tregrening

Retrogarde har en artikel av Henning Naess om Steiners idé till alternativt samhällsbygge, nämligen social tregrening. Den sociala tregreningen är möjligen den del av Steiners skapelse som jag är allra minst bekant med (så det är illa). Däremot glädjer jag mig åt att det skrivs om Steiners idéer — särskilt när det som skrivs inte är det gamla vanliga tugget, utan en aspekt av hans verk som mer sällan nämns.

Det största problemet med hans förslag till samhällsordning är att Steiner också förespråkade spirituell elitism, och denna är ofrånkomligen, skulle jag gissa, sammanbunden med hans samhällsvision. Denna elitism går igen i steinerskolorna, som ju nämns i artikeln — ‘Ut fra samme tankegang ble Steinerskolene skapt: Steinerskolene er selvforvaltende, og det ideelle er at alle lærerne deltar mest mulig i skolens administrasjon, på omgang’ — och där man kan se att hans samhällsidéer fått ett visst genomslag, även om det gick sämre med tregreningen i samhället i stort. Förvisso leder lärarna skolan i ett kollegium, man har inte rektor. Detta grundat på de riktlinjer Steiner själv gav för den första skolan. Att alla lärare skulle ha en roll i kollegiet var ju inte något som kunde befaras komma rucka grundvalarna; alla lärare som anställdes var skolade och trogna antroposofer! Steiner säger själv att antroposofisk skolning är nödvändig för lärargärningen; antroposofi är grundvalen för sann pedagogik. Omsätt denna elitism på ett högre plan, exempelvis på samhället i stort! Så Steiners idé till samhällsbygge är kanske sedd i sin enskildhet ett alternativ, men sedd i ljuset av somliga andra antroposofiska föreställningar — e g, om en styrande andlig elit i besittning av högre insikter — , tappar det hela sin potentiella attraktionskraft. Å andra sidan trodde han ju att antroposofin skulle inkarnera i varje människa, och om så skedde funnes ju ingen som kunde misstycka längre!

Peter Staudenmaier nämner också en relevant invändning som är värd att ta upp, nämligen tregreningsidéns odemokratiska drag i två av samhällssfärerna:

What I claimed is that social threefolding is predominantly anti-democratic. […] Social threefolding as Steiner taught it explicitly rejected democracy in two of the three spheres of society, thus rendering social threefolding predominantly anti-democratic.

Vidare (i ett annat inlägg):

Social threefolding as Steiner presented it and as his followers practiced it was predominantly opposed to democracy — not entirely opposed to democracy or comprehensively opposed to democracy or opposed without exception to democracy, but predominantly opposed to democracy. That is not especially surprising in light of social threefolding’s intellectual roots and historical context. The authoritarian strands in social threefolding were accompanied by contrary strands as well. […] As it happens, several of the most prominent instances of social threefolding in practice display significantly anti-democratic features; the Upper Silesia example is perhaps the best known case (and a particularly ironic one in light of the enthusiasm for plebiscitary models of democracy among latter-day threefolding adherents), but a more recent example centers on the only anthroposophist head of state, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a vocal proponent of social threefolding whose rule was markedly authoritarian and nationalist and who is often considered a dictator. [Länk tillagd av mig /a.]

Också läsvärd är detta inlägg om social tregrening och demokrati. Tillbaka till Retrogarde:

Steiner stilte spørsmålet: «Hvilken type organisering av samfunnet krever virkeligheten av oss?»

Steiners svar på frågan bestäms dock av hans syn på hur verkligheten är organiserad, och den präglas av hans antroposofi. Det är ‘verkligheten’ så som antroposofin föreställer sig den. Han kanske tyckte sig ta sin utgångspunkt i verkligheten som den är, men frågan är om han lyckades göra det. Jag tror det inte. Steiners ‘verklighet’ är en ganska besynnerlig sak.

Han var grunnleggende ikke-utopisk. Steiner trodde ikke at mennesket måtte forandres for å passe inn i utopiske samfunnssystemer. Noe slikt ville bare føre til ulykker.

Fast detta är ju en sanning med modifikation. Om det hade varit hans hållning, och då även i praktiken, hade jag hållit med. Men Steiner ser människans förändringspotential över flera inkarnationer; och det är den potentialen människan har att arbeta med. På det viset är han högst utopisk. Människan ska utvecklas andligen för att mänskligheten ska gå in i nästa ‘kulturepok’. Så människan ska anpassas till antroposofin, men ur Steiners synvinkel är det en självklarhet, antroposofin beskriver människan så som hon är. Det är inte så lite pretentiöst. På ett plan är Steiners visioner således högst antro-utopiska. I det korta tidsperspektivet är de det kanske inte; dock ser han ‘frälsningen’ i den andliga elitens styre.

Man skulle ikke tvinge menneskeheten til å tilpasse seg bestemt ideer, hvor alle som ikke passet inn ble tvunget til å oppgi sin individualitet.

Inte tvinga, nej. Mänskligheten ska uppta antroposofin självmant, när den är mogen. Detta ser Steiner som självklart. De individualiteter som reinkarnerar i framtiden kommer att ha hunnit utvecklas till högre andlig (antroposofisk) insikt; antroposofin kommer att finnas, så att säga, automatiskt hos allt fler. Det är vägen till nästa ‘kulturepok’. Man kan naturligtvis underlåta att tala om tvång — det handlar om karma och kosmiska lagbundenheter, och Steiner lyckas (åtminstone halvt) baka in idén om individens frihet i detta sammanhang.

Samfunnet måtte formes etter mennesket, ikke omvendt.

Här uppstår naturligtvis invändningar hos den, som saknar förmåga att uppskatta den antroposofiska människosynen. Och eftersom den människosynen är den ‘sanna’, kan man fråga sig hur samhällets anpassning efter den i praktiken ska gå till, så länge nu inte antroposofins människosyn har anammats som självklar av varje inkarnerad själ. Betänk detta: den antroposofiska människosynen innefattar reinkarnationsperspektivet. När Steiner menar att samhället bör formas efter människan, får inte dassa frågor förbigås: hur såg Steiner på människan? Vad var, enligt Steiner, människans natur, hennes behov, hennes livsvillkor? Och vad var människoidealet? (Där finns en hel del för den antroposofiskt sett missanpassade att leva upp till.)

Nu plockar jag förstås selektivt i tregreningsbeskrivningen, och jag plockar punkter där jag misstycker särskilt, men likväl, här är något man också kan opponera sig mot:

Arbeiderklassen ble dermed drevet inn i vitenskapelige forestillinger som ikke appellerte til dens individualitet.

Det Steiner här tycks mena att en viss typ av kunskap och bildning inte passar de andliga väsen som inkarnerat i arbetarklassmänniskor. Det han säger är, att de personerna inte har förutsättningar för intellektuell utveckling, i alla fall inte i detta liv. Detta gäller på gruppnivå; på individnivå är Steiner i allmänhet mindre rigid, varje individualitet har sin utvecklingsbana, beroende på karmiska förutsättningar. Trots detta: vetenskaplig bildning (intellektualitet, materialism) är inget att öda på arbetarklassen, den kan till och med inverka negativt på dem och deras fortsatta utveckling. Dessa individualiteter behöver, i denna sin inkarnation, något annat. (Och han har svaret.)

… Arbeiderklassen i Tyskland og Italia kom under makt med fascismen og nazismen. Isteden for at arbeiderklassen fikk utvikle sine juridiske og kulturelle rettigheter, ble arbeiderklassen offer for manipulering, rasetenkning og førerånd.

Det kunde de ju teoretiskt bli offer för med hjälp av Steiner och hans efterföljare också. Antroposofers förhållande till den italienska fascismen och den tyska naziregimen är dessutom ett kapitel för sig. (Ett kapitel antroposoferna, förståeligt nog, inte vill bli påminda om. Jag rekommenderar Peter Staudenmaiers doktorsavhandling.)

Å skape falske behov, er ikke uttrykk for et sunt samfunn. Et usunt samfunn skaper sykdommer for å selge medisiner. Et sunt samfunn selger de medisinene som trengs for at sykdommene skal leges.

Här återkommer problemet att det Steiner anser är orätta behov är färgat av hans antroposofiska åskådning, om än förklädd som objektiv sanning. Detsamma gäller vad som betraktas som ‘sunt’ för samhället och människan; och vad som betraktas som sjukt. Det är inte uppenbart att det finns något objektivt rätt och riktigt i definitionen av det sjuka, som antroposofer vill bota, eller något objektivt gott i den medicin som erbjuds för att åstadkomma denna bot.

Steiner tenkte seg derfor at alle mennesker i et samfunn, uavhengig av hva eller hvor mye de produserer, har en sann og oppriktig trang til å oppleve at talent skal belønnes, men enn at evnen til å tjene penger i seg selv skal føre til rikdom.

Här kan nämnas att en del nutida antroposofer och antroposofiska organisationer förespråkar en allmän grundinkomst (jag är osäker på den svenska terminologin, om någon sådan existerar, men den tyska, antroposofiska grundinkomströrelsen är nog den mest aktiva).

Kapitalet

… skulle fordeles etter prinsippet om at den som bidrar til sann verdiskapning, er den som fortjener belønningen.

Och vem avgör vad som är ett bidrag till ‘sant värdeskapande’? Den spirituella elit som också förvaltar kapitalet. Och hur ser den här elitens värderingar ut? Tanken på att deras värderingar är antroposofiska — vilket väl för Steiner var de självklara, men inte alltid uttalade, målet — faller kanske inte alla i smaken.

[Steiner] var heller ikke teokrat. Teokratiske samfunn er ensrettende. Troen styrer alt, og religion og politikk blandes på en måte som skaper en autoritær stat, der innbyggernes tanker styres. Han ville sett med skepsis på dagens teokratier, hvor det åndelige bestemmer alt, og hvor mennesker ikke får full tale og trykkefrihet.

Det hade han givetvis; de är inte grundade på sann människokunskap. Att Steiner inte skulle se sig själv som ett slags teokrat må vara en sak. Men den av honom skapade livsåskådningen gör anspråk på att äga äkta kunskap om människan, och det går inte att komma ifrån att ett samhällssystem som bygger på det fundamentet också löper överhängande risk att låta andliga övertygelser styra allt. Det är inte någon slump att Steiner konstruerade sin modell på det magiska talet tre. Tregreningen motsvarar precis hans tredelade människoorganisation; de olika samhällsgrenarna korresponderar mot människans ‘delar’ enligt hans ockulta fysiologi. Tro är redan iblandat i terminologin, så att säga! Samma triad, med samma grund, går för övrigt igen i waldorfmantrat tanke — känsla — vilja. Och hans sociala tregrening bygger mer på den bakomliggande antroposofiska människosynen än på de franska revolutionstankarna.

Otvivelaktigt är Steiners idé intressant; det är de flesta av hans idéer, också de galnaste. Man kan naturligtvis kasta den antroposofiska ballasten över bord, och sanera tregreningsidén från sådana element. Fast innerst inne skulle ett sådant ofog nog inte falla antroposoferna i smaken — det hade naturligtvis inte varit Steiners melodi heller — och de är väl ändå än i dag tregreningens främsta förespråkarna.

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Tyvärr måste jag hasta i väg från den här kommentaren. Men här är en läsvärt genomgång betr tregreningstanken i Övre Schlesien.

224 thoughts on “tregrening

  1. “Steiner stilte spørsmålet: «Hvilken type organisering av samfunnet krever virkeligheten av oss?»”

    Hvilken virkelighed? Den virkelige virkelighed eller den uvirkelige virkelighed? Det ville have været umuligt for mig at have en samtale med Steiner :)

  2. Aningen OT, men ändå, apropå Steiner som anti-krigshjälte:

    ‘In a lecture to German anthroposophists on September 30, 1914, Steiner described the war as a spiritual mentor, a “teacher” and “master” that has taught people to fight egoism and materialism and has engendered “love for humanity.” He declared that the war was cosmically necessary, that it is “founded in the karma of the nations” and “must happen for the salvation of humankind.” (Steiner, Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges, 24-25) In a February 1915 lecture, Steiner acknowledged that the war had caused “enormous rivers of blood to flow,” but explained that these rivers of blood “must flow today because of the eternal necessities of earthly evolution.” He depicted the war as the earthly manifestation of necessary processes playing out in “the concrete spiritual world,” among “the beings of the spirit worlds”; it is “a world of demons and spirits which works through humankind when nations battle one another.”’

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/19487

  3. What an asshole. Seriously. Sorry, that may have come out wrong. Let me try again: What a insidious, ignorant, emphatically challenged, borderline psychopathic asshat. What a thing to say? Millions of young men dead for no reason but for this fucktard to degrade into some nonsensical meta spewing? People today love him as the greatest philosopher. Shees. They need to have their heads examined, what ill-informed bigotry to build your life on.

    I wonder how much of this is taught in their schools?

    Now it’s time for that coffee.

  4. He said a lot of things. Sometimes it would have been a lot better if he had said less.

    As for this particular pile of nonsense, I don’t think it’s taught — I’m not sure this is a text anthroposophists read a lot. (Which may account for their consternation when finding out that Steiner said such things.) That said, lots of other types of nonsense are included in teacher training. And, in more general terms, spiritual background to historical events is a topic which I think is studied. At least in the sense that it’s ‘self-evident’ that there is such a spiritual reality behind material occurrances.

  5. There’s another post by Peter on Steiner, war, spiritual background of, wwi, et c. I’m too lazy and read it as email but it’s the latest on waldorf critics.

  6. Hva er verst: Å dø helt uten grunn, eller å dø av en grunn? Jeg synes det første må være verst.

    Har dere ingen forståelse for fenomenologien som filosofisk disiplin? Hvis jeg bruker ordet “Mennesket”, ville dere da spørre “hvilket menneske?”, selv om det var åpenbart at jeg snakket om menneskeheten? Fenomenologien – og Steiner hadde studert Clemenz Brentano, er FØRTEORETISK. Er det ikke et mål for alle mennesker å komme frem til sannheten, og er det ikke slik at vi alle holder noe for sant? Da må man imidertid studere virkeligheten der ute, og ikke fortape seg i egne fortolkninger; dette er jo Heideggers prosjekt. Men selvsagt kan man bruke nøyaktig de samme argumentene mot Heidegger, som dere bruker mot Steiner; At Heidegger var nazist, og så videre….det forhindrer ikke at Heidegger var en betydelig filosof, eller hva mener dere?

  7. Jeg siterer fra Zein und Zeit: “Fenomenologi innebærer å la det som viser seg, bli sett ut fra seg selv slik det viser seg ut fra seg selv. Dette er den formale meningen med den forskningen som vi kaller fenomenologi. Men dermed kommer ikke annet til uttrykk enn den maksimen som vi formulerte ovenfor: “Til sakene selv!” Dette er Steiners utgangspunkt.

  8. Ja, att dö i krig är i alla fall ett onödigt sett att dö. Enl Steiner kunde krig dock vara nödvändigt.

    Och vad menar du själv — att Steiners fenomenologi medför att han inte bör kritiseras på relevanta punkter? Att hans rörelse inte bör det? Dessutom — när Steiner formulerade tregreningstanken var det Steiner antroposofen som formulerade den. Hans människosyn då var teosofiskt präglad. De frågor han ställde sig om människan under sin filosofiska karriär innan 1902 hade fått sig ett svar. Grovt räknat. För övrigt: att man inte vill leva i ett samhälle styrt av en antroposofisk elit — ett samhälle där den antroposofiska människosynen är den rådande — betyder för bövelen inte att man ringaktar filosofiska discipliner.

    Och, ja, naturligtvis kan man finna ett värde i Heideggers filosofi trots hans politiska åskådning. Likaså i Steiners trots hans teosofiska rotrasläror och trots somliga av hans anhängares samhälls(ill)gärningar. Om det skulle måsta medföra ett okritiskt förhållningssätt till ett verk som är bitvis motsägelsefullt och bitvis obehagligt, ja, då är det något jag finner tveksamt.

  9. Tillägg: det är inte oviktigt att minnas att Steiners liv är uppdelat i två rätt distinkta faser — före och efter teosofin. Vi kan citera hur många relevanta filosofiska verk som helst, hans och andras, och det ändrar inte det faktum att hans människosyn när han formulerade tregreningen var den teosofiska. Människan som hon ‘är’ och hur den kunskapen uppnås förutsätter för Steiner vid den tidpunkten antroposofisk skolning. Inte någon akademisk disciplin.

    (Beklagar råddighet och tangentbordsnubblingar. Skriver på en telefon.)

  10. “Tregrening” kan lese helt uten kjennskap til teosofi eller antroposofi. Den er først og fremst et dypt humanistisk verk. Det står ingeting der som ikke en humanist kunne ha skrevet under på. “Arbeiderklassen er ute etter menneskeverd først og fremst.” Hvilken person som er glad i menneskeheten kunne ikke ha skrevet under på det? Steinerskolene starter som en bevegelse av arbeiderklassen. Denne bevegelsen er den antroposofiske, det er riktig – men husk at Steiner på denne tiden ikke så noen annen løsning enn den atroposofiske, ut fra den tidens akutte politiske forhold. Han holdt til sin egen skrekk på å bli utnevnt til president av Bayern – noe han motsatte seg. Da han ble spurt om hva han ville gjør hvis han ble statsminister, svarte han at han ville godt av med en gang! Dette er ikke sagt av en maktsøkende person. Steiner var ikke maktsøkende i den forstand; han ville bli forstått, ikke dyrket. Les tregrening, og du vil finne at han ønsker opplysning av det enkelte menneske. Denne tiden var preget av en materialisme som i dag er vanskelig å forstå og ta innover seg. Derfor ble også han påståelig på egne vegne – det blir man jo gjerne når man ser en løsning, eller menneskets totale undergang…Du må kaste fra seg denne med en antroposofisk elite. Den finnes ikke, og er aldri blitt ønsket av Steiner. Hvem tror idag på “Overtakelsen av produksjonsmidlene” som eneste løsning for arbeiderklassen. Det er Marx som er utdadert på dette området – ikke Steiner. Steiners opplysningsprosjekt handler om å bli i stand til å se sin menneskelighet i et større perspektiv enn det materielle. Det er det viktigste. Man behøver ikke feste seg ved den andre som man ikke liker eller ikke kan forbinde seg med, dersom man ikke absolutt vil bruke tiden sin på å sloss mot det man ikke liker – slik som Staudenmaier gjør.

  11. Jag tycker att du ska be Peter om en kopia av hans doktorsavhandling. Jag kan nästan lova att han gärna delar med sig av den. Han har nämligen en annan attityd till kunskap och öppen diskussion än hans motståndare. Därutöver är det ett gediget arbete — helt bortsett från hans eventuella sympatier och antipatier. Man bör veta att de internetsidor om hans arbete och hans synpunkter är skrivna av rätt fanatiska antroposofer. (Du är säkert medveten om detta. Men alla är det inte.)

    Man kan ta del av mycket som Steiner och hans efterföljare erbjuder. Att göra det utan att kritiskt utvärdera bakgrunden förefaller mig en aning naivt. Men det är till syvende och sist vars och ens val. Min uppfattning kvarstår — ska man stödja steinerska idéer och projekt så bör man inte ignorera antroposofin/teosofin (eller för den delen källan till Steiners kunskap — skådande av högre världar — en kunskap som inte kan granskas eller överprövas med mindre än att man följer den antroposofiska s k kunskapsvägen). Man kan göra det. Men det bör också leda till motstånd. Man kan föreslå tregrening som alternativ — det är fullt legitimt. Men inte förvänta sig att det mottas som något för samhället gott vilket är frånkopplat antroposofiska idéer eller den antroposofiska rörelsen.

    Jag får återkomma senare. Har lite svårt att få någon bra översikt just nu.

  12. Jeg ber ikke om å bli lest ukritisk. Tvertimot liker jeg å bli imøtegått – så lenge det ikke inneholder løse påstander om Steiners rasisme og lignende; Det orker jeg ikke. Vil man ikke forstå, så vil man ikke forstå – blant annet annet at Steiners tenkning er evolusjonær – man er ikke rasist når man sier: “Indianerkulturen ville før eller siden gått under” – eller lignende – det betyr ikke at han elsker at folk blir drept; det betyr at han ser historien slik som Goethe sa man burde gjør det; tusen år fremover og fem hundre år bakover. Folkeslag går under, og nye oppstår, som en naturlig følge av en evolusjonær utvikling. Når det gjelder krig, mener han selvføleglig ikke at han elsker krig! – han håper at menneskeheten vil kunne lære noe av sine feil, og utvikle seg til et høyere nivå. Steiner sa som Schpenhauer; “I dag befinner vi oss i en situasjon der vi er i en alles kig mot alle.” Er Schoepnahuer derigjennom en krigshisser?

  13. Nei. Jeg har kikket på hans verk, og den består jo ikke av løse påstander, i betydningen noe sammenrasket, tilfeldig, derimot består den av tusen sider med tysk grundighet – men tusen sider med fordommer, systematisk samlet, blir ikke mer overbevisende enn det som raskes sammen. Det som overrasker meg mest, er at noen vil bruke stor deler av livet sitt på å skrive om noe de hater – det i seg selv vitner om noe patologisk; det finnes da nok av andre ting å bruke livet sitt på! Dessuten: på den måten bidrar han til å gjøre antroposofien til noe langt farligere enn den ellers behøvde å være. Det samme problemet som jeg nevnte ovenfor, oppstår når Steiner – og forøvrig store deler av menneskeheten – mener at et menneske som fødes med store skader, fysiske eller mentale, gjør dette fordi det er en mening med det, fordi vedkommende skal lære noe av sin inkarnasjon – det betyr ikke at det er en STRAFF; det betyr at antroposofene ser noe dypt meningsfullt i enhver inkarnasjon. Er det så mye bedre å bare å se det negative i det, som en Hitler ville gjort? Er det så vanskelig å skjønne at Steiner på denne måten befinner seg milevis unna den nazistiske tenkningen?
    Ved bare å feste seg ved det idemessige, og ikke se på hva antroposofien har gjort i praksis, fremstår man som utrolig nærsynt – de to tingene henger sammen; det idemessige virkeliggjøres i den antroposofiske praksisen…Forøvrig; når en annen blogger tror at antroposofi er noe som prekes fra kateteret, er vedkommende i ferd med å avsløre en bunnløse uvitenhet om hva steinerskolene driver med i praksis. Kan du ikke dele en tanke? Vel: Se om ikke den kan overbevise deg i sin praksis- og det gjør mildt sagt ikke, håper jeg nazismen!? Steiners syn på psykisk utviklingshemmede, for eksempel, var noe helt nytt i 1925 – på en tid da rasetenkningen og “fysisk fostring” sto så sterkt i kulturen – antroposofien var langt på vei det eneste alternativet til “ny-Darwinisme” – “Den sterkestes rett” og lignende. Hvilket alternativ ville du selv ha foretrukket? I siste instans: Tanken om at folk som fødes med fysiske defekter er “Feil mennesker” som ikke bør fødes – som er det vanlige synet i dag, er langt mer destruktivt enn synet på at funksjonshemmede har noe på denne planeten å gjøre – at de har en oppgave som menneskeheten kan lære av! Av en eller annen grunn er det nettopp “Det åndelige” hos Steiner som virker så provoserende – selv om det til syvende og siste er et dypt humanistisk prosjekt Steiner driver med. For Steiner sto planeten jorden foran et ragnarrokk; åndeliggjøring eller undergang. Spør deg selv: Hvorfor har vi mennesker bragt “egentenkningen” så langt at vi ikke engang skjønner hva vi gjør med vårt eget livsgrunnlag? Og se deg så om etter alternativer….

