, it follows that “these laws and institutions are duties binding on the will of the individual” regardless of logic, reason, and the purposes and ends of society and government (56). The STATE is the end unto itself because only it is reality.
Even more than the individual having a duty to submit to this absolute State authority, Hegel declares that the individual’s destiny “is fulfilledwhen they belong to an actual ethical order [i.e. State], because their conviction of their freedom finds its truth in such an objective order, and it is in an ethical order [i.e. State] that they are actually in possession of their own essence or their own inner universality” (57, emphasis added). Hegel means, an individual is destined to be a subject of a State and his essence as a human is fulfilled by being subject to the absolute will of the State. Upon these premises, Hegel ultimately finds that individual rights are found not in nature or God, but in the State. He says, “by being in the ethical order [i.e. State] a man has rights” (57).
Hegel finds that individuals are completely inferior to the State in all regards: in life, liberty, and property. A “patriot” of the State is one who sees his interests as subservient to the interests of the State; he must act in accordance with all state laws and institutions. Hegel says,
“[a]s the substance of the individual subject, it is his political sentiment [patriotism];…as the substance of the objective world, it is the organism of the state. The political sentiment, patriotism pure and simple, is assured conviction with truth as its basis…In this sense it is simply a product of the institutions subsisting in the state, since rationality is actuallypresent in the state, while action in conformity with these institutions gives rationality its practical proof.” (84, brackets not added).
Clearly stated, Hegel determines that patriotism equates to obedience to the State in all regards. More than a person being patriotic by recognizing his objective freedom through the State, the individual must sacrifice his life, liberty, and property to and for the State. Hegel determines, “[the individual’s] relation [to the State] and the recognition of it is therefore the individual’s substantive duty, the duty to maintain this substantive individuality, i.e. the independence and sovereignty of the state, at the risk and the sacrifice of property and life” (107). Hegel further states that “[s]acrifice on behalf of the individuality of the state is the substantial tie between the state and all its members and so is a universal duty.” (107). Were a person to invoke natural rights granted by God to protect his life, liberty, and property against the State, or were a person to even question the actions or authority of government, Hegel would find that person to be ipso facto unpatriotic.
Quite clearly, under Hegel’s philosophy, the State is absolutely and infinitely supreme; and the individual has a duty to sacrifice his life and property for the State because the individuals’ “objective freedom” cannot exist except by the State. The individual exists for the State; not the State for the individual. This duty to sacrifice one’s life, liberty, and property for the State is universal in time and conditions regardless of whether the State is in a state of war or peace and regardless of constitution. If the State requires the sacrifice, the individual must make the sacrifice; and the State is the sole determiner of its own needs. Put inversely, the State is the sole determiner of which individuals need to sacrifice for the State; and this determination has nothing to do with reason or logic, but only with the “concept of the State.”
By Hegel’s own admission, these ideas contrast sharply to the ones which founded and birthed the United States of America and its constitutions: the Enlightenment Period.
The American Declaration of Independence mirrors Enlightenment philosophy. Even someone who is only vaguely familiar with the Declaration would recognize its principles are incompatible with Hegel’s philosophy. The Declaration recognizes the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Hegel recognizes no such right. In the Declaration, the State is not the method of obtaining objectivity of freedom, but is the protector of freedom and is ultimately under the control of the people for whose benefit it was created.
These concepts were specifically advanced by Enlightenment philosophy and were described as immutable. Samuel Pufendorf says, “the fundamental laws of nature [are] truth and necessity aris[ing] directly from the very character of human nature; and [are] conclusions…deduced from these principles” (Pufendorf, Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, Ed. Knud Haakonssen, [Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, IN, 2009], 218). Thus expressed in the Declaration, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”. For the American colonies, the belief that God judged the actions of mankind equipped them to secede from Great Britain, given the truth of individual freedom and limitations of State power.
To Hegel, there was no “immutable truths” of right and wrong relative to the State’s judgments and actions. There was only the power of the State. To Hegel, the ultimate judge is not God, as the Declaration declares (“the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions”). Rather, the “history of the world [is] the world’s court of judgement” (Hegel, Philosophy of Right, 110). As will be seen in this article’s subsequent parts, this Hegelian concept of “history” has a fundamental bearing on how those in political power control the State.
