Hegel’s Dialectic and its influence on Marx

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is the most important representative of nineteenth century German Idealism. Idealism is a school of thought that claims that reality is ultimately intangible and nonmaterial as opposed to materialism which sees reality as physical and concrete.
Hegel took an extreme idealistic position, claiming that all reality was ultimately “Mind or God” as he put it, “Spirit”. Through time Spirit fashions the world as we know it, flowing an evolutionary pattern. As Hegel sees it however this process is full of conflict and human history is thus the story of the clash of the opposites.
One force or idea gives rise to its opposite and collides with it. The two then unite and produce a new third state of affairs that combines elements of both. Hegel label the three elements involved in this process (thesis, antithesis and synthesis). The whole process he calls dialectic.
Hegel’s dialectical idealism accounts for the existence of the material world as we know it in this fashion. In the beginning, pure mind (thesis) thinks its opposite, lifeless matter (antithesis). The combination of the two (synthesis) is life and reality as we know it. Once begun, this produces a new antithesis, the two merge into a new synthesis and so on.
Human history may look chaotic; with nations making war and factions within societies vying for predominance but Hegel believes this is all a part of a grand positive process. The clash of these conflicting forces produces progress because the best of the opposites is preserved in their joining.
The dialectic gives rise to growth, development and advancement and history is thus ordered and organic. The process is positive and Hegelian thinking is understandably optimistic.
Hegel’s ideas had a powerful effect on Marx although Marx argued that Hegel’s idealism was dead wrong. Hegel, Marx said is standing on his head. “Mind” or “Spirit” is not the creative force, it is (matter). Matter is so strong that even our ideas are produced by different aspects of empirical reality. Marx’s materialism thus stands in direct opposition to Hegel’s idealism.
Marx does accept Hegel’s dialectical method, however and he agrees that the clash of opposing forces in human history is ultimately ordered and purposeful. Everywhere he looks he sees the pattern of (“thesis, antithesis and synthesis”) playing itself out in human events. Taken together these two ideas, material and the dialectic provide the substance of Marx’s philosophical outlook.
Finally Marx dialectical materialism is Marx’s revision of Hegel’s dialectical idealism in terms of Marx’s belief in the primacy of material, specifically economic forces. Marx thus sees human history as the clash of opposing economic forces…Creating new stages.
I would go like what Hegel described in understanding the phenomenal world by using the (dialectic method) in how the reality categories of understanding work themselves not only through time.
I would agree with the example of Hegel where he applied the problem of alienation between the master and the slave but this time I would use Nietzsche existential approach or idea of two psychological human desires working dialectically between them inside the human psyche to get to free somehow the person or guide the person.

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