Because liberalism is based on the presumption of free, self-actuating, autonomous individuals preexisting in some hypothesized state of nature, society and the state are defined as problems. They need to be justified in light of the individual's preexisting natural rights and liberties. As we have seen, property and the Takings Clause are traditionally seen as ways of protecting the free individual from the state.
In contrast, as I have already explored in considerable detail, Hegel believed that the presumption of the free individual is every bit as problematic from a philosophical position as society or government. It is tempting to misinterpret Hegel as justifying the totalitarian state to which individualism, freedom, and private property are totally subordinated. This misinterpretation is based, once again, upon the usual misreading of sublation. Although the individual citizen in the developed state governed by ethical life is the last stage of development of man and society discussed in The Philosophy of Right , this cannot mean that the state replaces the logically earlier institution of civil society or that Sittlichkeit replaces the earlier relationships of morality and abstract right. To reiterate, sublation requires that the logically earlier stages always remain present and intact as the building blocks of the logically later stages. If the freedom of man as abstract person or the property rights of man as legal subject were infringed, then the ethical life of man as individual in the state (which is the eventual result of sublation of these other stages) would cease to exist.
Moreover, as I argued in chapter 3, this critique also incorrectly assumes that the organizational principle of The Philosophy of Right is intended to reflect the historical development of the state. Rather, it reflects the logical order of possibility, whereas history is the empirical order of actuality. The assertion that the actual is possible and the possible is actual is not a claim that possibility enfolds in any specific empirical manifestation. In this case, the logically most primitive possibility was the historically last actuality. As is so often the case, it took longer to accomplish simplicity than complexity. That is, that form of intersubjectivity necessary for a government to start to become a state which was the last to be actualized as a historical matter, was precisely the regime of abstract right—private property and freedom of contract which began to develop in the early capitalistic period.
Consequently, individuality and abstract right are not primitive in the sense of being early stages in development which the state can supplant. They are, instead, primitive in the sense of most basic. They are the im-
mediate conditions of the state's existence as a state. It is, therefore, crucial to a state's own continued existence that it respect and preserve them.
Nevertheless, one must always remain critically aware that even if the abstract person and the developed state mutually require each other as a theoretical matter, the interests of the government and the citizen will frequently conflict as an empirical matter. Sublation preserves difference and conflict. It is painfully obvious that not all empirical governmental institutions qualify as Hegelian "states." Rather, they constitute more or less adequate manifestations of the notion of "state." Consequently, rather than subordinating the individual to a totalitarian state, the Hegelian totalizing philosophy gives the individual an external standard by which to judge the state.
The point for takings law is, once again, that society needs both individualistic property rights and some communitarian limits on property rights but there is no logical algorithm that can determine the proper balance between the two. As we have discussed, the dialectical quantum leap between property and no property is simultaneously both not yet and always already from a logical standpoint. Since property is not a preexisting natural right but a human creation (albeit a necessary one), its limits can only be determined by humans.
Citizens, therefore, must be in a state of constant diligence, watching the government so that it doesn't (self-defeatingly) crush human freedom. This is not merely consistent with, but required by, the Hegelian concept of actualized freedom. Freedom cannot be actualized by passively submitting to a preexisting symbolic order. It requires a constant positive affirmation of its existence through the exercise of subjectivity through the active creation of law.
Hegel leaves this actualization of law as abstract right to positive law. As I have said, this can only be promulgated in the civil society and state on the basis of morality and ethical life. We also need to consider the pragmatic decision as to who should make this pragmatic decision—the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, or the "people" (through constitutional amendment).
The specific balance of rights will, by definition, be empirical and not logical. This is because as the actualization of freedom it will have to contain a purely subjective moment. If our actions were logically predetermined, then we wouldn't be free. It will always, therefore, have an unsatisfyingly ad hoc or arbitrary aspect to it. There is no way around this. As Zizek,[*] said, the fundamental thesis of Hegel is that the human condition is a failed encounter by definition . But it is precisely this "failure" or
incompleteness that leaves a space, an opening, through which humans can and must seek constantly to actualize our freedom and subjectivity by always exceeding our limits. And so, even as I emphasize the necessity of achieving the sublated feminine position of freedom as the beyond of the limit, this first requires the masculine moment of subjectivity which sets the limit and creates the ought.