[Classics] Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

3. The Executive

(b) The Executive
§ 287. There is a distinction between the monarch's decisions and their execution and application, or in general between his decisions and the continued execution or maintenance of past decisions, existing laws, regulations, organisations for the securing of common ends, and so forth. This task of ... subsuming the particular under the universal is comprised in the executive power, which also includes the powers of the judiciary and the police. The latter have a more immediate bearing on the particular concerns of civil society and they make the universal interest authoritative over its particular aims.

This is the usual interpretation of the executive. The only thing which can be mentioned as original with Hegel is that he coordinates executive, police, and judiciary, where as a rule the administrative and judiciary powers are treated as opposed.

§ 288. Particular interests which are common to everyone fall within civil society and lie outside the absolutely universal interest of the state proper (see § 256). The administration of these is in the hands of Corporations (see § 251), commercial and professional as well as municipal, and their officials, directors, managers, and the like. It is the business of these officials to manage the private property and interests of these particular spheres and, from that point of view, their authority rests on the confidence of their commonalties and professional equals. On the other hand, however, these circles of particular interests must be subordinated to the higher interests of the state, and hence the filling of positions of responsibility in Corporations, etc., will generally be effected by a mixture of popular election by those interested with appointment and ratification by higher authority.

This is a simple description of the empirical situation in some countries.

§ 289. The maintenance of the state's universal interest, and of legality, in this sphere of particular rights, and the work of bringing these rights back to the universal, require to be superintended by holders of the executive power, by (a) the executive civil servants and (b) the higher advisory officials (who are organised into committees). These converge in their supreme heads who are in direct contact with the monarch.

Hegel has not developed the executive. But given this, he has not demonstrated that it is anything more than a function, a determination of the citizen in general. By viewing the particular interests of civil society as such, as interests which lie outside the absolutely universal interest of the state, he has only deduced the executive as a particular, separate power.

[Remark to § 289:] Just as civil society is the battlefield where everyone's individual private interest meets everyone else's, so here we have the struggle (a) of private interests against particular matters of common concern and (b) of both of these together against the organisation of the state and its higher outlook. At the same time the corporation mind, engendered when the particular spheres gain their title to rights, is now inwardly converted into the mind of the state, since it finds in the state the means of maintaining its particular ends. This is the secret of the patriotism of the citizens in the sense that they know the state as their substance, because it is the state that maintains their particular spheres of interest together with the title, authority, and welfare of these. In the corporation mind the rooting of the particular in the universal is directly entailed, and for this reason it is in that mind that the depth and strength which the state possesses in sentiment is seated.

This is especially worth noting:

1. because of the definition of civil society as the bellum omnium contra omnes;

2. because private egoism is revealed to be the secret of the patriotism of the citizens and the depth and strength which the state possesses in sentiment;

3. because the 'burgher', the man of particular interest as opposed to the universal, the member of civil society, is considered to be a fixed individual whereas the state likewise in fixed individuals opposes the 'burghers'.

One would suppose that Hegel would have to define 'civil society' as well as the 'family' as a determination of each political individual, and so too the later state qualities as equally a determination of the political individual. But with Hegel it is not one and the same individual who develops a new determination of his social essence. It is the essence of the will, which allegedly develops its determinations out of itself. The subsisting, distinct and separated, empirical existences of the state are conceived to be immediate incarnations of one of these determinations.

Just as the universal as such is rendered independent it is immediately mixed in with what empirically exists, and then this limited existent is immediately and uncritically taken for the expression of the Idea.

Here Hegel comes into contradiction with himself only in so far as he does not conceive of the 'family' man in the same way he conceived of the member of civil society, I.e., as a fixed breed excluded from other qualities.

§ 290. Division of labor... occurs in the business of the executive also. For this reason, the organisation of officials has the abstract though difficult task of so arranging that (a) civil life shall be governed in a concrete manner from below where it is concrete, but that (b) none the less the business of government shall be divided into its abstract branches -armed by special officials as different centers of administration, and further that (c) the operations of these various departments shall converge again when they are directed on civil life from above, in the same way as they converge into a general supervision in the supreme executive.

The Addition to this paragraph is to be considered later.