As a fundamental premise of understanding human nature, society, and government, John Locke explains that individual freedom is found in the laws of Nature created by God. Individual freedom is a natural, inherit right granted by the Creator of life and matter. He states that political power (i.e. the State) is founded not upon the “concept of the State” but rather upon this: “all men are naturally in…a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of Nature” (Locke, Concerning Civil Government, 25). Civil liberty was substantively a matter of “life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things such as money, houses, furniture, and the like” (Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, Ed. Charles Sherman, [D. Appleton-Century Company, 1937], 3). It was a matter of individual freedom. Thus, “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions” (John Locke,Concerning Civil Government, Ed. Alexander Campbell Fraser, [Oxford University Press, 1952], 26). This law of nature restricts government as well, for at least “they are subject to the Divine sovereignty and the law of nature” (Samuel Pufendorf, Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, 34).
Upon the recognition that God created man, individual freedom contains the right to use the grants of God for the individual’s benefit. Locke states, “for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent and infinitely wise Maker; all the servants of one sovereign Master, sent into the world by His order and about His business; they are His property, whose workmanship they are made to last during His, not another’s pleasure.” (Locke,Concerning Civil Government, 26). By definition, the State is not the objective form of individual freedom. Enlightenment philosophers acknowledged that the individual, as a workmanship of God, is a moral being, answerable to God primarily and man secondarily. This philosophy acknowledges that God equips individuals with certain rights independent of society and government. The State is not the objectivity of rights, as Hegel proposes. God is.
With this individual freedom, God grants to him certain authority respective of his rights. Samuel Pufendorf recognizes that “[a]uthority over persons and actions which are one’s own is called liberty” (Two Books on the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, 89). Where no individual authority exists, no individual liberty exists. Thus, were individual freedom to exist only through the power of the State, no liberty would exist at all; it would depend entirely on the State’s arbitrary control or otherwise. To the Enlightenment, individual liberty is a matter of individual ownership sanctioned by God and is not subject to arbitrary control of the State.
Individual freedom, or as referenced in philosophical terms, individual morality, is something imposed upon individuals by God, not the State as Hegel proposes. This individual morality and freedom exists independently of the State. Samuel Pufendorf puts it this way, “[morality] does not derive its origin from the arbitrary imposition of men [i.e. government], but only from the disposition of God himself, who has so formed the nature of man that particular actions of necessity are or are not congruent with this nature” (Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, 24).
So, while government may unjustly interfere with individual freedom, we suffer only while evils are sufferable. At some point, individuals may invoke their right and command of freedom and may do as the Declaration states, “alter or — abolish it, and — institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Without the concept of individual freedom and rights, there is hardly room for John Locke’s definition of tyranny: “tyranny is the exercising of power beyond right” (Concerning Civil Government, 71). Of course, Hegel does not recognize such a definition of tyranny because he does not recognize natural rights of the individual outside of the power of the State. How can the State exceed powers when it is the realization of the individual’s freedom?
This concept of unilaterally executing individual freedom was not new. John Locke stated it clearly in his works as noted in part 1 of this series. Samuel Pufendorf stated the same thing before Thomas Jefferson, saying, “since he to whom sovereignty is given possesses otherwise no right over me, and therefore holds by my mere free will whatever authority he has over me, it is assuredly patent that it rests with me how far I care to admit his sovereignty over me” (Two Books on the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, 89). Were it not for the supremacy of individual freedom, this right to change, abolish, or secede from government would not be possible. Quite obviously, Enlightenment philosophy rejected what Hegel advocated and placed significant value on the individual as a creation of God with individual freedom.
Tragically, from the late 1800s until today in America, many in the highest levels of education and politics have adopted the principles advocated by Hegel. Many of them have openly admitted this; others not so bold hide their Hegelian beliefs in Enlightenment terminology. These Hegelians have largely influenced the direction of constitutional law and political direction of the United States. Even a shallow study would reveal this, and these subsequent articles will reveal more of this truth.
