In Defence of Hegel?

The Marxist defense of Hegel is a puzzle in itself. Since I do not call Hegel a ‘dead dog’ a critique nonetheless might simply ask why he is singled out from the whole history of philosophy.

In fact, Marx himself is closer to being that ‘dead dog’ and his theories are pernicious to his own subject matter: socialism/communism. Hegel is unique in his own way but why is he an obsession for the Marxist left? The whole history of philosophy from Plato onward should be of interest, but because of the artificial and wrongheaded obsession with materialism versus idealism virtually the whole history of philosophy is rejected by Marxists, as if historical materialism rendered them all obsolete. That is nonsense. And the question of dialectic is another quagmire. There is no doubt something profound about dialectic but no one can say what it is. We have discussed the pitfalls of dyadic and triadic dialectic and the failure of all parties to see the distinction. The question of dialectic has never been resolved and the pretense of Marxists they have solved the question simply adds to the debilitating confusions that have haunted the whole subject of marxism.
The issue of the left is some way past capitalism to a new form of culture and economics. The whole pack confusions mixed with Hegel has made the left into a superstition. The way forward should be simple and clear, and if anything a Kantian reserve might help. The idiocy of postmodernism is well-taken but the bigger obstacle is Marx himself and his theories. The left should take from Marx his manifesto and forget the rest. The saga of Marx and Engels in the 48 period is enough. The barren confusions of his later work can be left behind aa a New Socialism thinks for itself in a new period without the constant and obsessive Marxist quotation mongering and sterile repetition of stale Marx’s holy writ.
Hegel should be seen in the light of Kant and Plato and the whole history of philosophy. The dialectic has totally confused marxists and needs a raincheck. The path to socialism needs a simple clarity without the pomposity of the Hegelian age and its Marxist antagonist.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born 250 years ago on 27 August 1770 into a petty-bourgeois family in the German city of Stuttgart.

Source: In Defence of Hegel

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