The Dialectic

Is the great march of History coming to an end?

Lesson Objectives

Appreciate the modern Hegelian notion that history is ever progressing forward

Understand why Hegel thinks there is an end goal to History (and what it is)

Appreciate Hegelian Dialectic and its role in the modern discourse of colonialism

Understand Marx's reading of Hegel, known as Dialectical Materialism

Appreciate Marx' Ten Points and which ones America uses (and doesn't)

Understand the difference between Communisim and Socialism

Key Terms


The End of History

Dialectic (Hegel)







Dialectical Materialism (Marx)




Modernity & Progress

It's Getting Better All the Time

• Modernity constantly looks ahead of itself to a better future

• Advancements in tech, science, government, economy, etc

• Early modern philosophy had great confidence in our ability to discover "Truth"

What is meant by Modern?

• Modern History — as opposed to the ancient or classical past

• Modern Art — begins in the late 18th century

• Modernity — begins with Cartesian Doubt

• The Modern Age — begins with the Renaissance ("rebirth")

Modernity: the Age of Reason

🇮🇹 DaVinci: Only idiots argue by appealing to authority. Think for yourselves!

🇵🇱 Copernicus: We are not the center of the universe. Not even close...

🇬🇧 Bacon: Alhazen was right! Experimentation is the key to knowledge!

🇮🇹 Galileo: My telescope proves Coperinicus was right! Oh, wait. Nevermind.

🇩🇪 Kepler: I think I’ve figured out how the planets move! #CloserIsFaster

🇫🇷 Descartes: Doubt every claim until it cannot be doubted! #self-evidenttruth

🇬🇧 Newton: @Kepler: the same thing that pulls the moon also makes apples fall!

🇬🇧 Hobbes: our laws and morality should be governed by reason and contracts

🇬🇧 Locke: What Hobbes said, but also we don't wanna king. And we can revolt!

🇺🇸 Jefferson: Great ideas everyone! Here's the American contract, King George!

🇩🇪 Kant: We see the world thru our own subjectivity, but reason is still objective

🇬🇧 Mill: Together we can build the Happy Society through reason!

🇩🇪 Hegel: And thus, the great march of History is coming to a close...