As a result, the United States has undergone a change in character to the point that it is unrecognizable as the same country. Instead of wanting individual freedom, many Americans prefer government intervention, management, and control—just as Hegel (and Marx) envisioned—in contradiction to foundationsl principles of constitutional republicanism and democracy.
To return to true American principles, citizens and their representatives must reject the Hegelian supposition of State power and authority relative to individual freedom, and once again place preeminence on the value of God’s creation of the individual, who has the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness independent of government.
Furthermore, we must question authority as it has been told to us. We must require our agents to reconcile their positions of constitutional law and politics with the fundamental notion of individual freedom. If their positions do not reconcile with this fundament tenet of American jurisprudence and philosophy, they may be a Hegelian in disguise.
Subsequent articles are forthcoming on the remaining topics, and will be designed to offer the political student with more tools to judge actions with philosophy.
Formation and Purpose of the State
As discussed in Part 2 of this article series, the State is the objectivity of individual freedom, in Hegel’s view. The State’s power is absolute and supreme in all regards. This objectivity of individual freedom is simultaneously the purpose of the State, because as Hegel puts it, the individual’s destiny is fulfilled by being subject to the State. There is no defined “purpose” of the State as it relates to natural law, constitution, logic, or reason. Rather, to Hegel, the real question is not for what purpose was the State created; but rather, what is the “concept of the State.” It matters not why a State is formed; it only matters that it exist. Once it exists, its purpose is accomplished by whatever actions it executes. The State’s purpose and power are thus coterminous.
Upon this supposition, Hegel rejects sentiments that the State is not “doing its job” or is “violating the social compact” to which it must adhere to be considered legitimate authority. To Hegel, the State’s authority exists independent of any purposes of formation whether in natural or constitutional law. “The people” as the creator of society and government is not even a factor in determining government power (a subject to be addressed in detail in a subsequent article series). The State’s subjects only need to consider what the State determines to be law at that time and obey. As Hegel puts it, this is the individual’s universal duty to the State (see, Part 2).
Hegel rejects the Enlightenment philosophy that society and government are formed on principles of social compact. Hegel states, “the notion of a contractual relation between him [i.e. government] and his people…stands opposed to the Idea of ethical life” (Georg Hegel, Philosophy of Right, Ed. University of Chicago, Trnsl. T.M. Knox, [Encyclopedia Britannica, Oxford University Press, 1952], 95). This term “Idea of ethical life” means, to Hegel, the absolute power of the State as supreme over the individuals in society; so, the idea of a social compact stands opposed to the power of the State. Natural and constitutional limitations upon the State do not exist. By definition, there is no such thing as the “purpose” for forming society and government. There is only the “Idea of ethical life”—that is, the State’s absolute power.
When considering the position held by Enlightenment philosophers, as used for the foundation of the United States of America, one sees that Hegel’s views of the formation and purpose of government stands in sharp contrast and contradiction to original American ideals. It certainly plays a significant role in how politicians see their powers relative to the constitution and citizens of the State, all the while claiming we are “free.” Let us consider now the Enlightenment view of the purpose of the State.
Throughout Enlightenment philosophy, there was a consistent theme regarding the formation of society and government. This theme was, there is a defined purpose for forming a State and that purpose is a lens through which to judge government actions. This purpose is found in both nature and constitution. The rationale and basis rest on this: (1) God created man with inherit, inalienable rights and the authority to enforce and protect those rights, and (2) an oath is implicitly or expressly imposed upon every person serving in public capacity for the good of the people (See, Ezekiel 17:16; Ecclesiastes 8:2-5; Psalm 55:20; Amos 1:9).
Since being in a state of nature poses problems with individuals being able to protect their God-given freedom and rights, people form government to serve as their common will and force of protecting those rights from within and without. The people’s rights are original, and government’s power is fiduciary. Locke explains that in a state of nature, since men have a right to judge their own cause without control or appeal, it may be that justice will not be served systematically given our nature of self-preference. Complete individual sovereignty (as in a state of nature) would render each person capable of defining when he is “hurt” and thus is entitled to enforce his right absolutely. Not much speculation is needed to see how such a state of complete individual sovereignty would render that society chaotic.
