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« Politics of Faith and Scepticism (1/2) | Main | A Note on Yolanda »



"The progress of liberty is not driven by an absolute decrease in unfreedom and a corresponding absolute increase in liberty, it is rather brought about by the ongoing tug-of-war between these two extreme opposites, both of which can never exist in pure form."

Hmmm ... sounds suspiciously like Hegelian dialectic - you haven't gone paleo-teutonic on us, have you Georg?

Just kidding, of course; great post(s) ... except now I have to add Oakeshott to my already top-heavy reading list.

I am going mad; I just sent a lengthy reply to your comment - and it disappeared into nirvana.

I have to recover from this disappointment, before I come back to you.

Okay - I have recovered somewhat. Telegraphic style and only the absolute essence of that one million word essay that disappeared into nirvana:

Ed, with your above remark, you may well have put your finger on something very intriguing.

The last quote in the above post is missing one sentence, which holds a bit of a shocker for you and me - at least I have never had a good opinion of the German gentleman mentioned below.

"And political scepticism was recalled from its unnatural alliance with the politics of Natural Rights, not by the criticism of Bentham (which was never quite critical enough), but by the genius of Burke and Hegel."


And there's got to be something to it. Oakeshott is truthful and accurate - and a libertarian-conservative, into the bargain.

Now, let me very carefully copy the comment, to make sure it does not dissolve into nothingness.

Incidentally, here is something Oakeshott wrote on Hegel:



Never been much of a fan of Hegel meself; there is a story told of him (possibly apocryphal) in which he states that only one other person had ever understood what he(Hegel) was saying - and he got most of it wrong!

I also recall writing paper in a Philosophy class (back in the Dark Ages) in which I attempted to say something explanatory about the whole "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" thing, and the instructor gave me an "F" and said I was the only student he'd ever had that actually succeeded in making Hegel's ideas more obscure.

In summary, may I just say than Hegel alone is difficult enough, but to filter him through Marx's tangled cerebration is to render him totally unintelligible. Judging from the article you referenced, even Oakeshott wasn't able to pull a lot of sense out of it.

Be well

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