Anarchosophy Revisited

Anarchosophy and Anarchism

 

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:15 am
Subject: Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism. This was established once and for all when Rudolf Steiner wrote his major work, "The Philosophy of Freedom," in 1894. In Chapter 10, "Philosophy and Monism," dr. Steiner lays the foundation for the individualist anarchism represented by Max Stirner, John Henry Mackay, and Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, although Mackay, who had political ambitions with his anarchist theories, does not seem to have understood Steiner's concept: That the human spirit could create free actions only through a developed thinking. What has become known as anarchism in the ordinary sense, fails to take this principle into account. This is why we call this Philosophy of Freedom "anarchosophy." In other words, "anarchosophy" is a word we have coined for what Rudolf Steiner had in mind when he called himself an individualistic anarchist in "Magazin für Literatur":

"Until now, I have myself always avoided using the words 'individualistic' or 'theoretical anarchism' to describe my world view. Because I care very little for such labels. But if I, to the extent it is possible to determine such things, should say if the word individualistic anarchist' can be applied to me, I would have to answer with an unequivocal 'yes'."

(Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kultur- und Zeitgeschichte 1887-1901, GA 31, p. 261.)

Anarchosophy is simply a branch of anarchism that is not fettered by the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism, or ensnared by the illusion that natural science somehow proves atheism to be the only Weltanschauung compatible with rational, self-dependent, critical thinking. An excellent example of an anarchosophist is the late Norwegian poet, author, Waldorf teacher, anthroposophist, anarchist, social rebel, and bohemian Jens Bjørneboe (1920-1976).

My own understanding of Steiner's Treefolding idea is a simplified one. Peter Normann Waage has written a book about it and lectured on the subject in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, and others have also gone into the details of this idea. Feedback from listmates conversant with the Threefolding idea would be interesting.

As I understand it, the concept of the Threefold Social Order is based on a slogan that became known during the French revolotion: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." (For the sake of simplicity and for my lack of thorough research, I'm skipping the relationship between social threefolding and the threefold human being here, hoping that others can fill in this gap).

The failure of the social systems we have seen in recent centuries - and by "failure" I don't mean that the regimes collapse right away, but that social imbalances and dysfunctions develop - is to a considerable extent due to the ignorance of how these three concepts Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity should be applied. According to Rudolf Steiner, we need Liberty in the arts, literature, religion, education and so on, Equality in the rights sphere, i.e. in the justice system and law enforcement (everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law), and Fraternity in the economic sphere.

In this light, we may begin to recognize some of the pathologies within Communism and Capitalism, for instance. In Communism, the economy is not ruled by Fraternity, but by an ill-conceived endeavor to enforce Equality upon the economy, where it does not belong. In Capitalism, Liberty is enforced upon the economy instead of the life of culture, education, arts, and religion. And unfortunately, I believe that social injustice is rampant within the courts system, the legal system, because Fraternity has entered the picture. If you're a friend of the judge and the cief of police, you can get away with a lot of things. Aldo if you have a lot of money because Liberty rules where it shouldn't.

These are just some pointers why I think the threefolding idea may be an effective model for the improvement of society in the future. And if this model is successful, we may be evolving in the direction of spiritualized anarchy. Some people seem to think that anarchism was just a passing phase Steiner was flirting with in the 1890's, but I recently discovered evidence that he was an anarchist right up to his final lectures in 1924.

[from the thread "Anarchosophy Revisited"]

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/1586

If we get to know the essential inner meaning of the Latin word dominus we shall discover what language itself means in this instance, qute apart from what spiritual science has to say: A lord is someone on the earth or in the world who has been chosen to point the direction for another. How long will outer lords be needed on the earth? How long will the commandments of outer lords be needed, even the commandments of those who are outer spiritual lords of the earth? They will be needed only until the moment when Christ, with the name that none but he understands, shall dwell within the human being. Then every human being will be able to follow Christ in his own being, in his own soul. Then everyone will strive to realize that in himself which desires to realize the will of the human being out of inner love. Then will the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings live in each individual.

Seen spiritually, this is the time in which we ourselves are now living. The fact that we are living in this time is merely disguised by the way human beings continue to live in their old ways, denying as much as they can in every field the fact that the Christ now dwells in them."