Ironically, complete, unfettered individual freedom would render that society at constant war, ultimately to be controlled by those with enough power and resources to buy the loyalty of those less capable. Eventually, tribal wars overcome those people, and a dictatorship results, as history shows. For this cause, “civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniences of the state of Nature” (John Locke,Concerning Civil Government, Ed. Alexander Campbell Fraser, [Oxford University Press, 1952], 28). Concepts such as damage, hurt, obligation, duty, liability, etc. are thus defined in law so the people may know how to conduct their behavior and may enforce their rights through civil, peaceful means.
Neither complete individual sovereignty nor complete state sovereignty complies with the state of human nature and experience, according to Enlightenment philosophy. Government is needed; but it needs be limited by constitution and purpose. Individual freedom is a right, but the absolute and indiscriminate exercise of it is (partially) surrendered in exchange for the common will through the State. Thus, government regulates the people of that society by the constitution they create and through laws passed pursuant thereto; but the people watch and check the government for violations of that constitution created to protect their rights and enjoy the utility of their common will. This is an Enlightenment principle of the State.
Locke declares the State’s general purpose as “the preservation of property” (43), which he describes as one’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness as well as lands, houses, &c. The importance and preeminence of private property is the pillar of freedom: to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor; to supply income and sustenance; to provide for one’s family; and to promote industry and improvement of lifestyle—this being done not in state of nature form, but rather in state of society, constitutional form. In like vein, Emer de Vattel explains that the State is formed “to protect and defend” the citizen, and it must “lay the foundation of its own preservation, safety, perfection, and happiness” (Law of Nations, [Indianapolis, IN, Liberty Fund, 2008], 86). Thus, the State’s constitution empowers government to protect private property through passing and enforcing laws.
The State cannot violate these purposes and still be considered legitimate. The people have a right to hold the State accountable to their natural and constitutional purposes. Just as an individual has a right to protect his freedom against an individual in a state of nature, he also has a right to be free from the force of laws to which he has not consented in a state of society. Locke explains that men possess natural liberty “to be free from any superior power on earth…[and] to be under no other legislative power but that established by consent in a commonwealth, nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact according to the trust put in it.” (Concerning Civil Government, 29, emphasis added).
One’s consent relates directly to the “trust” (i.e. fiduciary) purpose of the State and its natural and constitutional limitations. Government force creating submission of individuals can never equate to consent. Thus, Hegel’s notion of “the concept of the State” equating to absolute power over its subjects contradicts the Enlightenment understanding that legitimate authority comes by way of the State fulfilling its purpose and not usurping the authority individuals possess.
The Declaration of Independence mirrors these Enlightenment sentiments. Namely, it reiterates: “all men are created equal, [and] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. Upon this foundation, the colonies seceded from Great Britain because each Colony determined for itself that being political, constitutionally, and legally connected to their government (of hundreds of years) no longer satisfied the purpose for which Great Britain was established and for which the Colonies were formed; namely, to preserve and protect property (i.e. life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, &c). Ultimately, this is the question each society (i.e. county, state, or region) of each generation must answer for itself.
Observation and Conclusion
The consequences of these two philosophies should be obvious and indeed are significant in all regards of one’s daily life. Where Hegel presents no purpose of the State but only its “concept” and thus absolute power, those subjects are destined for either slavery or to fight their way to positions of political power so they can escape the chains placed upon subject status. Insider favors and corruption are rampant in that State. Loving one’s neighbor as himself is hardly a “Golden Rule.”
Autocratic control, police and military force are the “rule of law.” Education is propaganda, controlled, and centralized; it indoctrinates all students to be good State patriots. The State has little to no incentive to limit its actions to standards of justice and decency. It seeks to expand itself and limit or destroy competition against its power. It only commands and expects obedience. When a subject invokes individual rights over the laws of the State, that subject is ignored or trampled by the State—and to Hegel, rightfully so.
