In my paper, I use Jon Stewart’s recent analysis of the relationship between Hegel’s and Marx’s philosophy concerning the issues of alienation and recognition as a starting point for tackling the issue of alienation within civil society. I present key issues in Hegel’s presentation of civil society in the Philosophy of Right and Marx’s critique of this presentation. I argue that although both accounts are deficient, together they eloquently present the contradictory features of civil society once it attains political character. Ultimately, I concur with Stewart’s thesis about the long-term Hegelian influence, and I argue that the rival explanations of civil society of Hegel and Marx are still revealing even today and can significantly contribute to self-understanding within contemporary liberal democracy.
Hegel, Marx, Jon Stewart, Civil society, State, Philosophy of right