  14. Ja, att studera en betydelsefull esoterisk rörelses historia måste ju innebära såväl hat som patologi. Vilken förskräcklig syn du ger uttryck för. Akademiska studier — och för den delen helt vanlig diskussion om — antroposofin bör bara bedrivas av dem som är sympatiskt inställda, förmodar jag. Nå väl, jag får läsa igenom din kommentar noggrannare när jag har tid.

    Men kort sagt: en utgångspunkt i din artikel är att, som jag förstår det, samhället med tregreningstanken som bas skulle bygga på en människosyn som är mer ‘äkta’ — samhället ska ordnas efter människan inte tvärtom. Ja, det är ju Steiners idé. Då ser inte jag hur man kan bortse från antroposofin. Den är ju den syn på människan han lägger till grunden för sin samhällsutopi. Och för att få reda på vad det innebär måste man ju gå utanför tregreningsläran och till andra antroposofiska källor. Man kan visst hävda tregreningsläran som fristående från antroposofin — men man kan då inte använda Steiners argument att den bygger på o överensstämmer med en sann o riktig syn på människan o hennes natur, för då måste man också tala om hur den människosynen ter sig.

    Men vidare senare.

  15. Selvfølgelig står det fritt for enhver å forske i hva man vil. Det er liksom ikke det jeg mener….Man det må jo være lov til å lure på ha et slikt forskningsprosjekt EGENTLIG bunner i. Man kan gjøre akkurat det samme som Staudenmaier gjør med Steiner, med Platon, Nietszche, Kirkegaard, Schopenhauer, Marx, Heidegger….Det er bare å forsyne seg! Men det ser ut til at akkurat Steiner har en tendens til å gjøre enkelte menensker så inbitt forbanna, og særlig folk som engang elsket skolen, men nå føler seg ekskluderte, som er de aller sinteste. Gammel kjærlighet ruster aldri, den bare vendes til sin motsats…Dette gjelder åpenbart ikke Staudenmaier, men ihverfall mange andre. Nå skal jeg være den først til å innrømme at de finnes mye rart hos Steiner som jeg ikke forstår – og da velger jeg ganske enkelt å se bort fra det. Jeg er ikke antroposof personlig, bare så det er sagt. Ikke har jeg noe sans for Kiergaaard og “Hin enkelte”, heller, og selvsagt KAN også Nietszches “overmenneske-tanke” forstås om noe rasistisk også, vil man absolutt vil.
    Hadde du noen gang giddet å les en tenker som Sier: “Det jeg sier er ikke sant, jeg tror ikke på dette selv, det er bare noe subjektivt vrøvl, finn deg noe annet å bruke tiden din på?” At steiner tror på sitt prosjekt kan bare brukes mot ham av folk som i ugangspunktet ikke har noen antenner for det …og da er det beste å la det være, hvis man da ikke på død og liv føler seg kallet til å skrive en doltorgrad om det…
    Filosofer generelt kan ofte fremstå som ovedrevent selvsikre, kanskje ut fra desperasjon, ofte er det vel det, og Steiner var, da han skrev tregrening, en desperat mann – det må man ta hensyn til når man leser boken. Jeg mener at tregrening kan leses uten antroposofiske briller….her finnes tanker om hvordan økonomisk vekst kan kontrolleres og underkastet humanistiske verdier – og et angrep på teokrati og på de sterke staters dominans – som det fremvoksnende Sovjetunionen. Allikevel vil du på død og liv allikevel gjøre Steiner til Teokrat? Det skjønner jeg ikke….ånden tilhører privatlivet, sier han soleklart. Og alle trosretninger skal innrømmes samme rett til å eksisterer, så fremt de ikke oppretter sin egen justis, og det har Steinerskolene aldri gjort, da ville de ikk fått lov til å eksistere.

  16. Kanske bör man försöka utröna vad en människa faktiskt säger och skriver i stället för att söka efter personliga defekter och patologier hos denne. Som om det vore omöjligt att en människa väljer ett studieämne som är intressant — oavsett personliga anti- och sympatier för innehållet i fråga.

    Och tja i viss mån har väl steinerskolorna lyckats överleva i ett parallellt universum — tragiskt nog är granskningen inte vad den borde vara.

  17. Frankly, what I am sick and tired of is people inferring mental defects and patholgies to others to avoid taking seriously what they say. An academic? Pffft — he’s sick in the head. I dread a spiritual elite in charge of important societal functions — it’s pretty clear what values would be enforced. There isn’t as much freedom as one would imagine in a society based upon a true understanding of man and the nature of man’s needs.

    No — it is quite true I don’t understand anything the good people say. However, I do understand when people refer to their supposed opponent’s assumed mental deficiencies instead of their arguments and their work. It stinks.

    Peter S’s pathologies — if he has any, it doesn’t seem so to me — are not the topic. Academic study or simply taking an interest in anthroposophy without accepting it sympathetically are not signs of hatred or mental unhealth.

    But as critics we see this happen again and again and again — and *that* eventually becomes sickening.

    By the way, I may blog about this later and provide more thorough replies — I just don’t have the time at the moment.

  18. Problemer er vel nettopp som du sier – at Staudenmaier søker etter defekter hos Steiner. Du får gjøre som du selv sier: Prøve å finne ut hva Steiner faktisk mener og sier, og ikke søke etter personlige defekter og patologier hos denne. Steiner har mange nok ganger blitt sykeliggjort. Dermed takker jeg for meg – jeg skal nemlig jobbe på Steinerskolen i morgen, og gleder meg til å treffe barna!
    Lykke til med Steinerforskningen! Jeg har gjort mitt i denne debatten. H

  19. “Antropsofi og økofascisme” er lest, og inholder flere løgner enn jeg ville rekke å fremsi i løpet av et helt liv. Dermed setter jeg punktum.

  20. För det första — det gör den inte. För det andra — jag talade om hans doktorsavhandling. En polemisk artikel skriven för så där tio år sedan är inte hans doktorsavhandling.

    Men på de lösa bolinerna fann du det alltså motiverat att uttala dig om en uppskattad forskares arbete — eller nej, det var än värre, du ansåg dig kunna ha synpunkter på hans mentala tillstånd! Bedrövligt.

  21. Förresten — innan man beskyller någon för lögner är det lämpligt att fundera på om man är kapabel att identifiera dessa påstådda lögner och att man kan försvara sin värdering av dem. Annars är man bara en bluffmakarare som häver ur sig ogrundat och svepande strunt i avsikt att diskreditera andra.

  22. Déjà vu: the deluded plaintiff cry of anthroposophists everywhere (Lara Dean’s meandering eruptions explains Steiner and his followers take on race here:
    “(Steiner) believed in people assimilating, and/or spiritually overcoming their physical or racial misfortune”
    https://zooey.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/some-things-are-notoriously-difficult-to-hide/)

    @Henning: tell me if google translate is wrong when it gives me the English in the following statements-

    “Tvertimot liker jeg å bli imøtegått – så lenge det ikke inneholder løse påstander om Steiners rasisme og lignende; Det orker jeg ikke. ”
    ( On the contrary, I like to be refuted – as long as it does not contain unfounded allegations about Steiner’s racism and the like, I can not bear it.)

    “Folkeslag går under, og nye oppstår, som en naturlig følge av en evolusjonær utvikling.”
    “Nations perish and are replaced, as a natural consequence of an evolutionary development.”

    “– han håper at menneskeheten vil kunne lære noe av sine feil, og utvikle seg til et høyere nivå”
    “He hopes that humanity will be able to learn from their mistakes, and evolve to a higher level. ”

    Anthroposophy, a movement that wants to feel good about itself but doesn’t really care what it’s founder thought.

  23. Google translate did a good job, as far as I can see.

    One thing that baffled me in this discussion was that I started out assuming nobody with their sense of reason intact would want to have their lives ruled and restricted by a spiritual elite, based upon a knowledge of things which can’t be scrutinized (because knowledge requires access realms beyond non-clairvoyant perception), along the lines of some of Steiner’s ideas, and then to encounter people who really believe in the benefits of a ruling class of spiritually enlightened people. I think there are many anthroposophists who would realize this is a pretty bad idea; they know not even anthroposophists agree among themselves, for one thing, and are familiar with the backsides of elitist thinking and behaviour within anthroposophy itself, for another. More surprisingly, thinking this could somehow be detached from anthropsophy — when the basis is an anthroposophical theory of how society should be organized, one based upon a ‘true’ conception of man.

    I suppose being ruled by an anthroposophical elite doesn’t seem so bad for non-anthros who think they can get a foot in among the rulers. The unworthy should just shut up. Other people know better how your life is to be led. Thank you very much, but no thanks.

    I engaged in a parallel discussion on this topic via email. I was polite, I think, but was being patronized pretty quickly, then along comes this shit here on the blog about Peter being mentally defective (for the umpteenth time) — as if that makes any difference whatsoever to the validity of what he’s written? and there are other objections too — and *I* am being told *I* am creating a bad ambiance. WTF? And the last comment by H contains nothing but a blanket accusation that Peter’s article ten years ago is ‘filled with lies’; and it wasn’t even that text I had been referring to but, apparently, having read those ‘lies’, of course everything else is junk too. (No need to read the dissertation to check if it might not, after all, be written by a pathological mind of a hater — If you say something like that, you have a damn duty to specify what you’re referring to and argue your standpoint. Otherwise — who’s lying? Certainly, with such a lack of ethics: no spiritual elite for you… Or perhaps that’s the ground for selection — the shittier morality, the more spiritually advanced. Of course, we’ll proceed quicker to the great war of all against all with that kind of thinking to guide us…

  24. Peter’s research stands up on its own, so that’s not really the point here.

    The point is inferring mental deficiencies (pathologies, hatred, et c) and then, oops, if someone is mentally deficient, there’s no need to here what this person’s says. And it’s ok to say a whole lot of bad things about this person, while avoid engaging with any meaningful content. It’s about the person, always, never the content.

    When I replied to the article, i e, in my blog post, I didn’t infer anything about the author. Although I thought he was mistaken and although, even when/if he wasn’t, I couldn’t agree with all those things, I actually managed to avoid inferring that he wasn’t quite right in the head. It didn’t even occur to me. Why would it? It was about commenting on an article, not about making a psychiatric evaluation (which i wouldn’t be competent to do anyway, obviously).

  25. It’s the contradictions and myopic lack of awareness of how they come across that I find so fascinating.

    “thinking this could somehow be detached from anthropsophy — when the basis is an anthroposophical theory of how society should be organized, one based upon a ‘true’ conception of man.”
    yes, exactly, and the fury when this truth about evolution isn’t believed, or “understood”. It has to be anthro version or no version, and the unpalatable is painted in an “acceptable” way.

    Resorting to personalities and pathological name calling is their last resort. It’s nasty but so transparent.

  26. this rule by a ‘spiritual’ elite is just the authority of the church in the medieval era, isn’t it? The church of Rome with the Pope at its head – issuing decrees about the intimate lives of individuals.

    It looks bad for those who don’t conform – for homosexuals for example – and for women, anthroposophists often display a nasty sexist streak. And of course they have a system for the early indoctrination of children. Add to this a dislike of the intellectual and critical thinking and a distrust of science and you have a fascist dystopia with a hierarchical, racial view of humanity at its very centre.

    I think I’ll stick with secular democracy, thank you very much.

  27. Cathy — ‘It has to be anthro version or no version, and the unpalatable is painted in an “acceptable” way.’

    Maybe not necessarily, but as long as the fundamental ideas referred to have particular anthroposophical meanings, then you can’t ignore these meanings. What I mean is: you can’t refer to a ‘true understanding of man’ or similar, in an anthroposophical context (like threefolding), and assume it’s got a neutral meaning. Or that this ‘true’ understanding is scientifically, philosophically, psychologically tenable — outside of anthroposophy. It’s a bit like waldorf proponents who keep saying that waldorf is education towards freedom — without wanting to acknowledge that ‘freedom’ in this context has an anthroposophical meaning which differs from normal word usage and mainstream conceptions.

    Thetis — yes, although, as far as I can tell, since this is based upon a true understanding of man and man’s nature, it’s the opposite of theocracy… ;-) In practice, though, it amounts to the same thing: telling other people how to lead their lives, pretending you know what they need to be happy better than they themselves do. This is usually bad for those who don’t want to conform. Again, it’s like waldorf freedom — waldorf educates towards freedom as long as the freedom you want fits what anthroposophy wants for you. Otherwise you’re a demon in human form. And don’t really deserve freedom to do what you wish…

  28. All blog comments from “Henning” should be translated in its complete before discussion. This handy cut-up versions is not in following with any kind of honesty. Kind regards

  29. Cathy ran them through google translate, and chose quotes she found relevant to comment on (they were representative, as far as I can tell). Anyone can do the same, at any time. If Henning wants to translate his comments manually, he’s very welcome to do so. But that is up to him, not me or anyone else.

  30. As for honesty — Henning’s own manner of discussing left a bit to be desired. Assuming he didn’t actually believe the crap he posted about Peter. In which case I’m even more appalled.

  31. Besides — I think we all know where a full republication or translation of someone else’s text would leave me: instantly reported to wordpress for violations of service, and then suspended. I’ve had enough of shit like that lately. So, if anyone, except Henning, would come up with the idea to post Henning’s writings in full in translation in the comments, I’d have to edit. It’s entirely unnecessary, so please don’t.

  32. @PAN
    It makes no difference to the points in question; that Steiner’s world view of “spiritual” evolution involves jettisoning ‘lower” “backward” races and evolving “higher”.
    Lara Dean used the phrase “racial misfortune”; Henning writes that he can’t bear Steiner’s name to be equated with racism; he then talks about nations dying out and being replaced; perhaps in some effort to pummel people round to his way of thinking he admittedly omits Steiner’s language “backward, lower, degenerate etc” but the sentiment is the same.

    @Henning
    Anyway, who cares what Steiner’s personal beliefs were? He set himself as the arbiter of some sort of truth, he wrote and taught and expected others to use his beliefs; what’s important is how they are used now in schools, medicine etc. The people you mention who once loved Waldorf are probably those who were deceived; there is nothing more likely to invoke wrath, especially if children were involved.
    Why should people be subjected to the deified world of Steiner grasping the coat tails of their lives when they don’t subscribe to the beliefs in “material” and “spiritual” etc?

  33. Anthroposophists scream “Out of context!” if we post snippets, and “Copyright violation” if we post the context. Convenient!

  34. Henning: ‘“Tregrening” kan lese helt uten kjennskap til teosofi eller antroposofi. Den er først og fremst et dypt humanistisk verk. Det står ingeting der som ikke en humanist kunne ha skrevet under på.’

    Som jag redan sagt, att läsa tregreningen utan kännedom om Steiners antroposofi leder till att man föreställer sig att de antroposofiska begrepp Steiner använder sig av är neutrala, att den ‘kunskapen’ om människans natur är något neutralt och från antroposofin fristående. Jag vet inte om en sekulär humanist kan skriva under på Steiners människosyn. Jag misstänker att det för de flesta blir svårt.

    ‘Steinerskolene starter som en bevegelse av arbeiderklassen.’

    Waldorfskolorna startade därför att antroposofer ville skapa en skola på antroposisk grund, en skola byggd på antroposofisk människokunskap. Den första waldorfskolans kollegium och lärarstab bestod av idel trogna antroposofer — det var antroposofer som följt Steiner esoteriska skolning.

    Det är missvisande att kalla waldorfskolan en arbetarklassrörelse. Att den första waldorfskolan startades i anslutning till en fabrik, och tog emot fabriksanställdas barn utöver barn till antroposofer, gör inte någon skillnad. Skolan var antroposofers verk, leddes av antroposofer, inte av arbetare. Waldorfskolor har alltid accepterat att skriva in barn vars föräldrar inte tillhör den antroposofiska rörelsen och inte heller förstår vad antroposofin går ut på. Detta talar mer till waldorfskolans nackdel än till dess fördel.

    Det tog för övrigt inte lång tid innan andelen arbetarbarn i waldorfskolan minskade proportionerligt. Och denna tidiga anknytning till en fabrik är det enda arbetarklassmässiga man kan finna i waldorfskolans historia.

    Dock — det viktiga är vilka som hade det avgörande inflytandet på den tidiga waldorfskolan — antroposofer — och i vilket syfte den startades, nämligen för att tillskapa en skola byggd på ‘sann’ människokunskap, dvs antroposofi.

    ‘…husk at Steiner på denne tiden ikke så noen annen løsning enn den atroposofiske, ut fra den tidens akutte politiske forhold.’

    Eller så såg han ingen annan lösning eftersom han ‘visste’ att antroposofin erbjöd den sanna lösningen. Den är en universalförklaring av världen och människan. Att den därmed, i hans ögon, också kunde förklara och lösa tidens politiska problem är en bisak. Antroposofin kunde förklara och lösa allt.

    ‘Han holdt til sin egen skrekk på å bli utnevnt til president av Bayern – noe han motsatte seg.’

    Det var som fan. När och av vem då, frågar jag mig. Har slagit i Zanders mastodontverk. Kan inte finna något på Bayern. Kanske någon annan delstat? Har ett vagt minne av att någon antroposof någon gång föreslog honom för någon politisk position. Jag antar att det är detta tillfälle du menar.

    För övrigt förmodar jag att uppgiften om Steiners sinnestillstånd är rena gissningen. Att han inte ville inneha någon politisk position är en sak. Vad han kände är en annan.

    ‘Steiner var ikke maktsøkende i den forstand; han ville bli forstått, ikke dyrket.’

    Ja, så sa han. Hans livsgärning och hans anhängarskara talar dock delvis ett annat språk.

    ‘Les tregrening, og du vil finne at han ønsker opplysning av det enkelte menneske.’

    Läs vad som helst vad Steiner sagt, och du kommer finna att han redan har svaren. Man kan lika gärna vända det på det viset. Det bestående och sammantagna intrycket är att han är betydligt mer angelägen om att förklara hur saker ‘är’, än han är att bli upplyst av andra. Trots att han var en beläst man.

    Han ger svaren och åhörarna ställer frågorna. Inte tvärtom. Det var för hans svar som människor sökte sig till honom. Inte för att ge honom upplysning.

    ‘Denne tiden var preget av en materialisme som i dag er vanskelig å forstå og ta innover seg.’

    Jaså. Likväl var den knappast betjänt av fantasterier.

    ‘Derfor ble også han påståelig på egne vegne – det blir man jo gjerne når man ser en løsning, eller menneskets totale undergang…’

    Jag kan inte se att domedagsprofeter kan göra någon särskild nytta för samhället.

    ‘Du må kaste fra seg denne med en antroposofisk elite. Den finnes ikke, og er aldri blitt ønsket av Steiner.’

    Naturligtvis finns den; manifesterad bl a i esoteriska skolan och dess klassindelning. Och att Steiner såg initierade antroposofer som framtidens ledare är ju klart som korvspad — han säger det ju själv. Upprepade gånger.

    ‘Hvem tror idag på “Overtakelsen av produksjonsmidlene” som eneste løsning for arbeiderklassen. Det er Marx som er utdadert på dette området – ikke Steiner.’

    Inte jag i alla fall. Jag är inte marxist.

    ‘Steiners opplysningsprosjekt handler om å bli i stand til å se sin menneskelighet i et større perspektiv enn det materielle.’

    Och *vad* är det större perspektivet? Jo, det antroposofiska. Det är där skon klämmer.

    ‘Man behøver ikke feste seg ved den andre som man ikke liker eller ikke kan forbinde seg med, dersom man ikke absolutt vil bruke tiden sin på å sloss mot det man ikke liker – slik som Staudenmaier gjør.’

    Vi har ju senare i diskussionen konstaterat att du inte har en susning om vad Peter Ss avhandling innehåller. Det gör ju att du är okvalificerad att uttala dig om huruvida den är ett medel för Peter att slåss mot det han inte gillar.

    Men man kan ju säga generellt ändå: det finns människor som ägnar sin akademiska karriär åt att studera nazismen. Helt utan att gilla nazismen! Är inte det rätt märkligt? Samtidigt är det ju en väldig tur att det är så. Tänk hur det historiska forskningsläget skulle kunna te sig om bara de som var sympatiskt inställda till nazismen ägnade sig åt att studera nazismens historia! Jag tror inte att det vore så lyckat.

    Och antroposofernas egna sätt att hantera (eller inte hantera!) sin egen historia tyder väl i allra högsta grad på att ett utomstående perspektiv har varit högst behövligt.

    Detsamma gäller när waldorfsympatisörer ‘studerar’ waldorfskolans alla fördelar. Det blir PR-smörja av alltihop. Den akademiska kvaliteten är antingen frånvarande eller rejält sviktande.

    ‘Tvertimot liker jeg å bli imøtegått – så lenge det ikke inneholder løse påstander om Steiners rasisme og lignende; Det orker jeg ikke.’

    Problemet är ju att Steiners läror innehåller rasistiska element. Vissa av hans anhängare har varit attraherade av just dessa element. Man kan ignorera det, men det gör ju inte att grundproblemet försvinner.

    ‘Vil man ikke forstå, så vil man ikke forstå – blant annet annet at Steiners tenkning er evolusjonær – man er ikke rasist når man sier: “Indianerkulturen ville før eller siden gått under” – eller lignende – det betyr ikke at han elsker at folk blir drept’

    Rasism är inte att gilla att någon blir dräpt; jag begriper inte varifrån en så märklig definition kommer. I så fall håller jag med om att Steiner inte är rasist. Men det finns en massa rasismer som inte alls förutsätter någon form av stöd för dödande.

    Däremot säger Steiner att den vita rasen är högre utvecklad och har högre stående egenskaper än de andra raserna, och han rangordnar dem sinsemellan i ett slags hierarki. Det är rasism.

    Att han inte propagerade för att någon skulle dödas är bara banalt i sammanhanget. Han trodde ju för övrigt inte ens att individualiteten var bunden till sin ras.

    Själva kruxet är rangordningen av människoraser baserat på diverse egenskaper och utvecklingsgrader som han väl skådade med sitt inre öga. Det är möjligt att han inte förstod bättre. Men det gör inte hans konkreta utsagor om raser mindre rasistiska.

    ‘Steiner sa som Schpenhauer; “I dag befinner vi oss i en situasjon der vi er i en alles kig mot alle.” Er Schoepnahuer derigjennom en krigshisser?’

    Steiner förutsåg också ett gigantiskt allas-krig-mot-alla. Han såg det som en utvecklingens ofrånkomlighet. Det ligger dock långt in i framtiden.

    För övrigt har jag inte påstått att Steiner var en krigshetsare. Han såg däremot krig som en nödvändighet med bakgrund i diverse ockulta skeenden. Han rättfärdigar alltså krig med diverse irrelevanta hitte-på argument.

    Jag tycker inte att det är till någon nytta. I alla fall inte ur ett realistiskt perspektiv.

    ‘Det som overrasker meg mest, er at noen vil bruke stor deler av livet sitt på å skrive om noe de hater – det i seg selv vitner om noe patologisk; det finnes da nok av andre ting å bruke livet sitt på!’

    Som jag redan sagt: vilken förbannat djävla beklaglig syn på andra människor och deras arbete!

    ‘Dessuten: på den måten bidrar han til å gjøre antroposofien til noe langt farligere enn den ellers behøvde å være.’

    Nu visade det ju sig att du inte hade någon aning om Peters forskning, men i alla fall: att påstå att kunskap om en rörelse och dess historia är farligare än okunskap och naivitet, det är barockt!

    För att ta ett annat exempel (och jag gör INTE detta för att likställa antroposofi och nazism, vilket är värt att påpeka): är kunskap om nazismen och dess historia *farligare* än nazismen som ideologi och politisk kraft?

    Det tror jag knappast.