§ 291. The nature of the executive functions is that they are objective and that in their substance they have been explicitly fixed by previous decisions (see Paragraph 287); these functions have to be fulfilled and carried out by individuals. Between all individual and his office there is no immediate natural link. Hence individuals are not appointed to office on account of their birth or native personal gifts. The objective factor in their appointment is knowledge and proof of ability. Such proof guarantees that the state will get what it requires; and since it is the sole condition of appointment, it also guarantees to every citizen the chance of joining the class of civil servants [dem allgemeinen Stande].

§ 292. Since the objective qualification for the civil service is not genius (as it is for work as an artist, for example), there is of necessity an indefinite plurality of eligible candidates whose relative excellence is not determinable with absolute precision. The selection of one of the candidates, his nomination to office, and the grant to him of full authority to transact public business-all this, as the linking of two things, a man and his office, which in relation to each other must always be fortuitous, in the state which is sovereign and has the last word, is the subjective aspect of election to office, and it must lie with the crown as the power.

§ 293. The particular public functions which the monarch entrusts to officials constitute one part of the objective aspect of the sovereignty residing in the crown. Their specific discrimination is therefore given in the nature of the thing. And while the actions of the officials are the fulfilment of their duty, their office is also a right exempt from contingency.

Note only the objective aspect of the sovereignty residing in the crown.

§ 294. Once an individual has been appointed to his official position by the sovereign's act (see § 292), the tenure of his post is conditional on his fulfilling his duties. Such fulfilment is the very essence of his appointment, and it is only consequential that he finds in his office his livelihood and the assured satisfaction of his particular interests (see § 294), and further that his external circumstances and his official work are freed from other kinds of subjective dependence and influence.

What the service of the state ... requires, it says in the Remarkis that men shall forgo the selfish and capricious satisfaction of their subjective ends; by this very sacrifice, they acquire the right to find their satisfaction in, but only in, the dutiful discharge of their public functions. In this fact, so far as public business is concerned, there lies the link between universal and particular interests which constitutes both the concept of the state and its inner stability (see § 260... The assured satisfaction of particular needs removes the external compulsion which may tempt a man to seek ways and means of satisfying them at the expense of his official duties. Those who are entrusted with affairs of state find in its universal power the protection they need against another subjective phenomenon, namely the personal passions of the governed, whose primitive interests, etc., suffer injury as the universal interest of the state is made to prevail against them.

§ 295. The security of the state and its subjects against the misuse of power by ministers and their officials lies directly in their hierarchical organisation and their answerability; but it lies too in the authority given to societies and Corporations, because in itself this is a barrier against the intrusion of subjective caprice into the power entrusted to a civil servant, and it completes from below the state control which does not reach down as far as the conduct of individuals.

§ 296. But the fact that a dispassionate, upright, and polite demeanour becomes customary [in civil servants], is (i) partly a result of direct education in thought and ethical conduct. Such an education is a mental counterpoise to the mechanical and semi-mechanical activity involved in acquiring the so-called 'sciences' of matters connected with administration, in the requisite business training, in the actual work done, etc. (ii) The size of the state, however, is an important factor in producing this result, since it diminishes the stress of family and other personal ties, and also makes less potent and so less keen such passions as hatred, revenge, etc. In those who are busy with the important questions arising in a great state, these subjective interests automatically disappear, and the habit is generated of adopting universal interests, points of view, and activities.

§ 297. Civil servants and the members of the executive constitute the greater part of the middle class, the class in which the consciousness of right and the developed intelligence of the mass of the people is found. The sovereign working on the middle class at the top, and Corporation-rights working on it at the bottom, are the institutions which effectively prevent it from acquiring the isolated position of an aristocracy and using its education and skill as means to an arbitrary tyranny.

Addition to § 297. The middle class, to which civil servants belong, is politically conscious and the one in which education is most prominent. ... It is a prime concern of the state that a middle class should be developed, but this can be done only if the state is an organic unity like the one described here, i.e., it can be done only by giving authority to spheres of particular interests, which are relatively independent, and by appointing an army of officials whose personal arbitrariness is broken against such authorised bodies. Action in accordance with everyone's rights, and the habit of such action, is a consequence of the counterpoise to officialdom which independent and self-subsistent bodies create.

