’s Dialectic As Applied To: The American Thesis Essay, Research Paper
Hegel?s theory of dialectic states that every society has a thesis, this thesis is the basis of what the society was built on, and is what makes it dominant or not. So, what has made America the dominant society in the twentieth century? Hegel?s dialectic also states that every society has an antithesis, which is the opposite of the thesis and replaces it as the driving force behind the society. Which asks the question, what will be the antithesis to the American thesis? America?s thesis is that of the biological concept of self-preservation, to do what is most beneficial for you, and also to achieve immortality, and the perpetuation of your unique genetic makeup through your children.
America?s drive for self interest started with its original immigrants. People felt that their situations were too terrible to bear. They fled their countries because of religious persecution, financial misfortune, or governmental oppression. They fled risking life and limb, for a chance to make things better for themselves and their children. From the very beginning, America?s population was composed nothing but those who wanted to make things better for themselves.
Capitalism sprouts from this biology. Those with the most capital and resources have the best chance of surviving. Leaving your children with more resources increases their chances of surviving and producing surviving children themselves, which better insures your genes will live forever through the generations. The saying, ?He who dies with the most toys wins,? can be modified to ?He who dies with the richest children wins.?
American war policy also comes from self-preservation. In the beginning America?s policy towards war was isolationism and neutrality. This policy ensured that American lives were not lost fighting an unnecessary war. Then our policy changed, American lives were lost during world war one, and America had to enter the war. America had to show that it wasn?t going to allow American lives to be taken, to let other countries know that we would not be pushed around. Now, America is respected by other countries, which know taking American lives will have great consequences.
The American thesis is that of sheer self-interest. The logical antithesis of self-interest is of course group interest. Giving what you can, to ensure the survival of the group, which Marx called Communism. Marx says that when Capitalism is at its peak, when everyone is out simply to make a buck and a minority owns the majority of the resources, the laborers will rise up and violently cease the means of production. Then after a time of readjustment, all resources will belong to everyone. You will take what you need, and give what you can. Self-interest will still be a driving force; the interest of the whole is the interest of the individual. If there is a surplus, the whole society benefits. If you work harder, then it will make the society that much better, vicariously thus benefiting you.
The current thesis of America drives us all to make better products and work harder to make a better life for our children and ourselves. The drive for survival has turned into the drive for a bigger house and a faster car. This is justified as good old competition. Materialism, says Marx, will be the downfall of our culture. Multimillionaires are not necessary; one can easily survive on a middle class wage. Take all you can and give the least you can get away with, will be replaced with give only what you can, and take only what you need when this antithesis comes to play.
Biology drives us in every aspect of our life. It drives us to eat, sleep, and reproduce, to feel angry or good. It drives us to try to make a better life for our children and ourselves. But when humans learn to overcome our primal biology, that drive will to be to better the society.