It is useless to try to teach one who has no tongue how to speak. It is useless to take fright in the face of guttural sounds and thoughtless acts. It is useless to propose mediation to one who wants the impossible. It is useless to beg for freedom from one who imposes slavery.

One of Hegel’s peculiarities, that for which the shrewdest functionaries of domination should remember him with gratitude, consists in his understanding that unity — to which every form of power aspires — would appear invincible if, rather than basing itself on the exclusion of the multiplicity — i.e., the opposition — it found its realization in the assimilation of the latter. In other words, for Hegel, concrete unity could be achieved by reconciling differences, not by exterminating them. It is only through the differences between the multiplicity of things and through their conflicts that one can achieve concrete, lasting unity. Thus, for Hegel, unity really springs forth from the continuous struggle between the multiplicity of things that compose it. His lie is manifest: if this unity doesn’t suppress the multiple, it doesn’t realize it either, since it is limited to domesticating it in order to place it in the service of the initial thesis. This is the meaning of the dialectic to which Hegel entrusts the task of revealing the most intimate processes of reality. In the Hegelian dialectical process, the affirmation of a concept forms the thesis; its negation forms the antithesis. From the conflict between the thesis and the antithesis, the synthesis will be born, which coagulates thesis and antithesis in a higher unity in which both are conceived as different moments. But the synthesis represents in a particular way a return to the thesis, in fact being a matter of a return enriched by all the things that have been contributed by the antithesis. It seems clear that the pure existence of two contraries is not enough to generate a dialectical relationship. To achieve such an end, something more is needed: mediation between the two contraries. To mediate two contraries means to take away their irreducibility, to bind them together, to create a communicative bridge between them. It means to pacify them through reconciliation, but to the advantage of one particular side — the one that was strongest from the start.


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