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Professor Raiklin, Hegel and the World Historical Individuals

Leslie Armour (University of Ottawa, Canada)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 May 1991

Abstract

Hegelian ideas are used to explain the success of Lenin. Hegel′s account of the World Historical Individual may be especially relevant at this time because the dialectic between decentralised grassroots politics and the need for strong central authority not only figured in the rise of Napoleon (an example Hegel had much in mind) but seems to be at work in the affairs of Mikhail Gorbachev as well. But one must beware the paradoxes associated with ideas of historical necessity. One can avoid them by talking of probabilities, and conceptualising the formation of leaders as a response to a market which has a tendency to match supply and demand. But this does not wholly explain the tendency of Marxist systems to produce leaders like Lenin, Stalin, Ceausescu, Hoxha, Tito and Castro. It is argued that such figures become surrogates for the free man of the future, and that the masses are also encouraged to live vicariously through them; but it is also argued that revolutions produce the kind of chaos which creates a demand for authority.

Keywords

Citation

Armour, L. (1991), "Professor Raiklin, Hegel and the World Historical Individuals", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 18 No. 5/6/7, pp. 133-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/03068299110143210

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited