Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-llglr Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T19:17:42.238Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2010

Warren Breckman
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania
Get access

Summary

It is now a question, so to speak, of founding a Kingdom, the Kingdom of the Idea, of thought which contemplates itself in all that exists and is conscious of itself. The founder of this Kingdom will naturally bear no name, will not be an individual, or will be this individual which alone is, the World Spirit. Further, it is a question of overthrowing from its throne the ego, the self in general, which, especially since the beginning of Christianity, has dominated the world, which has conceived itself as the only spirit to exist.

(Ludwig Feuerbach to Hegel, 1828)

When the communist regimes of the European East Bloc recently toppled in an inverted version of the domino theory, a feature of political thought that had largely escaped notice among western political theorists in the 1970s and 1980s abruptly moved into the foreground. That is, the dissidents of central and eastern Europe contributed greatly to the recovery of “civil society” as a descriptive and normative political concept. An idea rooted in the high age of bourgeois political self-assertion against absolutist and feudalist ideals of social order, civil society had all but fallen from use in the twentieth century. Revived by dissidents like Vaclav Havel and Adam Michnik as a weapon against the oppressive regimes of the Soviet Bloc, the ideal of civil society pitted society against the state, association against sovereignty, plurality against unity, civility against force, persuasion against coercion.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1998

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Introduction
  • Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Book: Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory
  • Online publication: 11 January 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511624704.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Book: Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory
  • Online publication: 11 January 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511624704.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Book: Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory
  • Online publication: 11 January 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511624704.001
Available formats
×