“…the existence of this world [the actual world], as also the actuality of self-consciousness, rests on the process in which the latter divests itself of its personality, thereby creating its world. This world it looks on as something alien, a world, therefore, of which it must now take possession. But the renunciation of its being-for-self is itself the product of the actual world, and by this renunciation, therefore, self-consciousness directly takes possession of this world. Or we may say that self-consciousness is merely a ‘something’, it has actuality only in so far as it alienates itself from itself; by so doing, it gives itself the character of a universal, and this its universality is its authentication and actuality. This equality with everyone is, therefore, not the equality of the sphere of legal right, not that immediate recognition of the validity of self-consciousness simply because it is; on the contrary, to be valid it must have conformed itself to the universal by the mediating process of alienation. The non-spiritual universality of the sphere of legal right accepts every natural form of character as well as of existence and justifies them. The universality which counts here, however [in the realm of culture], is one that has made itself what it is and for that reason is actual.”
-Hegel, 'Phenomenology of Spirit, §488'