What Hegel says about 'the Executive' does not merit the name of a philosophical development. Most of the paragraphs could be found verbatim in the Prussian Landrecht. Yet the administration proper is the most difficult point of the development.

Because Hegel has already claimed the police and the judiciary to be spheres of civil society, the executive is nothing but the administration, which he develops as the bureaucracy.

First of all, the 'Corporations', as the self-government of civil society, presuppose the bureaucracy. The sole determination arrived at is that the choice of the administrators and their officials, etc., is a mixed choice originating from the members of civil society and ratified by the proper authority (or as Hegel says, 'higher authority').

Over this sphere, for the maintenance of the state's universal interest and of legality, stand holders of the executive power, the executive civil servants and the advisory officials, which converge into the monarch.

A division of labour occurs in the business of the executive. Individuals must prove their capability for executive functions, i.e., they must sit for examinations. The choice of the determinate individual for civil service appointment is the prerogative of the royal authority. The distribution of these functions is given in the nature of the thing. The official function is the duty and the life's work of the civil servants. Accordingly they must be paid by the state. The guarantee against malpractice by the bureaucracy is partly its hierarchy and answerability, and on the other hand the authority of the societies and Corporations; its humaneness is a result partly of direct education in thought and ethical conduct and partly of the size of the state. The civil servants form the greater part of the middle class. The safeguard against its becoming like an aristocracy and tyranny is partly the sovereign at the top and partly Corporation-rights at the bottom. The middle class is the class of education. Voila tout! Hegel gives us an empirical description of the bureaucracy, partly as it actually is, and partly according to the opinion which it has of itself And with that the difficult chapter on 'the Executive' is brought to a close.

Hegel proceeds from the separation of the state and civil society, the separation of the particular interests and the absolutely universal; and indeed the bureaucracy is founded on this separation. Hegel proceeds from the presuppositon of the Corporations; and indeed the bureaucracy presupposes the Corporations, in any event the 'corporation mind'. Hegel develops no content of the bureaucracy, but merely some general indications of its formal organisation; and indeed the bureaucracy is merely the formalism of a content which lies outside the bureaucracy itself.

The Corporations are the materialism of the bureaucracy, and the bureaucracy is the spiritualism of the corporations. The Corporation is the bureaucracy of civil society, and the bureaucracy is the Corporation of the state. In actuality, the bureaucracy as civil society of the state is opposed to the state of civil society, the Corporations. Where the bureaucracy is to become a new principle, where the universal interest of the state begins to become explicitly a singular and thereby a real interest, it struggles against the Corporations as every consequence struggles against the existence of its premises. On the other hand once the real life of the state awakens and civil society frees itself from the Corporations out of its inherent rational impulse, the bureaucracy seeks to restore them; for as soon as the state of civil society falls so too does the civil society of the state. The spiritualism vanishes with its opposite materialism. The consequence struggles for the existence of its premises as soon as a new principle struggles not against the existence of the premises but against the principle of their existence. The same mind that creates the Corporation in society creates the bureaucracy in the state. Thus as soon as the corporation mind is attacked so too is the mind of the bureaucracy; and whereas the bureaucracy earlier fought the existence of the Corporations in order to create room for its own existence, now it seeks vigorously to sustain the existence of the Corporations in order to save the Corporation mind, which is its own mind.

The bureaucracy is the state formalism of civil society. It is the state's consciousness, the state's will, the state's power, as a Corporation. (The universal interest can behave vis-a-vis the particular only as a particular so long as the particular behaves vis-a vis the universal as a universal. The bureaucracy must thus defend the imaginary universality of particular interest, i.e., the Corporation mind, in order to defend the imaginary particularity of the universal interests, i.e., its own mind. The state must be Corporation so long as the Corporation wishes to be state.) Being the state's consciousness, will, and power as a Corporation, the bureaucracy is thus a particular, closed society within the state. The bureaucracy wills the Corporation as an imaginary power. To be sure, the individual Corporation also has this will for its particular interest in opposition to the bureaucracy, but it wills the bureaucracy against the other Corporation, against the other particular interest. The bureaucracy as the completed Corporation therefore wins the day over the Corporation which is like incomplete bureaucracy. It reduces the Corporation to an appearance, or wishes to do so, but wishes this appearance to exist and to believe in its own existence. The Corporation is civil society's attempt to become state; but the bureaucracy is the state which has really made itself into civil society.

