Hegel and the National Heritage

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In Hegel's political theory the state is seen not only as an instrument of legal power, but also as the embodiment of a national heritage. Interestingly, theorists like Hobbes, Locke, and Bentham were able to talk of states and government as if they bore no relation to particular countries. A citizen's loyalty is, in fact, seldom to the state as an institution. Most people pledge and give their allegiance to the country of their birth …

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…is applied, and on the situation of the men who are wont to invoke it. In this case, however, it is ideology rather than political theory: a rationalization for national power which seeks to grow more powerful or for incipient power which claims to represent a new political order. G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of History (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1991), translated by J. Sibree, p.53. Ibid., p.74 Ibid., pp. 52, 74. Ibid., p.74. Ibid., pp.74-75. Ibid., p.75.