Well, we’ve decided to break down into master and slave. In effect, we’ve reached the antithesis:

Antithesis: Consciousness of other as other; consciousness of not-self as not-self; Thinking of the other in terms of the other.

That is, you and I fight — almost to the death. At some point, one of us must give in. Let’s say it’s me. I give in. So now you get to decide: do you want me to no longer exist? That’s the initial instinct, but now that you have a consciousness of my existence as an other and not you, you need me: I can recognize that you are the victor. Without that, you are just back to existing without acknowledgement, which is the same as not existing at all.

Maddening, huh? Let’s keep going.

When you allow me to live, I am now at your service. I work for you (see, isn’t it good that you let me live? How would you have all of your nice things if there was no one else around to make them for you?).

But now, as Hegel writes, “As a result, a form of recognition has arisen that is one-sided and unequal” (Page 169, paragraph 191). I guess that makes sense, considering we are talking about a master-slave relationship here. But, the truth is, I’d rather not stay a slave my whole life. And, fortunately for me (unfortunately for you), Hegel sees a way out of this. Thus, on to the synthesis!