Political Utopia and the Philosophy of Action

  • Robert Gascoigne
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idees / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 105)


Arnold Ruge, the editor of the Hallische and Deutsche Jahrbücher, was the leading publicist of Young Hegelian ideas. Assembling the leading radical minds of Germany in his journal, he attempted to draw political conclusions from the critique of Christianity begun by Strauss. Ruge had begun the Jahrbücher sharing Hegel’s conviction that the Prussian state, which had shown itself to be receptive to the principles of the Aufklärung in the past, first rising to international prominence under the patron of Voltaire and surviving the impact of the Napoleonic wars through the enlightened administrative reforms of vom Stein and Hardenberg, could now associate itself irrevocably with the party of freedom. For Ruge, the principles of the journal in its first year were, in the realm of theory ‘Protestantism and free science, and in praxis, the protestant, modern state’.1 The journal’s defence of the Prussian state in the Cologne controversy over mixed marriages was not simply an attack on the ultramontanism of Görres, but rather an attempt to delineate the cause of Protestantism as associated with enlightened and progressive principles against Lutheran pietism.


Human Nature French Revolution Political Freedom True Content Ethical Life 
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    Ruge drew his attention to the similarities between his own work and Stirner’s: ‘You seem not to have noticed that he wants fundamentally the same thing as you, except that he comes from the other side. While you proceed from the whole, he comes as an individual, and demands that everyone should do the same. And what a divine chemistry! He has succeeded in dissolving all concepts and substances, he, the Creator. Yet you won’t give this excellent man any credit… Even that is progress, that he writes like a human for humans and not, like the rest of our philosophers, and even you yourself, for gods and wandering scholastics’. Ruge to Hess, in Moses Hess: Briefwechsel, ed. E. Silberner (The Hague), 1959), p. 110.Google Scholar
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1985

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  • Robert Gascoigne

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