[xmca] Re: Nice Quote

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at mira.net>
Date: Sat Jan 19 2008 - 20:37:58 PST

Well it goes back to Hegel's Phenomenology actually, the idea of a Gestalt,
commonly translated as "formation of consciousness" in Hegel. In each such
"formation of consciousness" (or the consciousness of the individuals
living within a certain social formation) there is ONE principle which, in
the final analysis, determines what is right and true. This one principle
(in a certain society) does not determine everything all the time like some
"universal signifier" that the post-Marxists get so wound up about, but
when there is a problem that can't get solved it eventually winds up before
the bench of this one principle. This one truth therefore cops the
accumulated scepticism and problems of the whole social formation, until it
cannot take it any longer and the social formation collapses. Eventually,
some new principle must be found which can withstand this scepticism and a
new period of construction can begin.

I have been searching this morning for a nice quote from Hegel's Philosophy
of History where this principle takes the form of the idea that in any
given epoch ONE NATION bears the spirit of the times (like the USA today,
God help us) and then similar stuff leading to the ultimate setting of its
Sun. But I have found a nice one yet.

I don't think Hegel ever got to the kind of insight contained in the Marx
quote. And yes, Gestalt psychology was I am sure quite self-consciously
building on this base, the basic insight of "structure." And it is after
all the principle which all marxists use to periodise historical phenomena.

(I'm going to put this back on to xmca David as the discussion may continue.)
At 08:11 PM 19/01/2008 -0800, you wrote:
>Great quote, Andy! ...

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Received on Sat Jan 19 20:39 PST 2008

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