As some of you have no doubt noticed, I've been on a major Hegel kick lately. This, of course, is always a dangerous thing where French theory is concerned, as Hegel as so often treated as the Enemy or culmination of all things wicked in the tradition of onto-theology (assuming his thought can be characterized as "onto-theological"). This is especially dangerous for me as a good deal of my research revolves around Deleuze, and one can hardly mention the name "Hegel" in Deleuzian circles without faces turning red, spittle appearing on lips, and curses being made. After all, isn't Hegel the ultimate thinker of mediation, where everything is subordinated to identity, the whole, and the concept. Yet when I turn to Hegel's Science of Logic and the doctrine of essence, I find it difficult to endorse this reading. At any rate, Žižek seems to present a reading of Hegel strongly at odds with this picture. As Žižek writes in The Sublime Object of Ideology:

My thesis... is that the most consistent model of such an acknowledgement of antagonism is offered by Hegelian dialectics: far from being a story of its progressive overcoming, dialectics is for Hegel a systematic notation of the failure of all such attempts – 'absolute knowledge' denotes a subjective position which finally accepts 'contradiction' as an internal condition of every identity. In other words, Hegelian 'reconciliation' is not a 'panlogicist' sublation of all reality in the Concept but a final consent to the fact that the Concept is 'not-all' (to use this Lacanian term). In this sense we can repeat the thesis of Hegel as the first post-Marxist: he opened up the field of a certain fissure subsequently 'sutured' by Marxism.

Yup! I'm on a Hegel kick myself at the moment, and this rings true to me.

This quote is from a useful discussion over on the Larval Subjects blog from about four years back. (Žižek's take on Hegel seems sympathetic to what I understand is Jean-Luc Nancy's reading in Hegel: The Restlessness of the Negative.)

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