    ‘Det samme problemet som jeg nevnte ovenfor, oppstår når Steiner – og forøvrig store deler av menneskeheten – mener at et menneske som fødes med store skader, fysiske eller mentale, gjør dette fordi det er en mening med det, fordi vedkommende skal lære noe av sin inkarnasjon – det betyr ikke at det er en STRAFF; det betyr at antroposofene ser noe dypt meningsfullt i enhver inkarnasjon.’

    Nähä. Men jag har inte sagt att det är ett ‘straff’. Jag finner tanken djupt problematisk ändå. Alldeles utan att vi behöver konstruera den utifrån liknelsen med straff.

    Jag *vet* givetvis att antroposoferna ser något djupt meningsfullt i varje inkarnation. Det är naturligtvis en trosuppfattning de har rätt till. Det betyder inte att jag accepterar den som något gott eller bra.

    ‘Er det så mye bedre å bare å se det negative i det, som en Hitler ville gjort? Er det så vanskelig å skjønne at Steiner på denne måten befinner seg milevis unna den nazistiske tenkningen?’

    Tja, bägge inriktningar trodde sig ju vilja göra något gott, och bägge baserade sig på nonsens. Många av Steiners anhängare stödde för övrigt Hitler. Det säger inget om Steiner, däremot säger det något om hans anhängares förmåga att göra antroposofin kompatibel med nazism.

    ‘Ved bare å feste seg ved det idemessige, og ikke se på hva antroposofien har gjort i praksis, fremstår man som utrolig nærsynt’

    Tja, du kunde ju läsa Peter Staudenmaiers avhandling. Den är full av uppgifter om vad antroposofer gjort i praxis. Eller varför inte Helmut Zanders gigantiska verk om antroposofin?

    Själv är jag också intresserade av vad antroposofin gjort i praxis. Det var antroposofins usla praxis som ledde mig in på det här intresset, kan man väl säga. Jag har sett ‘det idemessige [som] virkeliggjøres i den antroposofiske praksisen’ och det var inte så positivt och trevligt. Jag känner också till många andra människor som kommit i kläm i antroposofins praxis. Både i nutid och historiskt.

    ‘Forøvrig; når en annen blogger tror at antroposofi er noe som prekes fra kateteret, er vedkommende i ferd med å avsløre en bunnløse uvitenhet om hva steinerskolene driver med i praksis.’

    Och vem i helvete har påstått det? Att kritiker skulle påstå att antroposofi predikas från katedern är en dum djävla irrlära som sprids av antroposofiska fanatiker för att diskreditera kritiker. Det är naivt och korkat att ta detta dravel på allvar.

    Jag har inte påstått detta. Tvärtom. Jag påstår snarare ATT antroposofin BORDE läras ut. Det har waldorfskoleeleverna rätt till. De har rätt att få reda på mer om den lära som genomsyrar deras skolvardag utan att någonsin explicit föras upp till diskussion.

    ‘Vel: Se om ikke den kan overbevise deg i sin praksis- og det gjør mildt sagt ikke, håper jeg nazismen!?’

    Va? Vad är detta för dumheter?

    ‘Steiners syn på psykisk utviklingshemmede, for eksempel, var noe helt nytt i 1925 – på en tid da rasetenkningen og “fysisk fostring” sto så sterkt i kulturen – antroposofien var langt på vei det eneste alternativet til “ny-Darwinisme” – “Den sterkestes rett” og lignende.’

    Har du läst Steiners föredrag om läkepedagogik?

    ‘Hvilket alternativ ville du selv ha foretrukket?’

    Ett humanistiskt och vetenskapsbaserat.

    ‘For Steiner sto planeten jorden foran et ragnarrokk; åndeliggjøring eller undergang. Spør deg selv: Hvorfor har vi mennesker bragt “egentenkningen” så langt at vi ikke engang skjønner hva vi gjør med vårt eget livsgrunnlag? Og se deg så om etter alternativer….’

    Inte finns alternativen hos domedagsprofeter som skådar högre världar i alla fall. Det må duga som livsåskådningsalternativ, för den som önskar det. Men det är dess plats.

    ‘Hvorfor har vi mennesker bragt “egentenkningen” så langt at vi ikke engang skjønner hva vi gjør med vårt eget livsgrunnlag?’

    Detta är ditt antagande. Du antar att så är fallet, och frågar mig varför. Men dina premisser är inte mina. Jag gissar att ditt antagande är bullshit.

    Jag har inget emot att människor finner livsmening i antroposofin. Däremot tycker jag illa om försök att pracka den på andra människor via bakvägen. Den är inte oduglig, däremot tillhandahåller den inte någon universell sanning om människan och människans läge och behov.

    ‘Man det må jo være lov til å lure på ha et slikt forskningsprosjekt EGENTLIG bunner i.’

    Ja. Om man vill framstå som tramsig. Eller om man vill omdirigera uppmärksamheten från forskningsinnehållet till personliga defekter. Och detta förfarande ser jag så ofta att jag blir djävligt trött.

    ‘Man kan gjøre akkurat det samme som Staudenmaier gjør med Steiner, med Platon, Nietszche, Kirkegaard, Schopenhauer, Marx, Heidegger…’

    Givetvis. Vem påstår något annat?

    ‘Men det ser ut til at akkurat Steiner har en tendens til å gjøre enkelte menensker så inbitt forbanna, og særlig folk som engang elsket skolen, men nå føler seg ekskluderte, som er de aller sinteste.’

    Vad snackar du om?

    ‘Nå skal jeg være den først til å innrømme at de finnes mye rart hos Steiner som jeg ikke forstår – og da velger jeg ganske enkelt å se bort fra det.’

    Det är ju tydligt det. Men då är det väl också lämpligt att acceptera att andra inte bortser från de saker du väljer att bortse från?

    ‘Hadde du noen gang giddet å les en tenker som Sier: “Det jeg sier er ikke sant, jeg tror ikke på dette selv, det er bare noe subjektivt vrøvl, finn deg noe annet å bruke tiden din på?”’

    ?

    ‘At steiner tror på sitt prosjekt kan bare brukes mot ham av folk som i ugangspunktet ikke har noen antenner for det …’

    Ja alla som inte håller med har inte rätt grad av insikt. Lallalala. Det där är en gammal skiva på repeat.

    ‘…og da er det beste å la det være, hvis man da ikke på død og liv føler seg kallet til å skrive en doltorgrad om det…’

    Du anser med andra ord att människor som har erfarenhet av usla antroposofiska verksamheter ska hålla käft och gå sin väg i tystnad? Det verkar inte bättre. Och det är väl den här attityden som gör att antroposoferna kommer undan med så mycket dumt. Att folk faktiskt upplever att de inte har rätten att protestera. Att kritik är obefogad och i vilket fall som helst är att hänföra till kritikerns defekta konstitution. Jag talar inte om doktorer nu, utan om helt vanliga människor.

    ‘og Steiner var, da han skrev tregrening, en desperat mann’

    Jaså?

    Trots allt är det hans ord vi har att gå på. Inte hans sinnestillstånd. Det är orden vi faktiskt vet något säkert om, inte hans inre. Det är nog så intressant, men i vissa fall bör man nog fokusera på orden om man vill veta vad han menade. Det är en säkrare källa en hypteser om hans känslor.

    ‘Jeg mener at tregrening kan leses uten antroposofiske briller…’

    Som jag sa i min bloggpost; man kan rekonstruera tregreningstanken utan antroposofi. Men då måste man vara noggrann med att inte överta antroposofiska begrepp utan att kritiskt granska dem och omdefinera deras innebörd. Annars läser man tregrening med glasögon som är antroposofiska utan att man begriper att de faktiskt hänger där på näsan.

    ‘her finnes tanker om hvordan økonomisk vekst kan kontrolleres og underkastet humanistiske verdier’

    Jättebra. Men då behöver man tänka över dessa värderingar. De antroposofiska värderingarna måste ut, och andra måste in.

    ‘Allikevel vil du på død og liv allikevel gjøre Steiner til Teokrat?’

    Nej. Däremot är jag helt övertygad om att somliga antroposofer skulle bli ena sjujäkla teokrater i praktiken.

    ‘Problemer er vel nettopp som du sier – at Staudenmaier søker etter defekter hos Steiner. Du får gjøre som du selv sier: Prøve å finne ut hva Steiner faktisk mener og sier, og ikke søke etter personlige defekter og patologier hos denne. Steiner har mange nok ganger blitt sykeliggjort. ‘

    Ja, det har han ibland blivit. Men inte av Peter. Och jag själv har påpekat ungefär sjuttitusen gånger, men jag gör det igen: Steiner hade inte fel för att han var psykiskt defekt eller liknande. När han hade fel hade han fel för att hans argument inte håller för kritisk granskning.

    Däremot tillstår jag gärna att jag finner Steiner intressant som person. Också. Inte för att han skulle ha varit sjuk, utan för att han är en högst speciell människa med ett enastående livsverk. Oavsett vad man tycker om innehållet i detta livsverk eller dess konsekvenser.

  35. Sorry for the long comment. I was away and couldn’t respond properly before today.

    ‘Anthroposophists scream “Out of context!” if we post snippets, and “Copyright violation” if we post the context. Convenient!’

    It’s very very useful…

    ‘Henning writes that he can’t bear Steiner’s name to be equated with racism; he then talks about nations dying out and being replaced’

    He also wrote that Steiner didn’t want to see someone killed. This may be — and I, for one, believe it, Steiner wasn’t pro-murder, after all — but it’s just that the definition of racism doesn’t necessitate any element of killing or dying or anything. Very few brands of racism, I would guess (?), have been aimed at getting rid of people, most don’t propagate violence.

    So the fact that Steiner didn’t desire killings, doesn’t say anything about the racism in his hierarchy of human races.

    ‘The people you mention who once loved Waldorf are probably those who were deceived; there is nothing more likely to invoke wrath, especially if children were involved.’

    Ah, yes, most likely. But it’s always about turning it around; to make the parent or student or former teacher the problem.

    And I can assure Henning that a former waldorf student like myself never loved waldorf, so in my case, his justification falls flat anyway.

  36. I have to comment on this again, realizing how remarkable it is coming from a waldorf school teacher:

    ‘og særlig folk som engang elsket skolen, men nå føler seg ekskluderte, som er de aller sinteste.’

    Has it occurred to you that people fall blindly in love — not seeing the negative aspects — only to learn, sometimes years later, that their children have received a substandard education or that they’ve been maltreated and nobody has done anything and nobody has bothered to inform the parents?

    I mean, really, come on — it’s really really awful to say what you say, to say that people are angry because they ‘feel excluded’, when they’ve been taken for idiots for years! What do you think happens to parents who learn that their children have been harmed? And that people in charge knew about it but never said anything? Or when they discover that the ‘education’ is so bad that the child cannot transfer to a regular school without great trouble and often at great cost?

    This cannot be your honestly held opinion on why some parents, who initially loved waldorf, later become critics?

  37. People think they have found something worth believing in. Eventually some of them realize it was mirage. A mirage with consequences.

    The waldorf schools lose some but attract new parents who are ready to believe… and some of them come to the realization of parents before them. And they leave. Most of them don’t make a fuss. They have enough to deal with anyway: their children’s well-being and education. Children who leave waldorf after having been badly treated for years require a lot of help, and it’s up to the parents to fix the situation. Waldorf never accepts any responsibility and is never held responsible. ‘Ok we said this child was ok with us for 9 years, but really it was all the child’s fault that s/he wasn’t. Pathological child! Not our fault. We said it was alright because we’re nice and positive people. And, after all, the child needs to be tormented to overcome his/her melancholia and reincarnate better next time.’ No, you don’t even get that much from them. But sometimes waldorf’s proponents are nice enough to point out that it was all the child’s fault because waldorf always does its best and can never be wrong and besides lots of celebrities like waldorf.

  38. Are you an earlyer member of the antroposophic movement? Your writing smells of a dissident….
    Staudenmaiers dissitation is not printet as a book, and is on over thousand pages. What is the reason for your interest?
    Staudenmaier is a polemic. I does not think negative of any bias.

  39. Yes exactly Alicia; and then if the child happens to go and do well, they’d say it was because of their grounding in Steiner Waldorf…

    People do fall blindly in love (waldorf bliss ninnys for example ;-))) ) ; but they also fall in love with something which turns out to be false. Their defining talent is to lure the unsuspecting looking for an alternative.

  40. Alicia, I meant to go back to this too

    “Cathy — ‘It has to be anthro version or no version, and the unpalatable is painted in an “acceptable” way.’
    Maybe not necessarily, but as long as the fundamental ideas referred to have particular anthroposophical meanings, then you can’t ignore these meanings. What I mean is: you can’t refer to a ‘true understanding of man’ or similar, in an anthroposophical context (like threefolding), and assume it’s got a neutral meaning. Or that this ‘true’ understanding is scientifically, philosophically, psychologically tenable — outside of anthroposophy. It’s a bit like waldorf proponents who keep saying that waldorf is education towards freedom — without wanting to acknowledge that ‘freedom’ in this context has an anthroposophical meaning which differs from normal word usage and mainstream conceptions.”

    This isn’t exactly what I meant, but these are such important points to make; these duel meanings and nuances make it impossible to have a meaningful discussion, because anthroposophical words are a nod to “special knowledge’.

    No, all I meant was simply that in order to engage or understand with anthroposphical argument, you are compelled to accept there is a “non material spiritual” world, and everyone has a soul etc etc. Non anthroposophists are expected to take that on board, it wouldn’t occur to them to try and envisage what it might be like not to believe in it; to have a different world view. There’s just a lot of foot stamping.

  41. Nobody kan be as fundementally disappointed as thou who once belived in something, because they didnt juse their critical sence in the first place.

  42. You may say that Steiner is a manipulator, because he wants you to belive in what he says, but who doesnt?

  43. In case someone’s interested, this is what I wrote in a conversation with the person who sent me the heads-up for Henning’s post at Retrogarde. I thought I’d make a post about this, but now that I’ve replied to Henning here in the thread, it seems like a waste of time. Now I realize it was in Swedish, so I don’t know why I write in English. You’ll have to run it through google anyway. They’re badly written, because I wrote them from my phone; I had to edit a few things.

    *

    [Svar på mail om värdet av tregreningen som alternativ, samt på något slags deklaration av antroposofisk alliansfrihet. — Mina sammanfattningar av korrespondensen till mig är mycket summariska. Förhoppningsvis framgår något av sammanhanget av mina svar.]

    Oavsett vad som skrivs om Steiners idéer, så är det gott att det skrivs om dem. Att han inte bara får vara en pedagogisk myspys-farbror (för att överdriva). Problemet med hans förslag till samhällsordning är sammanbunden med hans spirituella elitism. Detta går igen i steinerskolorna, som ju nämns i artikeln, och där man ju kan se hans sociala idéers genomslag, även om det gick åt skogen med tregreningen i samhället i stort. Förvisso leder lärarna skolan i ett kollegium, man har inte rektor. Detta grundat på de riktlinjer Steiner själv gav för den första skolan. Att alla lärare skulle ha en roll i kollegiet var ju inte något som kunde befaras komma rucka grundvalarna — alla lärare som anställdes var skolade och trogna antroposofer! Steiner säger själv att antroposofisk skolning är nödvändig för lärargärningen; antroposofi är grundvalen för sann pedagogik. Omsätt denna elitism på ett högre plan, t ex samhället i stort! Så Steiners idé till samhällsbygge är kanske sedd i sin enskildhet ett alternativ — men sedd i ljuset av somliga andra antroposofiska föreställningar, blir det hela mindre tilltalande. Å andra sidan trodde han ju att antroposofin skulle inkarnera i varje människa, och då funnes det ju ingen som kunde misstycka längre! Man kan naturligtvis kasta den antroposofiska ballasten över bord, och sanera tregreningsidén från sådana element. Fast innerst inne skulle ett sådant ofog nog inte falla antroposoferna i smaken, och de är väl ändå fortfarande de främsta förespråkarna.

    *

    [Ang att min kritik skulle bottna sig enbart i personlig problematik och att statsskolor också är usla men att waldorfelever är priviligierade. Därutöver att spirituell elitism kan vara av godo, samt att det moderna samhället har sina baksidor och hemskheter.]

    Nej, det var bara menat som en allmän reflektion över att samma tänkesätt kan bli ganska förödande i skolmiljön, när den upplysta eliten inte kan sköta en skola. Huruvida det hade något med mina upplevelser att göra, är nog tveksamt, däremot kan jag förstås dra en parallell teoretiskt mellan hans samhällsidé och styrningen av steinerskolan, vilket ju även antyddes i artikeln. Jag misstänker att likartade problem skulle uppstå.

    Naturligtvis har du rätt — det ligger en personlig upplevelse bakom. Jag hade aldrig kommit på tanken, misstänker jag, att närmare undersöka Steiners idéer om det inte hade varit för den upplevelsen. Att det dessutom har visat sig utomordentligt intressant är en annan sak; det intresset var inte motivet till en början.

    Ja, du — jag hade hellre befunnit mig i en kommunal skola som hade fungerat och där man fått lära sig något och gärna få ta del av kultur (faktiskt)! Gärna en plats i världen där misshandel inte kan bortförklaras som ett karmiskt öde. Missförhållanden finns över allt. Men ibland är det ideologiska fundamentet ruttet, och däri tror jag Steinerskolorna har en orsak till sina problem.

    Spirituell elitism må vara ok — men inte om eliten ska väljas utifrån antroposofiska premisser. Då blir världen som en waldorfskola!

    För antroposofisk (spirituell) elitism är verkligen inte detsamma som kulturell elitism. Jag är fel person att försvara skräpkultur; jag tar inte del av den, i vart fall rätt sparsamt! Att värdera kunskap, kunnande, skicklighet, det [‘högkulturella’] framför det låga (där det är möjligt att göra en sådan ‘rankning’), och så vidare, ser jag som helt oproblematiskt. Att överlåta makt till en grupp människor som anser sig ha högre kunskaper som ej går att överpröva och som skådats fram i de översinnliga världarna — det går, däremot, åt skogen. Att veta att värdera människor som kan något och vet något — det är, skulle jag säga, närmast raka motsatsen, det är något gott.

    All kultur vore nog av godo för Sverigedemokraterna, för övrigt. Men spirituell elitism skulle nog ge dem en boost. Det gäller i alla fall de Sd:are som är mer andligt lagda. De har en del att hämta i teosofin och antroposofin. I vilket fall som helst, så finner man högst kulturellt och antroposofiskt-andligt bevandrade bland [nationella rörelsers] anhängarskaror. Tydligen hjälper inte andlig upplysthet mot inskränkta politiska uppfattningar.

    Ja, det är nog så att människouppfattning, med mera, förändras i och med samhällets förändring. Ibland kan förvisso tecknen vara lite skrämmande. Särskilt om man betraktar detaljer på för nära håll. Men det var väl för övrigt, åtminstone delvis, den typen av samtids- och förändringsrädslor som Steiner lyckades göra karriär av för 100 år sedan. Med vissa tvivelaktiga tillsatser av rotrasteorier och ärkeänglar… (Men visst vore jag glad om människor ville läsa Steiner i stället för att se på dokusåpor. Det vore roligt. Fast inte om alla blev antroposofer.)

    *

    [Om att jag överdriver mina slutsatser baserat på subjektiva upplevelser och att jag kunde varit i trubbel i vilken skola som helst. Norsk vs svensk antroposofi. Kinesisk repression vs tibetansk spirtuell elitism.]

    Nå, vi är inte så få som har liknande upplevelser — och, trots den personliga motivationen, finns ju Steiner och andra antroposofiska källor där. De bekräftar att min upplevelse har en bakgrund — den waldorfpedagogiska praktiken är ingen slump utan har ett fundament som jag menar att man talar för lite om. Och det är något annat än ‘bara’ de personliga upplevelserna. (F ö, jag var förvisso inte en oproblematisk elev i den vanliga skolan heller. Men en vanlig skola och en antroposofisk — skillnaden är enorm.)

    Ja — i Norge har ju antroposoferna haft bl a den fantastiske Björneboe (och flera andra författare). Betydligt intressantare än Järna-antroposofin. (Fast Walter Ljungquist var ju en spännande,men rätt bortglömd, svensk författare vars böcker har en ansenlig antroposofisk influens.)

    Tja, jag ska inte säga något om Kina, men jag förespråkar sekulärism; i vart fall där fråga är om maktpositioner samhället. Jag skulle varken vilja ledas av en spirituell elit eller vara en del av den — en mindre vill jag se olika spirituella eliter i luven på varandra.

    *

    [Att min kritik mot antroposofin möjligen bara är en ny ideologi. Att alla tolkningar görs utifrån en given anti-antroposofisk ram. Att min reaktion möjligen är meningsfattig och inte kan leda någon vart. Fråga om syn på Steiners framgångar med handikappade. Att man inte kan döma Steiners konkreta idéer utan att se hans karaktär, varvid slutsatsen bör bli att han inte är rasist utan människovän. — Som om inte många rasister velat gott, lägger jag till nu.]

    Nej, det förutsåg inte jag heller — var bara menat som ett kort svar på din kommentar om tregreningen som alternativ.

    Men jag kan ju replikera att din syn på Steiners gärning kanske i lika hög utsträckning som min är baserad på förutfattade meningar som bildar din tolkningsram. Jag menar — möjligheten finns. Jag har trots allt påbörjat mitt Steiner-intresse från ett visst perspektiv. Och haft möjlighet att fördjupa kritiken och också omvärdera. Jag har studerat Steiners livsgärning — och jag tycker inte att det är så enkelt. Han var motsägelsefull. Hans verk innehåller, tja, både det ena och det andra.
    Vad gäller antroposofers arbete med handikappade barn kan bara sägas att deras metoder inte har blivit utvärderade objektivt och att en hel del barn farit illa på dessa institutioner. Det betyder inte att det inte finns läkepedagoger som gör ett gott jobb. Däremot är det inte ok att utgå från att läkepedagogiken fungerar eller att allting inom den är av godo — det finns faktiskt grund för kritik. Och det gäller läkepedagogikens grunder, dvs Steiners rekommendationer.

    Så gott som alla Steiner-källor finns i dag fritt tillgängliga på internet — och jag är den förste att rekommendera att man bekantar sig med dem. Det gäller både dem som är kritiska och de positivt inställda! Och på den vägen komner man i a f längre än genom att anta att något är i stort gott bara för att det kan se gott ut!

    *

    [Antroposofin är ett frigörelseprojekt; detta mail besvarade jag aldrig. Men det kan väl ifrågasättas. I alla fall så till vida att man bör fråga vad Steiner menade med frihet och frigörelse under sin antroposofiska period. Man ger kanske ger den sene Steiner för mycket frihets-credit för att han ägnade sig åt friheten som ung, innan han blev teosof. Jag vet att antroposofer har en tendens att värdera Steiners tidiga verk som antroposofiska. Det är väl gott och väl att man uppskattar dem, egentligen. Däremot: när man talar om antroposofin som något slags frihetsfilosofi, tja, då bör man fråga — hur? Jag menar: riktig frihet kommer genom den antroposofiska vägen, genom andlig utveckling på ett visst, specifikt sätt. Och det hela är lika skrattretande som när waldorfskolan hävdar att den fostrar för frihet. Där finns frihet bara för de barn som hålller sig inom ramarna. Kunskap är i alla fall inte vägen till frihet i den pedagogiken. Men: naturligtvis är frihetslöftet korrekt. Man kan bara inte tolka ordet frihet på gängse vis. Antroposofisk frihet är något annat. I fallet skola: en korrekt inkarnationsprocess i enlighet med ‘sann’ människokunskap. Det betyder absolut ingenting i världen utanför antroposofin. Och att tala om frihet som waldorfskolans mål är bara falsk marknadsföring — waldorfskolan utgår från att föräldrar antingen håller med i den steinerska friheten eller att de inte bryr sig om att fundera vidare eftersom det uppfattas som självklart vad ordet innebär utifrån gängse definition och det syns inte finnas någon anledning att tro att antroposoferna håller sig med en egen.]