- "The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest" (Lecture 10, Dornach 14 Sept 1924, GA 346 )

What Rudolf Steiner has done here is to demonstrate that the message of Anarchosophy, or Divine Anarchism if you like, is embedded in John's apocalypse. This lends further credence to my own words from the 1996 article "Anthropos Anarchos":

"The innumerable gods are man's creators, but they have now withdrawn their authority so that we shall become mature and self dependent enough to make it on our own. The gods are in other words anarchists. The free spirit in man, the anarchist soul, is the goal and purpose of creation."

Or as RS put it in the 10th chapter of the PoF:

"Jeder von uns ist berufen zum freien Geiste, wie jeder Rosenkeim berufen ist, Rose zu werden."

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:26 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Tarjei wrote:

Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism

If this is so, you and Peter are indeed strange bedfellows.

This was established once and for all when Rudolf Steiner wrote his major work, "The Philosophy of Freedom," in 1894. In Chapter 10, "Philosophy and Monism," dr. Steiner lays the foundation for the individualist anarchism represented by Max Stirner, John Henry Mackay, and Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, although Mackay, who had political ambitions with his anarchist theories, does not seem to have understood Steiner's concept: That the human spirit could create free actions only through a developed thinking. What has become known as anarchism in the ordinary sense, fails to take this principle into account. This is why we call this Philosophy of Freedom "anarchosophy." In other words, "anarchosophy" is a word we have coined for what Rudolf Steiner had in mind when he called himself an individualistic anarchist in "Magazin für Literatur":

Some time later, Steiner came up with the Tripartite Society, in which the political state, though reduced to its legitimate functions, still exists and is operative. I would call this a development from impractical anarchism to a more sophosticated, practical (if tried) alternative.

"Until now, I have myself always avoided using the words 'individualistic' or 'theoretical anarchism' to describe my world view. Because I care very little for such labels. But if I, to the extent it is possible to determine such things, should say if the word individualistic anarchist' can be applied to me, I would have to answer with an unequivocal 'yes'."

(Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kultur- und Zeitgeschichte 1887-1901, GA 31, p. 261.)

pre-threefold society

Anarchosophy is simply a branch of anarchism that is not fettered by the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism, or ensnared by the illusion that natural science somehow proves atheism to be the only Weltanschauung compatible with rational, self-dependent, critical thinking. An excellent example of an anarchosophist is the late Norwegian poet, author, Waldorf teacher, anthroposophist, anarchist, social rebel, and bohemian Jens Bjørneboe (1920-1976).

My own understanding of Steiner's Treefolding idea is a simplified one. Peter Normann Waage has written a book about it and lectured on the subject in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, and others have also gone into the details of this idea. Feedback from listmates conversant with the Threefolding idea would be interesting.

You got mine.

As I understand it, the concept of the Threefold Social Order is based on a slogan that became known during the French revolotion: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." (For the sake of simplicity and for my lack of thorough research, I'm skipping the relationship between social threefolding and the threefold human being here, hoping that others can fill in this gap).

The failure of the social systems we have seen in recent centuries - and by "failure" I don't mean that the regimes collapse right away, but that social imbalances and dysfunctions develop - is to a considerable extent due to the ignorance of how these three concepts Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity should be applied. According to Rudolf Steiner, we need Liberty in the arts, literature, religion, education and so on, Equality in the rights sphere, i.e. in the justice system and law enforcement (everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law), and Fraternity in the economic sphere.

Anarchism wishes to eliminate the state toot sweet, i.e., immediately, whereas Communism opted for a withering away after the dictatorship of the prolitariate does its dirty work.

"Equality in the rights sphere, i.e. in the justice system and law enforcement (everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law". And who's to administer this rights sphere, including law enforcement, defence, anti-trust and other laws, if not the state?

In this light, we may begin to recognize some of the pathologies within Communism and Capitalism, for instance. In Communism, the economy is not ruled by Fraternity, but by an ill-conceived endeavor to enforce Equality upon the economy, where it does not belong. In Capitalism, Liberty is enforced upon the economy instead of the life of culture, education, arts, and religion. And unfortunately, I believe that social injustice is rampant within the courts system, the legal system, because Fraternity has entered the picture. If you're a friend of the judge and the cief of police, you can get away with a lot of things. Aldo if you have a lot of money because Liberty rules where it shouldn't.

