When I hear “Hegelian” I reach for my pistol

Hegel is the most influential philosopher who has never been read.   Granted, he’s not easy to read.   Philosophy of Right may have been the hardest book I have ever read.   I get so annoyed when I hear right-wing politicos talk about the “Hegelian dialectic.”  Usually they mean something like the following:  The US Government creates a problem and then applies a pre-planned solution which generates the desired political outcome.  Yes, this is exactly what the government does.  The problem, though, is that Hegel never said anything like this.  He never said, and there is a book written on exactly this point, we should start with a Thesis and then Bring in an Antithesis so we can get a synthesis.  What he said, to the rare degree even used those three terms(!), is that reality itself is dialectical and every thesis we come across contains within itself its negation.

Of course, I don’t think I believe that and there are huge problems with saying reality is dialectical, but this should be enough to rebut the idea that Hegel is the occultic father of modern New World Order conspiracies.    Factually speaking, Hegel was a conservative monarchist.  Fr Matt Johnson claims that Hegel specifically condemned the Illuminati, though I haven’t been able to substantiate that claim (it isn’t in Philosophy of History or Philosophy of Right).

I don’t think I am going to be a Hegelian again, though.  As Martyn Lloyd-Jones admitted he felt a satanic presence in his room one day, I, too, felt a dark presence when I was reading the neo-Hegelian atheist Slavoj Zizek.