The Devil’s Logic

The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” G.W.F. Hegel (1770 – 1831) 

What’s the shtuss about Hegelian Dialectic?

It’s been said that modern politics operates on the basis of the so-called “Hegelian Dialectic,” a method of social engineering based on a rather dismal theory about how precious little people can actually know.  This theory can be easily traced to the “critical philosophy” of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who taught that the human mind cannot transcend itself in order to apprehend ultimate reality.  There are limits or boundaries to the mind’s ability to discover “things in themselves,” and at best we are left with methods (or paradigms) by which we “manage appearances.” Even hard sciences, such as physics, can only deal with the phenomenal realm of life.  The inner working of reality — the “noumenal” — is sealed off as essentially unknowable.  We are left only with postulates, hypothetical constructs, models, etc., but knowledge is essentially constrained by fundamental structures of consciousness (e.g., the categories of space and time) from which we interpret any possible experience.

Instead of accepting the limits of the human mind that Kant outlined (the “antinomies of reason”), G.W. Hegel (1770-1831) went on to claim that the mind itself is its own endpoint, and therefore the interplay of ideas is itself ultimate reality.  In other words, Hegel was an “idealist,” by which is meant that he considered ideas to be the substrata of reality. The phenomenal realm is the product of the mind, after all, and therefore it is the very thing Kant said could not be known — i.e., the noumenal.

According to Hegel, ideas are not static things, like rocks or tables.  Instead, they express themselves as part of a larger “thesis” in an ongoing historical process of refinement and change.  Ideas are therefore not merely personal states of mind, but are embedded in a historical/economic context that highly conditions their meaning.  Even logic itself is subject to change, being subject to the underlying “spirit of the age” (Zeitgeist).

It’s vital to understand that Hegel’s theory of truth was not based on a classical representational model, i.e., the view that a proposition is true if and only if it obtains in reality. No, according to Hegel, since reality itself is dynamic and changing, the usual subject-predicate distinctions necessarily have to be qualified.  The binary view that a well-formed, meaningful and factual proposition must necessarily be either true or false (either p or ~p is necessarily true for statements of fact) was rejected for a “triadic” formula that claimed that a proposition (p) conflicts with its opposite (~p), which is resolved into (p’), a “higher” truth (synthesis) that “mediates” and “resolves” the truth of both p and ~p.  (This process continues, so that (p’) later conflicts with (~p’), resolving into (p”), and so on ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.)

Hegel’s “dialectical method” of reasoning was therefore founded on the syncretistic idea that conflict and resolution is the way of “truth.”  Note that there are no “absolutes” (apart from murky metaphysical abstractions Hegel calls “Being” and “Non-Being” with the synthesis of “Becoming” or Absolute Spirit). There is no absolute moral authority (such as the Judeo-Christian God) or categorical imperatives that are non-negotiables in life (e.g., “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not commit incest,” and so on).  According to Hegel (and his followers) current everyday “reality” is a fluid process that can be “directed” through various techniques of social manipulation (e.g., propaganda, disinformation, rewriting history etc.).   By means of social engineering using the “Hegelian Dialectic,” history may be manipulated to move “onward and upward to perfection” (this is called the “realization of Spirit” by Hegel, or using G.W. Bush’s terminology, the human quest for “Freedom”).   If you can control the conflict (e.g., “terrorism” vs. “freedom”), you can dominate and control the outcome.

The utopian vision of a better “world” obtained through the schemes of Hegelian politicians is a nightmare in disguise. Indeed, it is perhaps the underlying basis and justification for all the pragmatism that lies behind political expediency in the world.  Courtesy of this philosophy, tyranny is made justifiable, as is torture, disinformation, propaganda, fascist control, revisionist history, and the bloody adventures of government leaders the world over.  All these techniques are considered “noble lies” served up for the sake of the “greater good” of humanity and for the realization of the utopian world to come….  Marx (and his communist followers), Nietzsche, and Hitler (y’sh) were all devotees of this abominable and execrable dogma.

Such deception and wickedness is appalling, and yet this is the operating procedure of our plutocratic politicians today.  Hence the USA can preemptively attack nations it deems a threat, killing and displacing millions, all in the name of a supposed good for humanity.  Using the dubious catalyst of 9-11, US politicians can enact “Patriot Act” legislation, justify wiretapping its citizens (i.e., spying), repealing the Bill of Rights (including habeas corpus), and otherwise enforcing fascist control over people, paradoxically in the name of “freedom” and “liberty.”

The Hegelian Dialectic is the devil’s logic, based as it is on compromise, calling evil good and good evil, hissing out a seductive appeal to supposed esoteric knowledge, claiming superiority to the commonsense truth claims of experience, justifying human atrocities, barbarity, and even cold-blooded murder for the sake of power and control.  It’s the prevailing dogma of the princes of this world, and it is at work in the halls of power today.

May the LORD give you wisdom as you consider these things.

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