These are just some pointers why I think the threefolding idea may be an effective model for the improvement of society in the future. And if this model is successful, we may be evolving in the direction of spiritualized anarchy. Some people seem to think that anarchism was just a passing phase Steiner was flirting with in the 1890's, but I recently discovered evidence that he was an anarchist right up to his final lectures in 1924.

[from the thread "Anarchosophy Revisited"]

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/1586

Steiner said that the threefold society was meant for the present and immediate future, not forever. I am inclined to agree that he foresaw anarcism for the distant future - but not now (the immediate future for him).

Frank

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 12:49 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Hi Frank,

Tarjei wrote:

Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism

Frank:

If this is so, you and Peter are indeed strange bedfellows.

Is Peter S a representative of spiritualized individual autonomy as this comes to expression in the PoF?

Some time later, Steiner came up with the Tripartite Society, in which the political state, though reduced to its legitimate functions, still exists and is operative. I would call this a development from impractical anarchism to a more sophosticated, practical (if tried) alternative.

You don't seem to have grasped what I mean by anarchosophy, i.e. Rudolf Steiner's understanding of anarchism. The impractical political anarchism you're talking about was pursued by Steiner's Scottish-German friend Henry MacKay.

It should also be noted that the anarchistic-anarchosophical remarks by RS (in connection with the Apocalypse) that I quoted previously were made in September 1924, i.e. after the Threefolding idea had been launched.

Tarjei:

My own understanding of Steiner's Treefolding idea is a simplified one. Peter Normann Waage has written a book about it and lectured on the subject in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, and others have also gone into the details of this idea. Feedback from listmates conversant with the Threefolding idea would be interesting.

Frank:

You got mine.

I'm sorry, but I don't see it. What I was asking for was a detailed elaboration of the Threefolding idea beyond my simplified summary.

Anarchism wishes to eliminate the state toot sweet, i.e., immediately, whereas Communism opted for a withering away after the dictatorship of the prolitariate does its dirty work.

Although RS did agree with his MacKay that the state was an evil which encumbered individual freedom, he did not propose the immediate elimination of the state by force. And yet he called himself an anarchist. I cannot avoid getting the impression that your conception of anarchism is rigid and inflexible and oversimplified, and that you don't recognize that the movement may be split into many different schools of thought. It was precisely because of such rigid misconceptions that I stopped using the word "anarchist" about myself many years ago and coined the word "anarchosophist" instead. Anarchosophy is therefore a type of anarchism, but it is not identical to the type you describe in your post here.

Steiner said that the threefold society was meant for the present and immediate future, not forever. I am inclined to agree that he foresaw anarcism for the distant future - but not now (the immediate future for him).

That is highly disputable:

[repost]

"Seen spiritually, this is the time in which we ourselves are now living. The fact that we are living in this time is merely disguised by the way human beings continue to live in their old ways, denying as much as they can in every field the fact that the Christ now dwells in them."

- "The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest" (Lecture 10, Dornach
14 Sept 1924, GA 346 )

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:08 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Me again, Tarjei,

Tarjei wrote:

Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism

Frank:

If this is so, you and Peter are indeed strange bedfellows.

Is Peter S a representative of spiritualized individual autonomy as this comes to expression in the PoF?

Not likely, but let's skip down a bit to show you what I mean.

[Frank:]

Some time later, Steiner came up with the Tripartite Society, in which the political state, though reduced to its legitimate functions, still exists and is operative. I would call this a development from impractical anarchism to a more sophosticated, practical (if tried) alternative.

[Tarjei:]

You don't seem to have grasped what I mean by anarchosophy, i.e. Rudolf Steiner's understanding of anarchism. The impractical political anarchism you're talking about was pursued by Steiner's Scottish-German friend Henry MacKay.

It should also be noted that the anarchistic-anarchosophical remarks by RS (in connection with the Apocalypse) that I quoted previously were made in September 1924, i.e. after the Threefolding idea had been launched.

You wrote, that RS said:

"The innumerable gods are man's creators, but they have now withdrawn their authority so that we shall become mature and self dependent enough to make it on our own. The gods are in other words anarchists. The free spirit in man, the anarchist soul, is the goal and purpose of creation."

