My essential problem with Hegel is simple: It’s not a matter of being wrong.
I must admit my Wittgensteinian inclinations make me wonder if Hegel’s so elastic because it causes most of the problems, we have to reconcile even when answering other real problems in Kant (such as the subject, object distinction). Hegel seems to be a set of nearly infinite coherent readings that are mutually contradictory, and that is a problem. Emerson’s Transcendentalism is Hegelian. Spengler’s deterministic history is Hegelian. Engel’s and Lenin’s are Hegelian while denouncing him. Giovanni Gentile is Hegelian. Many of the early structuralists are Hegelian. The Young Hegelians are obviously. The Right Hegelians are consistent with Hegel and the philosophy of the right. So one is left with so many coherent readings that a mutually exclusive, one cannot feel that what is going is trying to reconcile a system that has fundamental ambiguities which remain answered only in light of their own assumptions and lead to many incoherent answers when taken together.
Does that mean that Hegel is wrong? No, but it seems almost impossible to tell which reading to privilege and how not to hide heuristic biases in the readings. In many ways, many of the problems here don’t necessarily seem solvable and the politics implied in Hegel range dramatically as well. I will give Hegel a break, but I am not sure that this is something one can easily reconcile. Is Wittgenstein right that is essentially a language problem? Or in the elasticity of family resemblances within that thought? I don’t know.
I do know that I have less answers on Hegel the more I read him and then read how others have read him. If he is a total system, the central mystification is if the form and content of the system must be assumed for it work, then how do so many people come to so many conclusions? It is clear though, Hegel thought his own work was a total system.