“The Young Hegelian Arnold Ruge gave the most direct expression to the self-conscious demand for the practical execution of ideas, but even he did protest too much and betrayed the inherent limitation upon such demands. His influential article, “The Self-criticism of German Liberalism”, published in the ‘German Annals’ of January 1843, was designed precisely to inveigh against the abstract character of “liberalism” as the expression of the non-political character of the Germans and to urge concrete political activity as the avenue to contact with reality. But despite Ruge’s undoubted conversion at this time to the primacy of politics and the necessity of working practically with the “people”, this apparent integration remained incomplete. He defined “the reality of freedom” as “the internality and dissemination of philosophy”. Moreover, he accepted the “bureaucratic and police state” as the necessary outer framework of politics and insisted that the main step in a “radical reform” is “to do with self-consciousness what previous politics has done only without consciousness”. Ruge’s call for the integration of theory and practice meant not a surrender of his essential metaphysical framework but a search for new instruments of pressure to hasten the state in its accomplishment of the work of Reason. Ruge was perhaps the most articulate example of the deliberate attempt of German intellectuals to seize reality by awakening a popular political movement without surrendering their philosophical idealism, but his was not an isolated case. Even more striking was the development of men like Moses Hess, Karl Marx, and Lorenz Stein, whose passion for contact with the concrete interests of humanity drove them beyond middle-class liberalism, but still did not dismantle the Hegelian framework of their thinking. Heine was attracted to Saint-Simon, but only to translate his social doctrines into the “Hellenic” philosophy of the spiritualization of matter”. Mevissen consciously exploited his dual position as Hegelian and industrialist to mediate between a priori principles and economic realities, and he developed the idea of the state as the incarnation of morality with the function of stimulating and directing the economic interests and groupings of society to ethical ends (48)” [Leonard Krieger, The German Idea of Freedom. History of a Politica Tradition, 1957] [(48) J. Droz, Liberalisme rhenane, pp. 265-276)]

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