Can’t kill Hegel
October 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Not a day goes by without some (usually degreed) moron declaring about a writer or a thinker of the past, with great surprise, how modern the said writer/thinker sounds. Such declarations aren’t proof of their subjects’ modernity: they are proof of the speakers’ perverted idea of the men of the past as being somehow essentially different from “us moderns”. (“The past, whatever it was, was very different”).
The frequency of the declaration is proof of the ubiquity of the notion. It’s so universal, it must be taught in school.
It is of course classic Hegelianism — since tempora mutantur it follows that nos et mutamur in illis, etc. (No, do not blame the Romans: though the phrase is Latin, which makes everyone imagine it to be by Cicero or Ovid, it is neither Roman nor Greek, but a late 16ht century fabrication).
Which is amazing: Marx is nearly dead, but Hegel – you can’t kill that thing, ever. Like a vampire, like a killer weed, he is immortal. The most persistently durable and influential thinker in the European intellectual milieu remains — one of her worst!