Saying that the goal and purpose of creation is the free man, the anarchist soul, is not the same as saying that "Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism". Anthroposophy is now (as well as tomorrow) and the fact that RS metamorphosed his anarchist leanings into the threefold society and even tried to put it into practice, indicates to me that what he said above referred to the ultimate goal of creation, as is clearly stated, and that the idea of social threefolding is for now, a step on that road. One's personal experiences influence thinking on such subjects, and I'm certanly not immune. I called myself an anarchist once (didn't do anythng, just read the literature and it seemed to make a lot of sense). Then I came to Argentina, which has passed through stages of anarchy, when the state collapses and the thugs takes over, whether they call themselves Peronists, anarchists, communists, Guevaraists, it doesn't make any difference, the result is blood and death, and the inevitable outcome is a dictatorship. When "Basic Issues of the Social Question" fell into my hands, I thought: fuck anarchism, socialism, communism and all the isms. This is it. Get what I mean? Now, when you make a blunt, flat out statement such as "Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism", it's raises hackles. Maybe that's what you want, to provoke a reaction from reactionaries like me, (I wouldn't put it past you :) ). So IMHO, if you said something like "Anthroposophy and the concept of the threefold society is a preview of anarchism" I would have no objection whatsoever, would even agree with you. And btw, I think I do grasp what you mean by anarchosophy - but that's not the word you used in your Dickensian opening statement.

Tarjei:

My own understanding of Steiner's Treefolding idea is a simplified one. Peter Normann Waage has written a book about it and lectured on the subject in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, and others have also gone into the details of this idea. Feedback from listmates conversant with the Threefolding idea would be interesting.

Frank:

You got mine.

I'm sorry, but I don't see it. What I was asking for was a detailed elaboration of the Threefolding idea beyond my simplified summary.

Not sorry to have disappointed you.

Anarchism wishes to eliminate the state toot sweet, i.e., immediately, whereas Communism opted for a withering away after the dictatorship of the prolitariate does its dirty work.

Although RS did agree with his MacKay that the state was an evil which encumbered individual freedom, he did not propose the immediate elimination of the state by force. And yet he called himself an anarchist. I cannot avoid getting the impression that your conception of anarchism is rigid and inflexible and oversimplified, and that you don't recognize that the movement may be split into many different schools of thought. It was precisely because of such rigid misconceptions that I stopped using the word "anarchist" about myself many years ago and coined the word "anarchosophist" instead. Anarchosophy is therefore a type of anarchism, but it is not identical to the type you describe in your post here.

See above: your opening.

Steiner said that the threefold society was meant for the present and immediate future, not forever. I am inclined to agree that he foresaw anarcism for the distant future - but not now (the immediate future for him).

That is highly disputable:

So dispute it.

[repost]

"Seen spiritually, this is the time in which we ourselves are now living. The fact that we are living in this time is merely disguised by the way human beings continue to live in their old ways, denying as much as they can in every field the fact that the Christ now dwells in them."

I assume, but am not sure because you don't say so, that this follows the above quote about the goal of creation. If it does, it seems to mean that we have already reached the goal of creation, but we live in our old ways. I agree that we live in our old ways, or worse, but not that we have reached the goal of creation, no matter who says it. If it's from a different context, then I don't see what it has to do with this discussion.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:24 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Frank wrote:

Steiner said that the threefold society was meant for the present and immediate future, not forever. I am inclined to agree that he foresaw anarcism for the distant future - but not now (the immediate future for him).

Frank

Mike:

Ever seen the movie K-Pax? In it there's a scene when Prot is asked what kind of societal structure there is on his home planet - "what kind of laws do you have?"

His answer was, "We have no laws - and no lawyers."

Boy, did a light-bulb light up in my mind with that one.

And I think it was Steve Martin (can't remember the movie) that said that "all of life's riddles can be solved in the movies."

Laws and Lawyers (for now anyway)

Mike

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 12:56 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Hi Frank, you wrote:

You wrote, that RS said:

"The innumerable gods are man's creators, but they have now withdrawn their authority so that we shall become mature and self dependent enough to make it on our own. The gods are in other words anarchists. The free spirit in man, the anarchist soul, is the goal and purpose of creation."

