Hegel And The Third World: The Making Of Eurocentrism In World History
Hegel, More Than any Other modern Western philosopher, produced the most systematic case for the superiority of Western white Protestant bourgeois modernity. He established a racially structured ladder of gradation of the peoples of the world, putting Germanic people at the top of the racial pyramid, people of Asia in the middle, and Africans and indigenous peoples of the Americas and Pacific Islands at the bottom. In Hegel and the Third World, Tibebu guides the reader through Hegel’s presentation on universalism and argues that such a classification flows in part from Hegel’s philosophy of the development of human consciousness. Hegel classified Africans as people arrested at the lowest and most immediate stage of consciousness, that of the senses Asians as people with divided consciousness, that of the understanding and Europeans as people of reason. Tibebu demonstrates that Hegel’s views were not his alone but reflected the fundamental beliefs of other major figures of Western thought at the time. With detailed analysis and thorough research, Hegel and the Third World challenges the central idea of Hegel’s philosophy of history: progress. In addition, Tibebu succeeds in providing a fascinating critique of the Western philosopher’s rationalization of the gradual decline suffered by the people of the Third World in the context of modern world history.