    *

    [Om att diskussionen på bloggen är tråkig och att jag inte fattar någonting. Sekularisering är dumt, islam och antroposofi i skolan bättre. Människor är mest bara olyckliga i ett sekulärt samhälle.]

    Tja det är det gamla vanliga. Jag är less på att ständigt höra att intresse för antroposofi i avsaknad av sympati är något sjukt.

    Jag tänker inte sitta och lisma. Jag har vuxit upp med den antroposofiska ‘pedagogiken’. Om inte vi som har gjort det säger vad vi tycker — då blir antroposofernas idylliserande allenarådande. För övrigt: människan kan bli precis lika olycklig i antroposofins förlovade land som på Ikea.

    Det står var och en fritt att finna värde i antroposofin. Eller i islam. Men att undanhålla barn en god utbildning finner jag förkastligt.

    *

    [Kulturen och samhället är på väg åt pepparn. Uppbygglighet saknas. Mina argument präglas av ensidighet.]

    Hur många saker jag ser har du inte den minsta aning om. Med all respekt

    *

  44. Henning — ‘Are you an earlyer member of the antroposophic movement?’

    No. I’m a former waldorf school student.

    ‘Staudenmaiers dissitation is not printet as a book, and is on over thousand pages.’

    Lots of it is footnotes and references though. Haven’t counted the pages. Anyway — he’ll send it to you as a pdf-file if you ask. I prefer reading books in print, but sometimes the content is more important than the format. This is one such case.

    ‘What is the reason for your interest?’

    It’s splendid research on the anthroposophical movement and its relationship to nazism and fascism during the first decades of the last century.

    ‘Staudenmaier is a polemic. I does not think negative of any bias.’

    Staudenmaier’s dissertation is not a polemic piece writing. His article, Anthroposophy and Eco-fascism, was. There’s a huge difference, and any academic studying a particular subject would have to learn the difference.

    ‘Nobody kan be as fundementally disappointed as thou who once belived in something, because they didnt juse their critical sence in the first place.’

    Exactly. And waldorf schools don’t exactly call on people’s critical senses before deciding to enroll. There are lots of emotional arguments; they’re saving childhood, creating paradise, fostering freedom, letting children be children, protecting childhood from the nasty modern world, et c. And, I suppose, for a while parents like believing that children don’t need to live in the modern world.

    And parents don’t realize that waldorf isn’t the safe haven it pretends to be. But they really want to believe.

    ‘You may say that Steiner is a manipulator, because he wants you to belive in what he says, but who doesnt?’

    Well — I don’t think people should accept what anybody says uncritically. But, yes, Steiner is sometimes manipulative. I don’t think he’s necessarily more manipulative than other charismatic leaders of similar movements; religious, spiritual, political, or other. I don’t think he was manipulative in any particularly nasty sense either; he could have taken more advantage of his adherents than he did. And he was clearly aware of his own position in the eyes of his followers — he wasn’t always happy about it.

    In any case, when anthroposophists today choose to deal with people (both anthros and non-anthros) manipulatively, it’s their choice, and Steiner can’t be blamed for it. He may have started it, but he’s not around any more, thus not responsible.

  45. Cathy —

    ‘People do fall blindly in love (waldorf bliss ninnys for example ;-))) ) ; but they also fall in love with something which turns out to be false.’

    Yes. And sometimes waldorf simply suits them and their children so they don’t have a reason to think it over. The parents who do have to rethink their choice (and subesquently find out a few things about anthroposophy) are parents whose children don’t fit in, who want to learn (other things than waldorf has on offer), who are bullied, who run into waldorf teachers who are just horrible, and so forth.

    I don’t think anthroposophist parents are this clueless, and they don’t choose waldorf because of blind love (for what waldorf is not) but because they believe that it’s the right thing. This doesn’t prevent their children from faring ill in waldorf though.

    ‘No, all I meant was simply that in order to engage or understand with anthroposphical argument, you are compelled to accept there is a “non material spiritual” world, and everyone has a soul etc etc. Non anthroposophists are expected to take that on board, it wouldn’t occur to them to try and envisage what it might be like not to believe in it; to have a different world view.’

    Ah, yes, you’re absolutely right. It’s that playing field which was the topic of lengthy discussions on critics. Their idea of a level playing field is that others accept their basic assumptions as some kind of objectively true basis for discussion. A basis which can’t be questioned and from which all other implications derive.

  46. No Henning- no one says Steiner is a manipulator; although he appears to have had mighty self regard, I suspect he was genuine in his delusions, (though others have called him con man)
    The manipulators, in my opinion, are the schools, camphills, follwers etc who don’t mention anthroposophy and what it’s laws are. Who don’t mention karma, reincarnation or higher worlds and expect people lured there to step off the rational pavement of probable fact into the motorway of clairvoyant delusion, smiling all the way in gibbering deferential spiritual admiration.

  47. I do understand you troubles and angryness better now, and I appreciate your honesty. But to go frem there to Stuadenmaier is a big step, and I think: not a good one. He is must certainly a polemic! I do understand that you are not a dissident, but a disappointed parent. But who is to blame: bad teachers, or Rudolf Steiner? Maby some teachers are using antroposophy not to become free people who are responsible for their actions, but to explaine things in a way that makes them free of responsibility? If you read “Philoophy of freedom”, maybe you will se that Steiner belives in freedom in an absolutes way, inspired by Nietszche, and Max Stirner? I, at least, would never defend bad behavior amongs children in a way that blamed the offer in a carmic way, and after all I have only my self to work out from. I dont “believe” in Steiner, more than I belive in any force outside my self, including God. But of course: When you put your child in a class, you give that teacher your belief, and hope for the best. In fact, I see very clearly that spiritual thinking can be jused in a very negative way. I therefore understand your anger. I could only guess what Bjørneboe him self would have done, if he experienced the same as you?! He hatet the antroposophic movement, and saw it as sick – that is to say; he saw the sick elements in it. But he never blaimed antroposophy in it self – it is up to you to decide how you will deal with this in the future. But, without having read Staudenmaiers doctor dissitation – maby i will som day – I have read a lot of his statements – and they dont promise very well. He writes well! – but he is only for people who needs a place to put their anger – dont let it it up your heart!

  48. Cathy — He, Steiner, used manipulative rhetoric, to a degree. But nothing spectacular for a spiritual guru ;-)

    But, yes, the big and problematic issue is what schools and other institutions do today; if they’re honest or not, if they manipulate or not. As with those controversial racist utterances of Steiner’s, the all important question is how they’re dealt with today.

  49. Alicia
    “I don’t think anthroposophist parents are this clueless, and they don’t choose waldorf because of blind love (for what waldorf is not) but because they believe that it’s the right thing. This doesn’t prevent their children from faring ill in waldorf though”

    I’ve come across so many different types of anthroposophic parents; there are certainly those who blindly follow, yes; who haven’t read much, who are on their “path”; and they’re on the whole, good people who don’t want to question, who like the ritual, the belonging, and presumably, the belief that by following this path, they’ll “incarnate higher”, and they don’t discuss because it’s ‘too much in the head’. Consequently, I get the idea they don’t have much of a clue, but are themselves manipulated by those that do.
    But I’ve known others, who call themselves anthroposophists, who are frankly mind bogglingly batty and really quite cold and detached as parents; I suppose they are the ones who believe angels and karma are doing the parenting, and that their child “chose” them.

  50. Henning — ‘He is must certainly a polemic!’

    He doesn’t find anything wrong in polemics; and he’s right, polemical writings have a place too! (To be fair, anthroposophists have engaged in apologetics for years and years — long before Peter was even… born.)

    Anyway, as I said, his dissertation and his academic articles are not polemical. I realize that some of the content may not exactly please anthroposophists — but it is sound research, and should be valued as such. Yes, he’s a good writer — but that’s an asset. Bad writers leave too many interpretations open, are too non-specific, and so forth. Peter is very precise, and I think a topic with so much controversy is well served by such preciseness. Otherwise, people might more easily make (for anthroposophy) unfavourable interpretations of his research.

    The polemical writings, obviously, are very different. It’s a genre, and not an unimportant one. And it’s certainly allowed for academics to engage in.

    ‘I do understand that you are not a dissident, but a disappointed parent.’

    No, I’m a student, Cathy is a former parent, however. If you think I’m angry now, you have no idea how angry I’ve been ;-) Honestly.

    ‘But who is to blame: bad teachers, or Rudolf Steiner?’

    Bad teachers. It’s too late to blame Steiner. I don’t think the guidelines he gave teachers were good enough, though; I think it would be preferable for steiner school teachers to have a regular teacher training.

    ‘Maby some teachers are using antroposophy not to become free people who are responsible for their actions, but to explaine things in a way that makes them free of responsibility?’

    Exactly. This is my suspicion. If anthroposophy was only used by people to become free humans who are responsible (and take responsibility) for their actions, I’m sure critics would have less to complain about. It would, at least, solve a few problems.

    Another suspicion is that this happens too easily, which may have to do with the simple fact that it’s human to find excuses for oneself, to want to exonerate oneself. Anthroposophy is like a philosophical multi-tool, like an esoteric version of those swiss army knives.

    ‘If you read “Philoophy of freedom”, maybe you will se that Steiner belives in freedom in an absolutes way, inspired by Nietszche, and Max Stirner?’

    Yes, and I quite like the early pre-theosophical Steiner. I should have avoided messing with theosophy.

    ‘I, at least, would never defend bad behavior amongs children in a way that blamed the offer in a carmic way’

    (For the benefit of readers who don’t know Swedish or Norwegian, I’m going to start by saying that ‘offer’ is ‘victim’.)

    That’s very good. I think it’s one awful ‘tradition’ (if you could call it that) which waldorf schools and waldorf teacher traning insitututions must take a stand against.

    ‘When you put your child in a class, you give that teacher your belief, and hope for the best.’

    Yes, and usually people trust their child’s teacher, and don’t expect foul play. Waldorf teachers have a stronger position of authority than ordinary teachers, however. Their role encompasses more. They don’t just teach the children, they’re supposed to have special knowledge about the teachers; and parents are too reluctant to question the teachers. Waldorf parents are more prone to rely on belief — which may be because they’ve found something that seems so great (to find the nearest municipal school is not much of a revelation, it’s not the finding of a lifestyle and a community and all that). This exacerbates the problem when a teacher is a bad teacher.

    Bjørneboe was a brilliant man. His perception of the anthroposophical movement was acute, I’d say. His attachment to anthroposophy never seems to have stopped him from thinking independently, moreover; unfortunately the Bjørneboes of anthroposophy are rare. He makes splendid use of anthroposophy, by the way. That’s probably more to the credit of his brilliant mind though.

  51. Cathy — you’re right… I was (very simple-mindedly this time) thinking of one specific category of anthroposophist parents… who are often teachers, too. Or seasoned anthroposophists at least. I suppose there’s a significant group who feels they’ve found some kind feeling of meaning in life, but in reality most longed for belonging and for a social context in which their particular fads fit in. Or something like that.

  52. @Thetis
    “I think I’ll stick with secular democracy, thank you very much.”

    You don’t know what secular democracy is, but you certainly don’t know what social threefolding is.
    Btw Thetis, have you read the full report of the mentioned Dutch commission (720 pages)?
    I don’t think so.
    King Prejudice is firmly keeping you under.

  53. Sorry I didn’t want to be anonymous. But I think Thetis already knew who was talking

  54. Why doesnt anybody accuse Darwin for being a rasist? Which he obviousely was. Because his ideas where non spirutual. People like Staudenmaier are using rasism against Steiner, to disqualify him, but in reality he doesnt care about rasism; he cares about spirituality: It is the spirituality he doesnt like. Nobody knows what S. really stands for, what HE believes in. He is hiding him self behind an objectiv language.
    Sosial threefolding is not anti-democratic. To put society into tree parts, is a way of preventing power of one of the three parts of society to become to strong; you may say that modern capitalism is anti-democratic. You may say that Liberalism is anti-democratic. You may say that old Soviet was anti-democratic. So is the modern theocraties. But Social threefolding is not a new way of inventing a theocraty, far from. It is a way of letting cultural ideas and power grow free from moderne money-making. It is also a way of separating “value” from costs; how can we tell the true value of something? Today only money can tell how much value a ting has; in that way also human beeings are beeing put under the same spell; What is the value of a human being? As much as we can earn on him an here; as much as I can use him or here for my own pleasure….

  55. Jan — I do think Thetis knows what secular democracy is. In any case, secular democracy ought to please anthroposophists and atheists alike. Neither group would thrive in a theocracy.

    One problem with the full 720 pp Dutch report is that it is in Dutch.

    Henning — I think the reason is pretty simple: nobody is denying that Darwin held some racist ideas. Moreover, his theory of evolution has evolved since; science has evolved, it’s not stuck in the 19th century. We know things now that people didn’t know then. It’s not a big deal that Darwin believed things we don’t believe today — because nobody is defending Darwin’s racism or trying to excuse it.

    What was valid of Darwin’s ideas survived, the rest died. I don’t think it has anything to do with spirituality. It’s something entirely different; the fact that Darwin doesn’t have the standing among scientists or even the general public that Steiner has amongst his followers. Darwin proposed a scientific hypothesis, which turned out to be very useful. He didn’t claim higher insights which were to be taken as truths, more or less. (Or if he did, nobody ever bothered to do this, again unlike anthroposophists.)

    ‘People like Staudenmaier are using rasism against Steiner, to disqualify him, but in reality he doesnt care about rasism; he cares about spirituality: It is the spirituality he doesnt like.’

    You don’t know much about Peter, I can tell. It’s true that Peter is not an anthroposophist. But his research is about describing the history of the anthroposophic movement — there’s nothing to discredit Steiner in it. Peter is a historian. Liking or disliking a spiritual movement which is the object of study is beside the point. Prey tell — how do you know what he really cares about? You’re just guessing, based upon your own (partly unfounded, since you haven’t read him) antipathy towards Peter.

    It looks rather silly.

    ‘Nobody knows what S. really stands for, what HE believes in.’

    Well, that’s not entirely true. Over the years, as a participants on the critics list, we’ve gotten more than a glimpse of what Peter stands for and believes in. He’s not a ghost, you know. He’s a real person. But, clearly, what he stands for and believes in is not the subject of his dissertation. Using objective language in academic writing is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.

    ‘Sosial threefolding is not anti-democratic.’

    But two of the spheres are decidedly undemocratic.

    ‘To put society into tree parts, is a way of preventing power of one of the three parts of society to become to strong’

    But we already have a division of power to prevent this (because I’m too tired: den beslutande, den verkställande och den dömande makten). I don’t think what Steiner’s idea offers is any better as safeguard against abuse of power than what we have in place.

    ‘you may say that modern capitalism is anti-democratic’

    I’m sure some people do. What they propose to replace capitalism is not something more democratic though — rather the opposite. (I don’t think democracy is possible without private property. But that’s another matter.)

    ‘You may say that Liberalism is anti-democratic.’

    Liberalism is a political ideology, and one of many political ideologies to operate within a democracy (if only liberalism were allowed, sure, such a nation wouldn’t be a democracy). Democracy is a form of government of a state; it’s supposed to give every citizen a voice. Liberals, libertarians, socialists, conservatives… I don’t see how liberalism as such could be anti-democratic, and most, if not all, liberals are usually in favour of democratic governance.

    ‘You may say that old Soviet was anti-democratic.’

    Since Soviet was a dictatorship, yes, you may certainly say it was anti-democratic. Very few people still hold that Soviet was a democracy, right? And we’d rightly call such people deluded… detached from reality.

    ‘It is a way of letting cultural ideas and power grow free from moderne money-making.’

    To leave the democracy thing aside for a minute, there won’t be much culture without money to spend on culture. It’s called crass reality. Not even anthroposophists can create culture without money; look at the demise of the Goetheanum.

    ‘It is also a way of separating “value” from costs; how can we tell the true value of something?’

    We ask ourselves what something is worth. To us. I don’t think it’s a huge problem separating value from cost. It’s just that value is more individual than cost. To use a very trivial example; the same TV set costs the same whether I buy it or mr X. But we value different things. The true value of owning this TV might for me rest in being able to see some magnificent film. Mr X might value watching docu-soaps. The only thing not under dispute is the cost of the equipment.

    Yes, that’s a very trivial example. But the principles — of differentiating between values and costs — can be applied to any human venture. Most people value their children far more than the children cost. They value lots of things that don’t even have a cost. And spend on things they don’t really value. And so forth.

    The point is: this is quite basic. And people weigh values and costs all the time — without Steiner’s guidance. It’s simply human, I think.

    ‘Today only money can tell how much value a ting has; in that way also human beeings are beeing put under the same spell’

    You underestimate people! You may rightly argue that people ought to pay more attention to value instead of money. But it’s wrong to say only money matters in deciding value. People decide all the time on the value of something, on taking this action vs that action, and so forth, without recourse to monetary considerations. Of course, lack of money, or other resources (personal or financial), may restrict our choices. But not even social threefolding can magically create resources that don’t exist. It’s not like the magician pulling bunnies out of a hat, right? (If it is, mr Dog volunteers to become an adherent.)

    ‘What is the value of a human being?’

    That’s not a question I’d like politicians to vote on anyway. Nor would I want anthroposophists to decide this issue for me. And I don’t think a society based upon social threefolding will be in a position to put a true value on a human being either. Or that it would even be desireable for a society to to it, no matter how this society is governed.

    ‘As much as we can earn on him an here; as much as I can use him or here for my own pleasure….’

    Now, this reminds me of waldorf schools. I can’t think of a better example: students like myself are kept in the system because… the school wants the money. Purely egotistical. Putting the movement’s well-being way ahead of the child’s. Happens over and over again. I suspect the same applies to curative pedagogical institutions; that they don’t care whether they actually have the capacity to help the child, as long as the money keeps coming in.

  56. Jan – we are never going to agree about anthroposophy, let’s face it. But there might be lots of other things we agree about. Perhaps one day we’ll find some common ground and you can stop jumping out of left field on this blog to yell in my direction. I keep expecting you to appear in real life, out of a hedge brandishing a pitchfork. In fact I’ve just been reading Sam Harris’ new book The Moral Landscape and thinking of you. I’m not in a position to know whether your concept of morality constitutes a peak or trough in a moral landscape, but I bet you think mine is subterranean.

  57. You’re friends with Ann Elk and Ann Otherelk. They’ll scare him off. But first they’ll give him a lecture on secular democracy, or what it’s like to lack it. The world of elks don’t have it. Their leader, or dictator, calls himself the king of the forest (at least in Swedish!!). He’s a spiritual being, a sort of group soul leader of elks.

  58. You find your self beeing avoided buy the system??? Whell then, get the fuck out of the system! Make your own system, and stop growling about the one you are in!

  59. About Darwin. His ideas have been put to scrutiny and scientifically tested over a long time. Some held up, their validity was proven, they became generally accepted. Some ideas were modified as the state of scientific knowledge changed. Some didn’t hold up, they were discarded. Nobody but a nut would still hold these ideas as facts — against the evidence.

    Compare this to Steiner, whose many ideas can’t be put to trial scientifically. Some of them can. Some of these ideas should have been discarded as disproven long ago.

    But how often do we see anthroposophists say: well, Steiner suggested X, but we now know that X can’t be true, therefore we can no longer hold X as true?

    We’d be more likely to hear that X is still true though not on a level that can be examined. Or that there are mysteries and the human being can’t grasp everything.

    Well, that may be true, or not. In any case, you don’t hear evolutionary scientists deal with Darwin and Darwin’s legacy in this manner. On the contrary — they discard what doesn’t hold up when confronted with commonly accepted standards of evidence. Knowledge that has been refuted is no longer considered factually correct.

    Anthroposophists keep believing and keep hoping that the evidence will be adapted to their ideas rather than their ideas be adapted to the evidence.

    Nothing problematic about this, unless you start trading anthroposophy as science or comparing Steiner to Darwin.

    That Darwin was a ‘man of his times’ is less of a problem than Steiner being a man of his times. Scientists today don’t live in Darwin’s times. Anthroposophists do, to a certain extent, try to live in Steiner’s time, to breathe Steiner, to live Steiner. He’s so much a part of anthroposophy that anthroposophists can’t detach themselves from him; they don’t see him as a historical figure, as someone who can be criticized and found to have been wrong. He had higher insights which you’d have to be rather bold to question. While Darwin was a person whose impact on scientific progress was huge, science didn’t come to a standstill after him — it’s developed immensely since. I’m not sure we can talk about the same kind of progress when we speak of anthroposophy…

  60. Henning: ‘You find your self beeing avoided buy the system??? Whell then, get the fuck out of the system! Make your own system, and stop growling about the one you are in!’

    Well, you see, I’m not a child anymore, I’m not in school anymore; but I was three years old back then. I didn’t have a choice; three-year olds rarely do. I was allowed to leave when I was 12. Until then, yes, I was indeed kept in a system that treated me badly, gave me an education which doesn’t deserve to be called an education, and lied to my parents that I was really happy although it may not seem so. I’m going to growl about this because otherwise waldorf schools keep pretending that they offer something good and that nobody could find something wrong with it. Usually people just leave; they may scold themselves for being gullible, for deserving whatever they got, et c. I’m not prepared to do that. I don’t think anybody should be. Because as long as people remain silent, waldorf schools can continue their malpractices.

    Children don’t really have a choice. Many parents don’t either; they often don’t realize exactly what kind of product they buy when they enroll their children in waldorf schools.

    Don’t go blaming those who were maltreated by the school system you want to defend. It looks pretty unappealing. Because that’s exactly what you do when you put the blame on the children who have no choice.

    I’d say it’s time for waldorf education to own up to its errors and its wrongs — because waldorf schools continue to function as they did then, by and large. And the same atrocious mistakes are being made, to the detriment of children who can’t help the situation they’re in.

  61. ‘ In any case, you don’t hear evolutionary scientists deal with Darwin and Darwin’s legacy in this manner. On the contrary — they discard what doesn’t hold up when confronted with commonly accepted standards of evidence. Knowledge that has been refuted is no longer considered factually correct.’

    Absolutely. Here’s a good description of how Darwin IS perceived by one of the world’s foremost evolutionary scientists: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7885670.stm

    You might like to note how Dawkins admits how much Darwin didn’t know, couldn’t know, and consequently that he made mistakes.

  62. If it’s any consolation, I would have just loved to get the fuck out of the system; I did try to (until I gave up and thought I’d die still being inside it). For some reason, three-year olds are not even allowed to walk out of kindergarten at their own will or choice.

    Don’t think I remained within the system voluntarily. I definitely did not. Waldorf kindergarten teachers don’t really care about the children, though, or about what children want or need. And waldorf parents are, apparently, too easily duped by confidence-inspiring faces. Somehow it must be the child’s fault anyway — I mean, they offer paradise, and that damn horrible unloveable child just won’t understand that being in paradise hurts badly and that even torment is for her own good.

  63. ‘You might like to note how Dawkins admits how much Darwin didn’t know, couldn’t know, and consequently that he made mistakes.’

    You rarely see this from anthroposophists, least of all from organized anthroposophy.

    Yes, at least some individuals among anthroposophists agree that Steiner made mistakes. But that’s about it.

    In general, there’s a lot of focus, it seems, on pointing out why opponents are miserable and sick people. Very little focus on finding out when, where and how Steiner was right. Or wrong. Even in cases which are pretty obvious.

