Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reformation before Revolution

In spite of the statist bias of German philosophical and historical thinkers, George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel's final reflections on the Philosophy of History were not merely conservative, but refuted core instincts of the insistence of state as birth and support for right and liberty:

Before there is a revolution, there must be a reformation.

Freedom must be worked out in the conscience of men, as initiated by Martin Luther when he nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg.

Man must know who he is on the inside before he can charge against tyrannical authorities outside of himself. Without the clear assurance of who he is and where his rights come from, one political revolution will spill into another tyranny, as occurred after the French Revolution, and which the world witnesses repeatedly in one failed Latin American revolution after another.

Individuals must be able to assert to themselves not just the source of their liberty as within the spirit, not within the government, whether elected, appointed, or inherited.

Furthermore, once individuals have established a sure footing for their own liberty and self-efficacy, they may in turn assert their rights righteously; for if they harm the eternal order of others, even the current tyrannies they wish to reform and renew entirely, they will undermine the legal and moral basis for establish a more perfect union and community.

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