« It is not the general idea that is implicated in opposition and combat, and that is exposed to danger. It remains in the background, untouched and uninjured. This may be called the cunning of reason, — that it sets the passions to work for itself, while that which develops its existence through such impulsion pays the penalty and suffers loss. »
– Georg Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of History (1837)
The Anonymous have decided to rampage the virtual land of Facebook on November 5th, promising to free its inhabitants from their merciless ruler(s). As a replacement to Facebook, they have announced the ongoing development of a social networking platform called Anonplus… This sounds definitely like an interesting challenge, at least for Facebook system administrators, but do the Anonymous really understand what is at stake?
Facebook, a perfect example of Hegel’s cunning of reason? In fact, it is through the megalomaniac whims of a young adult (or rather, a very old teenager) that Facebook came into existence, as a monstrous offspring of the first decade of the 21st century, and is now valued at nonsensical heights… It is now with the voices of more than 750 millions people that this social network resonates everyday, helping human beings all over the world make their pleas.
Individual consciousnesses, without wanting nor knowing it, are serving what transcends them, and through the actions of passionate individuals, reason becomes real, says Hegel. Therefore, if Facebook can be considered as a dictatorship, satisfying the egoistical desires of its main shareholder, it nevertheless contributes to the development of liberty, spreading revolutionary ideas across the entire planet, ignoring borders.
Facebook, icon of our Hegelian age? In the meantime, don’t forget to backup your list of Facebook friends using the great Export Friends To CSV application: who knows, the Anonymous’ coup d’état could succeed!