'Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right' by Karl Marx (1843)

A Selection from Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right by Karl Marx, 1843.

“In a letter to Goethe dated September 17, 1800, in which he comments on K. L. Woltmann's History of the Reformation, Schiller calls the history of the age of the Reformation 'subject matter which by its nature tends toward a petty, miserable detail and moves along at an infinitely lagging pace'. What matters is 'to organize [this material] into great, fruitful masses and to abstract its spirit with a few big strokes.'”

Burkhardt, Lectures on History at the Univerity of Basel.



For Germany, theoretical emancipation has a practical significance from a historical point of view. For Germany’s revolutionary past, in the form of the Reformation, is also theoretical. Just as it was then the monk, so it is now the philosopher in whose brain the revolution begins.

Luther certainly conquered servitude based on devotion, but only by replacing it with servitude based on conviction. He destroyed faith in authority, but only by restoring the authority of faith. He transformed the priest into a layman, but only by transforming the laymen into priests. He freed mankind from external religiousity, but only by making religiousity the inner man. He freed the body from chains, but only by putting the heart in chains. […] It was now no longer a question of the struggle of the layman with the priest outside himself, but rather of his struggle with his own inner priest, with his priestly nature.

...for Hegel human nature, man, is equivalent to self-consciousness.

...the philosophical mind is nothing but the estranged mind of the world thinking within its self-estrangement.