The Philosophy of History
By Georg W.F. Hegel
Georg Hegel was a 19th-century German philosopher. His works were complex and dense, difficult to read and harder to understand. He is often dismissed today as an obscurantist and as irrelevant, but I see him as struggling to understand both the order of human history and the relation of reason to that history. In probing this question, he also examined the orderliness of reason itself. Hegel is enormously important to me because geopolitics isn’t simply about the mechanistic force of geography. It goes beyond that to determine the order of historical events, which are driven not just by geography but also by human actions.
To understand Hegel, you can start by reading the work of his contemporary, Adam Smith. Smith argued that human beings, in pursuing their own economic interests, create an unintended consequence: an increase in the wealth of nations. The concept of the free market is the idea that markets are operated through re