On the Commissions of the Estates in Prussia - Karl Marx

On the Commissions of the Estates in Prussia by Karl Marx

Karl Marx

The Supplement to Nos. 335 and 336 of The Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung on the Commissions of the Estates in Prussia [110]

Source: MECW Volume 1, p. 292.
Written: on December 10, 19 and 30, 1842
First published: in the Rheinische Zeitung Nos. 345, 354 and 365, Dec. 11, 20 and 31, 1842;
Transcribed: in 2000 for marxists.org by Andy Blunden.

Rheinische Zeitung No. 345, December 11, 1842

Cologne, December 10. In the Supplement to No. 335 of the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung there is a not uninteresting essay on the commissions of the estates in Prussia. Since we wish to criticise it, we must preface our remarks by stressing a simple principle which, however, is often overlooked in a passionate party controversy. The presentation of a state institution is not the state institution itself. Hence a polemic against this presentation is not a polemic against the state institution. The conservative press, which continually reminds us that the view held by the critical press should be rejected as being merely an individual opinion and a distortion of reality, continually forgets that it itself is not the object in question, but only an opinion on that object, and that therefore to combat it is not always to combat that object. Every object that is made a matter for praise or blame in the press becomes a literary object, hence an object for literary discussion.
What makes the press the most powerful lever for promoting culture and the intellectual education of the people is precisely the fact that it transforms the material struggle into an ideological struggle, the struggle of flesh and blood into a struggle of minds, the struggle of need, desire, empiricism into a struggle of theory, of reason, of form.
The essay in question reduces the arguments against the institution of the commissions of the estates to two main heads, to arguments against their composition and arguments against their purpose.
At the outset we must condemn as a basic logical defect that the composition has been the first object of discussion, the examination of the purpose being reserved for a subsequent article. The composition cannot be anything but the external mechanism, the guiding and regulating soul of which lies in its purpose. But who would think of judging the expediency of a machine’s composition before examining and ascertaining its purpose? It could be that the composition of the commissions is open to criticism because it corresponds to their purpose, inasmuch as this purpose itself cannot be recognised as a true purpose. It could also be that the composition of the commissions is worthy of recognition because it does not correspond to their purpose, going beyond the latter. Hence this order of the presentation is an initial mistake, but one which vitiates the whole presentation.
On almost all sides, the essay states, the complaint has been made with remarkable unanimity that
“predominantly only landed property has been taken into account in connection with the right of representation in the estates."
In opposition to this, attention has been drawn, on the one hand, to the progress of industry and, on the other hand, “with still greater emphasis” to intelligence and “its right to participate in the representation of the estates”.
By the basic law on the provincial assemblies of the estates, landed property is made the condition for estate membership, a provision which was logically continued in regard to the commissions of the estates formed of members of the provincial assemblies. Thus, although landed property is the general condition for participating in the right of estate representation, it is by no means the sole criterion. Confusion of those two essentially different principles, however, underlay
“to a great extent the lively objections which have been raised against the composition of the commissions of the estates”.
Landownership represents all estates. This fact the author admits. He adds, however, that it is not simply landownership as such, not abstract landownership, but landownership under certain secondary circumstances, landownership of a particular kind. Landownership is the general condition for estate representation, but it is not the sole condition.
We fully agree with the author when he asserts that the additional conditions essentially alter the general principle of representation through landownership. At the same time, however, we must declare that opponents who consider that the general principle is already too restricted cannot by any means be refuted by proof that this principle, which is restricted in itself, has been retarded as still not restricted enough, but as necessarily requiring that further restrictions alien to its nature should be added to it. Apart from the very general requirements of an unblemished reputation and a minimum age of thirty years — the former being, on the one hand, self-evident and, on the other hand, open to indefinite interpretation — there are the following special conditions:
“1. Ten years’ uninterrupted landownership; 2. membership of a Christian church; 3. possession of land formerly held directly under le emperor for the first estate; 4. possession of property entailing imperial knighthood for the second estate; 5. a magistracy or dvil profession for the urban estate; 6. self-management of landed property as the main occupation for the fourth estate."
These are not conditions which arise from the essence of landownership, but which, from considerations foreign to the latter, add limits that are foreign to it, restrict its essence instead of making it more general.
According to the general principle of representation through landownership, there would be no distinction between Jewish and Christian landownership, -between landownership by a lawyer and by a merchant, between landownership that is ten years old and one that is one year old. According to this general principle, all these distinctions do not exist. Hence if we ask what the author has shown, we can only reply: the restriction of the general condition of landownership by special conditions which are not part of its nature, by considerations based on the difference between the estates.
And the author admits:
“Closely connected is the complaint heard from many sides that, in regard to these commissions of the estates too, the difference between estates which belongs only to the past has been brought in again and applied as a principle of estate organisation, in alleged contradiction with the present state of our social conditions, and with the demands of the spirit of the time."