No I didn't. I was quoting myself, not RS.

Saying that the goal and purpose of creation is the free man, the anarchist soul, is not the same as saying that "Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism".

That's why those are two separate statements of mine.

Anthroposophy is now (as well as tomorrow) and the fact that RS metamorphosed his anarchist leanings into the threefold society and even tried to put it into practice, indicates to me that what he said above

[He didn't say the above]

Now, when you make a blunt, flat out statement such as "Anthroposophy is a branch of anarchism", it's raises hackles. Maybe that's what you want, to provoke a reaction from reactionaries like me, (I wouldn't put it past you :) ).

It was written for anarchists in an anarchist magazine, but if it raises the hackles of others, so be it.

And btw, I think I do grasp what you mean by anarchosophy - but that's not the word you used in your Dickensian opening statement.

Of course not - people don't know what it is yet.

That is highly disputable:

So dispute it.

[repost]

"Seen spiritually, this is the time in which we ourselves are now living. The fact that we are living in this time is merely disguised by the way human beings continue to live in their old ways, denying as much as they can in every field the fact that the Christ now dwells in them."

I assume, but am not sure because you don't say so, that this follows the above quote about the goal of creation. If it does, it seems to mean that we have already reached the goal of creation, but we live in our old ways. I agree that we live in our old ways, or worse, but not that we have reached the goal of creation, no matter who says it. If it's from a different context, then I don't see what it has to do with this discussion.

You're mixing up my own statement with the RS quote from the Apocalypse cycle.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

...................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 3:10 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Frank wrote:

You wrote, that RS said:

"The innumerable gods are man's creators, but they have now withdrawn their authority so that we shall become mature and self dependent enough to make it on our own. The gods are in other words anarchists. The free spirit in man, the anarchist soul, is the goal and purpose of creation."

I wrote:

No I didn't. I was quoting myself, not RS.

Clarification:

I quoted myself from my own article "Anthropos Anarchos" - http://www.uncletaz.com/anthranark.html - here is the complete passage in question:

Human freedom, the inviolable sovereignty of the individual - this was Steiner's basic philosophical point of departure. It was precisely on the premises of freedom that he praised Nietzsche, Stirner, and Tucker. Steiner claimed, paradoxically enough for many people, that traditional religious ideas in terms of theology and the like, belong to a bygone age and must yield to self-dependent thinking, totally independent of external or internal authority.

The paradox here is Steiner's considerable contribution to Christian theology, which was, however, a result of special requests. Even his theism is thoroughly anarchistic. The innumerable gods are man's creators, but they have now withdrawn their authority so that we shall become mature and self-dependent enough to make it on our own. The gods are in other words anarchists. The free spirit in man, the anarchist soul, is the goal and purpose of creation.

Steiner's theism may seem self-contradictory in relation to monism, which takes only the empirical world into consideration. This was no problem for the initiated occultist, considering the fact that all his statements were based upon supersensory research. Traditional religion, on the other hand, is dualistic because phenomena beyond man's empirical potential become objects of blind faith.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 9:46 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Tarjei wrote:

You're mixing up my own statement with the RS quote from the Apocalypse cycle.

Sorry, my mistake - I guess. If you'll re-read your original post, however, you'll see how the mistake was understandable. I'll redo my reply with this in mind.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 10:00 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Tarjei,

You wrote, that RS said:

"The innumerable gods are man's creators, but they have now withdrawn their authority so that we shall become mature and self dependent enough to make it on our own. The gods are in other words anarchists. The free spirit in man, the anarchist soul, is the goal and purpose of creation."

No I didn't. I was quoting myself, not RS.

Sorry, but your mail seems to indicate Steiner, with all the quotation marks and gospels. (Maybe you're reading too much Steiner, if I can't even tell you apart.) Anyway, I wrote my opionons "no matter who says it", if you remember. If you wish to reply to my mail with that in mind, please do.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 12:09 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

Sorry, my mistake - I guess. If you'll re-read your original post, however, you'll see how the mistake was understandable. I'll redo my reply with this in mind.

On second thought, my reply would be the same, only substituting Tarjei for Rudolf.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 4:48 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Anarchosophy and Anarchism

At 21:09 01.03.2004, Frank wrote:

On second thought, my reply would be the same, only substituting Tarjei for Rudolf.

