The Cunning of Geist

054 - Can Hegel Save Us from a Brutal Return to Tribalism?

May 31, 2022 Gregory Novak
The Cunning of Geist
054 - Can Hegel Save Us from a Brutal Return to Tribalism?
Show Notes

The Electronic Revolution has dramatically changed how the world receives and processes information.  The previous print revolution helped usher in the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, nation-states, and individual rights through its emphasis on visual, linear thinking, i.e. left-brain thinking.

However, the Electronic Age reintroduced the audio factor to mass communications beginning with radio.  This was followed by television bringing a return of both audio and visual in one package.  And this resulted in a step toward a nouveau-tribalism, harkening back to ancient tribal societies where the spoken word interacted with nature in one environment.

The Internet added more fuel to the fire.  This has meant, among an increasing percentage of citizens, a loss of the ability to find much meaning in a big tent nation-state.  The fragmentation and specialization of media and politics has put identity groups, "tribes," as a driving force today in many places.  History has shown that tribal societies often fought brutally for recognition, and the new tribes are increasingly doing so today.  

Hegel, a pre-electronic literary man of letters, foresaw this problem.  And I believe his speculative philosophy, one that recognizes identity within differences, with its focus on the whole (right-brain) as well as the parts (left brain) can provide a useful guide for these trying times.