Dying Races

 

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:14 pm
Subject: dying races

I am most intrigued by the apparent split between Daniel and Dottie regarding Steiner's doctrine of dying races. While Daniel imagines that Steiner was an immunologist avant la lettre, Dottie vociferously defends what Steiner actually wrote: that Native Americans had to acquire some forces or other that lead inexorably to their dying out, and not because it suited the Europeans. Dottie finds it hard to understand that anybody might consider this notion racist, and she declines to agree with Diana's observation that races do not try to extinguish themselves on purpose. And all the while, Tarjei wonders why critics of anthroposophical race theory think that some anthroposophists are mighty confused about racism...

I would like to recommend a new book on this very topic of dying races, which I think Dottie, Daniel, and other listmates will find most interesting: Patrick Brantlinger, Dark Vanishings: Discourse on the Extinction of Primitive Races 1800-1930. You'll notice quite a few parallels here to Steiner's stated views on "primitive races". I particularly recommend the book to those of you who think that well-intentioned people with humanitarian ideals cannot hold racist beliefs.

Peter

[Diana:]

To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces" that could only be acquired by their dying out in large numbers, whether through purposely, karmically, sickening themselves or through outright genocide, yup, hon, that's racist.

[Dottie:]

Bullshit.

Diana:

Races don't try to extinguish themselves on purpose,

[Dottie:]

And you know this how Diana? ????

Diana:

and theories that suggest this about particular races, again, yup, quite likely to be racist.

[Dottie:]

According to who Diana? You, Peter, PLANS???? Given any thought to this or is this just a proclamation of sorts that you and Peter and PLANS know this to be true? Ever talked to any Shamans??????? Maybe???

d

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:35 pm
Subject: dying races revisited

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

The Native Americans were hit with multiple infectious diseases, simultaneously, and did not know how to deal with them - their treatment methods spread the infection.

What does that have to do with their purported "racial character"? Or for that matter with their "genetic makeup", which you appear to take to be synonymous? Do you believe that infectious disease, and the presence or absence of sufficiently vigorous immune system response (such as antibodies), is primarily a matter of genetics? And do you believe that it is moreover racially determined? Even predetermined?

Some estimates figure that these diseases alone killed up to 95% of the North American population - all this before the Europeans finished off the other 5%.

And you think these estimates indicate that Native Americans "had to die out"? Why?

None of this is to in any way excuse what the Europeans did to the remaining 5% - I'm sure we both agree it was horrible.

Yet you nevertheless think that the preceding deaths did not suit the Europeans, or please them, as you put it?

Peter

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