Hegel view on State and civil society

Hegel view on State and civil society

Hegel Views on Human Nature:

Hegel also said similar to Aristotle, man is social by nature as well as necessity, he attains his best only with the support of others. To serve his sensory need he established family and presented protection with the passing of time he understood that family is not enough of his best self and created civil society, which is regarded as by struggle for development.  Certain laws which were developed by civil society are unnecessary.  This point is underlined by Hegel “The whole process of trade and industry in the bourgeois society becomes a new organization for the supply of human needs.  So that man in the society is producing for his family, satisfying his own wants and at the same time serving his fellows, which makes bourgeois society evolves laws even though not necessarily just laws; it creates police force and becomes more and more like in form”.

The Nature and Ethics of Civil Society:

In Hegel’s political thought, it was important to note the role played by nature, Hegel assumed the unity of nature and freedom also attempted to diagnose the natural substantiality which apprised individual’s free will. Hegel proclaimed in, The Philosophy of Right that, the justification of the free will assumed his explanation of partiality in the Encyclopedia. In this Encyclopedia we found that Hegel opposes “mind has for its presumption Nature of which it is the truth”.

Hegel evidently distinguishes that the concept of nature compete with the concept of free will when nature is considered as mechanism. It is vital, to understand that when Hegel expresses of nature in his political philosophy, he aims nature as thoroughly spiritualized in the human will. The whole viewpoint of objective spirit is away from the dualism of mind and nature; in the concept of the free will, which Hegel’s political philosophy everywhere supposes, this dualism is understood as indirectly overwhelmed.       In the Philosophy of Right, Hegel reviews the row of his ‘Psychology’ that the free will knows itself implicitly as the understanding of nature. According to Hegel the will is a thoughtful will and thus thought and will are not two separate faculties.

The basic or immediate institutional expression of the unity of nature and will is the family. The family is both a natural institution and an applicable ethical commencement in that it shares the instant starting point of abstract right.  On the other hand providing an objective ethical institution which can be recognized as basis of the subject’s moral freedom and as assumed by such freedom. It is presupposed by freedom first, may be immediate or natural way. The identity of family members is facilitated by relation to others like parent to child, husband to wife, and sibling to sibling, husband and wife together throughout their life become a unit, distributing their understanding and also the self-image of child is determined by the one’s relation to one’s parent. Integrity is determined by the moral attacks of parents and one feels guilty when one opposes parent directions. This properties finds severe criticism of the guess that the free individuality upon which civil society rests is something given and interceded. Individual freedom which is the basis and reasoning of civil society and state is not simply given but rather has been arbitrated through the ethos and discipline of family life.

The family is, though a restricted form of ethical life because individuals cannot progress to their full potential if they are dependent on parents; and the drive of the family is to advance the individuality of children to the extent that they can leave their natural family members behind. To make their life better children has to leave their family members for their growth and ethical life in its instant union of universal and particular ends, consequently divided into a circumstances where the individual outlines himself in contradistinction to the universal. According to Hegel, the more progress of individuality takes place in civil society which he calls “ethical life in its stage of division” because in it the individual assists the universal good to his own private interests. Hence the family element liquefies through the working of the principle of individual personality and in civil society individuals are not treated as loved family members but as independent persons connected to each other through self-interest and law.

It is the demand of the subject that his. The actual freedom of individual, the harmony of his social and particular ends, be represented in an unchanging and uninterrupted method. This unity is prolonged all through the dominion of civil society by two institutions 1. Government agencies such as, municipal, provincial and 2. federal and private corporations.

According to Hegel, the drive of government agencies and other official bodies is a middle term between the individual and the common goods and occasions which society pay for. One of the important functions of the government agencies is to uphold the mutual capital and general values. Government organizations are apprehensive with quality control and price fixing of essential services and goods. Hegel claims that “goods in absolutely daily demand are `offered not so much to an individual as such but rather to a universal purchaser, the public”. Government procedures protect that the public is not deceived or taken benefit of by particular interests. Nevertheless, even lawful activities may obstruct with the freedom of others and Hegel opposes that government agencies also try to eradicate unintended burdens to the rights of the individual and the public.

In addition, government is also accountable to safeguard that the inequalities in the system of needs do not encroach on the universal right to contribute in the common good. Hegel meant, the luxury of the free market causes failure of those who do not have skills of ability cannot contribute fully in the market. As members of civil society they are encouraged to symbolize themselves through work, and are prevented from this by the very system which encourages the desire. Because the deprived cannot fully contribute in the benefits and openings of civil society, they feel this limitation as anger of those who have disproportionate wealth is one of the cause of their poverty. Hegel argues that government has to stop the growth of this class and prefer the welfare to those who are deprived.