The author does not examine whether the general condition of landownership is in contradiction with representation of the estates or even makes it impossible Otherwise it could hardly have escaped him that, if the estate principle were consistently applied, a condition which forms an essential feature only of the peasant estate could not possibly be. made a general condition for the representation of the other estates, whose existence in no way depends on landownership. For the representation of the estates can only be determined by the essential difference between them, and hence not by anything which lies outside this essence. If, therefore, the principle of representation of landownership is annulled because of special estate considerations, then this principle of representation of the estates is annulled because of the general condition of landownership, and neither principle comes into its own. Furthermore, even if a difference between the estates is accepted, the author does not examine whether this difference which is presumed to exist in the institution in question characterises the estates of the past or those of the present. Instead he discusses the difference between the estates in general. It will be as little possible to eradicate it, he says,
“as to destroy the difference existing in nature between the elements and to go back to a chaotic unity”.
one could reply to the author: just as no one would think of destroying the difference between the natural elements and going back to a chaotic unity, no one would want to eradicate the difference between the estates. At the same time, however, one would have to demand of the author that he should make a more thorough study of nature and rise from the first sensuous perception of the various elements to a rational perception of the organic life of nature. Instead of the spectre of a chaotic unity, he would become aware of the spirit of a living unity. Even the elements do not persist in inert separation. They are continually being transformed into one another and this transforming alone forms the first stage of the physical life of the earth, the meteorological process. In the living organism, all trace of the different elements as such has disappeared. The difference no longer consists in the separate existence of the various elements, but in the living movement of distinct functions, which are all inspired by one and the same life, so that the very difference between them does not exist ready-made prior to this life but, on the contrary, continually arises out of this life itself and as continually vanishes within it and becomes paralysed. just a . s nature does not confine itself to the elements already present, but even at the lowest stage of its life proves that this diversity is a mere sensuous phenomenon that has no spiritual truth, so also the state, this natural realm of the spirit, must not and cannot seek and find its true essence in a fact apparent to the senses. The author, therefore, has provided only a superficial basis for the “divine order of the world” by confining himself to the difference between the estates as its final and definitive result.
But, in the author’s opinion,
“care must be taken that the people is not set in motion as a crude, inorganic mass”.
Therefore, there can be
“no question as to whether in general estates ought to exist, but only the question of establishing to what extent and in what proportion the existing estates are called upon to take part in political activity”.
The question that arises here, of course, is not to what extent the estates exist, but to what extent they ought to continue their existence right up to the highest sphere of state life. If it would be unfitting to set the people in motion as a crude, inorganic mass, it would be just as much impossible to achieve an organised movement of the people if it were resolved mechanically into rigid and abstract constituents, and an independent movement, which could only he a convulsive one, were demanded of these inorganic, forcibly established parts. The author starts out from the view that in the actual state the people exists as a crude, inorganic mass, apart from some arbitrarily seized on differences of estate. Hence he knows no organism of the state’s life itself, but only a juxtaposition of heterogeneous parts which are encompassed superficially and mechanically by the state. But let us be frank. We do not demand that in the representation of the people actually existing differences should he left out of account. On the contrary, we demand that one should proceed from the actual differences created and conditioned by the internal structure of the state, and not fall back from the actual life of the state into imaginary spheres which that life has already robbed of their significance. And now take a look at the reality of the Prussian state as it is known and obvious to everyone. The true spheres, in accordance with which the state is ruled, judged, administered, taxed, trained and schooled, the spheres in which its entire movement takes place, are the districts, rural communities, governments, provincial administrations, and military departments, but not the four categories of the estates, which are intermingled in a diverse array among these higher units and owe the distinctions between them not to life itself, but only to dossiers and registers. And those distinctions, which owing to their very essence are dissolved at every moment in the unity of the whole, are free creations of the spirit of the Prussian state, but are by no means raw materials imposed on the present time by blind natural necessity and the dissolution process of a past period! They are members but not parts, they are movements but not states [Stand], they are differences of unity but not units of difference. just as our author will not wish to assert that, for instance, the great movement by which the Prussian state changes daily into a standing army and a militia is the motion of a crude, inorganic mass, so must he not assert this of a representation of the people which is based on similar principles. We repeat once more: we demand only that the Prussian state should not break off its real state life at a sphere which should he the conscious flowering of this state life; we demand only the consistent and comprehensive implementation of the fundamental institutions of Prussia, we demand that the real organic life of the state should not be suddenly abandoned in order to sink back into unreal, mechanical, subordinated, non-state spheres of life. We demand that the state should not dissolve itself in carrying out the act that should be the supreme act of its internal unification. We shall give further criticism of the essay in question in a subsequent article.

