Monday, February 16, 2009

Another epoch of world history?

"The highest achievement of Spirit, however, is to know itself, to bring itself not only to the sight of itself but also to the thought of itself. But this accomplishment of Spirit is at the same time its decline--to make way for another Spirit to come forward, another world-historical people, another epoch of world history" (pg 75).

This passage in particular resonated with me because of the example of the holocaust we have been using in class and how it is a step in the progress of world history. It was said in class that the holocaust did not have to happen, but was bound to happen. Furthermore, it was my understanding that events such as the holocaust made progress in world history by various means such as having us as humans re-examine how we live to try to make a better present. However, is this the case, have we truly learned from the mistakes of the past? Today genocide is still prevalent and has no signs (as far as I can see) of diminishing or stopping any time in the near future. I think Hegel would say that although Genocide is still prevalent today, that it is not evidence that we show no progress in world history. Hegel speaks about the accomplishment of Spirit as being a good thing that at the same time is its decline. Perhaps the holocaust was not a big enough slap to humanity's dazed face and things must get worse before we make way for another spirit to come forward, another world-historical people, another epoch in world history?

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