Civil Society:

Hegel stated that, an individual’s specific acts are personifications of his freedom, not simply of his particular economic freedom (freedom of choice or freedom from obstruction) but of a more universal freedom, facilitated by awareness of law and established life. Hegel opposes, in emerging its potentialities, “particularity passes over into universality and attains its right”. Hence, the procedure of civil society is an education of specific individual from his own self-interest and more universal ethical life, the progress of the contained universality of the moral will. With the help of education, the individual is socialized and develops the social elements like, talents, personality, and habits take on. There is doubt that social institutions arise from these interrelations, relatively, the disagreement of ‘Civil Society’ can be seen to expressive, in its most general sense institutions are legitimate so far as economic and moral freedom accept them.

The argument of Hegel, develops in two ways, one, through the actions and interactions of self-interested individuals and the interchange of individual and social interests an impulsive structuring of this interrelation occurs, and the structures of civil society develop as personifications of the subject’s free will. The structures which develops serve to discipline the subject’s interests so that, become universalized and enact rather than oppose the interests of the community. The principle of modern political life, is legitimated only when willed by an ethical community, institutions discipline the individual will and represent the universal relations of this will. The division present in civil society is not due to the fact that the individual has no universal interests, but people work to provide for their families and as members of corporations. However for Hegel these universals are melt down comparatively particular in relation to the state because it fits to their principle to be in struggle with each other in the civil dominion.

Need of a System:

According to Hegel the individual is a self-conscious subject associated to his own desires as a free member of a society. Human in the civil society gives a clearly rational institutional form to their needs and desires. For Hegel, the subject’s relation to desire and appetite is hence not conflicting to reason but in fact, is resolute by reason and the needs are not gratified through simply natural things but through the artificial products of human action. In the place of natural desires we produce our own second nature; our desires and consumption are not incomplete to the yields of nature and, in fact, for the most part we munch the products of human work. In fact our particular desires are often means to more social desires such as the desire for status. Hence it is wholly abstract to describe our appetites as given by nature. Human desires are produced through social interaction, like the objects of desire are produced by society and the value of these objects is determined by human labour.

The social organization is collection of two elements: I. a universal or common possession of general resources and skilled labour and II. A division of classes. The principle of common capital, general resources etc., is relatively clear. Hegel’s concept of class division requires further clarification. The aggregation of particular skill and the universal will (the social will of particular individuals) is resolute as the type of work they do, he divided the class depending upon their works such as, 1 primary labour such as, farmers and fishers, 2 industrial and market labour, and 3 professional labour such as, doctors, lawyers, teachers, civil servants. According to Hegel, the development of such objective classes is a necessity, but he argues that “the ways and means of sharing capital are left to each man’s particular choice” and that the classes are the root which “connects self-seeking to the universal”. The significant feature of division of class is that, in it, there is a unity of the interests of society with the interests of individuals.  Individuals from these classes come into associate each other, as the need of the system is to system of needs prompts interdependence in the different classes, and becomes essential to know the developments of many different classes if it has to work in civil society.

Hegel Views on State:

Hegel designated state as the March of God on this Earth, because he thinks state as divine organization and by God. He never accepted the social contract theory because it says that, state is the result of contract and it came into existence due to spirit involved in it. To quote him, ‘the state is divine will as a present spirit which unfolds itself in the actual shade of an organized world. In simple words he considers the state as a handiwork of God and an embodiment of reason. It possessed a will and personalities of the individual ls which composed it. It was an end itself and was the sole agency which worked for the moral upliftment of mankind. It contributed to the enrichment of the individual’s personality by purging him of petty and self-elements”. In the words of Prof Dunnings, Hegel regarded “the state as perfect rationality- in the sense that man has ethical status only as a member of state and that highest duty of man is not to develop his individual faculties, but to be a member of the state and faithfully fulfill his allotted functions therein”.

Hegel understood state as being with usual development, it is superior to the parts which are essentially associated to it and have significance only in so far as the whole gives them meaning. The state is real person and “its will is the manifestation of perfect nationality – the synthesis of universal and individual freedom”. According to Prof. Wayper ‘In all essential his is the most complete organic view of the state. It is a natural growth. It is a whole greater than the parts which are intrinsically related to it and which have meaning only in so far as the whole gives them meaning. It is an end itself’.

