Hegel was too Christian to follow Spinozan pantheism to its logical end. Christ turns all power into good and evil; and thus, Hegel saw the world as good and evil, as essence and reflection. Hegel in the Phenomenology of Spirit comes across various modes of being and ultimately casts them down in favor of the logos, the coming together of registers and the Rightness of Right, with the law of the heart being simply too ungodly.
For the True is for it the law of the heart–something merely intended which, unlike the established order, has not stood the test of time, but rather when thus tested is overthrown. This its law ought to have reality; the law, then, is for it qua reality, that very law qua valid ordinance, is on the contrary immediately for it something which is not valid.Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, Paragraph 377
Hegel ignores the content of the law in describing the whim of the heart. He did not in fact grasp Spinoza’s material reality working itself out, god-in-reality, or god in the power of the will. What is this notional will which exists in Actuality in men that Hegel is so afraid of?
Of course, sexuality itself, death drive. These are too unchristian for Hegel to consider.
Through the Christian lens Spinoza’s god-in-reality, or god-through-Actuality, is no longer able to be grasped, and contradiction falls into disrepair to the Christ-Molar, the vacuum which sucks into it everything and creates demons of all that fall outside of it.
Does not Marx too not fall into this trap? To a lesser degree, as Marx recognizes the engine of capital as having positive qualities of power, but ultimately all that falls outside the system is cast as the devil in practice, if not in Marx’s writing. For Marx, the world was Satanic, and for Hegel as well.
I’ve often thought of Mark Fisher’s self-inflicted death as a long line of this world-as-demon side effect of the Christian Dialectic. When the world becomes satanic, rather than something full of power, there is nothing to gain in the world. Spinoza is failed, the Absolute no longer able to be in motion, working through itself, through its ends, us. God as the absolute working through itself gets subsumed into the Christian ideology, of good and evil, rather than good and wild. Good and power.
If one sees something as Evil rather than as Egoic power, one misses its necessity, its place in the Absolute, its symptomatic necessity. Is Trump truly evil? Perhaps he is better seen as a wild power, one that we would like to do away with, but to see him as evil is to do a disservice to the self by playing out in one’s own head the Christian story, the dissolving of Spinoza’s god, the world as Christ’s playground and no one elses.
Christ takes the ball home and eats your world.
Through the adjustment of Good and Evil we can keep the good, but let us do away with evil, and take away its power to destroy what is good. Evil is power, power of the other against us, which means it could in fact then become for us, if we are Spinozan enough, if we aren’t infected with the brain cancer of ideology which takes away from us our Actual existence.