Why Hegel knew there would be days like these


There have been places and periods of history, when only a congenital optimist could have had any hope for the future of our species. Think of the end of Athens’ golden age, the fall of the Roman Empire, the petering out of the Renaissance, the end of the Enlightenment, the rise of fascism. It’s when things look bleak indeed, that it pays to remember the German 19th century philosopher, Hegel. In his lectures on the philosophy of world history, published in 1830, Hegel offered us a way of looking at the darker periods of history, that neither glosses over their pain nor, refuses to give up hope but intellegently helps us to understand why Human progress cannot be linear, while encouraging us to trust that it does occur, nevertheless. For Hegel, history moves forward in what he termed a “Dialectical way”. A dialectic is a philosophical term for an argument made up of three parts. A thesis, an antithesis and a synthesis. Both the thesis and the antithesis countain parts of the truth but they are also exaggerations and distortions of the whole. And so, need to clash and interract until the best elements find resolution in a synthesis. One cannot, in short, get there in one leap. Hegel thought this pattern constantly observable in History. The world makes progress by lurching from one extreme to another, as it seeks to overcompensate for previous mistake. And generally requires three moves before the right balance on any issue can be found. So, for example, the ancient Athenians discovered the idea of individual liberty. But their regime was blind to the need for collective discipline and organisation. The ancient Persians knew all about that and were thereby able to conquer the Athenians on the battlefield. Yet, they were also despotic enemies of free thought which with time, became its own liability. It took many centuries for the correct synthesis between liberty and discipline, to be worked out in the form of the Roman Empire. In Hegel’s own era, the stifling, unfair, 18th century system of inheritage, traditionnal monarchy, had been abolished by the French Revolution. But, what should’ve been a peaceful birth of representative government ended up in the anarchy and chaos of the Terror. This, in turn, led to the emergence of Napoleon, who restaured order, but became a military brute, trampling on the liberty he had professed to love. Only after 40 years and much bloodshed, did the modern balance, Constitution, emerge. An arrangement which more sensibly balanced up popular representation, with the rights of minorities. Or, to take another example, the European Enlightenment had stressed the importance of reason, but it had in many parts been sterile and reductive. The movement known as ‘Romanticism’ had then swept in to assert the importance of emotion. But this had carried excesses of its own. Only eventually had a correct reconciliation been worked out between the legitimate, competing needs of reason and emotion. Hegel argument has a highly reassuring feel at moments when it seems that one kind of progress has been entirely lost. He’s on hand to reassure us that we’re merely seeing the pendulum swing back for a time. But also wisely council that this was needed, because the initial move forward had been blind to a range of crucial insights. All sides on a matter will contain important truths, lodged amidst exaggerations and bombast. Yet, these truths will eventually be sifted out through the wisdom of time. Hegel reminds us that big overreactions are eminently compatible with events broadly moving forward, in the right direction. The dark moments aren’t the end. They are a challenging, but even in some ways necessary parts of an antithesis, that will, eventually, find a wiser point of synthesis.

100 Replies to “Why Hegel knew there would be days like these”

  1. I can't find anything nice in hope for the future I won't live in. If I had kids and would think at least they'll have it good. Allright. Faint hope. If I had the impression any eventual offspring will grow up to be absolute utter assholes due to whatever society they live in, then I don't see hope in the grandchildren or their grandchildren being or living good.

  2. I admit I did not watch the entire post, so I am not sure whether it was mentioned that Hegel’s dialectic and deterministic view of history was adopted by Marx and Engels and later made a dogma of Leninism-Stalinism with well known tragic consequences. There are very few people nowadays who would treat this approach seriously. In essence, Hegel and his accolades believed that historical developments follow “scientific” rules, sort of like falling apple is guided by laws of gravity. No sane person nowadays adheres to this kind of historical determinism.

  3. The persians were allowed far more freedom for its citizens than the athenians did… u also butchered everything else stfu u stupid fucking channel

  4. Didn't the ancient Greeks defeat the Persians, two times in history ? Then Alexander of Macedon actually took over
    the Persian empire ?

  5. I find too many social engineers clinging to this notion of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Seems like you can guide humanity';s history so long as you can provide an antagonist to every protagonist.

    While this is all well and good, it seems like the social engineers can determine the "field" or realm" of which these dichotomies plays out, instead of them happening "naturally".

  6. Centrist master race bullcrap. Some people are right about some things, others are wrong. Not every truth has an equally possible negative, and just because some people think that 2+2=4 and other people think that 2+2=5 doesn't mean that the answer is somewhere in the middle

  7. "Hegel, installed from above, by the powers that be, as the certified Great Philosopher, was a flat-headed, insipid, nauseating, illiterate charlatan who reached the pinnacle of audacity in scribbling together and dishing up the craziest mystifying nonsense. This nonsense has been noisily proclaimed as immortal wisdom by mercenary followers and readily accepted as such by all fools, who thus joined into as perfect a chorus of admiration as had ever been heard before. The extensive field of spiritual influence with which Hegel was furnished by those in power has enabled him to achieve the intellectual corruption of an whole generation."
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

  8. Days like what? These? Okay so what are these days like, do we really need to define terms? It's quite possible to offer these days are the days that have always been.