    The racist stuff in Steiner’s work is much less of an issue the minute present day anthroposophy decides that Steiner made a mistake and was wrong about these things, and when anthroposophy sorts these things out in general.

    Some of the new german editions of the controversial works contain annotations. Or will contain annotations; I don’t know how this has been progressing. It may be a step in the right direction, at least for the publishing companies, but as far as anthroposophy at large is concerned, I don’t know.

  64. yes, it is how these doctrines are interpreted today that matters.

    To have left the theory of natural selection in its 19th (and then 20th) century state would do no service to Darwin. But with Steiner we don’t have theory, we have doctrine.

  65. Darwin only has ONE theory; this theory has been used in a way – connected to the modern society – which one REALLY could be angry with – if one had the guts! Darwin has formed our society in a way that is really unhumane…But his theories are reagarded as THE TRUTH about nature. Because they are about the physical world. If you belive that the world is only physical, which most people think, I can understand it. But I think that there is another world, that is higher than the physical one – and besides, Darwins way of describing the nature is not the only possible one – what about nature as a world with the power of beauty, comparison, and striving for a higher cause? What about morphology; natures form?
    H: It took some time for me to understand your background and your anger: No I understand it: You are a child who where harrasinated in the Waldorf School; whell, so was I, whether you believe it or not; but, for my case, I think it could have happened anywhere…

  66. What is there to be angry about? Either the theory of evolution is correct or it is false. Nothing to be angry about. Those of Darwin’s ideas that were wrong have been discarded. Those ideas that were right prevailed and became established science. Again, nothing weird about that.

    ‘Darwins way of describing the nature is not the only possible one’

    No, certainly not. As far as science goes, people have tested and made revisions and additions and whatnot to Darwin’s ideas ever since he presented his theory.

    But you could describe nature in a painting if you want. Whatever floats your boat. But it will be another kind of description.

    ‘what about nature as a world with the power of beauty, comparison, and striving for a higher cause?’

    Why not? But we wouldn’t arrive at a scientific understanding in this manner. We would end up with something else — and that’s not a bad thing. Not at all. It’s just different.

    ‘whell, so was I, whether you believe it or not;’

    Yes, why not. It can happen anywhere — I never suggested anything else. What I am suggesting is that waldorf teachers are pretty darn lousy dealing with this problem. I hear, again and again, of waldorf teachers ignoring the problem.

    And I think it’s pretty unique for waldorf to keep lying about it for 9 years. You don’t keep telling parents everything is ok, when it clearly is not. This kind of dishonesty, I submit, is difficult to find elsewhere. My guess is that this has to do with waldorf schools assuming that a class is karmically bound together and that the bully and the victim have unresolved issues and are therefore meeting again in this lifetime and need to solve their issues without intervention. *That* is unique for waldorf. No other school system works with such assumptions.

    Again — I’m not angry now. You should have seen me 15 years ago. *Then* I was angry.

  67. elegantly put, Alicia.

    Henning, you can be as angry as you want, but it makes no difference to the evidence.

    ‘Darwin has formed our society in a way that is really unhumane…’ I think our society is rather more humane than it was, on the whole; although in certain areas humans still act in ways considered barbarous by the majority of nations – mutilating little girls, executing homosexuals, murdering apostates etc. A great deal of bad behaviour can be attributed to religious insights and impulses, rather more so than to scientific theory. At any rate, Darwin himself can’t be held responsible for the behaviour of modern humans any more than Steiner can be for the opinions of 21st century anthroposophists.

    Of the two individuals, it’s certain that the former made a greater contribution to science and to our understanding of the world than the latter. If anthroposophists find this upsetting they are free to offer their hypotheses and see if anyone shows an interest – evolution is not a ‘faith position’ and can of course be refined and altered with new evidence. But not if you just feel it’s wrong, or don’t like it, or want your belief in a spiritual realm to sweep the theory of evolution away with a blast from some celestial trumpet.

  68. Well put Thetis. Despite all the cruelty in this world — cruelty usually inspired by cruel religious and cultural beliefs rather than by scientific theories — this world is a far less cruel place than ever before. I prefer to live in Europe today than in the Europe of the dark ages. The enlightenment has been a good thing and scientific understanding of the world and the human being has greatly improved people’s lives.

  69. You obviousely dont see the connection between Darwinism and new-liberalism? And you think our world (Sweeden?) is rather human? But the worl is bigger the Sweeden and Norway, my friend. You both seem to be very pleased with the situation as it is. But can you pleas explaine to me:

    The reason for the ecconomic crisis, in Europe and in USA?
    The reason for the eccologic crisis in the world?

  70. But no matter modern politics — the scientific validity of Darwin’s ideas is dependent on scientific evidence. And this alone. I’d say the same thing about Steiner’s ideas. The problem is they lack scientific evidence. That’s nothing wrong — it’s a spiritual worldview.

    Scientific knowledge is one thing — what we choose to do with it, for example politically, is another thing. Ignoring scientific facts won’t solve environmental problems, for example. Science can help find a solution — but human beings must act to make change happen.

    What’s wrong with liberalism? It ought to suit people who claim to believe in the freedom of the individual…

  71. By the way, both Thetis and I mentioned quite explicitly that there’s much unnecessary cruelty still in the world. Secular and liberal countries seem far better off than religious, strongly traditional & illiberal countries are. This is true for all areas of life: personal & political freedom, health & other living conditions, et c.

    As for questions about the reasons for economic and environmental crises — wouldn’t it be better to listen to what experts have to say (they won’t be unanimous and they won’t come up w a universal theory explaining everything… incl spiritual backgrounds… but what they say will be useful) than to try to build a different society based upon the teachings of a spiritual guru? I mean it. By all means, find inspiration anywhere. But clairvoyancy is no replacement for knowledge, fantasy is no replacement for reality. Don’t ignore the fact that lots of people have studied economic mechanisms or environmental issues — they will be able to give you some hints. You should ask people who know! That’s my best tip.

  72. I asked you to questions, and you didnt answer any of them…Maby because you dont have the knowledge to do so.
    But short about threefolding – which – if you remember – began or discition: Steiner believed that modern industrialism og liberalism made the workers become alienated to what they produced – and the did also become alienated to them selves, because they where treated as producers only, and not humans. They became a part of their product – and was selled in a marked as products.
    He was very close to Marx here – despite all differenses
    How do you think it is to be a person living in the USA, when you can not afford a health-insuranse? What do YOU think of been treated as a part of the marked only, as a money using product among products?
    One of the most typical problems about classical liberalism, is that it is saying that liberalism is NATURAL, based on an understanding of life as a copy of nature in the darwinistic sense of understanding. It is saying the there shold be no interferense between the state and the public, but that the society it transgressing through power and force – and that “freedom” is the same as ecconomical freedom, nothing else. In USA and in England we have seen: That workers communions have been built down, that their sivil rights has vanished, and that big companies has grown in such a way thhat they have corrupted themselves, because they have exploited workers in the third word. If you read Naomi Klein, you will propably understand more of this.
    New liberalism is an ideology that does not believe in freedom as anything then marked-freedom. “There is no society”, Margaret Thatcher said,
    and in that way we are getting an ideology that is not taking responsibility for any actions, because it is only “natural”, even though it is exploding people in poor countrys. New liberalism says that the state should never intervene what so ever, but privatice important geolocial tructures, so as water and oil – which should belong to everybody, not just a few.
    On the other hand: Staudenmanier is actually calling Steiner a new liberalist, that lier! But Steiner did not belive neither in a strong state, nor in new-liberalism. He understod the importance of money-making, but not as a thing that is putting ecconomical force into global markeds. Tell me: Do you like class-differences? Or dont you care about it, as long as you live in Sweeden? How narrow-minded can you get? Do you relly think that you are FREE, when you choose between P

  73. Henning — i did reply. I said that if you want answers on the reasons behind the things you mentioned, you should look at what people who know these things have to say. That’s not me. And it isn’t Steiner either.

    I’ll be back later.

  74. In addition: I think your tone is, well, not very nice. And I’m not fond of all he unwarranted assumptions and the bizarre ‘choices’ you try to pin on me as though your prejudiced presumptions were objective truths.

    More later.

  75. henning – I do understand that there is injustice and much worse in the world. But this moves us a long way from Darwin’s theory of natural selection, which has been adapted with new advances in understanding and should be understood at the level of genes (ie the famous ‘selfish’ gene) and not as an excuse for humans to behave with impunity towards others.

    I agree with Alicia that the answer to injustice, inequality etc is not the rule (however apparently loving and benign) of a spiritual elite who believe they have special access to the clairvoyant visions of a dead esotericist. We’re not unusual.

    Otherwise I’m not sure what you mean, but I think you may be confusing liberal with libertarian.

    You should read more about Peter Staudenmaier. He has (in my opinion at least) a sophisticated grasp of social issues, significant patience and he’s highly approachable. Calling him a liar, a fraud etc makes you look childish (no reputable academic would take this sort of posturing seriously, so there’s no need to worry about a lawsuit).

    By the way – there’s nothing wrong with polemic. If you want to counter a really interesting and readable polemic (something by Hitchens for example, or in this case Peter Staudenmaier) you would do well to write something equally satisfying, erudite and substantial. I love Hitchens (you’d never guess) although I don’t always agree with him – but I can tell you one thing: after one of his scorching polemical pieces I don’t bother to read the comments. Even if they’re absolutely justified, they’re never as good.

  76. Ok, I’m back. I’m afraid that your comments, Henning, make it all too obvious why it would be a shitty idea to give an insubordinate amount of power to the spiritual aristocracy — or to people who imagine they belong to it.

    ‘I asked you to questions, and you didnt answer any of them…Maby because you dont have the knowledge to do so.’

    Hey, why did you think I asked you to read what the experts say and not me? I’m not an ecnomist, I’m not a biologist, et c… Moreover, I’m not here to answer your questions. I’m here to talk to you. If you like. But I’m not here to pretend expertise in areas which you and I probably know equally little about.

    ‘Steiner believed that modern industrialism og liberalism made the workers become alienated to what they produced – and the did also become alienated to them selves, because they where treated as producers only, and not humans.’

    That’s what I’m objecting to. Steiner’s conception of what a human being is.

    It’s also preposterous of Steiner to think he knows to which degree somebody else is alianated from their real selves. Perhaps it was Steiner who was alianated. From reality.

    ‘How do you think it is to be a person living in the USA, when you can not afford a health-insuranse? What do YOU think of been treated as a part of the marked only, as a money using product among products?’

    What do YOU think?

    Moreover, why do you think Steiner’s envisioned society would have the resources to offer health care for everyone? Resources don’t materialise through some kind of magic. Society is not a magician with his hat and bunnies.

    ‘One of the most typical problems about classical liberalism, is that it is saying that liberalism is NATURAL’

    Who the hell says that? Liberalism is a philosophical and political standpoint. It’s no more natural than conservatism or socialism or something else.

    ‘based on an understanding of life as a copy of nature in the darwinistic sense of understanding.’

    Science is descriptive. It offers explanations, tells us how things are. What’s true or not, scientifically speaking, is decided by evidence.

    Political ideologies are normative. They are about how we think things ought to be, for example how to organise society. Normative questions are decided upon through (e g) public discussion, they belong to a an entirely different discourse than scientific knowledge.

    If anyone tries to claim that their political theory is what’s ‘natural’ it’s Steiner — he claims his theory is based upon a true understanding of man. Perhaps you ought to criticize him instead?

    ‘It is saying the there shold be no interferense between the state and the public, but that the society it transgressing through power and force – and that “freedom” is the same as ecconomical freedom, nothing else.’

    If you think the freedom of liberalism is restricted to the economical freedom, you might want to inform yourself about liberalism. What you’re saying is patently bizarre — how on earth did you come upon the idea that liberalism is only about economic freedom? Lots of liberal thinkers have dealt with topics a lot more diverse than you give them credit for.

    ‘If you read Naomi Klein, you will propably understand more of this.’

    I hope you understand that she’s driven by her own political agenda; which, as I understand it, somewhat diminishes the value of the ‘understanding’ you can gain through her work. She’s been harshly criticized.

    Sounds like you’re talking about libertarians, by the way. In any case, there are libertarians among anthroposophists as well. In a libertarian society, anthroposophists would truly be at liberty to do what they want without interference. And with low taxes, and freedom to run schools, hospitals et c, as they please — well, you could argue that for anthroposophists, this is ideal. Keeping your money and keeping your freedom from state interference to run the business as you like. Nobody telling you that state-funded medicine must be evidence-based and so forth, because everything is private and everybody makes their own choices based upon their own preferences without state intervention. Just saying. You could argue that this would benefit anthroposophists.

    ‘even though it is exploding people in poor countrys’

    I’m not in favour of exploding people. Just for the record. Neither do I think it’s right to exploit them. That’s got nothing to do with political ideologies though; what’s immoral is immoral.

    In case you think libertarians support immoral behaviour, you’re wrong. I can say that without being too attached to libertarianism.

    ‘On the other hand: Staudenmanier is actually calling Steiner a new liberalist, that lier!’

    Where? And can you please provide reasoning to support your contention that Staudenmaier is a liar? Thanks.

    And, well, some anthroposophists do find support for their libertarian views in Steiner, if I’m not mistaken…

    What about Steiner’s leanings towards anarchism?

    ‘But Steiner did not belive neither in a strong state, nor in new-liberalism. He understod the importance of money-making, but not as a thing that is putting ecconomical force into global markeds.’

    You’re pretty cock-sure.

    ‘Tell me: Do you like class-differences? Or dont you care about it, as long as you live in Sweeden?’

    The class-differences are there to stay, whether we like them or not. Communism has been tried. It’s a dead-end. There’s no freedom without private property — and private property will always be distributed unequally. More or less. This goes for Steiner’s envisioned society too. He’s not a communist, thank Dog.

    Why would me living in Sweden have anything to do with it?

    Didn’t I already tell you I see that some parts of the world suffer tremendously from cruelty (based upon religion, tradition, lack of democracy, lack of health care, et c)? Do you really think I’m somehow indifferent to this?

    ‘How narrow-minded can you get?’

    How narrow-minded can you get? Pretty narrow-minded, it seems to me.

    ‘Do you relly think that you are FREE, when you choose between ….pepsi and Cocca Cola?!’

    This utterly daft remark says more about the the restrictions of your own mind than it does about the choices I make or the experiences I have.

    Tell me — what has made you think that the life choices of a human being today have this banal quality? Do you think that that’s how ‘normal’ people go about their lives — choosing between pepsi and coke? And while you imagine that this is the reality of ordinary people (or, for that matter, people like me), do you feel good about yourself for being so much more enlightened? For seeing things more clearly than the doofuses in the supermarket? Except you don’t see that the limitations you set are in your mind. Perhaps too busy chastizing others for their choices?

    I can tell you this: nobody’s freedom is restricted to the choice between coke and pepsi.

    For heaven’s sake — if you don’t want either coke or pepsi, there’s nothing stopping you from getting a book instead; you might learn something. There’s nothing stopping you from meditating instead of drinking sugary drinks, either. Or pondering the higher realms. Or whatever you fancy.

    This applies to everyone. In fact, you may be the one who’s least free of us all (here), since you imagine restrictions that don’t exist!

    They apparently do exist in your own mind. So much for narrow-mindedness!

    As for myself, I don’t mind being able to choose between pepsi and coke. I don’t like pepsi. You may not know this, but Sweden had its own anti-capitalist coke: it was called Cuba Coke. Tasted shit. So I don’t really mind being able to choose among trivial goods like beverages. It’s not of an existential importance though. It’s just a question of picking a can in the supermarket.

    What’s truly important is being able to choose my worldview and my beliefs; being able to choose knowledge instead of superstition, to choose between believing in gods or not, et c. I bet being able to choose anthroposophy is no trivial matter to anthroposophists. Why would you consider other people’s life choices more banal than your own? It’s like we’re standing in an entirely black-and-white scene: either the sparkly drink or spirituality! If you want a coke, sorry, you can’t have art too! If you want a tv, you can’t have philosophy!

    What kind of world do you live in… if I may ask…?

    (Not the one I live in, that’s for sure.)

  77. Thetis: ‘Otherwise I’m not sure what you mean, but I think you may be confusing liberal with libertarian.’

    Yes, that’s what I thought too. But even if, it’s a very simple-minded picture of libertarianism too.

  78. in particular of humans. (Though mr Dog says that, as far as he’s been able to determine, humans are pretty simple beings. ‘Are you really happy deciding between coke and pepsi’, he says, ‘when there are also chew-bones of every taste to choose among?’ [Looks disappointed at me.] ‘You humans are so simple-minded… ‘, he sighs.)

  79. Of course, mr Dog’s attitude towards humans is pretty arrogant. He also happily exploit our stupidity and our food stashes. Has anyone noticed how human beings lose their freedom to choose at the sight of a dog wagging a tail and looking cute? It’s like the command of Dog in heaven himself (herself) compels you to handing over that piece of cheese!

  80. he’s right: and we may have far less free will than we imagine. We may just be arranging these random thoughts in some order, hampered rather than helped by our huge capacity for language and fantasy. What happens if we don’t like coke or pepsi? It’s too complicated.

  81. Then you drink champagne, Thetis.

    In the ethereal kiosk we choose between champagne and champagne. The thing is, when you have champagne, you don’t need choices. In particular, the choice between pepsi and coke becomes superfluous. There are endless possibilities, but I feel champagne truly encompasses them all — in a bottle!

  82. ‘We may just be arranging these random thoughts in some order, hampered rather than helped by our huge capacity for language and fantasy.’

    I object on behalf of an imagined anthroposophist: that’s why you meditate on higher truths to arrive at a true understanding of human nature.

    I now return to my own heretic self: that only results in another fantasy which, in turn, makes you believe you’re wiser and making more meaningful choices than you really are. (Might, as pointed out, hamper your access to reality, an unfortunate side-effect.)

  83. To be truthful, the ethereal kiosk keeps a sizeable stash of cognac — Rudi’s favourite. So it’s not like there isn’t choice… oh no… (But no pepsi or coke.)

  84. We’re too high-cultured and too advanced in culinary matters. Only the best is good enough. And why should you settle for less, it’s the ethereal kiosk, after all…

  85. I’m exercizing my freedom through posting nonsense instead of preparing dinner. Although I’m hungry! Interesting, huh?

    (I’m not lying about the Cuba cola. It existed. It was a bizarre product for people who thought communism was better than capitalism; people who didn’t want to buy an American drink even if it tasted much better. Cuba cola disappeared. Times changed. There’s a splendid beverage called Kinnie, by the way. You can’t buy it in Sweden anymore, sadly. It’s from Malta. I wish Kinnie would replace Pepsi in the supermarket shelves. It’s a pity that a few companies dominate the market to such a degree that alternatives don’t have a fair chance. It would be delusion to think anthroposophical ideas could change any of this though — we’d all be drinking unpasteurized, ehec-contaminated milk to work out our food related karma if they had their way… Ok ok, now I’m evil again. Shut up, Shut up! I tell myself. To no avail. We don’t have much free will do we? Or perhaps it’s a matter of what we *will*… despite the judgements of our better selves…)

  86. there’s a time for champagne and a time for cognac. Champagne on the way up, and cognac to console us on the way down, wouldn’t you say?

  87. The funny thing about criminal law is that it basically presupposes the existence of human, individual freedom; it’s like this basic assumption underpinning it all. For pragmatic reasons, if not out-right philosophical. The idea of responsibility would pretty much go down the drain if the law aspired towards a scientific conception of the human being. I leave it to you to figure out why it doesn’t ;-)

  88. (There were legal philosophers who suggested a more mechanistic view on responsibility: causation, materialistically understood.)

  89. ‘there’s a time for champagne and a time for cognac. Champagne on the way up, and cognac to console us on the way down, wouldn’t you say?’

    Oh yes. Is Rudi perpetually on the way down… I wonder? He doesn’t drink much champagne. Occasionally, but he seems to prefer cognac.

  90. That would make choice more exciting. Some choices take you to the higher worlds, without having to wander along that long and winding spiritual path (with its elusive goal) ;-)

  91. it’s meditative. You can’t go down indefinitely, it’s a natural law. The gnomes push you back up.

  92. Thetis — The gnomes have to. If they don’t, their subterranean homes will be destroyed.

    I just had an intution that I ought to add a few things about the bullying, which, as such, may happen in all institutions. In waldorf though:

    1. when one child subjects another child to a violent act, it’s blamed on the victim (who deserved it, even if the only thing she did to deserve it was to remain — provocatively, apparently — passive) and THEN the victim of this violence is forced to invite the aggressor to her home, to the only remaining place of safety and security for a three year old whose kindergarten experience is being turned into a horror (this method is waldorf-pedagogically correct, as I understand it — I’m not the only one, this seems to have been widely practiced) ,

    2. when kindergarten is over and it’s time to start school, they put the aggressor in the same class as the victim — AGAIN!

    Because, apparently, the two ‘belong’ together. How do you explain this irresponsible behaviour if it weren’t for anthroposophical dogma, albeit in its worst application? It’s simply cruel. And if someone suggests that it had to be me, in order to spare some other child the cruelty, then I’ll punch them in the face. (I’ve seen anthroposophists suggest this.)

  93. ” we’d all be drinking unpasteurized, ehec-contaminated milk to work out our food related karma”

    That’s right, because karma causes illness, don’t be blaming harmless ol’ E. coli.

    I have been reading anthropological (no, not anthroposophical …) accounts of karma. There are people who believe karma can literally be transmitted through food. I don’t believe there are any such notions in Steiner, though.

  94. No, the contaminated food just helps. Otherwise you might need several incarnations to learn the same lesson.

    (We’re having a bit of an Ehec-problem in Sweden right now. A karma opportunity ;-) Some people have even excarnated.)

  95. Nothing like a little food-borne infection to clear up karmic problems, and improve one’s incarnational prospects next time ’round.

    The conversation above is a little less bizarre if one assumes that your correspondent does not know the difference between the meanings of “liberal” and “libertarian” in English.

  96. Or maybe he means neoliberalism. But I don’t know why. What he wrote seemed to fit libertarianism, that’s why I made that connection.

    The distinctions would be the same in nordic languages.

  97. He also made the connection to Steiner. Saying that it’s a lie by Peter to make Steiner a (neo?)liberal. This claim would only make sense if Peter had claimed Steiner held libertarian ideas. This is not strange at all, given Steiner’s anarchism, which, I take it, contains libertarian elements.

  98. The more I think about it, the more I think all concepts have been confused.

    ‘This claim would only make sense if Peter had claimed Steiner held libertarian ideas’; clarification: and *not* (neo?)liberal ones.

    Edit: but Henning speaking about European politics seems to be referring to neoliberalism, yet using the same term as in that Steiner claim.

    So, ok, I’ll stop speculating. I can’t figure this out conclusively.