Rheinische Zeitung No. 354, December 20, 1842

Cologne, December 19. The author wants to establish according to his point of view
“to what extent the existing estates are called upon to take part in political activity”.
As already pointed out, our author does not examine to what extent the estates presupposed by the electoral law are the existing estates, to what extent estates exist at all; on the contrary, he takes as the basis of his examination something which it should have been the main task of his investigation to prove. Hence, he goes on to argue:
“The purpose of the commissions is so clearly laid down, both in the ordinances of June 21 of this year on their formation and in the royal Cabinet Order of August 19 on their convocation to form a central commission, that there can be absolutely no doubt on the subject. According to the wording of the above-mentioned Cabinet Order, the estate advisory council in the individual provinces should be supplemented by an element of unity. In accordance with this, therefore, first of all the general purpose of the commissions of the estates is the same as that of the provincial estates, insofar as it is likewise a matter of advisory co-operation in public affairs, and especially in the work of legislation. And, on the other hand, the characteristic feature of the activity assigned to them is its centralisation. Hence, concerning the doubts which have been raised as to the composition of the commissions of the estates, what would have to be done is to prove to what extent their union in a central commission contains grounds why the elements from which they are formed cannot correspond to the purpose of their central activity. Instead of such a proof being attempted, it has merely been asserted that the composition of the commissions of the estates (which is based on the same principle as the composition of the provincial estates) may well suffice for advising on subordinate provincial interests, but not for an activity embracing the whole state. In contradiction to this were advanced the above-mentioned complaints, which, if they were well founded, would be applicable also to the provincial estates."
From the very beginning we have drawn attention to the illogicality of wanting to examine the expediency of the composition of the commissions of the estates before criticising their purpose. It was bound to happen that in an unguarded moment our author would presuppose the expediency of their “purpose” in order to be able to deduce the expediency of their “composition”. He tells us that the purpose of the commissions is clear!
Granting this clarity, this formal correctness of the “purpose”, does that even so much as touch on the content and the truth of this content? The commission, according to our author, differ from the “provincial estates” only by their “centralisation”. Hence it has to be proved, he says, “to what extent their union in a central commission contains grounds why the elements from which they are formed cannot correspond to the purpose of their central activity”.
We must reject this demand as illogical. The question that arises is not to what extent the union of the provincial estates in a central commission contains grounds why the component elements cannot correspond to their central activity. On the contrary, the question is to what extent the component elements of the provincial estates contain grounds which paralyse a true union in a real central commission, and hence also real central activity. The union cannot make the component elements impossible, but the component elements can make the union impossible. If, however, a real union, a true centralisation is presupposed, then the question of the possibility of a central activity loses all meaning, for the central activity is merely the expression, the result, the vitality of a true centralisation. A central commission in itself involves a central activity. How then does the author prove that the component elements of the provincial estates are suitable for central commissions? How, therefore, does he prove the real and not illusory existence of a central commission?
He says:
“If they” (the complaints advanced against the composition of the commissions) ,.were well founded, they would be applicable also to the provincial estates."
Of course, for ;what is asserted is precisely that these elements are not suitable for a central whole. But can the author believe that he has refuted his opponents merely by himself becoming aware of and formulating their objections?
Instead of confining himself to the statement that complaints against the composition of the commissions of the estates are complaints against the composition of the provincial estates, he ought to show to what extent objections against the provincial estates cease to be objections against the commissions of the estates. The author should not ask himself why the commissions of the estates are not in accord with a central activity, he should ask himself by what means they should he made capable of a central activity. It has been shown at some length and with concrete examples in these pages how little the provincial estates are called upon to participate in legislation (whether this participation is in the shape of advice or joint action, which can make a difference in the power but by no means in the capability of the provincial estates). Moreover, the commissions do not even arise from the provincial assemblies as moral persons; on the contrary, they arise from the provincial assemblies resolved into their mechanical component parts. It is not the Provincial Assembly which elects the commissions, but the diverse isolated parts of the Assembly, which each separately elect their deputies to the commission. This election is therefore based on a mechanical dissolution of the body of the Assembly into its individual component parts, on an itio in partes. [division into parts] Hence it is possible that not the majority, but the minority of the Assembly is represented in the commissions, for a deputy from the knightly estate, for instance can have a majority in his estate although he has no majority in the Assembly, since such a majority may in fact arise by the minority representing the knightly estate combining with representatives,. of the urban or the peasant estate. Consequently, the objections raised against the composition of the Assembly are not just simply, but doubly applicable to the commissions, since in the latter the individual estate is withdrawn from the influence of the Assembly as a whole and kept within its own special limits. But let us leave even this out of account.
We take as our starting point a fact which the author will concede without argument. We assume that the composition of the provincial estates fully corresponds to their purpose, that is to say, the purpose of representing their particular provincial interests from the standpoint of their particular estate interests. This character of the provincial assemblies will be the character of all their activities. It will therefore also be the character of their elections to the commissions and the character of the commission deputies themselves, for an assembly which corresponds to its purpose will certainly remain true to its purpose in regard to its most important activity, in regard to the representatives whom it itself elects. What new element then suddenly turns the representatives of provincial interests into representatives of state interests and gives their particular activity the nature of a general activity? Obviously, it cannot be any other element than the fact of a common place of assembly. But can mere abstract space give a man of character a new character and chemically decompose his spiritual essence? It would be paying homage to the most materialistic mechanism to ascribe such an organising soul -to mere space, particularly in view of the fact that at the meeting of the commission the existing separateness is also spatially recognised and represented.
After what has been said above, we can only regard the further grounds by which our author seeks to justify the composition of the commissions as attempts to justify the composition of the provincial estates.

