The Hegelian Dialectic

flat earth

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis …

Simple enough, but make no mistake this is a well thought out confidence game. You may have heard reference to the Hegelian Dialectic, it is bantered about with some regularity, taught in university curricula, and generally misunderstood.

Hegel, didn’t even define it as his own, but our children usually bear our names and that seems to be the case here, as the moniker adds a mystique to the name – it’s not a “yogi-ism” it’s “Hegelian”. It sounds serious, intellectual, above our pay grade. It’s not, and it needs to be understood, and its presence in history past and present recognized, and reacted to. Think of it in this light – Order, chaos, solution.

A thesis is not just something that gets written in college. In any circumstance we as people, reason about what is happening around us, in our world. Our fundamental observation of our circumstance becomes thesis in our mind. It is the recognition of details, order or chaos, resolved into meaning against our background of experience.

Antithesis is the contradiction, or the ultimate betrayal of our thesis. Think disaster movie; Everything is fine, life in Southern California is sunny, then … Wham! An earthquake rocks the protagonist’s world to the core. The antithesis works best on the crowd when it involves thought, feeling, and emotion. The more we are engaged by it, the more our world is rocked, the more unwitting we will be for the next aspect – synthesis …

While it doesn’t have to be, in my opinion the synthesis, is used more and more in a deliberate manner to achieve a nefarious result,  a solution, resolution, a war, a blame placed and new laws created (that were sitting on shelves waiting for their time). Personal freedom is usurped, and people are taken advantage of, under the guise of protecting them from a great evil. The dialectic complete, mission accomplished a new normal established.

Why do we ignore the signs. Look at the news for any period of time and it should be easy to see that the thesis is ever present, then in a moment, often out of the blue, the antithesis rears its ugly head, followed by the Knight wielding his synthesis; Saving souls, and promising protection in the coming dawn, while the protected never seem to miss that little piece of their soul given up in the process.

Beware the nightfall, the witching hour, and the coming dawn – You that have eyes; let them see!

Image: https://www.geek.com/culture/internet-gutter-welcome-to-the-flat-earth-1659303/

6 thoughts on “The Hegelian Dialectic

  1. Thank you for this post, Peter. We all need to be aware of this dynamic. It’s obvious in history but in the present it’s easy to pretend it doesn’t exist, that everything’s working out for the best – when actually we’re being used and manipulated. And then there’s the feeling of resignation and fatalism and inertia. Alas….

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