  99. I am a ware of the distinction in Norwegian between: “liberalitet” og liberalisme”. But I dont know the distinction in english….Liberalism for me has to meenings: As an ideologi and as a form of practical behavior…
    Anyway: Translate this: “DEN NYLIBERALE STATEN: Den avgjørende oppgaven for den nyliberale staten er å skape et “godt forretningsklima” og derfor sikre best mulige betingelser for kapitalakkumulasjon uansett hvilke konsekvenser dette måtte ha for sysselsettingen eller den sosiale velstanden. Dette skiller den fra den sosialdemokratiske staten som har en målsetting om full sysselsetting og om å sikre mest mulig velstand for sine borgere, samtdig som den skal opprettholde betingelsene for rimelige og stabile kapitalakkumulasjonsrater. Den nyliberale staten søker å lette og stimulere alle forretningsinteresser gjennom skattereduksjoner og andre konsesjoner så vel som strukturelle forsørgelser på statens regning om nødvendig, ved at den hevder at dette vil sikre vekst og inovasjon, og at dette er den eneste måten å bekjempe fattigdom på og sikre, på lang sikt, høyere levestandarder for befolkningsmassene. Den nyliberale staten er spesielt påpasselig med å privatisere ressurser for derved å åpne opp nye området for kapitalproduksjon. Innad er den nylierale staten fiendtlig til, og i noen tilfeller direkte undertrykkende overfor alle former for sosial solidaritet som begrenser kapitalakkumulasjonen- slik som fagforeninger eller andre sosiale bevegelser – Den trekker seg tilbake fra velferdsytelser og minimerer sin rolle så mye som mulig innenfor helse, offentlig utdanning og sosiale tjenesteytelser….”David Harvey.
    I Norge har vi Fremskrittspartiet, som nylig har mistet mange velgere pågrunn av ønsker om innskrenkninger i sosiale sykelønsordninger og så videre…

  100. Yes, that quote describes neoliberalism, not liberalism. Neoliberals are liberal; while liberals are not neoliberals. There is a difference between liberalism and neoliberalism; that’s why we have two terms referring to two different ideologies. Neoliberalism’s origins are in the mid-20th century.

    You then said Peter had called Steiner a (neo?)liberal. This is where libertarianism enters the picture. Not that I have any idea what you’re referring to, but it would not be wrong to call Steiner a libertarian, since some of his ideals align with libertarian ideals, so I thought you called Peter into question for assigning libertarian values to Steiner. Calling him a neoliberal makes little sense, however; so I interpreted you to mean libertarian. Unless I have the reference, I can’t really say if there’s anything to your claim that Peter ‘lied’ — much less what reasons he had for this desgnation which is still somewhat unclear — but given the confusion I suspect there is no lie at all, but possibly a misunderstanding somewhere.

    ‘Liberalism for me has to meenings: As an ideologi and as a form of practical behavior…’

    This doesn’t make sense. Liberalism, like other political ideas, is an ideology. One point of political ideologies is to make a practical difference in the world, to change policies in society, et c. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t make any difference whatsoever what party we voted for in the election. Socialism, e g, is also an ideology with practical implications.

  101. Fremskrittspartiet’s policy, it seems, can be described as neoliberal, at least as far as the economic agenda goes. But, to return the alleged (neo)liberal accusation against Steiner, they’re not libertarians, which would, I say again, better describe Steiner. And I can’t find anything to suggest that they’re more beholden to classical liberalism than other political parties in the nordic region; possibly, or even likely, they’re less so. But looking at their program, it seems to me they pick and choose; like true opportunists. (They seem to want lower taxes while continuing to spend money in, more or less, all sectors of society, with some notable exceptions…) In addition, some of their values seem pretty conservative, and yet other ideas could be found in social democracy as well.

    Interestingly, they have a number of ideas on their program that ought to suit waldorf proponents well.

  102. Yes: In the the new number of “Agora” “journal of metphysical speculation”, printed as a university forum, and which has nothing to do with antroposophy at all, there is a big number under the titel. “New-liberalism”, the conductor writes: “New liberalism is both a political, practical thing, and a policial ideologi.”
    Steiner was undobtely a liberalist – but not an ECCONMICAL liberalist. He belived that liberalisme, as for socialism, was one of the greatest ideas og the human race. But that is to say; a liberalist that belived in spiritual and cultural freedom. Under the ecconomical brigde, the should be sosialisme.
    I am beginning to think that you are making this discussion to complicated, but calling Steiner an ecconomical liberalist is definitively a lie, and S. has. (I will try to find the place where he said it….)

  103. We seem to overlap each other….It is true that Fremskrittspartiet an the right wing has supported THE IDEA of schools built as private schools or “Freedom schools” as they are called in Norway, but that is only because og the liberalistic idea of building schools that are not a parr of the official stat organism….In practis, it has nothing to do eiter with the left og the right wing, or with populism….as I said; Threefolding is a mix between socialism, liberalism and democratic thinking, but on different levels…

  104. I am reffering to Humanist, a norwegian publication for seculated, anti religios people, number 2/2000:

    You can translate if you want:

    “Steiner er: “En sterk forsvarer av privat profitt, konsentrasjon av eiendom og rikdom og ukontrollert markedsøkonomi.”
    Peter Staudenmaier.

  105. Yes — try to find a reference, it can only help.

    That edition of Agora is about what we’ve been calling neoliberalism! (That’s the English term.) I don’t know where you found the quote you translated, I can’t find it on the publisher’s website, but to me it seems like a truism — political ideologies are usually meant to have a practical implications. It’s not particular to neoliberalism.

    At least in his youth, Steiner might have been a libertarian.

    And as far as neoliberalism is concerned, it didn’t exist during his lifetime anyway.

    Steiner didn’t want state interference in the economic sphere in his three-fold society. In this he still, late in life, shared the opinion held by libertarians. They want minimal state interference in economic matters (as well as in other matters). If you confuse this with modern — or mid 20th century — neoliberalism, that’s a mistake. Which would make the confusion yours. It’s probably good to sort this out before calling anyone a liar.

  106. It’s not available online, unfortunately. Or at least I can’t find the quote (except on Tarjei’s website, and, frankly, that’s not good enough). What’s the Norwegian title of the article?

  107. I was wrong: It is a translation of the article “Antroposphy and eco-fascism.” Read it again, and see for your self. Can you find the quote?

  108. Ah! yes, good. Well, then it’s easy to find the article. It was published in Swedish as well, in magazine Folkvett and in a book. I’ll find the quote now.

  109. I found it: “Steiner emerged as an ardent defender of pirvate profit, the concentration of property and wealth, and the unfettered marked….”

    Staudanmaier.

  110. In “Humanist 2/2000 there is a long reaction from Peter Nordmann Waage and Cato Schiøtz. Waage writes. “Ifølge Staudenmaier mener Steiner og hans etterfølgere at aborginerne tjener menenskeheten best ved å dø ut. I virkelighetens steiner-bevegelse har de med sin kultur og sine myter preget flere Steinerskoler i Australia.”

    Videre. “Ikke overraskende er hans øvrige (Staudenmaiers) påstander like uvederheftige. Joda, Steiner skrev om “Raser” – i likhet med alle tenkere på hans tid. dette var flere tiår før Holocaust skandaliserte begrepet, som delvis ble brukt med den betydning vi legger i “Etnisk” De utrykkene som tross alt høres temmelig betente ut – blant annet begerpet “Rotrase”, beklaget Steiner ar han hadde brukt allerede i 1909. “Arisk” sluttet han å bruke på samme tid”. H

  111. This is a polemical article though, as we discussed. That’s a different genre than academic writing.

    Anyway, here’s a more extensive quote:

    ‘Anthroposophists consider this threefold structure to be “naturally ordained.”[18] Its central axiom is that the modern integration of politics, economy and culture into an ostensibly democratic framework must falter because, according to Steiner, neither the economy nor cultural life can or should be structured democratically. The cultural sphere, which Steiner defined very broadly, is a realm of individual achievement where the most talented and capable should predominate. And the economy must never be subject to democratic public control because it would then collapse. Steiner’s economic and political naiveté are encapsulated in his claim that capitalism “will become a legitimate capitalism if it is spiritualized.”[19]

    In the aftermath of the bloody world war, at the very moment of the greatest upheavals in history against the violence, misery, and exploitation of capitalism, Steiner emerged as an ardent defender of private profit, the concentration of property and wealth, and the unfettered market. Arguing vehemently against any effort to replace anti-social institutions with humane ones, Steiner proposed adapting his “threefold commonwealth” to the existing system of class domination. He could scarcely deny that the coarse economic despotism of his day was enormously damaging to human lives, but insisted that “private capitalism as such is not the cause of the damage”:

    “The fact that individual people or groups of people administer huge masses of capital is not what makes life anti-social, but rather the fact that these people or groups exploit the products of their administrative labor in an anti-social manner. [ . . . ] If management by capable individuals were replaced with management by the whole community, the productivity of management would be undermined. Free initiative, individual capabilities and willingness to work can not be fully realized within such a community. [ . . .] The attempt to structure economic life in a social manner destroys productivity.”[20]’

    The references are:

    19. Steiner quoted in Thomas Divis, “Rudolf Steiner und die Anthroposophie” in ökoLinx #13 (February 1994), p. 27.

    20. From an untitled lecture manuscript in Steiner’s archive, reproduced in Walter Kugler, Rudolf Steiner und die Anthroposophie, Cologne 1978, pp. 199-200.

    *

    So — a question: if the state doesn’t regulate the economic sphere, and it if isn’t subject to democratic control measures (of any kind?), how capitalism, in its ugliest form (if you’re inclined to think these forms are ugly), prevented? ‘Private capitalism’ can’t be stopped without state interference — and Steiner objected to state interference in the economic sphere. This: ‘Steiner emerged as an ardent defender of private profit, the concentration of property and wealth, and the unfettered market’ may be slightly exaggerated (remember: it’s polemical writing), but the thing is, all these are consequences of Steiner’s desire to leave the economic spehere free in relation to the state. Who’s going to stop ‘private profit, concentration of property and wealth, and the unfettered market’ if the state has no power in the economic spere of the threefold society? Will archangels interfere? I’m sure Steiner had some idea of how, based upon a ‘true’ understanding of the human being, but in reality, the state butting out of the economic sphere is the same as handing over control to the market and to those who want to make private gains and to aggregate wealth. He may call these anti-social drives, but they’re human. That’s the practical consequence. If Steiner didn’t want these negative aspects to occur, he was actually naive not to realize they were the consequences of what he suggested. The practical consequences of what he defended — ardently or not — were those Peter describes.

    I don’t see the problem, frankly. I wouldn’t express myself the way Peter did, because I don’t share the political views which (more than) shine through (again, it’s polemical writing, it’s not supposed to be neutral or, for that matter, academic in tone). You won’t find statements like that in his dissertation.

  112. So your are actually defending and excusing him and this statements, taken out of nowhere? I hoped you wouldnt, i really hoped you wouldnt…the best you could do in this example, is to admitt that he has understood Steiner in a wrong way, but no….

  113. It is not true that you have to choose between State og private capitalism! Staudenmaier makes this the only opption: Steiner is against a strong state, so then! – even though he hasnt said so ANYWHERE! he HAS to be a strong defender og private capitalism???? In fact, this is a total misunderstanding. he is not against capitalism, but he is against capitalism in its now-excisting forms….

  114. “Ifølge Staudenmaier mener Steiner og hans etterfølgere at aborginerne tjener menenskeheten best ved å dø ut. I virkelighetens steiner-bevegelse har de med sin kultur og sine myter preget flere Steinerskoler i Australia.”

    Well — the second sentence doesn’t refute the first. There’s no contradiction whatsoever.

    “Ikke overraskende er hans øvrige (Staudenmaiers) påstander like uvederheftige. Joda, Steiner skrev om “Raser” – i likhet med alle tenkere på hans tid. dette var flere tiår før Holocaust skandaliserte begrepet, som delvis ble brukt med den betydning vi legger i “Etnisk” De utrykkene som tross alt høres temmelig betente ut – blant annet begerpet “Rotrase”, beklaget Steiner ar han hadde brukt allerede i 1909. “Arisk” sluttet han å bruke på samme tid”

    And lots of people in Steiner’s times were anti-racists. Long before the Holocaust.

    He continued to spout the occasional racist crap until the end of his life — does it matter which exact words he used? (I can’t verify that Steiner stopped talking about rootraces and aryans in 1909 — did they have access to a full computerized GA search in 2001?) The infamous race and skin colour lecture took place in the 1920s; isn’t it bad enough?
    https://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/det-forbjudna-foredraget/

  115. ‘It is not true that you have to choose between State og private capitalism! Staudenmaier makes this the only opption: Steiner is against a strong state, so then! – even though he hasnt said so ANYWHERE! he HAS to be a strong defender og private capitalism????’

    If you don’t have a strong state with a strong influence in the economic sphere, how to you stop capitalism? You’d have to ask the archangels to fix that situation. No, he doesn’t *have* to be a strong defender of private capitalism. You can call him a naive idealist with no realistic outlook as far as to where his policies would lead society. (Not necessarily to a bad place, in this regard. But I’m not anti-capitalist ;-))

    ‘So your are actually defending and excusing him and this statements, taken out of nowhere?’

    I’m saying they’re reasonable, from the position Peter is taking in the article. (Taken out of nowhere? He does provide some references!) I don’t share his position. It’s a polemical article, for dog’s sake. I would have to share Peter’s political evaluations of things to fully ‘defend and support’ this, wouldn’t I? And I don’t. But his interpretation of Steiner is perfectly acceptable; his interpretation is perfectly reasonable.

    ‘the best you could do in this example, is to admitt that he has understood Steiner in a wrong way’

    He hasn’t. His interpretation is perfectly possible, in particular in an article of this nature. He’s understanding Steiner in a different way than you do. You would write a different kind of polemical article. But that’s ok. I don’t understand the fuss.

    ‘In fact, this is a total misunderstanding. he is not against capitalism, but he is against capitalism in its now-excisting forms….’

    That solves the problem, even though you don’t see it. To stop capitalism in its present form (present now or in Steiner’s day), would require state intervention. He’s against state intervention in the economic sphere. It logically follows that capitalism will reign free, pretty much. Unless you put spiritual aristrocracy in the place of the state — and give them the power, which the state would otherwise have had, to control economic resources. Well — that would be illiberal, and highly undemocractic, more so than capitalism.

  116. Here are Peter Staudenmaier’s and Peter Zeger’s replies to Waage by the way:

    http://www.social-ecology.org/2009/01/anthroposophy-and-its-defenders-2/
    http://www.social-ecology.org/2009/01/the-janus-face-of-anthroposophy-2/

    The first one includes a reply to Waage’s claim that Steiner stopped using the term root-races in 1909. The reply then goes on to deal with capitalism. You may find some answers there; I have not had time to read these articles again now and thoroughly. But there are many references to Steiner’s works.

  117. Nota bene — my interpretations of the capitalism, private property (et c) stuff are mine. I don’t know what was behind what Peter wrote — in his case I’d say it’s reading Steiner’s words! So check out the sources provided in
    http://www.social-ecology.org/2009/01/anthroposophy-and-its-defenders-2/

    (Of course, I’m falling asleep now. I was going to say something remotely intelligent, but it got lost in transmission. If it was even there before.)

  118. Alicia, you did say the most important (despite the late hour 2:08 am):
    “So check out the sources “

  119. Thank you, Alfa.

    And if the apologists want even more sources, I can but (once again) recommend the dissertation. It’s so full of sources and references (to the man, Steiner, himself and to other anthroposophists) that you could occupy an entire life-time on the hunt for ‘lies’.

    Anyway. I was thinking. You’re a poet of some kind, Henning, am I correct? (If I’m correct, the writing is not bad at all.) I wonder, though, do you suffer from a (for a poet) remarkable lack of imagination or a (rather unappealing) superiority complex? You seem to be quite able to harbour more complex thoughts and express a more diversified ideas about human things than banalities like ‘it’s either pepsi or coke’ — don’t you think other people in this world have the same capabilities? (Not everyone who doesn’t appreciate everything Steiner said spends his days drinking pepsi while watching docusoaps, you know. Steiner’s critics aren’t somehow culturally underdeveloped.) Or do you envision us all drowning in a nasty bog of american carbonated drinks, indifferent to ethics, metaphysics, the world, our selves, others, nature, our place in it, our choices, our lives, meaning, consequences, and so forth?

    I think this is important. Because often this is also the attitude of waldorf schools: they think that in the outside world, children are given the choice between barbie and my little pony, tv and computer games… and that there’s nothing more. While they’re ‘saving childhood’ and creating paradise (they believe).

    In reality, it might be the waldorf children who are being deprived. Waldorf didn’t give me art and literature; the real world did. Waldorf should step down from its high horses.

  120. Thank you for finally being able to share into what “Henning” actually was saying. I find the argumentation from both sides worthwhile, thank you very much, both of you. Henning do have some nonsense on evoloution (Lamarck?), and for a fair treatment of Steiner Alicia lacks the historical context. Kind regards

  121. *I* lack the historical context? Excuse me for saying this, but Henning’s ‘fair’ (?) treatment of Steiner and his historical context seems to rely on some rather unsolid foundation, for example the refuted arguments of the apologetical Waage, and notions such as that of everyone being racist in Steiner’s time (which is wrong) and that this would excuse Steiner (though at the same time denying that there is something racist in Steiner’s thinking) — hello paradoxes.

  122. Not to speak of the big confusion around liberalism, neoliberalism and libertarianism. I’m not sure I was the one most lacking in (historical or other) context there, to be honest.

  123. The writing is not bad at all?! Are you trying to give me some kind of a compliment???

    Of course That pepsi/coca thing was an oversimpification. But the point was not that we only have those to things to chose between, but that we are not as free in or choises as we like to think; because that is how the commercial indistry is working; in fact Steiner said that commercial industry is in a way religious; their way of bulding up brands and connect them to the users personality like a kind of emblematic force, is – on one way, religious.

    Steiner was a heavy reader of Ernst Haeckel, yes – and he had the idea that all people had som kind evolutionary goal that they should reach towars the centurys, The kind of soiritual thinking which you could find amongst indians, would die out –

    “I de femten første etterkrigsårene dreier Bjørneboes engasjement seg i all hovedsak om antroposofisk fundert vitenskaps – kultur og skolekritikk, samt i mer generelle angrep på velferdsstaten og tidens nye poulærkultur, det være seg fjernsyn, film eller tegneserier. Han utsigelsesposisjon etableres på vegne av kulturen og metafysikken, og som representant for et menenskesyn som står i opposisjon til det rådende sosialdemokratiet.” Tore Rem.
    What do you think of Bjørneboe as such?

  124. ‘The writing is not bad at all?! Are you trying to give me some kind of a compliment???’

    You could call it that ;-) I didn’t know, conclusively, if they were your poems though.

    ‘in fact Steiner said that commercial industry is in a way religious’

    People who have observed Apple fanatics might draw the same conclusions ;-) But, of course, cult behaviour is not restricted to *religious* or spiritual cults — it’s well known there are political movements and commercial interests operating exactly like cults. You don’t need religion to go religiously mad. But as with religion, not all political or commercial organisations show this kind of behavior — a few do. They’re extreme. That stuff should always be criticized and subjected to scrutiny — and be rejected because it’s manifested unreason and an obstacle making informed decisions.

    I adore Bjørneboe. He’s a genius and usually brutally honest. Whether I agree with him is another matter; I suppose sometimes do and sometimes don’t, and it doesn’t disturb me much.

  125. Thats good, you are acutally beginning to talk sense, now.

    But you where misunderstanding Steiners point, I belive. He was not pointing at people who are using all their time and interest in technic, as a kult. He was pointing at the way modern industries are creating a RELATION between the product and its users…the product in it self becomes totaly fri of any practical use; the value is only builded upon how the user is connecting him og her personality or the brand. The idea of how this is done – has something religious in its way of existing; you digg something that is highly mental and very connected to class and how you want be as a person. But the product in it self is not as important as the idea of the product; it is the idea you have bought; the production of the shoes, for example, is in it self often very simpel and done in the third world, where workers are working for nothing.

    The poems are mine, surely- if you have googled me, I now there mine.

    Thanks for the compliment. H

  126. ‘Thats good, you are acutally beginning to talk sense, now.’

    Or nonsense. There’s a thin line between the two.

    (I’ll be back. Eating supper. Prepared while talking lots of nonsense. Yes, that’s how I found the poems. Or, rather, I had the intution, last night, to google ‘henning naess + steiner’ because I thought you might have written more about… Steiner. It just so happens that one of the poems contains the word ‘steiner’. A different kind of ‘steiner’… but still. It’s an entertaining coincidence.)

  127. ‘He was pointing at the way modern industries are creating a RELATION between the product and its users…’

    That’s exactly what companies like Apple have managed to do, isn’t it? People experience an almost personal relationship with a brand. And, sometimes, defend it fanatically (much like cult adherents… oddly…).

    ‘the product in it self becomes totaly fri of any practical use; the value is only builded upon how the user is connecting him og her personality or the brand.’

    Well, there are such brands. But most products have *some* practical use. It may not be a highly important kind of use, not the thing you couldn’t be without, but they aren’t free from practical use.

    Coca cola may not be the most important beverage as far as our survival is concerned — we’d be better off drinking water, unless we need the sugar for some particular reason — but it has practical use. Whether good or bad for you, you can still drink it.

    ‘But the product in it self is not as important as the idea of the product; it is the idea you have bought; the production of the shoes, for example, is in it self often very simpel and done in the third world, where workers are working for nothing.’

    These observations are pretty prevalent.

    Some people buy into the idea of waldorf education. I would say there are similarities. They buy the idea more than they buy the actual product.

    In any case: Steiner leaving the economic sphere free from state intervention — how is this going to stop people from treating brands and products as essential identity markers even when the products themselves are barley (or not at all) necessary?

    (That said, I don’t think it is the place for the state to interfere. Absolutely not. I’m just saying that it is impossible to stop what’s patently part of human nature, seeking identity, accumulating goods — unless you take extreme measures, which only the state can have at its disposal. — In fact, a private anti-commercialism militia would be an even more horrifying prospect. — And, remember one thing: even the person who thinks, e g, Nike shoes (I’m making this up) is essential to his sense of self, will be in possession of a more multifaceted personality than this. He may feel an odd attachment to the Nike brand — but this will not prevent him from developing other parts of his personality, does it? The people who really lose are those producing Nike shoes for small wages in impoverished nations of the world. Or, I shouldn’t say lose. The alternatives may be even more dire. In any case — Steiner’s solution is no solution; if the economic sphere is left unchecked by state power, every unscrupulous person is free to make profits from people who have no other choice due to their living circumstances. Steiner’s solution works if people (everyone) act ideally and with noble goals — and not even anthroposophists are capable of this.)

  128. Steiner and “steiner” – that was funny!

    I have written lots of articles on different themes – but very few of them are on the net, I think. I hade one on Tore Rem and Bjørneboe in the same newspaper as my last one; “Klassekampen” – a left wing paper.
    Have you never bought something without using It? And have you ever watch TV-shop?
    Of course most things have a certain practical value – but there is a question of need, also, in the pictures, isnt it?
    Well you may very well say that the idea og Waldorf school often does not live up to its practical standards. I am trying my best to change it. But the school in it self is very difficult to change; you probably would have to start your own Waldorfschool, then….
    I am not going to try to convince you that a third possibility is within reach. You are not going to believe me anyway; but for further reading on the subject: Try Kaj Skagens essays: For example “Mellom partikontoret og supermarkedet”, “Antroposofiske essays”, eller “Natt til dommedag.” He was one of the young writers that Bjørneboe felt a strong connection to…now he is in his 60ies..A very interesting person, an active intellectuell in Norway, you may have heard of him.

  129. I haven’t read Tore Rem’s Bjørneboe books yet (I waited for the paperback…), but read some of the stuff published in the media when the debate was intense.

    ‘Have you never bought something without using It?’

    Oh yes. But this is not the same thing as the product being useless. In some cases, I was just too incompetent, uninterested or lazy to use it. How would anthroposophy solve that problem?

    ‘And have you ever watch TV-shop?’

    I don’t count flipping through channels as watching, so, nope. It seems like an utterly boring way to buy plastic junk, as far as I can tell.

    ‘Well you may very well say that the idea og Waldorf school often does not live up to its practical standards.’

    That’s one thing. The other is: parents know too little about those standards, but the facade looks appealing.

    ‘But the school in it self is very difficult to change’

    Indeed!! It’s what people who’ve tried say all the time — might there be a reason, maybe? Dogmatic adherence to out-dated ideas? (Possibly.)