Rheinische Zeitung No. 365, December 31, 1842

Cologne, December 30. As we have shown in a previous article, what the eulogist of the commissions of the estates defends in the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung is not their composition, but the composition of the provincial assemblies.
It seems to him
“surprising to find intelligence put forward as a particular element requiring representation as an estate alongside industry and landed property”.
We are glad to agree for once with the author and to be able to restrict ourselves to explaining his statement instead of refuting it. What does this surprise at those claims of intelligence amount to? Does he consider that intelligence is not at all an element of estate representation, or are we to believe perhaps that the article in question merely asserts that it is not a particular element? Estate representation, however, recognises only particular elements, which exist side by side. Hence something that is not a particular element, is not at all an element for estate representation. The article in question quite rightly calls the way in which intelligence enters into the representation of estates “the general property of intelligent beings”, hence not a particular property of estate representatives, for a property which I have in common with everyone else and to the same extent as everyone else, cannot constitute my character, My superiority, my special nature. In an assembly of naturalists it is not sufficient to share in the “general property” of an intelligent being, but in an estate assembly it is sufficient to possess intelligence as a general property, to belong to the natural-historical genus of “intelligent beings”.
Intelligence should have a place in the provincial estate as a general human property, but intelligence should not belong to man as a particular property of a provincial estate; that is to say, intelligence does not make man a member of a provincial estate, it merely makes the member of a provincial estate a man. Our author will concede that, consequently, no special position is allotted to intelligence in the Assembly. Every newspaper advertisement is a fact of intelligence. But who on that account would seek representatives of literature in advertisements? A field cannot speak, only the owner of the field can. Hence the field must appear in an intelligent form in order to make its voice heard. Wishes, interests, do not speak; only man speaks. But do field, interest, wish, lose their limitation because they assert themselves as something human, something intelligent? It is not a question of mere form, it is a question of the content of intelligence. If, as we readily concede to the author, intelligence not only does not need any representation as an estate, but even needs a non-estate representation, conversely, estate representation needs intelligence, but only a very limited intelligence, just as every man needs sufficient reason to realise his aims and interests, which still does not in any way make his aims and interests the aims and interests of “reason”.
The utilitarian intelligence which fights for its hearth and home differs, of course, from the free intelligence Which fights for what is right despite its hearth and home. There is a kind of intelligence which serves a particular purpose, a particular matter, and there is another kind of intelligence which masters every matter and serves only itself.
The author, therefore, desires only to say: intelligence is not a property of any estate; he does not ask whether estate is an intelligent property! He comforts himself with the idea that intelligence is a general property of the estate, but he refuses us the comfort of a proof that estate is a particular property of intelligence!
It is quite consistent, not only with our author’s principles, but with those of estate representation, for him to convert the question of the right of representation of “intelligence” in the provincial assemblies into the question of the right of representation of the learned estates, of the estates which have made a monopoly of intelligence, of intelligence which has become an estate. Our author is right to the extent that, given estate representation, it can also only be a question of intelligence that has become an estate. But he is wrong in not acknowledging the right of the learned estates, for where the estate principle prevails all estates must be represented. just as he errs in excluding clerics, teachers and private men of learning, and does not even mention lawyers, physicians, etc., as possible candidates, he completely misconceives the nature of estate representation when he puts “state servants” belonging to the government on the same footing as the abovementioned estates of learned men. In a state based on estates, government officials are the representatives of state interests as such, and therefore are hostile towards the representatives of the private interests of the estates. Although government officials are not a contradiction under people’s representation, they are very much so under estate representation.
