But even as we contemplate history as this butcher-block, on which the happiness of nations, the wisdom of states, and the virtues of individuals have been sacrified, the question, by necessity, also enters the mind, to whom, for what ultimate end have these, the most monstrous sacrifices been made.

NameAnna Akhmatova
Life1889 - 1966
Sometimes Hegel looked upon man as a mad animal. But he was not brave enough to take the position of Thales that he himself, (as well as his "History mounted on a horseback", that is, Napoleon) was nothing but an inflated bacteria from a drop of water. He realized reality. He called it a "butcher-block", not an "altar", as some translations give. But he was not courageous enough to look it completely in the face. Like most men, he wanted some consolation for life's suffering. Like most of us, he searched for some "meaning" behind it. Hegel found both consolation and meaning in some God-like "World Spirit" who used suffering as an instrument for human progress. A perfectly organized State with increased freedom for all, would be the compensation. We recognize Heraclit's idea about the benefits of war. We might suspect that Hegel had been influenced by Mandeville's scandalous proposal, that the death of the most destitute was put off by the wasteful luxury living of the rich. He certainly had studied Leibniz's theodicy-problem: if God is both good and omnipotent, why do we have all this suffering? Hegel couldn't bring himself to say: "Well, it just is so! Had he left out all the talk of a "meaning", Hegel's observations were not so far from a modern, more scientific view.
It is, indeed, the suffering connected to "creative destruction" that brings us material progress. It is, indeed, the need to stimulate individuals to give their best inside "co-thinking Superbrains" that makes the growth of freedom predetermined, as said on page 00. This progress, however, is by no means the "meaning" of history. It is simply the result of a ruthlessly competitive progress, as Adam Smith and Joseph Schumpeter have so well demonstrated. What then - if any - is the meaning of life? Go back to Thales and Lucretius! It is simply to live! My cat evidently enjoys living, waking up in the morning dew, eating, licking his wife once in a while, eating again, taking another nap in the afternoon sun, eloping to some cat discotheque when darkness sets in. Why all this chasing after wind? The words of the Ecclesiastes are still valid. All these billionaire fortunes, all this superficial hoopla in the weekly magazines, all this fame, they are but chasing after wind. Especially if it is true, as twin-studies indicate (p. 00), that happiness is a feeling that to some 80 percent is biologically innate and independent of billions and fame. Ever more so if the other 20 percent depends upon a "relative" amount of billions and fame. (p.00) "A little is never lacking", said Lucretius. I wish Hegel had realized that instead of searching for any muddled meaning in a "perfect State", because that, through his pupil Marx, was what gave the justification for a new bout of suffering for Anna Akhmatova and her millions of fellow-sufferers.