The state formalism, which the bureaucracy is, is the state as formalism, and Hegel has described it precisely as such a formalism. Because this state formalism constitutes itself as a real power and becomes itself its own material content, it is evident that the bureaucracy is a tissue of practical illusion, or the illusion of the state. The bureaucratic mind is through and through a Jesuitical, theological mind. The bureaucrats are the Jesuits and theologians of the state. The bureaucracy is la république prêtre.

Since the bureaucracy according to its essence is the state as formalism, so too it is according to its end. The real end of the state thus appears to the bureaucracy as an end opposed to the state. The mind of the bureaucracy is the formal mind of the state. It therefore makes the formal mind of the state, or the real mindlessness of the state, a categorical imperative. The bureaucracy asserts itself to be the final end of the state. Because the bureaucracy makes its formal aims its content, it comes into conflict everywhere with the real aims. Hence it is obliged to present what is formal for the content and the content for what is formal. The aims of the state are transformed into aims of bureaus, or the aims of bureaus into the aims of the state. The bureaucracy is a circle from which no one can escape. Its hierarchy is a hierarchy of knowledge. The highest point entrusts the understanding of particulars to the lower echelons, whereas these, on the other hand, credit the highest with an understanding in regard to the universal; and thus they deceive one another.

The bureaucracy is the imaginary state alongside the real state; it is the spiritualism of the state. As a result everything has a double meaning, one real and one bureaucratic, just as knowledge is double, one real and one bureaucratic (and the same with the will). A real thing, however, is treated according to its bureaucratic essence, according to its otherworldly, spiritual essence. The bureaucracy has the being of the state, the spiritual being of society, in its possession; it is its private property. The general spirit of the bureaucracy is the secret, the mystery, preserved inwardly by means of the hierarchy and externally as a closed corporation. To make public -the mind and the disposition of the state appears therefore to the bureaucracy as a betrayal of its mystery. Accordingly authority is the principle of its knowledge and being, and the deification of authority is its mentality. But at the very heart of the bureaucracy this spiritualism turns into a crass materialism, the materialism of passive obedience, of trust in authority, the mechanism of an ossified and formalistic behaviour, of fixed principles, conceptions, and traditions. As far as the individual bureaucrat is concerned, the end of the state becomes his private end: a pursuit of higher posts, the building of a career. In the first place, he considers real life to be purely material, for the spirit of this life has its separate existence in the bureaucracy. Thus the bureaucrat must make life as materialistic as possible. Secondly, real life is material for the bureaucrat, i.e . in so far as it becomes an object of bureaucratic action, because his spirit is prescribed for him, his end lies outside of him, his existence is the existence of the bureau. The state, then, exists only as various bureau-minds whose connection consists of subordination and dumb obedience. Real knowledge appears to be devoid of content just as real life appears to be dead, for this imaginary knowledge and life pass for what is real and essential. Thus the bureaucrat must use the real state Jesuitically, no matter whether this Jesuitism be conscious or unconscious. But given that his antithesis is knowledge, it is inevitable that he likewise attain to self-consciousness and, at that moment, deliberate Jesuitism. While the bureaucracy is on one hand this crass materialism, it manifests its crass spiritualism in its will to do everything, i.e., in its making the will the causa prima, for it is pure active existence which receives its content from without; thus it can manifest its existence only through forming and restricting this content. The bureaucrat has the world as a mere object of his action.

When Hegel calls the Executive power the objective aspect of the sovereignty residing In the crown, it is precisely in the same sense that the Catholic Church was the real existence of the sovereignty, content, and spirit of the Blessed Trinity. In the bureaucracy the identity of the state's interest and the particular private aim is established such that the state's interest becomes a particular private aim opposed to the other private aims.

The abolition [Aufhebung] of the bureaucracy can consist only in the universal interest becoming really - and not, as with Hegel, becoming purely in thought, in abstraction - particular interest; and this is possible only through the particular interest really becoming universal. Hegel starts from an unreal opposition and thereby brings it to a merely imaginary identity which, in fact, is itself all the more contradictory. Such an identity is the bureaucracy.