The article in question seeks further to prove that in the French and English constitutions the representation of landed property is as great as, if not greater than, in the Prussian constitution based on estates. Even if this were really the case, would it cease to be a defect in Prussia because it occurs also in England and France? We do not need to explain that this comparison is quite inadmissible if only because the French and English deputies are elected not as representatives of landownership but as representatives of the people, and, as far as particular interests are concerned, a Fould, for instance, remains a representative of industry although he pays a comparatively insignificant land tax in some corner of France. We will not repeat what we pointed out in our first article, namely, that the principle of estate representation annuls the principle of landownership representation, and vice versa, and that hence there is neither real landownership representation nor real estate representation, but only an inconsistent amalgamation of the two principles. We do not intend to examine further the basic error of a comparison which seizes on the different figures for England, France and Prussia, without taking into account their necessary connection with the different conditions in these countries. We stress only one aspect, namely, that in France and England account is taken of the benefit the state derives from landed property and of the burdens the owner has to bear, whereas in Prussia, on the contrary, what is taken into account, for instance, in connection with the majority of manorial estates and mediatised lands is how free they are from state burdens and how independent their private use is. Not what someone possesses, but what he possesses of advantage to the state, not ownership, but, so to speak, the state activity of ownership, gives the right to representation in France and England, whose systems, by the way, we by no means agree with.
The author seeks further to prove that big landed property is not disproportionately represented compared with small landed property. On this point, as on that discussed above, we refer the reader to the work Ueber ständische Verfassung in Preussen (Cotta’s publishing house, Stuttgart and Tilbingen) and to Ludwig Buhl’s book on the Prussian provincial estates. How incorrect the existing distribution is, quite apart from the difference between big and small landed property, can be shown from the following examples. The land value of the city of Berlin is 100 million talers, whereas that of the manorial estates in the Mark of Brandenburg is only 90 million talers. Yet the former sends only three deputies to the Assembly, whereas the owners of the latter elect 20 deputies from among themselves. Even among the towns, distribution according to the accepted scale of landownership is not consistently adhered to. Potsdam sends one deputy to the Assembly, although the value of its landed property is hardly one-tenth of that of Berlin. Potsdam has one deputy per 30,000 inhabitants, whereas Berlin has one per 100,000 inhabitants. The contrast is still more glaring if the smaller towns, which for historical reasons have been granted an individual vote [Virilstimme], are compared with the capital.
For the rest, in order to establish the true relations between representation of intelligence and representation of landed property as an estate, let us return once more to the author’s classical thesis, his above-mentioned justified surprise at finding “intelligence put forward as a particular element requiring representation as an estate alongside industry and landed property”.
The author rightly does not seek the origin of the provincial assemblies in state necessity, and he regards them not as a state need, but as a need of particular interests against the state. It is not the basic rational mind of the state, but the pressing need of private interests that is the architect of the political system based on estates, and at all events intellect is no needy, egoistic interest, but the general interest. Hence representation of intelligence in an assembly of the estates is a contradiction, a nonsensical demand. Moreover, we call the author’s attention to the consequences which so inevitably follow if need is made the principle of people’s representation that our author himself for a moment recoils from them in horror and rejects not merely particular demands coming from the representation of particular interests, but the demand for this representation itself.
Either the need is real, and then the state is unreal because it fosters particular elements which do not find their legitimate satisfaction in the state, and therefore become organised as special bodies alongside the state and have to enter into a contractual relation with the state. Or the need really receives satisfaction in the state, and hence its representation against the state is illusory or dangerous. For a moment the author comes down on the side of illusion. He remarks as regards industry that even if it were not adequately represented in the provincial assemblies, it would still have ways enough for giving effect to its interests in the state and in relation to the government. Hence he maintains that estate representation, representation based on the principle of need, is an illusion, because the need itself is illusory. For what holds good of industry as an estate holds good for all estates, but for the estate of landed property even to a higher degree than for industry, since the former is already represented through the district president [Landrat], the district estates, etc., that is to say, through fully constituted state bodies.
