Saturday, December 18, 2010

Found quotation

"They who on moral grounds, and consequently with noble intention, have resisted that which the advance of the Spiritual Idea makes necessary, stand higher in moral worth than those whose crimes have been turned into the means — under the direction of a superior principle — of realising the purposes of that principle. But in such revolutions both parties generally stand within the limits of the same circle of transient and corruptible existence. Consequently it is only a formal rectitude — deserted by the living Spirit and by God — which those who stand upon ancient right and order maintain. The deeds of great men, who are the Individuals of the World's History, thus appear not only justified in view of that intrinsic result of which they were not conscious, but also from the point of view occupied by the secular moralist. Looked at from this point, moral claims that are irrelevant must not be brought into collision with world-historical deeds and their accomplishment." -- G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophical History of the World (1837), Introduction iii-74.

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