Now let's follow his development in its particulars.

The sole philosophical statement which Hegel makes concerning the Executive is that of the 'subsuming' of the individual and particular under the universal, etc.

Hegel is satisfied with that. On one hand, the category of 'subsumption' of the particular, etc. This category must be actualised. Now, he picks anyone of the empirical existences of the Prussian or Modern state (just as it is), which among other things actualises this category even though this category does not express its specific nature. Applied mathematics is also a subsuming of the particular, etc. Hegel doesn't enquire whether this is the rational, the adequate mode of subsumption. He holds fast only to the one category and is satisfied with finding a corresponding existence for it. Hegel gives his logic a political body; he does not give the logic of the political body (§ 287).

On the relationship of the Corporations and societies to the executive we are told first of all that it is required that their administration (the nomination of their magistracy) generally be effected by a mixture of popular election by those interested with appointment and ratification by higher authority. The mixed choice of administrators of the societies and Corporations would thus be the first relationship between civil society and state or executive, their first identity (§ 288). This identity, according to Hegel himself, is quite superficial, a mixtum compositum, a mixture. To the degree that this identity is superficial, opposition is sharp. It is the business of these officials (namely the officials of the Corporations, societies, etc.) to manage the private property and interests of these particular spheres and, from that Point of view, their authority rests on the confidence of their commonalties and professional equals. On the other hand, however, these circles of particular interests must be subordinated to the higher interests of the state. From this results the so-called 'mixed choice'.

The administration of the Corporation thus has within it the opposition of private property and interest of the particular spheres against the higher interest of the state: opposition between private property and state.

We need not emphasise that the resolution of this opposition in the mixed choice is a simple accommodation, a treaty, an avowal of the unresolved dualism which is itself a dualism, a mixture. The particular interests of the Corporations and societies have a dualism within their own sphere, which likewise shapes the character of their administration.

However, the crucial opposition stands out first in the relationship of these 'particular interests which are common to everyone', etc., which 'lie outside the absolutely universal interest of the state proper', and this 'absolutely universal interest of the state proper'. But the first instance once again, it is within this sphere.

The maintenance of the state's universal interest, and of legality, in this sphere of particular rights, and the work of bringing these rights back to the universal, require to be superintended by holders of the executive power, by (a) the executive civil servants, and (b) the higher advisory officials (who are organised into committees). These converge in their supreme heads who are in direct contact with the monarch. (§ 289)

Incidentally, let us draw attention to the construction of the executive committees, which are unknown, for example, in France. To the same extent that Hegel adduces these officials as advisory it is certainly obvious that they are organised into committees.

Hegel has the state proper, the executive, move into the management of the state's universal interest and of legality, etc. within civil society via holders [of the executive power]; and according to him these executive office holders, the executive civil servants are in reality the true representation of the state, not 'of' but 'against' civil society. The opposition between state and civil society is thus fixed; the state does not reside within but outside of civil society; it affects civil society merely through office holders to whom is entrusted the management of the state within this sphere. The opposition is not overcome by means of these office holders but has become a legal and fixed opposition. The state becomes something alien to the nature of civil society; it becomes this nature's otherworldly realm of deputies which makes claims against civil society. The police, the judiciary, and the administration are not deputies of civil society itself, which manages its own general interest in and through them. Rather, they are office holders of the state whose purpose is to manage the state in opposition to civil society. Hegel clarifies this opposition further in the candid Remark to § 289 which we examined earlier.

The nature of the executive functions is that they are objective and ... have been explicitly fixed by previous decisions. (§ 291)

Does Hegel conclude from this that [the executive functions] all the more easily require no hierarchy of knowledge, that they could be executed perfectly by civil society itself? On the contrary.

He makes the profound observation that they are to be executed by individuals, and that between them and these individuals there is no immediate natural link. This is an allusion to the crown, which is nothing but the natural power of arbitrary choice, and thus can be born. The crown is nothing but the representative of the natural moment in the will, the dominion of physical nature in the state.

The executive civil servants are distinguished by the fact that they earn their appointments; hence they are distinguished essentially from the sovereign.