    ‘Try Kaj Skagens essays: For example “Mellom partikontoret og supermarkedet”, “Antroposofiske essays”, eller “Natt til dommedag.” He was one of the young writers that Bjørneboe felt a strong connection to…now he is in his 60ies..A very interesting person, an active intellectuell in Norway, you may have heard of him.’

    Yep, I’ve read many of his essays that are available online (but have forgotten the titles). He’s at his best when he isn’t trying to defend anthroposophy or Steiner, because when he is, he becomes too apologetic, and seems to lose some ground under his feet…

  130. You may also try: “Mennesket, makten og markedet”, probably the best book on the theme…but that one is written by Waage, so….he is the one i Norway – besides Skagen – who knows most of the theme Dreigliderung.

    I am the editor of the magazin: “Cogito” which also has a connection to antroposophy – you may go in to or homepage: WWW Forumcogito

    I have written an article on Immanuel Kant and Steiner, amongst more…

    H

  131. I have no solution to the problem of bying needles things- or things you need, but dont put into practic – a dont have a solution on every problem that exists in this world, even though it may sound so…

  132. If you want to read “mennesket, makten og markedet”, you have to contact him by person; the book is out of sale.

  133. ‘I have no solution to the problem of bying needles things- or things you need, but dont put into practic – a dont have a solution on every problem that exists in this world, even though it may sound so…’

    Well, I wouldn’t expect that ;-) But isn’t it safe to assume that people will occasionally buy useless things — or rather: things they don’t end up using — in a threefold society as well? So we aren’t really solving that problem?

    The Choroi flutes were *totally* useless in my hands, I can reveal… though it was not my mistake to buy them, of course. I mean: all kinds of things — not just TV-shop junk — can be completely wasted in the wrong person’s hands. They (the flutes) were properly produced (from an anthroposophical viewpoint… if nothing else), their purpose was noble (if lofty) and supposedly meaningful, they were ‘real’ things not plastic junk, they were probably sustainable products, nature friendly, blah blah, in short, they were really good — on paper. Practically speaking: massive failure. Frankly, it would have been less a waste of resources to put an empty Coke can in my hands. If idly holding an object was important. Not that I have any idea why it would be. But it sure seems to have been the ultimate goal of waldorf, since I stood there holding one pointless wooden stick after another, year after year. Buying new ones when I could have just kept the old one. Or preferably just a cheap object like a can or a stick found in the forest. Anything.

    Well — the point is: I’m sure well-intended people, no matter what kind of society, will continue to invest in items that turn out to be absolutely useless to the individual.

    So I suppose it helps to distinguish between items that have no use (whatsoever) and items that are useless to a particular individual.

    Coke is not useless if you’re thirsty and want to drink a Coke. It’s useless if you don’t like it, for instance. But the product has a use.

    The Choroi flute has a use to some people, I guess, but I sure as hell have never figured out what this use would be. You can chew on it, that’s as far as I’ve come in my investigations.

    ‘…but that one is written by Waage, so….he is the one i Norway – besides Skagen – who knows most of the theme Dreigliderung.’

    I’m slightly suspicious of Waage’s state of enlightenment having seen the back and forth with Peter in 2001. But that’s ten years ago, of course. Oh, the book is from 2002. (We don’t have anthroposophist intellectuals like him or Skagen in Sweden. Well, I’m sure we do, but they’re closeted anthroposophists, as it were. I mean people who write on anthroposophy *and* other subjects, who write about and engage in all kinds of stuff, related or unrelated to anthroposophy, often hovering around the border between two ‘worlds’; I may not trust them to be detached when it comes to anthroposophy, but I still enjoy that they do what they do.)

  134. I think the book by Waage is very good- very balanced. But thats just me…
    I follow you in your philosophying around use and uselessness. Every person disides for them selves. And Dreigliderung is and was never ment as something that should be put in to the world, suddenly, through a political solution. It is not ment to save the world. It is, as a wrote in my article, not utopic in that sense. There are societys of Dreigliderung in many places in the world. In the middel east for example. Most known person is Nicanor Perla. H

  135. ‘the book is out of sale.’

    Oh. The (swedish) bookshop listed it, with price and everything, so I didn’t notice it also said ’tillälligt slut’… (that often means ‘permanently’… if the book is obscure enough, which I guess applies in this case…).

  136. ‘It is not ment to save the world.’

    Well, saving the world and humanity is the bonus (pretense) which comes with anthroposophy, which, in turns is attached to threefolding like a leech is attached to human flesh.

    ‘There are societys of Dreigliderung in many places in the world. In the middel east for example. Most known person is Nicanor Perla.’

    But he was never elected. So we don’t really know what would have happened, had he gained a more important position of power. Which other societies? I suppose it’s local communities rather than states?

    We do know a few things about what happened when threefolding proponent and later dictator Gamsakhurdia came to power in Georgia:

    ‘Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the first president of Georgia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, was an anthroposophist. The reason anthroposophists don’t brag about it today is that he is now seen as a dictator, and played a less than honorable war in the civil war that erupted after he was deposed. Some anthroposophists did brag about it at the time, however; the mainstream
    anthroposophical press in 1991 and 1992 (including Die Drei and other leading anthro journals) carried a number of articles praising Gamsakhurdia. He was an active and outspoken anthroposophist, and fan of social threefolding in particular. You can probably find some of this anthroposophical texts online, extolling the spiritual mission of Georgia and so forth.’
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/6184

    Yes — I know the objection, Gamsakhurdia wasn’t doing social threefolding the ‘right’ way ;-) Then I retort: perhaps his threefolding intentions were good and noble, before he decided it was more fun to be a tyrant. I’m not suggesting we ought to look at Gamsakhurdia to know what threefold society — in all its potential manifestations — would look like in reality. Perlas may be a much nicer proponent of threefolding, much more democratic, and so forth. But when talking about societies or nations governed by threefolding proponents, it’s a bit lopsided to mention one threefolder who didn’t come to power and to neglect to mention the one who did.

    Anyway, some anthroposophists were quite proud of him and touted him as a defender of human rights, saying nothing about the nature of his dictatorship. Here’s one:
    http://www.diedrei.org/Heft%2012%2003/Forum%20Anthroposophie%2012.pdf

    Here are several other references, in a quote (Peter S):

    > They did tout him, very enthusiastically, when he was in
    > power. Extremely positive portraits of Gamsakhurdia were
    > published throughout the anthroposophist media in 1990-91,
    > particularly in Das Goetheanum, the leading official
    > anthroposophist journal. These articles emphasized
    > Gamsakhurdia’s support for Waldorf schools, biodynamic
    > agriculture, Steiner’s ‘social threefolding’
    > program, and other aspects of anthroposophy, and proudly
    > highlighted the fact that Gamsakhurdia himself was a
    > committed anthroposophist (he was a member of the
    > Anthroposophical Society). Two representative examples
    > include:
    >
    > “Interview mit Swiad Gamsachurdia” Das Goetheanum
    > 70 (1991), 155-56, 162
    >
    > Judith Krischik, “Ein Kulturträger und Kämpfer: Der
    > georgische Präsident Swiad Gamsachurdia” Das
    > Goetheanum 70 (1991), 39-41
    >
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/6578

    There’s an interesting article about Gamsakhurdia and his reign here:
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2008/nov/06/georgia-the-ignored-history/

  137. that is one scary bee.

    Personally I don’t see Alicia as (a) tormented (b) anthroposophic or (c) a child. But I’m sure the comment is kindly meant.

  138. Totally side-tracked me, that bee.

    Anyway, as the website address to Cogito was a bit unclear in this comment, and in case anyone wonders, this is it: http://www.forumcogito.no/.

    (Eftersom detta troligen inte är av något som helst utomnordiskt intresse, så byter jag språk. I Sverige har vi magasinet Balder (det utges av en tregreningsinriktad organisation, för övrigt). Tyvärr är Balder närmast dödligt tråkig, bortsett möjligen från bildmaterialet. Men det är det antroposofirelaterade tidsskriftsutbudet i Sverige. Svenskar kan läsa norska — många svenskar är tyvärr för ointresserade för att inse att de kan läsa norska, men det är en annan sak… — så distribueras inte Cogito någonstans i Sverige? Antroposofiska butiker? Jag menar, de är ju inga svenska magasin att sälja, så varför inte… Det finns bara Balder, och den har ett väldigt magert innehåll. Cogito verkar ha ett innehåll. Det allena är en gigantisk fördel. I alla fall i min värld. Den är i och för sig en helt annan än de svenska antroposofernas, vad det verkar…)

    (Och jag menar, bara detta är pluspoäng: Audens Atlantis!! http://www.forumcogito.no/Cogito07/cogito7-s02-04-HWAuden.pdf)

  139. ‘Personally I don’t see Alicia as (a) tormented (b) anthroposophic or (c) a child.’

    (a) only occasionally, very rarely these days
    (b) only occasionally, it’s probably karmic, or a disease, or a karmic disease
    (c) that awful predicament, also known as childhood, was survived many many many years ago; a damn quarter of a century ago (oh, damn, I’m old).

    It seems less exciting to be a balanced, reasonable grown-up though so I might settle for tormented, anthroposophic child. Or should I go for something more canine, to celebrate the only true spirituality?

  140. You see, when you put anthroposophists in charge, ALL children are considered in need of SEVERAL Choroi flutes. No matter if the child actually uses it. If you put anthroposophists in charge, NO child is in need of reading, writing and maths. Not even the child who would use reading, writing and maths.

    If you put anthroposophists in charge of a nation, they’ll act accordingly, but on a different level, with people of a variety of ages.

    This is it! Accept it or be considered a cosmic mistake. A misfit who karmically needs subjugation to incarnate better next time.

    All the Choroi flutes met their final destinies in the bin. Where they belonged. They probably wistled a pentatonic tune as the wind swept through them during transportation to the dump. Then they were incinerated. Were turned into heat, energy! They were useful, after all! But not as intended…

    Edit/Ps. I want to be the Choroi flute heretic. I’m thinking of a thousand ways to desecrate a Choroi flute. But thousand isn’t a magic number so perhaps I should settle for seven. Or 777.

  141. I was thinking from the other thread (the one about the neighborhood of your school etc.) that you should publish a memoir.

    Though I guess a blog is the same thing.

    Anyway you could subtitle your memoir, “Memoirs of a tormented anthroposophic child.”

  142. Well,of course it was not badly meant! ikke vær så nærtagende, da dere!

    You cant get Cogito in Sweden. It hardly sells, even in Norway.

    We have among hundred interested readers that has a subscription.

    A few is being seld in shops.

    You would have to take a subscription, if you want to read our next number.

    Coming out in July.

    Containing: To translations from english, by me: Liu Xiaobos nobel prize speech. And foreword to max Stirners “Der Einzige und sein eigentum”, by John Henry Mackay, translated by me.
    An essay by Arne Næss, now a dead norwegian philosopher, about “deep echology.”
    Poems by me.
    An Essay on Antropsophy and New Age.
    Several book reports, most of them by me.

    And much more.

    Sory for the advertising!

  143. About Zviad Gamsakhurda, the first democratic elected president in Georgia for some hundred years, you can read on Wikipedia: 16 years old he “established a youth underground group..which sought to circulate reports of human rights abuse”. The stalinists put him in a mental hospital and filled him up w injections. “Co-founder of the Group of human rights twenty years after that, in 1973.” Soviet intelligence was behind the military coup in -91 that was his downfall, after this things grow worse.
    This is another side of Peter Staudenmaiers anthropsophic “monster”.

  144. Doesn’t change the fact he was a brutal dictator though — why the need to excuse a tyrant, to whitewash him?

    Peter S did not write the article in NY review, for the record. If Gamsakhurdia was a monster, it certainly isn’t Peter who you should blame for it. (Even though, apparently, he’s taken on the shape of ahriman in your eyes.)

    Romanticizing people who have acted reprehensibly or even brutally is not a very attractive anthroposophical trait. Neither is demonizing people who have done anthroposophy no harm. (Studying the movement or criticizing it does not count as harm.)

  145. @Henning, Internet is a big place. I am German. I know some norwegian.
    I found out this site recently but will leave. I like the criticism, but not the hysteria.

    @Alicia, “to whitewash him” – do you mean Wikipedia? You should give a complaint.

    Being german, means among other issues that we have most of us a grandfather or grandfathers cousin who did things during the war he should not have done, evil is close, familiar, w national socialism. The reasons to completly blackpaint Steiner, who opposed nazism, and gave alternatives, seems obscure.

    For historical context, a small individual study of Georgian politics after independence could help.
    Political power might be more complicated and “unclean” than Scandinavians grasp.

    Kind regards

  146. I agree totaly with you. I am also leaving now. I can do nothing with alicias plackpainting, sorry for the expression.

  147. What Alicia is doing, is not only wrong, it is also done without social skills. Because you are optaken by antroposophy, she is actually placing you tougheter with those in your family who where nazi sympataizers – even thou there are enough examples to fill a book, that the anzi movement (as a whole) opposed antroposophy. That SOME persons are connected to both movement, and that some nazist became interested in the green movement, and in eccologi, should not be use aganist those who shared the early eccologi thinking. There was after all a terrorist attac against Steiner.
    I am beginning to be tired of this nonsense. H

  148. ‘I like the criticism, but not the hysteria.’

    The hysteria is on your side:

    ‘The reasons to completly blackpaint Steiner, who opposed nazism, and gave alternatives, seems obscure.’

    A blackpainting which only happened in your fantasy.

    Opposed nazism? Gave alternatives to nazism? What do you think about those anthroposophists — prominent Steiner admirers — who became nazi party members and even worked for the regime? What about the Goetheanum vorstand writing a letter to the fuhrer, sucking up to nazis directly? If we wanted to paint someone in black, we’re not somehow in short supply of suitable candidates. Steiner himself wouldn’t even be the prime one.

    ‘Political power might be more complicated and “unclean” than Scandinavians grasp.’

    Yes, we’re really ignorant and have never studied history and have no interest in it or in the rest of the world. (That’s sarcasm, in case you wonder.)

    Nonetheless, I wonder why some anthroposophists can’t see a brutal dictator as a brutal dictator just because he was an anthroposophist.

    ‘“to whitewash him” – do you mean Wikipedia? You should give a complaint.’

    Nope. I meant you. As an aside, I don’t use wikipedia as a source of information. I don’t think anybody should.

  149. ‘Political power might be more complicated and “unclean” than Scandinavians grasp.’

    And, speaking of this nonsense, you have no idea where people who have written in this thread come from. You talk about your ancestors — you don’t know anything about mine. Or about anyone else’s here.

    In addition — the ‘uncleanliness’ of Gamsakhurdia’s reign doesn’t become any less complicated or ‘unclean’ because people pretend it wasn’t so bad or that he was really some kind of here to save his reputation. It’s just another whitewash — and, at that, applying irrelevant arguments about your own country’s past — and it serves nobody.

  150. ‘What Alicia is doing, is not only wrong, it is also done without social skills. Because you are optaken by antroposophy, she is actually placing you tougheter with those in your family who where nazi sympataizers’

    What the fuck? You’re a worse moron than I expected.

    ‘even thou there are enough examples to fill a book, that the anzi movement (as a whole) opposed antroposophy. That SOME persons are connected to both movement, and that some nazist became interested in the green movement, and in eccologi, should not be use aganist those who shared the early eccologi thinking. There was after all a terrorist attac against Steiner.’

    You really SHOULD read that dissertation.

    There was no ‘terrorist attack’ against Steiner.

    No, not all anthroposophists were nazis. Some were. Some nazis were anthroposophists. Most nazis were not. I don’t know why this makes you so upset and why you direct this against me — it’s the truth. The sooner anthroposophists deal with it, the better.

    Because, you know, what anthroposophists did in the past is not the responsibility of present day anthroposophists. But how anthroposophists today deal with the anthroposophical movement’s history — that’s the responsibility of modern anthroposophists. Like yourself. At least, there’s a definite responsibility to stop propagating myths.

    ‘I am beginning to be tired of this nonsense.’

    I can only agree. What you wrote in that comment is nonsense, offensive nonsense. I suggest you take this idiocy back really quick:

    ‘What Alicia is doing, is not only wrong, it is also done without social skills. Because you are optaken by antroposophy, she is actually placing you tougheter with those in your family who where nazi sympataizers’

  151. ‘Sory for the advertising!’

    Advertising is welcome :) (Unless it’s for porn, but the spam filter is eerily skilled at distinguising anthroposophy from porn.)

    Despite what you might think, I’m favourably disposed towards anthroposophical (and related) publications.

  152. ’16 years old he “established a youth underground group..which sought to circulate reports of human rights abuse”. The stalinists put him in a mental hospital and filled him up w injections. “Co-founder of the Group of human rights twenty years after that, in 1973.” Soviet intelligence was behind the military coup in -91 that was his downfall, after this things grow worse.
    This is another side of Peter Staudenmaiers anthropsophic “monster”.’

    First, you’re the one using the word monster. Peter S accurately described a brutal dictator.

    Every brutal dictator has a life before he becomes a brutal dictator. Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin too.

    But whatever nice things Gamsakhurdia did — or evil things others did to him — does not magically transform his later career as a dictator into something pleasant and nice.

    It seems to me you want to say: he was really a good guy, too. What’s the point of this exercise?

    It’s simple-minded. What matters, in this discussion, is how he ruled when he was in power. Even ‘monsters’ can be nice to their cats and their mothers.

    Saying that politics is complicated and unclean in some parts of the world does not really work as a justification of anything. Interestingly, it shows only that anthroposophists are as prone to ‘unclean’ politics as other people. Despite their access to higher wisdom.

  153. Mister Staudenmaier har obviousely totally occopied your stupid little head. There are not much space left for your own opponions, is there. YOU have become Staudenmaier, and I suppose mister S does not dislike it, after all he is so full of him self, that he wants everybody to become like him, and you have!

  154. Henning,
    the anthro-fanatic rears its ugly head again, I see.

    The difference between Peter and yourself is that he provides references for his claims. This makes him a brilliant source. You can find out for yourself. Isn’t that great? I’m the first to say that it would have been great if anthroposophists had done the job much earlier. Some have taken their history seriously, and that’s a great thing. (Although that does not seem to appeal to you.) A guy named Uwe Werner (anthroposophist himself) has written about anthroposophists during the nazi era. I haven’t read his book, but as far as I can tell, his work is a step in the right direction.

    Or you could read relevant sections of Helmut Zander’s two volume opus. One reason I suggest Peter S’s work is that I know he’d be very willing to discuss it with you and I’m pretty sure he’d send you the pdf-file of his dissertation. Easy, interesting and at no cost for you. Now, that’s a bargain. But you’d find lots of interesting things in Zander’s books too. But he’s the devil, too, right? Pathological? Sick in the head? Since we’re busy figuring out people’s psychological motivations rather than reading what they say.

    If you want to know more about the ‘terror attack’ on Steiner, however, you only need to consult the Steiner biography by anthroposophist Christoph Lindenberg. He’s often apologetic, but his account of the ‘terror attack’ happens to be a lot more credible. But it will deprive you of one cherished myth. He describes the incident, though his description is far from the ‘terror attack’ you — and many other anthroposophists inclined towards mythmaking — envision. That’s because he knows that’s not what took place.

  155. Ha ha. After all, you called me a moron! So…. By the way; You sholdnt put everyting on “The antropsophs” every time I say something. I am not a part of a group. I only represent my self.
    I have read the the book of C. L at least two times (but only the short edition.) I will look over it again. Whar is the e-mail of Staudenmaier, or does he have a home-page, where I can by his dissertation. I will read it.

  156. ‘What Alicia is doing, is not only wrong, it is also done without social skills.’

    henning, this is Alicia’s blog, not yours. She’s entertained you very well, and you’ve fully expressed your opinions. Now suddenly you throw in ‘hysteria’, so often a nasty word used to describe women who cross a line – wouldn’t you say? In reality I suspect you can’t better her considerable analytical skills, which is why you resort to flouncing around in your anthroposophical underpants.

    ‘Mister Staudenmaier har obviousely totally occopied your stupid little head.’

    Well, there you go. A poet of the nether regions.

  157. Does that men that she can write that I am a moron, but that I cant write anything back thats hits here in the same way?
    In that case: We better go over to MY blogg then. so that I can write everything about here, and that SHE can not hit back…

  158. I don’t think anyone wants to go over to your blog.

    She’s been polite to you, henning. In the circumstances. Almost saintly. But not quite, or no one would read her.

    The point is that they do read her. They do come here to talk to her.

  159. ‘Ha ha. After all, you called me a moron!’

    With reason. It’s quite moronic to attribute moronic viewpoints which you invent to someone else.

    ‘I am not a part of a group. I only represent my self.’

    As do anthroposophists. As strange as it may seem, they’re all individuals, who all have to be responsible for their statements. I’m referring to an attitude, though, which isn’t all too uncommon among those who have an affinity to anthroposophy and feel the need to ardently defend anthroposophy (or Steiner) whether it’s reasonable or not. This attitude is basically that critics are mindless drones who can’t think. The reason we criticize waldorf or anthroposophy and that we ask for sources and references — and all those boring things — is that we can and do think. To the vexation of anthroposophists.

    I don’t know if it is in the short edition — it’s definitely in the long edition! Vol 2, p 770. In Lindenberg’s version, a few people started to fight, nothing truly awful happened, nobody was badly hurt — and Steiner had already finished the lecture. Hardly a terror attack. More like a ruffle. Not all ruffles are terror attacks or assassination attempts (which is what some anthroposophists have called it). And considering the thousands of lectures Steiner held, and the size of the audiences he attracted, it isn’t that shocking that once there was a fight. Lindenberg has a tendency to exaggerate the opposition against Steiner and he isn’t hesitant to make Steiner into some kind of martyr. This time he doesn’t. Of course, he may be embellishing the episode — but if he is, it was most likely even less significant in reality rather than more. Because Lindenberg isn’t usually prone to diminishing the importance of occurances to do with opposition or hostility against the heroic Steiner.

    As for Peter, this is the only website I know of:

    http://www.social-ecology.org/author/peter-staudenmaier/

    The email address he uses on the critics list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/messages) is this one; it ought to work:

    pstaud -snabel(kringel)a- hotmail.com

    (No spaces, naturally. And remove the — on both sides… pstaud(snabel-a)hotmail.com)

  160. I must say, I havent actually felt an aura of a saint. I have felt the aura of a stinging bee…
    She startet an argue, a reaction connected to my article. She must have known that I would be connected to it. She has jused many hard words. I wouldnt expect that, I have followed the “melody”, I have plaid a flute in an orchestra of angryness…

  161. no, you’re just inaccurate. You have an idée fixe about Peter Staudenmaier, it’s a huge impediment to your ability to read and understand information about this subject.

  162. The argument startet with dreingliderung. I never said anything about Staudenmaier. She startet talking about him. If I had written about him in my article, I could understand it. ButI never did. The problem about Alicia, is that she loves anything that S says, no mather what. She excuses all his faults, like a mistress loving here darling man. That which is wrong, she says is polemic. I have said that I will read him. But you cant expect me to like him, that would be too much. She is blinded by angrynes, its seems to me.

  163. Alicia doesn’t love everything Staudenmaier writes, she respects his scholarship. There’s a difference. Polemic is a perfectly acceptable form – different to academic work but in his case based squarely on that considerable scholarship. If Peter has personal faults (I’m sure he has) they’re not Alicia’s concern. If he’s made errors, or you just disagree with his analysis, it’s enough to question his work. He will answer. Calling him a liar isn’t useful.

  164. Henning: ‘I must say, I havent actually felt an aura of a saint.’

    Maybe because there are no saints in this kiosk. We’re a little bit more multifaceted than that. Saints make for boring company. (Seriously. I would be a fool to pretend to be a saint. It would ruin my image.)