I once read a book by Harry Browne entitled "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World." I'm not going to talk about the content of the book, but its title. Anthroposophy, anarchism, anarchosophy, call it anything you like or delete all the labels and isms altogether. We're talking about a quest for liberty here, which was once so beautifully expressed by Ben Tucker:

Our Purpose

Liberty enters the field of journalism to speak for herself because she finds no one willing to speak for her. She hears no voice that always champions her; she knows no pen that always writes in her defence; she sees no hand that is always lifted to avenge her wrongs or vindicate her rights. Many claim to speak in her name, but few really understand her. Still fewer have the courage and the opportunity to consistently fight for her. Her battle, then, is her own to wage and win. She accepts it fearlessly, and with a determined spirit.

- Benjamin R. Tucker, Liberty, August 6, 1881.

From this quote alone, it is easy to see why Benjamin Tucker was praised by Rudolf Steiner as the greatest champion for freedom and given a column and platform by him when he was in Berlin. For Tucker and MacKay, this quest for liberty entailed a political agenda. Steiner, however, experienced MacKay's ambitions to involve him in this agenda by politicizing the PoF and making a social ideology out of it, as an ahrimanic temptation:

"Through my experience with J.H. Mackay and Stirner, my destiny caused me once more to enter a world of thought where I had to go through a spiritual test. Ethical individualism, as I had elaborated it, is the reality of moral life experienced purely within the human soul. Nothing was further from my intention in elaborating this conception than to make it the basis for a purely political view. But at this time, about 1898, my soul with its conception of ethical individualism, was to be dragged into a kind of abyss. From being a purely individual experience within the human soul, it was to become something theoretical and external. The esoteric was to be diverted into the exoteric."
- Mein Lebensgang, GA 28, Chapter 28.

This is the difference between anarchosophy - or esoteric anarchism - and political anarchism. It is legitimate to call Steiner's ethical individualism a branch of anarchism because he did acknowledge that if he had to say whether or not he was an anarchist, his answer would be an unequivocal 'yes'. So although you have problems with these isms, that can be ditched altogether for all I care, I'm only trying to use the language in the best way I can. Personally, I think it's beside the point whether Peter S is an anarchist or a communist or both. What is interesting is whether or not he is a dialectical materialist. Steiner argued that dialectical materialism made freedom impossible because it enslaved thinking in a mechanical universe:

"If the hypothetically assumed entity is conceived as in itself unthinking, acting according to purely mechanical laws, as materialism would have it, then it must also produce out of itself, by purely mechanical necessity, the human individual with all his characteristic features. The consciousness of freedom can then be nothing more than an illusion. For though I consider myself the author of my action, it is the matter of which I am composed and the movements going on in it that are working in me. I believe myself free; but in fact all my actions are nothing but the result of the material processes which underlie my physical and mental organization. It is said that we have the feeling of freedom only because we do not know the motives compelling us."

- Die Philosophie der Freiheit 1894, GA 4: Chapter 10: Freiheitsphilosophie und Monismus.

Over on the WC list, Walden just wrote about our list (Sun, 29 Feb 2004):

"What a wonderful chance for discussion of Steiner's ideas (racism, anti-Semitism - or not) and what do we see? The Staudenmaier Inquisition complete with character attacks and paranoia."

Walden has apparently ignored my long essays about the complexity of Jewry, anti-Semitism, assimilation, Christianity, Rudolf Steiner's ideas about these things, my personal ideas about the same, etc. etc. All we're discussing according to these people is whether or not Peter S is a crocodile. And because they don't understand our anthro-babble, they return to their jungle drum and continue beating on the worn-out racist doctrine slogans and the racism slogans, and they keep doing their Nazi war dance against us waving swastikas at us, crying anti-Semitism, totally ignorant of what anti-Semitism is. These attacks come from a variety of life conceptions and political colors, but their choir tends to howl after the loudest voice, so if this voice is atheist-agnostic and anarchist, they're all atheist-agnostic and anarchists as long as it gives them the illusion that Anthroposophy is taking a beating.

For this reason, I believe it's important to establish that Rudolf Steiner has a rightful place in the anarchist camp, and to wipe the lies against him out of this camp.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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