In contrast, where a society understands the natural and expressed purpose of forming the State and its education develops the notions of natural and constitutional law, as did the Enlightenment, the people quite willingly serve as the watchman and overseers of government. The people hold the power of the State and its direction. They are intent to ensure that the laws comply with the constitution of the State to meet its purposes and to ensure their happiness and protection of individual rights and property. The people are ever vigilant in demanding their rights be not usurped by government power. Education emphasizes individual responsibility, character, honesty, and authority. The Golden Rule is happily followed for each knows that if a neighbor’s rights can be usurped by government, so can his. The State has much incentive to limit its actions to the standards of justice and decency, knowing the people will not accept corruption and tyranny. Government regulates in good faith compliance with the natural and expressed purposes of that State. Politicians are students of political philosophy and protectors of individual freedom; they are not seekers of personal gain and aggrandizement.
When the Enlightenment philosophy is abandoned, the vacuum is quickly filled with Hegelian concepts, like what happened in the United States soon after its formation. Understanding the formation and purpose of the State is crucial to understanding the next article series, which is “Interpreting and Applying the Constitution.” As will be seen, not defining the purpose of the State translates into the lack of constitutional limitations and actually creates a disdain for constitutional limitations as originally created by the people of the State.
From this Hegelian notion of no purpose comes the notion of the “living constitution” we have heard in the United States for over 100 years. Some have attempted to make the “living constitution” an American constitutional principle. In truth, it is a Hegelian principle. It is this Hegelian “concept of the State” (i.e. absolute power of the State) that has equipped less-than-honorable politicians and others with intent of subterfuge to convince the people that their actions are “constitutional” while at the same time they accomplish their goals as a Hegelian.
1. A) John Locke: “Man [are] born…with a title to perfect freedom and uncontrolled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of Nature, equally with any other man, or number of men in the world, hath by nature a power…to preserve his property—that is, his life, liberty, and estate, against the injuries and attempts of other men”.
Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
B) John Locke: “The commonwealth [is] a society of men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and advancing their own civil interests. Civil interests I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture, and the like.”
Declaration of Independence: “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
C) John Locke: “When [he who has the supreme executive power neglects and abandons his charge to contrary to the consent and interest of the people], the people are at liberty to provide for themselves by erecting new legislative differing from the other by the change of persons, of form, or both, as they shall find it most for their safety and good.”
Declaration of Independence: “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
D) John Locke: “I answer, such revolutions happen not upon every little mismanagement in public affairs. Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty will be borne by the people without mutiny or murmur. But if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going, it is not to be wondered that they should then rouse themselves, and endeavor to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the end for which government was at first erected.”
Declaration of Independence: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”
2. See, William Torrey Harris and the Hegelian Philosophy of Education.
© 2011 Timothy N. Baldwin, JD – All Rights Reserved
Timothy Baldwin is an attorney licensed to practice law in Montana (and Florida) and focuses on constitutional issues. Baldwin graduated from the University of West Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English and Political Science. In 2004, Baldwin graduated from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, AL with a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree. From there, Baldwin became an Assistant State Attorney in Florida. For 2 1/2 years, Baldwin prosecuted criminal actions and tried nearly 60 jury trials. In 2006, Baldwin started his private law practice and has maintained it since.
Baldwin is a published author, public speaker and student of political philosophy. Baldwin is the author of Freedom For A Change, Romans 13-The True Meaning of Submission, and Political Discussions for People of States–all of which are available for purchase through Liberty Defense League. Baldwin has also authored hundreds of political science articles relative to liberty in the United States of America. Baldwin has been the guest of scores of radio shows and public events and continues to exposit principles which the people in America will need to determine its direction for the future.
Web site: LibertyDefenseLeague
What Is The Hegelian Dialectic?
by Niki F. Raapana and Nordica M. Friedrich
This article was originally published online in December 2002. For years it has been available to the public for free, as an educational resource. As a result it has been widely distributed with and without our permission. Now we would like to ask that you do not reproduce this work, as it is copyrighted.
