Karin de Boer has written an interesting article (“Hegel Today: Towards a Tragic
Conception of Intercultural Conflicts
“, Cosmos and History, 2007) that adapts the Hegelian dialectic in order to understand the emergence of the universal/particular dichotomy.  The notion of competing particularities that are spun into the relationship of dominant, universal culture and minority culture fits with many of the experiences of nationalism.  De Boer’s comments regarding Hegel on Antigone, revealing the persistence of cultural diversity, albeit in different guises.

Hegel emphasizes that the conflict between Antigone and Creon cannot be resolved by subordinating one side to the other:

The victory of one power and its character, and the defeat of the other side, would thus be only the part and the incomplete work, a work that advances relentlessly toward the equilibrium of both. only in the subjugation of both sides alike is absolute right accomplished and has the ethical substance manifested itself as the negative power that absorbs both sides (ps ¶ 472/311).12

This does not entail, to be sure, that Hegel regarded greek culture as actually having accomplished such an equilibrium. He seems to interpret the clash between divine law and human law as a particular mode of the basic conflict between particularity and universality. The text suggests that he considered Greek culture to have survived this primordial clash by incorporating elements of the former into the latter.  Once this had been achieved, however, the collision between particularity and universality re-emerged as the collision between the sphere of the government—representing human law—and the sphere of the family. … According to Hegel, Greek culture could not survive the clash between the spirit of universality represented by the government and the spirit of individualism that came to revail during the last decades of the fifth century. …

Yet if we relate Hegel’s account of the tragic conflict between the contrary ethical paradigms to his later reflections on the origin of Greek culture, it might be argued that the archaic values appealed to by Antigone confronted Greek culture with traces of its immemorial heterogeneity which it was unable to appropriate. seen in this light, it could not but attempt to efface these traces.  Generally, the initial strangeness which a civilization attempts to exclude from itself might well be considered to recur as a force that it can neither completely incorporate nor completely exclude from itself.

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