The objective factor in their appointment (namely, to the State's business) is knowledge (subjective caprice lacks this factor) and proof of ability. Such proof guarantees that the state will get what it requires; and since it is the sole condition of appointment, it also guarantees to every citizen the chance of joining the class of civil servants [dem allgemeinen Stande].

The chance which every citizen has to become a civil servant is thus the second affirmative relationship between civil society and state, the second identity. Like the first it is also of a quite superficial and dualistic nature. Every Catholic has the chance to become a priest (i.e., to separate himself from the laity as well as the world). Does the clergy on that account face the Catholic any less as an opposite power? That each has the possibility of gaining the privilege of another sphere proves only that his own sphere is not the actuality of this privilege.

In a true state it is not a question of the possibility of every citizen to dedicate himself to the universal in the form of a particular class, but of the capability of the universal class to be really universal, i.e., to be the class of every citizen. But Hegel proceeds from the postulate of the pseudo-universal, the illusory universal class, universality fixed in the form of a particular class.

The identity which he has constructed between civil society and the state is the identity of two hostile armies in which each soldier has the 'chance' to become through desertion a member of the other hostile army; and in this Hegel indeed correctly describes the present empirical state of affairs.

It is the same with his construction of the examinations. In a rational state, taking an examination belongs more properly to becoming a shoe-maker than an executive civil servant because shoemaking is a skill without which one can be a good citizen of the state, a social man; but the necessary state knowledge is a condition without which a person in the state lives outside the state, is cut off from himself, deprived of air. The examination is nothing other than a masonic rite, the legal recognition of the privileged knowledge of state citizenship.

The link of state office and individual, this objective bond between the knowledge of civil society and the knowledge of the state, in other words the examination, is nothing but the bureaucratic baptism of knowledge, the official recognition of the transubstantiation of profane into holy knowledge (it goes without saying that in the case of every examination the examiner knows all). No one ever heard of the Greek or Roman statesmen taking an examination. But then what is a Roman statesmen even as against a Prussian official!

In addition to the objective bond of the individual with the state office, in addition, that is, to the examination, there is another bond - royal caprice:

Since the objective qualification for the civil service is not genius (as it is for work, an artist, for example), there is of necessity an indefinite plurality of eligible candidates whose relative excellence is not determinable with absolute precision. The selection of one of the candidates, his nomination to office, and the grant to him of full authority to transact public business-all this, as the linking of two things, a man and his office, which in relation to each other must always be fortuitous, is the subjective aspect of election to office, and it must lie with the crown as the power in the state which is sovereign and has the last word. [§ 292.]

The prince is at all times the representative of chance or contingency.

Besides the objective moment of the bureaucratic confession of faith (the examination) there belongs in addition the subjective [moment] of the royal favour, in order that the faith yield fruit.

The particular public functions which the monarch entrusts to officials constitute one part of the objective aspect of the sovereignty residing in the crown. (The monarch distributes and entrusts the particular state activities as functions to the officials, i.e., he distributes the state among the bureaucrats, entrusts it like the holy Roman Church entrusts consecrations Monarchy is a system of emanation; the monarch leases out the functions of the state.) Here Hegel distinguishes for the first time the objective aspect front the subjective aspect of the sovereignty residing in the Crown. Prior to this he mixed the two together. The sovereignty residing in the crown is taken here in a clearly mystical way, just as theologians find the personal God in nature. Earlier it still meant that the crown is the subjective aspect of the sovereignty residing in the state (§ 293).

In § 294 Hegel develops the salary of the civil servants out of the Idea. Here the real identity of civil society and the state is established in the salary of the civil servants, or in the fact that civil service also guarantees security in empirical existence. The wage of the civil servant is the highest identity which Hegel constructs out of all this. The transformation of the activities of the state into ministries presupposes the separation of the state from society.

When Hegel says in the Remark to § 294:

What the service of the state. . . requires is that men shall forgo the selfish and capricious satisfaction of their subjective ends, (this is required in the case of every post of service) and by this very sacrifice they acquire the right to find their satisfaction in, but only in, the dutiful discharge of their public functions. In this fact, so far as public business is concerned, there lies the link between universal and particular interests which constitutes both the concept of the state and its inner stability,

this holds good (1.) of every servant, and (2.) it is correct that the salary of the civil servants constitutes the inner stability of the most modern monarchies. In contrast to the member of civil society only the civil servants existence is guaranteed.

