Hegel: the state is the march of God in the world

Hegel certainly provided plenty of material for his right-wing followers, especially concerning the state:

The state consists in the march of God in the world, and its basis is the power of reason actualizing itself as will. In considering the Idea of the state, we must not have any particular states or particular institutions in mind; instead, we should consider the Idea, this actual God, in its own right [für sich]. Any state, even if we pronounce it bad in the light of our own principles, and even if we discover this or that defect in it, invariably has the essential moments of its existence [Existenz] within itself (provided it is one of the more advanced states of our time). (Elements of the Philosophy of Right, p. 279)

Needless to say, the caveat is crucial for this dreadfully Euro-elitist moment in Hegel’s text. Then again, to give Hegel credit, he does identify the fundamental alienation at the heart of civil society (which we now like to call the ‘public sphere’), even if he fearfully and desperately offers lame ways to overcome it.

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