Communism vs. Hegelism

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In the late 18th and early 19th century, revolution was on the tip of the world’s collective tongue. The French monarchy was in the process of being overthrown; there was political and civil unrest throughout Europe. In the midst of all this turmoil Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel emerged, presenting an analysis of history that would echo through the future, an understanding of the human condition, and an estimate of the end of said history and what would bring it about. This end of history would be brought about by the State, for the State’s sole purpose was to bring positive change and freedom to the individual. Less than a century later, Karl Marx released the Communist Manifesto. Marx had drawn heavily from Hegel for basis of his thoughts, yet he believed that Hegel failed to account for the largest hurdle to human freedoms, that of property; something that could not be remedied within the State as it currently was. Hegel not only presented an overly idealistic view of the future of mankind’s history, but also an inherently empty approach to reaching that state. Marx’s view of the future is not only more practical, but he addresses where civilization is headed and how we will arrive there. Revolution, glorious revolution. //Still need to work on ending and transition

In many regards Hegel and Marx agreed with one another’s philosophies, chiefly that of human history. Hegel states that history is a reasonable progression of human civilization toward its ultimate truth: freedom for the individual. This path has been a rational advance from the earliest of humans to where we are now. As he states “… the history of the world, that its development has been a rational process; that it represents the rational and necess...

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... cornerstone, of the Manifesto is elucidated by Marx when he says “Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society: all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labor of others by means of such appropriation” (Marx 383). By doing this, the oppression and control of individuals in society will be impossible; freedom will finally be available to more than the bourgeoisie. Marx, not only addresses what needs to be done to reach the pinnacle, and concluding, point in history but he also lays down a roadmap to reach there; something that Hegel failed to.

Hegel and Marx, two of the great romantic philosophers, constructed ideas similar in many regards to one another. Their concepts of history, its eventual end, and their agreement that individual freedom is the perfect form of civilization were all closely in line.

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