Abstract

In Beautiful Losers Leonard Cohen states: 'History decrees that there are Losers and Winners. History cares nothing for cases, History cares only whose Tum it is!'1 Whose tum to win, that is, and whose tum to lose. In the Hegelian system there are winners and losers, masters and slaves; in history's movement toward the universal and homogeneous state there are winners and losers as well. Like history, though, Hegel does not appear to care for the cases of individuals. Nor does the historical process of colonization and cultural confrontation and domination. Colonization, in fact, is remarkably similar to J.M. Coetzee's definition of war: compelling a choice on someone who would not otherwise make it.2 In Hegel's thinking the universal and homogeneous state is the peak of historical progress and will signal the end of history. For Hegel, that state arrived with Napoleon. The universal - every place - and homogeneous - equality for every person - state is the desired goal, because it ends the dialectic of the master and slave.

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