Hegel thought that the individual had no right contrary to the state, and the autonomy for the individual consisted in blind submission to the commands of the state. On the organic nature of Hegel, Prof. Gooch commented, “The state is not formed by a grant of certain arbitrarily selected from the individuals but taking up unto itself the whole circle of his life. The individual on the other hand cannot be conceived apart from the community. He is what he is, as a member of it, his whole life physical, moral and intellectual is drawn from it”.

He reflected, the state is the architect for all rights and individual does not have any right on state. He gives individual as a representative of the union of the universal and the individual will and entirely dependent to the state. Hegel understands the state as an end and the individual as a means for the fulfillment of that end.  He considered state as an epitome of the highest social morality which laid the standard morality for the members in the state. Hegel thinks that society is less important than state in the same manner like society is more important than family.

C.E.M Joad stated that, “Just as the personalities of all individuals in the state are transcended by and merged in the personality of the state; so the moral relations which each citizen has to each other citizen are merged or transcended by the social morality which is vested in the state. But this does not mean that the state is itself moral, or that it is bound by moral relations in its action”. The three elementary ideologies of Hegel are summed up by Joad are here under.

1 State can never act dishonestly as it replicates actual will of the individuals. There is whole credentials between freedom and law, actual liberty being achieved through submission to law which is expressed of will.

2 Man is fundamentally social he cannot will with himself, he can will himself with other individuals which is essential part of his personality.

3 The social morality of all its citizens comprises and represents within the state itself. But itself above it. That means its relations to its subject and to other states cannot be made object of moral judgment.

4 Hegel’s views on state suffers from number of defects, it shows the tendency towards Autocracy. He recognizes freedom with law and replaces discipline for equality. He combines the individual in the state and evaluate the virtue of the state according to power. He elevates war and denies ambitions towards human brotherhood.

Freedom Views of Hegel:

Hegel thinks that, freedom is an indispensable and it is the spirit of man, and its denial to a man equivalent to denial of his personality and humanity, he said that freedom is positive marvel rather than negative concept of freedom.  His phenomenon was a social one than individualistic in the moral life of the community.  He declared that freedom could be conceivable only within the state because it inevitable willing is rational.  He says that, giving total submission to the state and the performance of one’s duties is freedom.

According to Prof. Barker the freedom of Hegel “Expresses itself in a series of outward manifestations first the law them the rules of inward morality; and finally the whole system of institutions and influence that make for righteousness in the national state”.

Hegel Views on Constitution:

Hegel specified that, states formulate itself in a constitution or internal law. Which makes the government to work.  He separated the powers of government into three categories 1. Legislative 2. Administrative 3. Monarchic. He favored monarchic power as noteworthy because it unites the state. While the other two legislative and administrative categories according to him represents thesis and antithesis.  The monarchic powers represented synthesis.  Hegel favored constitutional monarchy because perfect rationality could be obtained, it supervises other two groups of government and brings harmony in the state.

He asserted that sovereignty belonged to the state as whole, but in actual rehearsal it was determined by most active element in every state, the assignment of sovereignty to the monarch not to the people.  Legislature meant by him which included prince, the administration and people.  He said that the responsibility of the legislature was to make principles and execution of principles by the prince.  According to him constitutional monarchy only gives true freedom.

Hegel Views on War:

The essential feature made by Hegel was fight amongst the states, which was for the divine purpose.  To achieve the perfection and individuality, one had to be in good relation with other state.  The war was considered as the best illustration of the flight of the individual spirit in its outward movement.  The political strength of the nation could be shown by the war.  He said that, war would help in discover of the world spirit.

Hegel on Dialectic:

The one of the significant political philosophy of Hegel is Dialectic method.  This idea was inspired by Greek thinkers who held that each force give birth to an opposite force.  He was also influenced by Fitche in this respect.  Hegel considered that dialectic is not purely a process by theological ideas established, but It is a process by which all ideas in the world are developed.  The progress of human civilization is not in a positive and straight line instead it is in zig-zag manners.  The procedure of evolution must have followed certain principle.  Hegel used the philosophy of dialectics to explain improvement of society and its institutions.  Prof. Wayper told about Hegel’s dialectic as “a new system of synthetic logic replacing the old system of analytic logic a principle of self -movement through contradiction towards the final goal of perfect realization spirit”.

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