At this point Hegel cannot fail to see that he has constructed the executive as an antithesis to civil society, and indeed as a dominant extreme. How does he now establish a condition of Identity?

According to § 295 the security of the state and its subjects against the misuse [den Missbrauch] of power by ministers and their officials lies partly in their hierarchical organisation (as if the hierarchy itself were not the principal abuse [der Hauptmissbrauch], and the matching personal sins of the civil servants were not it all to be compared with their inevitable hierarchical sins; the hierarchy punishes the civil servant to the extent that he sins against the hierarchy or commits a sin in excess of the hierarchy; but it takes him under its protection when the hierarchy sins through him; moreover the hierarchy is only with great difficulty convinced of the sins of its member) and in the authority given to societies and Corporations, because in itself this is a barrier against the intrusion of subjective caprice into the power entrusted to a civil servant, and it completes front below the state control (as if this control were not exercised with the outlook of the bureaucratic hierarchy) winch does not reach down as far as the conduct of individuals.

Thus the second guarantee against the caprice of the bureaucracy lies in the privileges of the Corporations.

Thus if we ask Hegel what is civil society's protection against the bureaucracy, he answers:

1. The hierarchal organisation of the bureaucracy. Control. This, that the adversary is himself bound hand and foot, and if he is like a hammer vis-a-vis those below he is like all anvil in relation to those above. Now, where is the protection against the hierarchy? The lesser evil will surely be abolished through the greater inasmuch as it vanishes in comparison with it.

2. Conflict, the unresolved conflict between bureaucracy and Corporation. Struggle, the possibility of struggle, is the guarantee against being overcome. Later (§ 297) in addition to this Hegel adds as guarantee the 'institutions [of] the sovereign working ... at the top', by which is to be understood, once again, the hierarchy.

However Hegel further adduces two moments (§ 296):

In the civil servant himself, something which is supposed to humanise him and make dispassionate, upright, and polite demeanour customary, namely, direct education in thought and ethical conduct, which is said to hold 'the mental counterpoise' to the mechanical character of his knowledge and actual work. As if the mechanical character of his bureaucratic knowledge and his actual work did not hold the 'counterpoise' to his education in thought and ethical conduct. And will not his actual mind and his actual work as substance triumph over the accident of his prior endowment? His office is indeed his substantial situation and his bread and butter. Fine, except that Hegel sets direct education in thought and ethical conduct against the mechanism of bureaucratic knowledge and work! The man within the civil servant is supposed to secure the civil servant against himself. What a unity! Mental counterpoise. What a dualistic category!

Hegel further adduces the size of the state, which in Russia certainly doesn't guarantee against the caprice of the executive civil servants, and in any case is a circumstance which lies outside the 'essence' of the bureaucracy.

Hegel has developed the 'Executive' as bureaucratic officialdom [Staatsbediententum].

Here in the sphere of the 'absolutely universal interest of the state proper' we find nothing but unresolved conflict. The civil servants' examination and livelihood constitute the final synthesis.

Hegel adduces the impotency of the bureaucracy, its conflict with the Corporation, as its final consecration.

In § 297 an identity is established in so far as 'civil servants and the members of the executive constitute the greater part of the middle class'. Hegel praises this 'middle class' as the pillar of the state so far as honesty and intelligence are concerned (in the Addition to this paragraph).

It is a prime concern of the state that a middle class should be developed, but this can be done only if the state is an organic unity like the one described here, i.e., it can be done only by giving authority to spheres of particular interests, which are relatively independent, and by appointing an army of officials whose personal arbitrariness is broken against such authorised bodies.

To be sure the people can appear as one class, the middle class, only in such an organic unity; but is something that keeps itself going by means of the counterbalancing of privileges an organic unity? The executive power is the one most difficult to develop; it, much more than the legislature, belongs to the entire people.

Later (in the Remark to § 308) Hegel expresses the proper spirit of the bureaucracy when he characterises it as 'business routine' and the 'horizon of a restricted sphere'.