The entire text of What Is The Hegelian Dialectic? has a permanent home in our new book, 2020: Our Common Destiny/The Anti Communitarian Manifesto (two books in one), available in mass-market paperback or an affordable, downloadable e-book.
The introduction entitled Why study Hegel? is still available here to read for free, for educational purposes.
Introduction: Why study Hegel?
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…
“… the State ‘has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State… for the right of the world spirit is above all special priveleges.’” — Author/historian William Shirer, quoting Hegel in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich(1959)
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) was a 19th century German philosopher and theologist who wrote The Science of Logic in 1812. For many historians, Hegel is “perhaps the greatest of the German idealist philosophers.”
In 1847 the London Communist League (Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels) used Hegel’s theory of the dialectic to back up their economic theory of communism. Now, in the 21st century, Hegelian-Marxist thinking affects our entire social and political structure.
The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution. If we do not understand how the Hegelian dialectic shapes our perceptions of the world, then we do not know how we are helping to implement the vision for the future.
Hegel’s dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action. Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in Marx and Engels’ grand design to advance humanity into a dictatorship of the proletariat. The synthetic Hegelian solution to all these conflicts can’t be introduced unless we all take a side that will advance the agenda.
The Marxist’s global agenda is moving along at breakneck speed. The only way to stop land grabs, privacy invasions, expanded domestic police powers, insane wars against inanimate objects (and transient verbs), covert actions, and outright assaults on individual liberty, is to step outside the dialectic. Only then can we be released from the limitations of controlled and guided thought.
When we understand what motivated Hegel, we can see his influence on all of our destinies. Then we become real players in the very real game that has been going on for at least 224 years.
Hegelian conflicts steer every political arena on the planet, from the United Nations to the major American politicalparties, all the way down to local school boards and community councils. Dialogues and consensus-building are primary tools of the dialectic, and terror and intimidation are also acceptable formats for obtaining the goal.
The ultimate Third Way agenda is world government. Once we get what’s really going on, we can cut the strings and move our lives in original directions outside the confines of the dialectical madness. Focusing on Hegel’s and Engel’s ultimate agenda, and avoiding getting caught up in their impenetrable theories of social evolution, gives us the opportunity to think and act our way toward freedom, justice, and genuine liberty for all.
Today the dialectic is active in every political issue that encourages taking sides. We can see it in environmentalists instigating conflicts against private property owners, in democrats against republicans, in greens against libertarians, in communists against socialists, in neo-cons against traditional conservatives, in community activists against individuals, in pro-choice versus pro-life, in Christians against Muslims, in isolationists versus interventionists, in peace activists against war hawks.
No matter what the issue, the invisible dialectic aims to control both the conflict and the resolution of differences, and leads everyone involved into a new cycle of conflicts. We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.
To read the rest of What Is The Hegelian Dialectic?, get 2020: Our Common Destiny/The Anti Communitarian Manifesto. Two great books combined into one mass-market paperback! It is also available as an affordable, downloadable e-book.
You will learn….
The origins of deductive and inductive reasoning
2. Webster’s definition of the Hegelian dialectic
3. How the Hegelian dialectic changed the formula for deductive reasoning
4. Why it is almost impossible for a layman to understand the dialectic
5. The communitarian purpose for the Hegelian dialectic
6. How we interpret the history of the Hegelian dialectic
7. The Anti Communitarian League’s conclusion
8. Four examples of the power of the semantics in the dialectic
9. Four different impressions of the modern Hegelian dialectic theory
I have been working an average of 80 hours a week for several years now searching the internet for the most concise sources of educational material so the average intellect could obtain the fastest possible education on how America was destroyed from within and without, and what to do about it.
Please give some consideration to the expertise of the two authors above and read their work several times. In Niki’s case, I recommend buying both forms of her book so you can have it on your computer and loan out the hard copy to non computer friends. Knowledge is power, and words are the ultimate power on earth. Please consider that everything that exists, be it known or unknown, was brought into existence by words.