Hegelian Eats Ghosts

Since property is the embodiment of personality, my inward idea and will that something is to be mine is not enough to make it my property; to secure this end occupancy is requisite […] In the fact that it is impossible to take possession of an external “kind” of thing as such, or of an element, it is not the external physical impossibility which must be looked on as ultimate, but the fact that a person as will, is characterized as individual, while as person he is at the same time immediate individuality. Thus the mastery and external possession of things becomes, in ways that again are infinite, more or less indeterminate and incomplete. Yet matter is never without an essential form of its own and only because it has one it is anything. The more I appropriate this form, the more do I enter into actual possession of the thing.


Here we have a different view than Plato regarding forms, a much more egoistic one, despite Hegel’s protests regarding individual will. What would a Hegelian Unique, as in Stirner’s Unique, look like? That is to say, a will which accounts for its own failures?

First we take possession of the thing. This is to embody an act of will to take possession of not necessarily the material thing in itself, but the essential quality of it, which could be material or non-material. To take money for instance can have a material form of a paper dollar, or just bits of code. These however mean the same thing in that they have the same essence, which is getting numbers which can be utilized to obtain other essential things. Let’s not get bogged down by mere existence, and focus on the fact that food requires material food. You eat the cheeseburger. You can-haz-cheeseburger.

The second aspect of this dialectic is to use the thing. The thing is in negative contrast to the will, and the thing pushes back against the will. Here you are trying to become full of cheeseburger, and you have to pay, and you have to chew, quite disgusting push back from this thing. But, you are strong, you get through it.

The third and final part is “the reflection of the will back from the thing itself,” states Hegel. But certainly this is part of the second aspect.

Let us make a fourth part utilizing Marx, which is the will back into the the essence of the thing. This is the Marxist affront to Hegel. The idea that Hegel was changing the essence of the thing itself rather than interpreting it, rather than being a neutral observer. I want to steal the ghost and eat it. Let me take the essential nature of the thing and swallow it whole. But to do this I would have to become the thing. How would I become the thing. If I am to eat a cheeseburger, I have to follow certain cheeseburger conventions to some extent. I grasp the buns, I eat the cheeseburger. I could be weird, take apart the cheeseburger, cut it with a fork and knife.

Let us say I am some sort of sick bastard that takes apart cheeseburgers and eats them ingredient by ingredient with a fork and knife. The essential quality of the cheeseburger has thus been negated by this perverse anal-obsessive will in order to Actualize the cheeseburger in its initial form, which was to be eaten as food. I am eating the cheeseburger, but I am taking into my possession.

My property is the embodiment of my personality, but it is not mine in this situation, until I eat it in this stupid, stupid way. (I do not eat cheeseburgers like this). To eat the essence of the thing would be to take into possession what the thing is created to be. But if one can only create use out of becoming appropriating the form, then one does not have possession of the thing.

To have something then, inevitably, is to do alchemy to the thing. Until you have done alchemy to the essence thing, you do not have it, but reproduce another’s will.

Vacant land consecrated for a burial ground, or even to lie unused in perpetuity, embodies an empty or absent arbitrary will. If such a will is infringed, nothing actual is infringed, and hence respect for it cannot be guaranteed.

[Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, “Abstract Right”]

Happy Halloween!

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