    ‘She must have known that I would be connected to it.’

    Yes, your name was on it. But, actually, someone sent me the link to your article. I think this person might have told you I then wrote about it, if you hadn’t noticed the incoming link, which maybe you did.

    ‘I have plaid a flute in an orchestra of angryness…’

    You have talent.

    ‘She startet talking about him. If I had written about him in my article, I could understand it. ButI never did.’

    No, people who wish to keep their Steiner myths intact don’t usually refer to him. That’s exactly the reason I refer to him. He has interesting things to say that contradict some of the things you said in your article. That, I believe, is reason enough! I think this is not too uncommon in a discussion — someone refers to one source, someone else contradicts with another.

    The dissertation came in later, in the thread. The stuff I quoted in the original blog post was just a few relevant passages he’d written on the email-list. I could probably have found something in Zander, for example.

    ‘The problem about Alicia, is that she loves anything that S says, no mather what.’

    Hm. What I do love, though, is that he’s a great source of information when it comes to the history of anthroposophy. He’s a virtual library of references. His knowledge is very useful and he’s always willing to share it; for that I admire him. One day anthroposophists may know to appreciate his research. I hope so.

    ‘She excuses all his faults, like a mistress loving here darling man.’

    Well, you seem to have been suddenly hit by an unusually vivid imagination. Might it be that you’re projecting your own relationship to (adoration of) Steiner? Hmm.

    In any case, whatever you think of me and my romantic inclinations, it’s still worth reading what Peter writes on anthroposophy. That’s where you’ll find facts and references and arguments and all kinds of highly unromantic but still very useful things. You might even find that there’s a reason I recommend his work!

    ‘That which is wrong, she says is polemic. ‘

    Nope, wrong, dear. I said the article Anthroposophy and Eco-fascism is polemical. That explains the style it’s written in.

    If that particular passage is wrong is a matter of interpretation. It’s possible your interpretation is the wrong one!

    But that has nothing to do with whether the text is polemical or not. Though, I suppose, to you, the style itself, makes his interpretation seem even more wrong.

    ‘But you cant expect me to like him, that would be too much.’

    I don’t do mind control.

    And you don’t actually have to like someone to find their work valuable. (It’s also possible to like someone who does a useless job. But that’s another matter altogether.)

    To bother about liking or disliking the person is usually nothing but an obstacle to evaluating his or her work.

    ‘She is blinded by angrynes, its seems to me.’

    Better to be blinded by anger than to be blinded by ignorance! But I’m not angyr these days, and I’m doing what I can to cure my ignorance.

    Thetis: ‘If Peter has personal faults (I’m sure he has) they’re not Alicia’s concern.’

    I would be unaware of them, so I wouldn’t know what to excuse. I can’t remember excusing any of his supposed faults, anyway.

    And his work is good enough not to need to be excused.

    I saw some Steiner admirers trying to excuse a brutal dictator though…

    ‘If he’s made errors, or you just disagree with his analysis, it’s enough to question his work.’

    Exactly.

    The paradoxical aspect of this is that it was Henning who made this into a personal question, rather than a question about the text or its content, by speculating about potential pathologies, which are totally irrelevant in the context. (This is not the ethereal mad house, after all… despite appearances. The topic was not about diagnosing someone else with mental defects.)

  165. You know, there is more to that pepsi vs coke example than one might think. To be able to choose between two different drinks is a really minor thing, and it’s too easy to frown upon such choices, because they don’t seem that important. But it isn’t about the drink. However, if society (or the collective or the state) decides that the free market for drinks is no longer needed because its citizens should to more meaningful things with their lives than choose between drinks, that’s a dreadful place to be. I gather that you (Henning) didn’t think being able to make these choices is very important and that there are more important things to human life. You had some kind of beef with Peter S for saying that Steiner was for free market in the economic sphere. I said already, I think, that without true freedom in the economic sphere (and a free market, private property et c) we don’t really have individual freedom either. I think you can apply this to the pepsi vs coke situation. In a society where you’re not allowed to choose between pepsi and coke (and other products that enter the market in free competition), there’s no guarantee you will be allowed to make your own choices in more important matters either. The free choice between pepsi and coke is pivotal — it’s certainly not something to frown upon. It’s just on another level than choosing to live in Oslo or Trondheim or between being an anthroposophist or an atheist. In a society which restricts choice in banal matters, you’ll soon find yourself unable to make existential choices too. The same goes for private property: if property is state-owned or collectively owned, there’s no true freedom. Because you’re always going to be subjected to the arbitrary decisions of someone else — some authority who decides, for you, which needs you have and which needs of yourse are entitled to be met.

    Thus, if you argue that Steiner was not for private ownership, not for captalism and free market, then, indeed, he’s not in favour of freedom in the economic sphere. If this were true, I would have even less reason to agree with Steiner’s system.

    It seems to me that you’ve actually been pleading, at least partly, that Steiner’s model is really against freedom in the economic sphere, since you’re arguing (to some extent, I can’t really figure out which extent) against capitalism, private ownership and the free market.

    My own position — regardeless of Steiner — is actually one in favour of freedom in the economic sphere — i e, free market, private property, capitalism. Within boundaries — even a free market needs some rules to function, e g, regulating unfair practices, fraud, and so forth. But it is indeed one which favours freedom over state control. What I don’t want is seeing the power of the state replaced by the power of a new type of aristocracy. Because this will lead only to freedom for the few and privileged, moreover, it conserves this state of power and a given allocation of resources — leaving no opportunity for individuals to exercise their freedom and change their lives.

    Even with the choice between pepsi and coke — if that choice is denied the individual, and is instead decided for everyone by the leaders or the collective (even if it is, supposedly, for the good of everyone), there can’t be freedom. And to implement the policies decided upon — you need someone enforcing them. Unless you can brainwash people into believing that they do not want pepsi or coke. (And that would be every bit as bad as those religious feelings connected to commercial goods that you talked about earllier. It would actually be worse. At least, on a free market, there’s competition between people who try to brainwash people into buying things.)

    If you don’t want a free market (et c), you want control. Control means someone or some group must be in control, somebody must be put in charge, because it’s no longer up to the free forces of the market and the free choices of individuals. The minute you put somebody or some group in control, you restrict the freedom of individuals. If or when this is done, a minimal requirement is that such control is subjected to democratic rules and decision-making. That’s where the lack of democracy becomes a problem — when the economic sphere isn’t really free. And what you’re suggesting, I’m afraid, is that Steiner didn’t intend it to be free, you suggest there are restrictions. If you were right, the lack of a democratic element becomes more troubling.

    Returning again to that quote you objected so much to, Henning.

    ‘In the aftermath of the bloody world war, at the very moment of the greatest upheavals in history against the violence, misery, and exploitation of capitalism, Steiner emerged as an ardent defender of private profit, the concentration of property and wealth, and the unfettered market. Arguing vehemently against any effort to replace anti-social institutions with humane ones, Steiner proposed adapting his “threefold commonwealth” to the existing system of class domination. He could scarcely deny that the coarse economic despotism of his day was enormously damaging to human lives, but insisted that “private capitalism as such is not the cause of the damage” …’

    I don’t know if this has hit you, or if you’ve only been paying attention to the supposed ‘lies’ about Steiner, but this passage is rather heavily value-laden. It’s in line with the nature of the text.

    You may have guessed it but I don’t agree that capitalism, private property, and market economy are anti-social or enormously damaging. Nor do I like the implications of the violence, misery and exploitaition of capitalism — because this assumes that there is a more humane alternative to capitalism, free markets, and so forth. And I, for one, don’t believe this.

    This makes this all rather ironic.

    I’m actually prepared to agree with Steiner that ‘private capitalism as such is not the cause of the damage’ — but I gather you aren’t, Henning!

    (I’ve spent the morning re-reading my Hayek. Very illuminating after this discussion. Also, last time I read it, many years ago, I had not yet taken an interest in anthroposophy.)

  166. That was not all my point. The point was that there are others that makes that choice for us; for example; at restaurants, you usely only get Pepsi. But in shops, Coca is allway the most visible drink; we are manipulated to makes choises; we are not free. That, by the way, is why subliminal perception is forbidden in advertising.

  167. Wait … you were really just complaining that you sometimes *don’t* get a choice between coke and pepsi?

    This is extremely funny.

  168. Steiners point is that the sivil society is in progress; as a member of the civil society I am listening to endless discissions about privat marketing or state-values; but in fact, no one is talking about my rights as a sivil servent; Steiner belives in a closer contact between the user and the producer; nobody has really asked me what i want; i hear every day about low prices; but, in fact, i dont want low prices, i want good food, healthy food for my self and my children. I dont trust that that the food I am eating is healthy; the way it is produced, is done after principles thar are really sick. The whole idea behind modern industry is dangerous to the human health. It is based upon a kind of effectivenes that strides against all sensibiliy. I dont want more growth. At least not in the sense it is done today. I dont want animals to be like dead creatures, producing products fore a manipulating marked, that only thinks of its own income.
    How free is your choice on the marked, really? Just think of how the supermarked in details are planning how you are moving around, and how you shold take with you thinks in your basket, that you never really planned to buy.
    WHat about a closer contakt between producers and users? Then, maby, the sivil societys voice would be heard.
    “Steiner forestiller seg at eiendomsretten til så vel produksjonsmidlene som til jord – og grunneiendom ertattes av bruksrett, og at jord, produksjonsmidler og bedrifter overføres til de “best egnede”, etterhvert som brukerne faller fra. “…
    It it right that he was against privat property, but I dont believe in everyting Steiner says, and i dont rellay understand what should be done instead…

  169. What is funny? That the product with strongest marketing forces and most money is winning my attention as a user? WHat is so funny about that?

  170. It is quite entertaining.

    Have you noticed how you can’t get a proper indian curry in an italian restaurant?

    But yes, it’s a bit annoying that sometimes there’s only Pepsi and not Coke. I’m not very fond of Pepsi. And sometimes there’s only the ‘light’ version, that’s really very horrible. At some point it gets so dreadful you just rather have a glass of water. Or you decide that drinking Pepsi is a waste of time anyway and ask for the wine-list. You’ve got to be creative — there are more options!

    However, if Steiner folks ran all the restaurants and shops we’d all have to endure drinking some… wholesome drinks. Water with biodynamic fairy sprinkles or something. I’ve noticed that in anthro shops they’ve made a lot of choices for us.

    This is why I prefer the French to run all shops and restaurants, we’d be drinking champagne all the time! (I’m optimistic!!)

    On a serious note: it’s true that market economy, in order to work ideally, needs proper competition. If companies divide the market between them, that’s usually a bad thing — and that’s also the reason why there are laws regulating the worst scenarios. But yes — there’s always that grey area. And I do think it’s boring that Pepsi and Coke have practically secured the entire market of unhealthy beverages. I’d like to see alternatives. Still, an open market is the only opportunity for new companies. In any case, we can’t really require all the stores and all the cafés to stock all the types of drinks we’d like.

    ‘That, by the way, is why subliminal perception is forbidden in advertising.’

    Which makes sense. But it’s a different thing than the restaurant serving Pepsi instead of Coke.

  171. ‘This is extremely funny.’

    This *is* the place for magnificently confused arguments. The Pepsi and Coke episode clearly shows Henning is in the right place. He just doesn’t know it yet.

  172. Imagine that! Drinking bland tasting Fairy Fluff Water from anthroposophically designed wooden bottles, lazured in pastel colours and with the traditional font, of course. Hideously expensive, too! Unpasteurized, of course. For the true karmic food-poisoning experience!

    (I’m supposed to prepare dinner again.)

  173. By the way!! I found a wallpaper with the map of ATLANTIS!! Don’t tell me that the wallpaper retailers don’t offer wallpapers for every bizarre taste! I’m not sure you could use it for navigation though. Probably better to trust the GPS.

  174. Atlantis is underwater, which is fine for me of course but may not suit everyone. It’s quite impossible to get either coke or pepsi there but if you want a ditch dug, no problem. Place is full of mer-anthroposophists who have evolved into octopuses.

  175. On the good side, at least they can’t play flute down there in the water. On the bad side, the eurythmists have 8 arms.

    I had a feeling the Atlantean government has made the choices for us. I’m probably not going to move there, but stick to the ethereal kiosk. I feel a bit like the emperor there, although the inhabitants make their own choices (they’re not the crowd you can subdue, really).

    Well, I must returned to unanswered comments later. I have a wallpaper emergency to tend to.

  176. This thread really has been a fabulous display of wretched anthroposophical confusion. If we didn’t laugh we’d cry.

  177. “What is funny? That the product with strongest marketing forces and most money is winning my attention as a user? WHat is so funny about that?”

    No, what’s funny is you were complaining that a choice between coke and pepsi is not very important (“Do you relly think that you are FREE, when you choose between pepsi and Cocca Cola?!”), and it turned out that actually you are upset if you aren’t given a choice between pepsi and coke.

  178. B t w, don’t worry! Mr Dog says the highest wisdom is chasing two bunnies at one time. In particular if they are hopping in opposite directions. You experience the complexities of life trying to exist in two parallel realities simultaneously. Not to speak of threefold bunny hunts…

  179. Where did I say “TO CHOICE BETWEEN THIS TO PRODUCT IS NOT VERY IMPORTANT”?

    Please show this text to me!

  180. I already did, the parentheses following that statement contains your direct quote – it was a copy and paste, complete with your very own misspellings.

  181. Writing to you, Diana, is like writing to Nietszches sister. Not because of here nazism, but because of here stupidity.

    There is no thing like an unimportan choice.

    But there are a thing like an UNFREE choice.

  182. ‘I do love the paradoxes of canine existance’, mr Dog sighs. Thinking of all the bunnies running in a myriad of directions. ‘You just stand there, being unable to choose one, yet dreaming about chasing everyone of them. And you end up losing them all! Except in your dreams…’ *loud snoring*

    Henning — Well, it’s true you didn’t say it was unimportant, not in those words. You did give of the impression, however, of lamenting that modern humans (like me) are stuck making trivial choices instead of pondering more important questions.

    Turns out we’re all stuck somewhere between the supermarket shelf for pepsi/coke and our existential angsts. Or something. I don’t know. I might have to consult with mr Dog on this one before giving a conclusive answer.

    ‘Steiners point is that the sivil society is in progress’

    It’s not static. I don’t think anybody thinks that it is.

    ‘but in fact, no one is talking about my rights as a sivil servent’

    I am. Not about your rights as a civil servant, that’s true. But about your rights as a citizen (to choose between important and trivial things).

    ‘i hear every day about low prices; but, in fact, i dont want low prices, i want good food, healthy food’

    I totally agree. I want that choice too, and I think the best bet is still the free market, that is, I don’t think regulation will improve the situation at all. And that would, after all, be the alternative. I do think there needs to be laws governing food production — for example to ensure basic animal well-being and also to ensure that products are sufficiently safe.

    The big problem is that the food, even if it’s safe, taste… well, not much at all. Obviously, everybody who occasionally shops at farmers’ markets or, for dog’s sake, buys Demeter products knows this. Which is why I think it’s important to support good food through buying it and eating it. Hopefully, more people will come to understand that food that tastes something (rather than natriumglutamate) is more value for money. I’ve seen improvements, but I live in the city, and there is, of course, more shops and alternatives to choose among here.

    ‘I dont want animals to be like dead creatures, producing products fore a manipulating marked, that only thinks of its own income.’

    Me neither. But I think the solution lies in making people more aware that they have a personal responsibility and that choices have consequences. Good food tastes better is just an additional argument. You only need to taste a real apple ONCE to know that the standard crap sold in the ordinary supermarket is a damn sorry excuse for fruit.

    ‘How free is your choice on the marked, really? Just think of how the supermarked in details are planning how you are moving around, and how you shold take with you thinks in your basket, that you never really planned to buy.’

    Well, since I live in the city, the supermarket super-planners are not that powerful. My local supermarket is hosted in the groundfloor of two building — one’s from the 1880s, the other one is somewhat more recent. It used to be a cinema and a bank. It’s a very odd space. I’ve seen examples of how these planners plan supermarkets, but clearly, they’ve not been able to execute any of these ideas in my local store. I love old buildings, they leave little opportunity for social and marketing engineers to do their jobs. And the result is much nicer.

    ‘WHat about a closer contakt between producers and users?’

    Absolutely. Or at least, knowing what you buy. The more anonymous the product, the worse the product. All these big brands are, despite their well-known names, anonymous. And tomatoes which were farmed by a (fairly. at least) small-scale producer who puts his own farm’s name on the box, these tomatoes always taste better than the pale Dutch and Spanish crap which is cheap but doesn’t even deserve to be labelled ‘tomatoes’. I have no idea why people buy that stuff. I can only suspect that when people who wear Prada come to the supermarket and buy the cheapest vegetables, they do this not because they can’t afford better but because they don’t know better, i e, they don’t know the difference between a tasty tomato and a tasteless one.

    *That* is a damn tragic state of things. I do believe it can change though — I think it already has. It’s much better now than 10 years ago. But when I say it has changed, it’s what I see here, in the places I go.

    If people were to know what proper food tastes like, and if they can afford it, wouldn’t they want to buy it? I can’t think of anything more boring than eating food that doesn’t taste every day of my life. Or even most days. Or any days at all.

    (Not that I always eat healthy; I don’t have anything against potato chips or coke. But I want my tomatoes to taste like tomatoes.)

    “Steiner forestiller seg at eiendomsretten til så vel produksjonsmidlene som til jord – og grunneiendom ertattes av bruksrett, og at jord, produksjonsmidler og bedrifter overføres til de “best egnede”, etterhvert som brukerne faller fra. “…

    I don’t think this would work. For one thing, someone would have to decide who are the best folks to run it. That is, somebody or some group would be placed in a position of power — to give power to others. This means personal favours, privilege, belonging to the right crowd — all these things begin to matter. Second, a land-owner has the greatest interest* in taking care of his land and produce stuff he wants to put his name on (at least if customers begin to appreciate this). (*Compared to people who are only chosen for their supposed ability to administering it. They can be good people, who do a good job, in the best circumstances. But they will never have the long-term interest in the place and they won’t identify with it and the products as *theirs*.)

    ‘It it right that he was against privat property, but I dont believe in everyting Steiner says, and i dont rellay understand what should be done instead…’

    You mean ownership of means of production and farms (and similar)? Actually, even if you’re correct above, it’s still a form of private property — ie, not public property — although it isn’t personal property.

    He didn’t have any issues with private property in other contexts. Didn’t suggest people give up their bank accounts or houses, unless they wanted to donate them to the Anthro Society…

  183. ‘Writing to you, Diana, is like writing to Nietszches sister. Not because of here nazism, but because of here stupidity.’

    Diana might be one of the least stupid people you’ll come across on the internet, actually.

    ‘There is no thing like an unimportan choice.
    But there are a thing like an UNFREE choice.’

    It’s the human predicament. Reality creates obstacles to total freedom. Even if there were Pepsi and Coke and 10 other similar beverages, there would always be a 13th similar beverage that we either didn’t know about or can’t choose because it’s not available.

    In reality, I’m not really free do drink as much champagne as I’d like either. I’d ruin myself. (I’m sure Thetis agrees — we’re very lucky that the the constraints of reality and realism don’t apply in the ethereal kiosk.)

  184. Well thank you for a good answer. Well written, well said. I never tell people what is important. I try to listen to them, and to undersand their way of thinking. But you are (both) so used to antroposophists way of arrogans, that your are WAITING for the same to come from me, I am right? I have deep respect for peoples every-day problems because I know that I am in exactly the same situation.
    Except; people doesnt allway know what they like, and are easy beeing manipulated; politicians are using “The people” as a form of manipulating object – even though they are saying that people know best for them selves, and stuff…. Especially populistic parties are using this kind of terminology…The sivil society is the new power, the new source…one day they will stand up against both the state and the government, as wel as the private marked, and say; “This is not what we really want…”

    Of course she is not stupid! But sometimes I
    get the feeling that you (both) are misunderstanding me in purpuose…

  185. Speaking of commercial things, mr Dog was victimized by some not so subliminal shampoo advertisement today. I suddenly found him dragging around a big card board poster, probably a former window display. It had hooks, and one hook had stuck in his fur.

    I’m trying to convince him it’s fate sending him a message that he ought to have a bath. Or that, perhaps, the shampoo companies are so tired of not being able to get him on the hook, as it were, using the ordinary commercial tricks; to their frustration, he steadfastly refuses to ever say ‘Yes, I choose to buy shampoo!’ He says he does’t like the jokes and wishes me to burn in a hell of cats.

    ‘But you are (both) so used to antroposophists way of arrogans, that your are WAITING for the same to come from me, I am right?’

    Let’s put it this way: we’re rarely surprised by these things.

    ‘Especially populistic parties are using this kind of terminology…’

    They use what works. They would attract much fewer voters if they didn’t, because their ideas and their competence rarely seem impressive.

    ‘The sivil society is the new power, the new source…one day they will stand up against both the state and the government, as wel as the private marked, and say; “This is not what we really want…”’

    And as long as we live in a democracy this shouldn’t be a problem, at least as long as what some people require doesn’t restrict other people’s freedom. And if enough people want decent food and ask for it, someone will try their best to provide it. It’s an opportunity, after all.

  186. GROOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWL!

    Cats have nothing to say. They have not reached any level of spiritual enlightenment, and we’ll disregard anything they have to say without listening to it. / mr Dog.

  187. Be careful. The biscuits may be poisoned. They are CATS after all. Devious creatures. Not like dogs, not at all. They have not found Dog. Think about it. / mr Dog

  188. It’s more spiritual to chase your food before eating it, mr Dog would say. Also, or perhaps in particular, for the poor sod being eaten. At least that’s what he claims. The bunnies are not so eager about this playful canineosophical spirituality (which clearly incorporates a lot of carneosophy), but, says mr D, they chose to be born as bunnies…

  189. Depends on the tastes of the cannibal. Some cannibals perfer their meat young, some prefer it old. You could be like a vintage wine of the cannibal meat trade.

    Do you know that a waldorf teacher in Germany was eaten by a cannibal? Highly fascinating story actually…

  190. Why is my sentence written twice?! I didnt do that; I am not that old!
    Really?! A teacher eaten by a waldorf cannibal? How did the Cannibal know what he was eating?

  191. It’s written twice — with over 12 hours in between!

    I’m not sure the cannibal cared that he was eating a waldorf teacher; he might have been happy eating any human, waldorf teacher or not.

    ‘Im Gegensatz zum Kannibalen von Rotenburg hatte Ralf M. jedoch keinen Partner gefunden, der bereit war, sich erstechen und aufessen zu lassen. Sein Opfer – ein 33jähriger Musiklehrer aus Berlin-Friedenau – war wegen homoerotischer Sadomaso-Spiele gekommen. Beim dritten Treffen am 5. Oktober 2004 hatte Ralf M. auf seinen gefesselten Gast, dem auch die Augen verbunden waren, unvermittelt mit einem Schraubenzieher eingestochen. “In Auslebung seiner Kannibalismusfantasien und um sich sexuell zu erregen”, sagte der Staatsanwalt, habe M. den Leichnam anschließend geöffnet und ihm innere Organe entnommen. Einige Teile der Leiche fanden die Ermittler später im Kühlschrank.’ Welt: http://bit.ly/mIV3FT

    It’s a harrowing story:

    ‘After Herr Ritzkowsky bled to death, Herr Meyer slit open his body, ripped out the lungs for his cat and cut off the penis, which he prepared with spices and wrapped in Cellophane.’

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article1079465.ece

    Ritzkowsky was the waldorf teacher. The cannibal Meyer had no waldorf connection.

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