09.18.2012 12:00 AM

In Tuesday’s Sun: our Hegelian Dialectic

The return of Parliament, the anniversary of the Occupy Movement, and the NHL lockout may seem like improbable subjects for a single opinion column. But bear with us.

In Hegelian terms — you remember The Hegelian Dialectic from first-year poli-sci, don’t you? — the disgusting money fight between greedy multi-millionaire hockey players, and greedy multi-billionaire hockey team owners, is the THESIS. That is, it is one side of the debate.

The ANTITHESIS — the other side of the debate — is found in the Occupy Movement, this week celebrating its one-year anniversary.

Some will say that the Occupy Movement isn’t as active as it was a year ago, and that is perhaps true. But the rich and the powerful are deluding themselves if they think the ideals that motivated the Occupy kids are passe. There is just as much rage that the rich are getting much richer, and that the poor are getting much poorer; that hedge fund managers continue to receive multi-million-dollar bonuses, while average folks lay awake at night, wondering how to pay the hydro bill.

So, that’s the THESIS and the ANTITHESIS: Greed and avarice on one side (the NHL), a pervasive feeling of disgust on the other (Occupy). Action, reaction.

Two polarities which neatly set out one of the great philosophical conflicts of our age: The 99% versus the 1%. How does it all come together to form what German philosopher Georg Hegel called the SYNTHESIS? That is, the thing that resolves the conflict between the two?


  1. Billy boy says:

    Wow I’ve just about seen everything now. Hegel, a giant of philosophy, if not the giant, referred to in The Sun. I admire your efforts to educate the largely illiterate audience but really isn’t all this Hegel stuff just a diversion to get a shot in at Paul Miller? Funny that you don’t object to the government interfering with collective bargaining when it’s the workers being clobbered but use such force against management is “crazy”.

    Anyway your deployment is Hegel is both extremely heavy handed (Hegel was not a conflict resolution counsellor) and wrong (perhaps you had a lazy poli-sci prof but your depiction of Hegelian sublation is wanting). The state is not an something that can overcome the tension to which you refer (at best if we had progressive parliaments governed by the likes of the NDP this tension might be made bearable but never overcome). The state is essentially an instrument of the 1%). A Hegelian dialectics of this conflict can only be overcome by the arrival of a new socioeconomic stage of human history. Perhaps you could introduce your readers to Marx’s use of speculative philosophy: another basic poli-sci term, historical materialism.

  2. dave says:

    Great stuff – Toronto Libs trying to co opt the occupy movement!

  3. Kelly says:

    What’s so frighing hard about this? Just tax the people with all the money the way we used to and institute a live able guaranteed annual income to replace CPP, EI, OAS and social assistance. Include incentives to take employment (as they do with the Dutch system — pay bonus for several years if you take a jOb).

    Right now the people who do all the work don’t get enough money and the paper pusher managers, trust fund babies and leisure class owners get all the money. There aren’t as many of them as everyone else. Just do it.

  4. Cynical says:

    Us 99%-ers going to watch local kids play hockey for our kicks would go a long way, eh? No pay, just the love of the game. Good action, too, without all the fights (except in the stands).

  5. Bluegreenblogger says:

    lmao. I will bet that this column was read by more people on this blog, er website than in print in the Sun. It was a clever ploy though, mixing some hockey speak in with those polysyllabics. I bet your editor had a few pithy polysyllabics for you when he saw the headline!

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