  9. I always found this sentence so accurate to our history,
    Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men and weak men create hard times

  10. So we indulged society so much and everything became easy so SJWs and radical feminism was born….. hopefully the pendulum swings the other way before I die

  11. What if the equation is hijacked? If the thesis are pre-planed to give a special anti-thesis giving (the planner) a highway to a desired synthesis?

  12. Are the comments pessimistic or are we actually facing something that doesn’t apply to Hegel’s theory?

  13. Hegel never used this thesis+antithesis=synthesis formula at all. Even though this is commonly known by every “educated” person, it is completely false and if Hegel would’ve used it, his transcendantal system of absolute idealism would be completely garbage. Even Karl Popper critiques Hegel on this very formula but the thing is, as stated before: HE NEVER USED THIS FORMULA. Dialectics is just a process of the history of the mankind and it’s actually a bright thinking. This formula is written by a charlatan named Heinrich Moritz Chalybaus and since any of you refuse to read the actual systematic, you still believe this garbage.

  14. WhileHegel had a certain perceptive genius in laying out the polar extremes that occur in history, his ultimate “synthesis” is hilariously superficial. If “an ideal synthesis” of the Athenian/Persian opposites was the Roman Empire — well, then it was “Imperialist Empire” that Hegel was idealizing, not a transcendent, consummately egalitarian, happy and peaceful society or civilization.

    His own European background and culture — not unique by any means in glorifying conquest and “balanced” aggression and theft — nonetheless “bleeds through” his philosophy of “resolution.”

    And yes, the same could be said of other cultures, including many indigenous ones, as well.

    It seems most humans historically just can’t shake off completely this fetish for aggression, even if they do a splendid job of talking around it and deceiving themselves on how “wonderful” they are.

  15. Racial equality has certainly moved to the extreme and untenable position as an absolute truth. We continue to be reminded that evolution can not ensure a uniform distribution of cognitive ability. We slowly come to terms with the reality that discrepancies in intellectual achievement between certain races is more nature than nurture.

  16. God's book had the answer thousands of years ago for avoiding all those so bloody and catastrophic swings Hegel considered so necessary to push mankind "forward". Forward to what and where? …The Bible says; "Let the prudent man govern while the saintly man prays". Today's most world leaders (in politics, in the arts, in business) are neither prudent nor saints….And yes, they ALL want to rule the world, without conquering their own hearts first…May the God of love , our Lord Jesus help US all. ONLY HE IS THE TRUTH,THE WAY AND THE LIFE.!!! And if all men had more faith in His love and in His guidance, a lot of those deadly struggles might have been avoided indeed.

  17. 'The rise of Fascism.'Just stop.Typical Anglo rubbish.That rise WAS a renaissance since it led to the European renaissance which morns like you stopped on Israel's behalf who promote the Weimarisation of the whole world instead of just Germany.Unteachble Anglo's.Hegel ist viel zu kompliziert fuer Sie.

  18. TRUMP was America's answer to 8 years of oppression and recession because of obama!!! America voted wisely!!! TRUMP 2020!!!

  19. Our world revolves around good and evil. The power that thrives is the one who has the upper hand, (or most influence) at that time in history.

  20. Usually ocean seafaring nations have the highest level of synthesis and common sense, like England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 or the Netherlands 🇳🇱. Germany 🇩🇪 is a very antithesis country.

  21. A quote from john Steinbecks grapes of wrath which I will never forget – "everyone always wonders "what's the world coming to?" But the world never comes.to.anything. it just keeps turning " 🙂

  22. Yeah..seems like an oversimplification. If the synthesis is the ideal outcome of some conflicting views, then this synthesis must have happened to Persians as well and one could trace the same ideologies of Romans in Sassanid or Parthian empires as the aftermath of Greek/Persian collision in the east…those empires were nothing like Romans and in fact in many aspects opposed each other…so as it is the case for most of the European so called “thinkers” I here too sense a Eurocentric bias in core reasoning process. The claim that the Persians were intrinsically against free thought itself is a Eurocentric definition of the history. Now how much of the western thought is skewed by this Eurocentrism, is an issue beyond recognition…would there be a synthesis between the East and the West outside of the Eurocentric discourse? I call for the destruction of metaphysics as starting point :p

  23. Just destroy the game and when you’re the last one left, you’ll meet the creator. This constant struggle bores me. It makes me sick.

