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History as a Process of Dialectical Change: Hegel and Marx

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 6 (1398 words)
Categories: History, Inspiration, Philosophy
Downloads: 38
Views: 2

Hegel and Marx are both very inspirational theorist whose theories were used as a steppingstone for influential political leaders.

Marx and Hegel both contributed greatly to the sculpting of the modern world. Marx himself arguable did originate from a Hegelian tradition. Their political theories may differ, but they both highlight the problems within western societies. A difference that is raised between the similarity of the two is the extent of how far they took similar ideas.

Marx used Hegel’s theories to conform his own hence creating a similarity between their ideologies yet highlighting the vast difference in interpretation between the two. One main difference between Marx and Hegel was an idealist whereas Marx was a realist. Many scholars have considered Karl Marx a left-wing Hegelian philosopher. This is due to his disagreement with Hegel over the view that the privilege and Marx are both very inspirational theorist whose theories were used as a steppingstone for influential political leaders. Marx and Hegel both contributed greatly to the sculpting of the modern world. Marx himself arguable did originate from a Hegelian tradition. Their political theories may differ, but they both highlight the problems within western societies.

A difference that is raised between the similarity of the two is the extent of how far they took similar ideas. Marx used Hegel’s theories to conform his own hence creating a similarity between their ideologies yet highlighting the vast difference in interpretation between the two. One main difference between Marx and Hegel was an idealist whereas Marx was a realist. Many scholars have considered Karl Marx a left-wing Hegelian philosopher. This is due to his disagreement with Hegel over the view that the driving force in human life is based on the academic competency or religion. Hegel observed that this was needed for connectivity, something that Marx opposed vehemently. In this regard, it is established that the basic difference between Hegel and Marx is based on God and material goods. On his part, Hegel believed that God was in charge of everything in the world. He was in charge of people’s destinies. Marx replaced God with power and ownership of property. The major difference between the two philosophers relates to the utilization of property. Marx believed that the rich in society utilize wealth to subjugate and dominate the poor. Hegel viewed property as the means to ends meaning that each person should possess property in order to fulfil his or her needs.

The difference between Hegel who was an idealist and Marx who was a realist was the transformation from idealism to materialism. Although Marx had the same perspective as that of Hegel, Marx is more materialistic than Hegel who was an idealist. Hegel observed that ideology is the most important aspect of human history. Human beings utilize ideas to dominate and suppress others in society. Marx converted Hegelian dialectics into materialist dialectics the change from the two help form the difference between the two political thinkers. In Marx’s Capital he states that his dialectic method is different from the Hegelian hence why it can be perceived to be directly opposite.

Arguably Hegel distinguishes the process of thinking, Hegel stresses the importance of an idea that it is the centrepiece of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of the idea. With me, on the contrary, the idea is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind and translated into forms of thought.” Marx agreed with the dialectics of Hegel but disagreed with the mystifying aspect. As Marx was a realist who, wanted to base the idea of advancement on bettering society rather than cementing tradition. Marx wanted to take that extra step into tackling the issue that was at hand rather than pointing it out. His realistic approach to politics, was perceived as ideas that allowed people to reform reality. Marx used Hegel’s theories and altered them to tie into the growing idea of materialism.

Hegel’s political theories promoted change yet was not specific to how that change could come about leaving his theories open for contrasting interpretations. Hegel’s death in 1831 saw a division of his intellectual followers split int two the groups. The Old Hegelians and the Young Hegelians, Marx arguably was part of the young Hegelians. Hegelian philosophy that is, an apparently straightforward substitution of ‘life,’ ‘real life,’ for ‘consciousness,’ for the primacy of consciousness in the understanding of the human being, by means of an apparently equally straightforward inversion or reversal of the terms ‘life’ and ‘consciousness’ in a hierarchical opposition or relation. In context, Hegel’s immediate targets were the younger generation as they were easily radicalised. Hegel’s idea of new interpretations would appeal to the younger more open-minded generation. but it is clear enough that they can be its targets because, despite their claims and pretensions, they do not challenge the primacy of consciousness over life and hence do not differ from the Old Hegelians (or, presumably, the Old Hegel). For despite their attempt to criticize everything the concepts of idealist philosophy.

Marxism is a movement and a body of doctrine

Hegel touched upon the idea of legal rights that lead to an abstract type of recognition based on the universality of the law. The make up of a person, coincide with the respect bestowed by legal recognition, calls for the acknowledgment of honour and esteem according to Hegel. Human rights move in this direction, by validating both the similarity of claimants with abstract humanity and their difference and uniqueness. But law’s necessary generality cannot meet the demands for the full recognition of the postmodern self with its polymorphous desires and its complex struggles for recognition as a unique individual.

Marx also differed from Hegel on another standpoint. Hegel had simply interpreted the history dialectically, but he did not suggest how to change the history as well as society. In Marx’s view, the function of philosophy was not to interpret the world but to change it. Both Marx and Hegel focussed on the idea of freedom. Freedom is identified with the ability to learn from history arguably. The two philosophers pointed out that the worker is isolated in various ways, one being alienation from materialistic gain. Even though the workers are the direct contributors to the manufacturing of the goods, they are still slaves to the goods they produce. Hegel’s theory highlights the importance of knowing the relationship between human actions and equality. The produced goods have more value as compared to the worker due to the fact that the goods are to be offered maximum security and stored in safe places. Workers produce goods that they do not consume meaning they produce for others. The increase in product value decreases the viability of workers. The worker ends up being treated in the same way as goods implying that goods and workers are treated as equals.

Hegel viewed history as a process that the ultimate truth or the absolute progressively reveals itself unravelling more of the truth in later time periods compared to the time earlier. The idea of the truth revealing itself through history relates more to a nation-state compared to a community. In comparison, Marx’s idea of history highlighting the problems of society can be relevant to both communities and nations. The dialectic provided a clue to this development. Hegel believed that history progress due to a conflict of ideas, this meaning that to find the inevitable truth, contradictory ideas had to clash. On the other hand, Marx believed history was formed based on a conflict between social classes.

Marx altered the concept that as time progress answers should start to reveal answers and the truth, Hegel and applied it to the explanation of society. Marx’s view of history was Hegel’s view expressed negatively as history contributed to the development of the division of labour forming the poverty and social divisions. This idea of development being interpreted to better society allowed Marx to transgress from the Young Hegelian view and to a more politically radically standpoint. Marx agreed with Hegel that history did contribute to providing the answer, yet Hegel viewed alienation to be inherently in people, but Marx narrowed it down to an individual. An individual is alienated from his own activities since he or she does not have any time to conduct private activities apart from animal-related ones such as eating, sleeping and procreating.

Cite this essay

History as a Process of Dialectical Change: Hegel and Marx. (2020, Sep 15). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/history-as-a-process-of-dialectical-change-hegel-and-marx-essay

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