Front Page Titles (by Subject) People, Freedom, and State in Hegel - Literature of Liberty, October/December 1979, vol. 2, No. 4
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People, Freedom, and State in Hegel - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, October/December 1979, vol. 2, No. 4 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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People, Freedom, and State in Hegel
“State and History in Hegel's Concept of People.” Journal of the History of Ideas 40(July-September 1979):369–384.
“There are crucial terms whose common meaning is not at all what Hegel meant: e.g., ‘thought,’ ‘concept,’ ‘idea,’ ‘spirit,’ to name a few.” De Seade undertakes to trace out “One such term . . .‘people’ (Volk), which can be considered a very useful concept in the analysis of Hegel's political works.” In ordinary discussion this term “can have two distinct connotations, depending on the article which precedes it.” Thus, “we refer to a people having cultural unity in mind,” e.g., “the Jews as being one people.” And we can also refer to “the people and imply a political context, as in the aphorism ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God.’”
The author observes that Hegel inherited two traditions: the first forged by Herder which stressed “the identity of a people as embodied in language, historical and cultural traditions”; the second expressed by Rousseau in which the concept “people” “synthesizes these elements and sees them materialized in political institutions.” In Hegel, the author maintains, one central plan can be detected: namely, the reconciliation of these two traditions. Chronologically considered, Hegel's works may be analyzed for the diverse meanings attached to the concept of people: “(1) people as a community, linked by historical, cultural, and political ties; (2) people as the base of political representation; and (3) people as agents of history.”
The first analysis of ‘people’ focuses on Hegel as represented in the Early Theological Writings (1795–1809). Next Hegel's views as put in his Philosophy of Right (1821) are considered. The third stage of ‘people’ is represented in Hegel's The Philosophy of History (1830–31). Throughout the paper numerous strands of analyses are explored; moreover, some concepts which are vital to an understanding of not only Hegel but of such neo-Hegelians as Marx, Francis Herbert Bradley (1846–1924), Bernard Bosanquet (1848–1923), and Thomas Hill Green (1836–1882) are investigated. For example, it is vital to understand Hegel's criticism of freedom in the traditions of Locke and the French revolution (1830) for purposes of appreciating subsequent revisions of this idea in political philosophy. De Seade notes that for Hegel the most important problem of his time was “that the militant elements of the bourgeoisie had adopted as their ideology the ‘abstract’ conception of freedom, equality, and popular sovereignty.” Also important is the realization that in Hegel the “conceptions of ‘spirit of the people’ and ‘state’ become explicity linked.” Hegel's holistic social/political philosophy has much to offer for clarifying a comprehensive understanding of history, in contrast to what Hegel regarded as the atomistic (Hobbesian) framework which had been invoked to bolster political individualism, liberalism, and capitalism.