Hegelian Reflection on Monarchy

Taken from Philosophy of Right, section 274.  I’m largely summarizing Fr. Coplestone’s narrative on Hegel.

Hegel gives primacy to constitutional monarchy, but wants a government that allows civic participation.  Citizens should participate in government as part of a subset of the whole–not as individuals.  Hegel calls these subsets “corporations.”  I don’t know to what extent corporations in the mid-19th century resemble corporations today.  But we can view it another way by calling them “estates,” which is exactly how medieval many participated in the monarchical order.

Hegel wants a constitutional monarchy, to which I have grave misgivings.  I understand why, though.  At that time in Europe, the old liturgical tradition had largely been eradicated.  Institutions tended to reflect raw power.   Hegel likely say monarchies as absolute monarchies and wanted to mute that tendency.

Advertisements