|Hegel's Thoughts on Society
Hegel advocates a collectivistic
theory of society (that would be called a communitarian nowadays). "The wisest men of
antiquity have therefore declared that wisdom and virtue consist in living in accordance
with the customs of one's nation." He says that society's "ethical order exists
merely as something given" in "the customs and laws in their entirety."
"The form of the state as we
know it can exist only in the context of a definite religion-just as only this philosophy
and only this art can exist in this state." This is what the Enlightenment thoughts
allegedly failed to recognize with their misguided emphasis on, "the isolation of
individuals from one another, and from the community as a whole; the individual's
destructive selfishness and vanity break in with the search for personal advantage and
satisfaction at the expense of the whole."
He moves on to discuss the
international relations. Hegel believes "that every state is sovereign and autonomous
against its neighbors." He says that it is natural that all states have disagreements
with other states, but he maintains that they should solve them peacefully. Even though he
says they should solve them peacefully, he also adds that some problems "can only be
solved by war."