The political views of Hegel throughout the life of the German philosopher were in constant communication with his emerging philosophical system, and often politics, especially at the early stage of his creative activity, was at the very center of his spiritual interests.
The state as a subject that ensures the objective emergence and existence of politics has always been considered and analyzed by Hegel. And the way in which his views on the given structure of the human community changed — from a complete rejection of the modern state as such and a return to the ancient Greek type of social order and to the ascension of the Prussian monarchy to the level of a perfect state system — reflected on its attitude to politics in general. The text below reveals Hegel precisely in this aspect.
A practical spirit not only has ideas, it is a living idea itself. A practical spirit is a spirit that spontaneously defines itself and communicates external reality to its definitions. From I, which turns into objects, into objectivity only theoretically, ideally, I should be distinguished, which makes it practically, real.
The practical spirit is called predominantly free will, for I can abstract oneself from all certainty in which it is, and in all certainty, remain uncertain and equal to myself.
Will, as an inner self-defining concept, is primarily an activity and an act. She transfers her inner definitions to external existence and thus expresses herself as an idea.
The whole set of definitions directly connected with the change of the existing being produced by him is related to the act. First of all, only that of this act, which was part of the intention, in other words, only that which was in consciousness, relates to the act. Only this will recognizes as its own and as its own guilt, which it really can be attributed to it. But in a broad sense, guilt must be understood as those of the definitions of an act that were not recognized, but could be recognized.
A) The practical sense, although it contains practical legal and practical moral definitions and laws, but in direct, and therefore undeveloped and ill-conceived and, most importantly, in an impure form due to the admixture of subjective singularity. It should be noted that the practical sense has no other true content, except for certain well-known rights, duties and laws, that on the one hand, the practical sense is vague and determined by singularity, and on the other, it can be put above a certain consciousness of these rights, duties and laws only insofar as they are respected separately and the practical feeling in relation to them can be considered total.
B) To feel some practical definition and at the same time to feel that contradiction, that this internal definition is not realized, although it is extremely important to realize it, and it means to have an impulse. Such an impulse is characteristic of subjective nature and is directed only at its specificity. Lust is the single definition of (natural) urge. Depending on whether the external cash being corresponds to it or not, the feeling becomes pleasant or unpleasant. With natural urges and desires, the practical spirit remains in its naturalness and is a creature dependent, unfree.
C) It is necessary for the spirit to get rid of immersion in natural impulses and rise to such universality, when each individual impulse is not regarded as absolute, but is put in its place and receives proper evaluation only as a moment of totality, and this is what clears it of subjective chance.
The definition of spirit is its laws. But they are not his external, natural determinations; his only definition, in which all the others are contained, is his freedom. It serves as both the form and the content of its laws. The latter may be legal or political.
The spirit as a free, self-conscious being is that self-equal self, which in its absolutely negative attitude is primarily an exclusive self, a single free being, or person.
The right is the attitude of people towards each other, as they are abstract persons. Contradicting the law is an act by which a person is not recognized as a person, in other words, an act that violates the sphere of human freedom. Thus, the legal relationship to each other, according to its basic definition, is negative and does not require, in fact, to provide something positive to the other, but only requires to recognize him as a person.
The external sphere of rights and freedoms is property, bringing a thing under my power and will. Possession is a party to arbitrary assignment. The side of property, as such, is that universal side, that ownership is a manifestation of my will, which should be regarded by others as something absolute.
I can alienate my own property from myself, namely, that which is really property, that is, on the one hand, is mine, and on the other, it has a moment of external present existence. Therefore, my mind, my freedom, my personality, and in general all that constitutes the necessary content of my freedom are inalienable.
I can sell my property to another and buy someone else’s property. This acquisition occurs only under the contract, by mutual agreement on the part of one person to give up some property and transfer it to another, and on the part of the other to accept it.
The scope of my freedom includes my personality and the relation of a thing to it; when others violate this sphere, it can only have the meaning that I don’t only own this thing, and they also recognize my personality, or the one that doesn’t recognize my personality, which happens in the case of violent damage to my body and life.
In my person, the other directly insults his own. Insulting my personality, he does not do for me something single, but something universal. What he accomplished in relation to himself in terms of the concept must be accomplished in relation to him in reality. If this is carried out by the offended person, then this is revenge; if revenge is committed by a certain universal will and in the name of the general will, then revenge is called punishment.
Property law is subject to civil law; the right relating to the person is subject to criminal law. The science of basic concepts of law was called natural law, as if there was some right belonging to people from nature, and some different right from it that arises in society in that connection that there natural law as a true right has to be partially sacrificed. In fact, thanks to society, there are only special rights that are absent in that right, which is based on only a single person. But at the same time, they represent the elimination of the one-sidedness of this principle and its true realization.
The state (real spirit)
The natural society of a family expands to a general state society, which is a bond that has arisen as much as nature, as well as free will, and is based as much on right as it is on morality, but in general does not as much as a society consisting of individuals, as much as within itself a single, individual folk spirit.
The science of the state is the idea of the organization which the people within themselves have a living organic whole.
The state as something universal is the opposite of individuals. It is the more perfect, the more the general corresponds to the mind and the more individuals agree with the spirit of the whole. The necessary way of thinking and actions of citizens towards the state and the government is not blindly obeying their orders and not demanding that everyone give their individual consent to the institutions and activities of the state, but to trust him and prudently obey him.
The structure of the state consists of various authorities, representing the moments of its organization. Legislative, judicial and executive powers, as such, are its abstract points. The real authorities are the authorities constituting the whole – judicial and police, financial and administrative, military and political, in each of which the indicated abstract moments appear. The highest governing center of all authorities is the government.
The various classes in the state are essentially those specific differences, according to which individuals are divided into classes. Classes rest predominantly on the inequality of wealth, income and education, which in turn rest in part on inequality by birth, which is why individuals get greater profitability for the same kind of activity for the state than for the other.
The Constitution establishes the division and attitude of each other to various state authorities and the scope of each, mainly the rights of individuals in relation to the state and the assistance that each of them is obliged to render to the state not only in choosing a government, but also because it is a citizen in general.
Morals, laws and the constitution constitute the internal organized life of the national spirit. In them, the principle of its essence is expressed, in other words, its character and purpose. In addition, the national spirit has external relations and external destinies.
This, so to speak, historical history considers the existence of the national spirit, the development of its principles in its constitution and laws, as well as in its destinies outwardly, according to the perception of events and, accordingly, immediate reasons, which seem to be in random circumstances and in individual characters.
Philosophical history not only seizes the principle of the people on the basis of its institutions and destinies, and then sets out the events on the basis of this principle, but considers mainly the universal world spirit, how it internally through the history of separate nations and through their destinies passed through various stages their education. It portrays the universal spirit as a substance, manifested in its incidents, so that its appearance or appearance is formed not according to its essence. His higher expression is a depiction of him in a simple spiritual form.
Not all nations count in world history. Everyone acts according to his principle at his moment. Then he disappears from the scene, apparently forever. It is not by chance that his turn comes.