Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory
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It is of the very definition of any "classic" work that it will not only introduce a new depth and direction of thought, but that its original insights endure. When it first appeared in 1940, Reason and Revolution by Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was acclaimed for its profound and undistorted reading of Hegel's social and political theory. Today, the appreciation of Marcuse's work has remained high, more relevant now than ever before.
In the rapidly changing context of post-Cold War political realities, there is no better guide than Marcuse to where we have been and to what we might expect. As he well understood, turbulent and spectacular political events always ran within channels earlier set by political theory; and he equally understood that it was Hegel's often unappreciated and misunderstood theory which actually set a fundamental path of modern political life.
It is a fortunate combination to have a scholar of Marcuse's brilliance and lucid honesty addressing the sources and consequences of Hegel's social theory.
point in the mission of John the time advances the view that the first human work 14 of the dvOQcfwiov qxi)t6c;, of man's selfThe conception of the world as a product and knowledge henceforth persists as of Hegel's system. At this very early stage, activity the driving force we can already discover the features of the later dialectical theory of society. 'Life' is not the most advanced philosophic concept that Hegel attained in his first period. The System fragment, more in which he
The and each 'sphere [town, guild, and so on] administers its own affairs.' 8 * who functionaries are elected More important than these details are the questions, What qualities does hereditary monarchy possess that jusplace of honor in the philosophy of mind? How fulfill the principles that guided the construction of that philosophy? Hegel looked upon heredtify its does this state form as the Christian state itary monarchy more strictly, as the Christian state that with the German
its work is . . . THE FOUNDATIONS OF HEGEL'S PHILOSOPHY 88 accomplished, and where the Mind attains the intuition of 8T its own as its own/ Contrary to these statements, Hegel in his discussion of the relation between religion and says the state that 'the government stands above all; it is the Mind which knows itself as the universal essence and reality . the . reality, to 88 Furthermore, he kingdom of heaven .' . it.' . calls the state 'the reality of . The State is the
self-conscious mind. Here, freea .' dom is held to be true in so far as it is unreal This new realm had been a discovery of Kant's ethical idealism. . Within it, the autonomous individual . gives himself the unconditional duty to obey universal laws that he imposes .upon himself of his own free will. Hegel did not, abode of reason. from Kant's reconciliation of developed the individual with the universal, a conflict between the dictate of duty and the desire for happiness, forced the
system ing. Purified as of science is the flawless truth, the absolute idea. The absolute idea is not added to the results of the THE SCIENCE OF LOGIC preceding analysis as a separate supreme / 165 entity. It is in content, the totality of the concepts that the Logic has unfolded, and in its form the 'method* that develops this totality. 'To speak of the absolute idea may suggest the its conception that we are at length reaching the right thing and the sum of the whole matter. It