[lit-ideas] Hegel on Hilton
- From: Chris Bruce <bruce@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 19:16:16 +0200
On 18 Oct. 2006, Andreas Ramos wrote:
I don't think that even Hegel could have predicted Paris Hilton ....
Andreas, its time to come back to Germany for your Hegel refresher
course! Hegel had Paris's number 200 years ago!
To paraphrase the master (in English yet!):
Parish Hilton's unhappy consciousness and misguided attempt to
Ms Hilton is a prime example of wealth pursuing its own interest:
something tarnished. Her 'being-for-herself' is in fact nothing more
than a spontaneous renunciation of her selfhood; the breaking up and
tearing asunder of the universal substance - her spirit thus in an
attitude of thoroughgoing discordance. Her wealth, which began as the
very principle of self-esteem, has become something foreign. Her
bourgeois consciousness sees itself in the power of an alien will on
which it depends, which may or may not transmit being-for-itself to
consciousness. Dependent on the contingent individuality of an other,
on the accident of the moment, of an arbitrary choice, or some other
utterly indifferent circumstance, Ms Hilton must ultimately see her
self-certainty as such to be the most unessential thing, her selfhood
to be the absolute lack of selfhood. In this inner strife in which the
pure ego sees itself outside itself and torn asunder, everything which
has continuity and universality, all that bears the name of law, of
good and of right, is dispersed and destroyed - the pure ego itself is
absolutely disintegrated. In the place of rebellion appears arrogance.
And so Ms Hilton is left standing directly in front of an innermost
abyss, a bottomless pit in which all stability and substance has
vanished. She sees in this pit nothing but a common thing, a
plaything, a chance result of caprice.
In an attempt to "rediscover herself", Paris Hilton imposed a ban on
sexual activity for one year. "I'm doing it just because I want to. I
feel I'm becoming stronger as a person. Every time I have a boyfriend,
I'm just so romantic, and I'll put all my energy into the guy, and I
don't really pay attention to myself." Alas, Ms Hilton has recognized
the alienation, but misidentified its roots. Perhaps some well-meaning
soul will lend her a copy of _Phaenomenologie des Geistes_.
P.S. Thanks to Merold Westphal (in _History and Truth in Hegel's
Phenomenoölogy_) for help with direction to the relevant sections in
Hegel; and to unidentified contributors to wilipedia for some help with
background on and quotations from Ms Hilton.
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