From what has been said, it is obvious that not only can we not agree with the complaints about the restricted scope of the standing orders of the commissions, but, on the contrary, we must seriously protest against any extension of them as being against state interests. The liberalism which wants representation of intelligence in the Provincial Assembly is equally wrong. Not only is intelligence not a particular element of representation, it is not an element at all; it is a principle which cannot take part in any compound of elements, but can only produce a division into parts based on itself. There can be no question of intelligence as an integrating part, but only as the organising soul. We are concerned here not with a complement but with an antithesis. The question is: “representation of intelligence” or “representation of estates”. The question is whether a particular interest should represent political intelligence or whether the latter should represent particular interests. Political intelligence will, for example, regulate landed property according to state principles, but it will not regulate state principles according to landed property. Political intelligence will assert landed property not in accordance with its private egoism, but in accordance with the state nature of landed property. It will not determine the essence of the whole in accordance with this particular essence, but will determine the latter in accordance with the essence of the whole. On the contrary, landed property with the right of representation does not adapt itself to intelligence but adapts intelligence to itself, like a watch-maker who does not want to set his watch by the sun, but wants to make the sun follow his watch. The question can be summed up in a few words: Should landed property criticise and he master over political intelligence or should it be the other way round?
For intelligence nothing is external, because it is the inner determining soul of everything, whereas, conversely, for a definite element like landed property everything is external that is not landed property itself. Hence not only the composition of the Provincial Assembly, but its activities also are mechanical, for it must treat all general interests and even particular interests different from itself as things extraneous and alien. All that is particular, such as landed property, is in itself limited. It must therefore he dealt with as something limited, that is to say, it must be dealt with by a general power superior to it, but it cannot deal with the general power according to its own needs.
The provincial assemblies, owing to their specific composition, are nothing but an association of particular interests which are privileged to assert their particular limits against the state. They are therefore a legitimised self-constituted body of non-state elements in the state. Hence by their very essence they are hostile towards the state, for the particular in its isolated activity is always the enemy of the whole, since precisely this whole makes it feel its insignificance by making it feel its limitations.
If this granting of political independence to particular interests were a necessity for the state, it would be merely the external sign of an internal sickness of the state, just as an unhealthy body must break out in boils according to natural laws. One would have to decide between two views: either that the particular interests, assuming the upper hand and becoming alien to the political spirit of the state, seek to impose limits on the state, or that the state becomes concentrated solely in government and as compensation concedes to the restricted spirit of the people merely a field for airing its particular interests. Finally, the two views could he combined. If, therefore, the demand for representation of intellect is to have any meaning, we must expound it as the demand for conscious representation of the intelligence of the people, a representation which does not seek to assert individual needs against the state, but one whose supreme need is to assert the state itself, and indeed as its own achievement, as its own state. In general, to be represented is something passive; only what is material, spiritless, unable to rely on itself ‘ imperilled, requires to be represented; but no element of the state should be material, spiritless, unable to rely on itself, imperilled. Representation must not be conceived as the representation of something that is not the people itself. It must be conceived only as the people’s self-representation as a state action which, not being its sole, exceptional state action, is distinguished from other expressions of its state life merely by the universality of its content. Representation must not be regarded as a concession to defenceless weakness, to impotence, but rather as the self-reliant vitality of the supreme force. In a true state there is no landed property, no industry, no material thing, which as a crude element of this kind could make a bargain with the state; in it there are only spiritual forces, and only in their state form of resurrection, in their political rebirth, are these natural forces entitled to a voice in the state’ The state pervades the whole of nature with spiritual nerves, and at every point it must be apparent that what is dominant is not matter, but form, not nature without the state, but the nature of the state, not the unfree object but the free human being.

 

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