  24. This is a shallow and mechanical explanation… so sad to see that type of videos or writings that dumb down everything. This cold and mechanical misinterpretation of dialectic as taken the soul of the dialectic created Marx's and Engels dialectic materialism. You cannot understand Hegel's dialectic unless you go to Kant, and to Heracleitos, and digest them. Yes, it might require at least a decade of intense reading and meditation; but it's worth…

    Of course, as a typical moron, one might think you've got it, now you know what Hegel's dialectic is all about: thesis-antithesis – they swing back and forth for a while and then become a synthesis. Done. C'est fini. Now everything settled for a happy ending… How simple is that : ) 🤪

    This video is like: We are going through crappy time, but don't worry, be patient, there will be a synthesis soon. Be the meek lamb —to make people accept all the nonsense they experience.
    "there would be days like these" is maybe what reveals the underlying bad intention, the pre-conditioning of this video. Hegel's philosophy, nor his view of history, has nothing to do what we are experiencing today.

    The people that create these videos either dumb and shallow and this is what they are capable of or they have a very bad intention to deepen the social superficiality and ignorance by inflating the delusion of wisdom. While so many nonsenses are circulating and make people believe it causes a cacophony of stupidity with no audible voice of intelligence.

    The creator of video either didn't know or didn't want to mention the second condition of dialectic, maybe intentionally: There is no rule that dialectic argument will eventually end up with a synthesis. If there is no strong enough antithesis to counterbalance the tension the argument does collapse with no synthesis:

    There is no baby if either the egg or the sperm is not healthy enough. 😧

    We no longer swing; we circulate in one direction… that feels like a swing to some.
    It is a kaleidoscopic change (created by the illusion of technology to postpone the collapse), not a progress.

    Dialectic's thesis-antithesis is not the same as binary-opposition or duality: 0 – 1 or good vs evil. There is no dialectic outcome of binary/digital system !!!

  25. a minority population above 20% is toxic. look at the useless u.s. politics. elections can only deal with about 1.5 issues.. but minorities divide the vote.. so the evenly split ignoratti can do nothing more.

    islamic populations above a few percent are violent but at 9% it becomes unstoppable and at 20% islam expands as full speed toward 80%.

  26. This is not optimism. All this shows is that there will be problems that will be fixed and more will come.

  27. Hegel, a banal, void, disgusting and ignorant charlatan who mixes insanity and nonsense with unprecedented arrogance, what his partisans convey as if it were immortal wisdom held to be true by idiots … condemned to ruin a whole generation of intellectuals . "
    Schopenhauer
    "While other sophists, charlatans, and obscurantists falsify and ruin only knowledge, Hegel has destroyed even the organ of knowledge, the intelligence itself."

  28. Hegel said there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this Hegel said….. https://youtu.be/4OeBAoL66Mo

  29. Another example is the politics of today in the western world. After the second world war, Europe quite rightly saw the evils of fascism & moderate to extreme left wing politics have since ruled the west. However, now it is quite clear that in the process, the west abanoned its roots, traditions, heritage & structure. This has now lead to a rise in ethnic & social conflict which is in turn fueling the far right, (& to a certain extent the far left as well) This is because the far right are the only ones offering the old structures, security, & tradition. The pendulum is now swinging back toward the right, we shall see what we are to learn from this. I have a feeling that politics are about to get very spicy. Heaven forbid there be another financial crisis in the next couple years, as europe would burn.

  30. If you are gonna say nazi or fascist are bad you are gonna have to do the same for communist. Communist is the major catastrophe of this century not nazi or fascist. Without communist is very unlikely that fascist or nazi would come to existence.

  31. If you are interested in Hegels view on history, I recommend you the tragedy of man by Imre Madách, a relatively short drama where Lucifer attempts to make Adam commit suicide by showing him the future of humanity. It has a bit bitter feeling because of the plot, but it is a good presentation of the thesis-antithesis-synthesis system.

  32. Wow, I observed the same thing but didn't know Hegel had a theory on it. My idea however takes place in a shorter time period. For example, the election of President Trump is the pendulum swinging hard to the "right". Unfortunately, to compensate for this the next president elected will most likely be from the swing to the far "left", you can speculate as to who would win, then after that synthesis (and our lessons learned) will happen and a president who is more in the center will be elected thus achieving more stability. It is necessary.

  33. Admit it. We have fucked up. Someone please destroys the world and most of the humans (but do not harm the kitties!), so we can tear everything down and start anew… There cannot be a compromise between people who want to destroy each other. Tolerance is a fruitless idea. People constantly want to thread on each other's freedom because their perception of what counts as "tolerable" is different. Eventually I do hope that the situation will escalate into an an Armageddon. Maintaining the status quo is idiotic. Let the truth win. Or just kill each other. Annihilate each other. Please. There really is to much people anyway.

  34. The Hegelian dialectic is an old idea based on yin Yang which comes from 3 of the 10 sefirot namely chessed & gevurah and the synthesis tiferes. The Hindu trinity Brahman shivah is exactly the same idea.
    Another of the 3 sefirot is right brain left brain chochmah and binah with the culmination and synthesis daas.
    Food for thought.

  35. This Theory is great but there are some holes in it. It only works out if people – and all people try to learn. Otherwise history will repeat itself all over again. And there are always some people who forget or don´t even think of our history. (Trump … *cough*)

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