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Re: To Peter 1

From: bryanmillermail
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:11 am
Subject: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hi Bryan, you asked:

What is your ultimate goal in pursuing this criticism?

Peter:

To have my opinion changed. That's why we put arguments out into the public realm, no?

Bryan:

Not really. Most criticism aims to change the object being critized or at least the perception/opinion that others have of this object. However, if you want to have your opinion changed, may I ask why?

Bryan

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:20 am
Subject: Re: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hi Bryan, you asked:

However, if you want to have your opinion changed, may I ask why?

Because that's how you get more well-founded opinions. The wonderful thing about critique is that it frequently strengthens the object of criticism. It also helps you determine which opinions don't hold up to scrutiny and need to be abandoned. I figured that a group of very talkative anthroposophists who have an evident interest in my work might be able to provide some rigorous critiques of that work. I'm enjoying doing that with several list members, though the silly imprecations are a bit of a distraction sometimes. Thanks for asking,

Peter

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From: bryanmillermail
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:55 pm
Subject: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

I had the understanding, when talking of object of criticism, that we were both referring to Anthroposophy/Rudolf Steiner (the object of your criticism), but it seems you were thinking about your own work - as in, you're in this list to enrich your work by listening to criticism (of your criticism of Anthroposophy). For a minute reading your e-mail I thought you wanted to strengthen Anthroposophy, the object of your criticism - which would be quite interesting if true, wouldn't it! To clarify things: my first question to you was, what is your ultimate goal in your work as a critic of Anthroposophy? Is there a practical goal you want to achieve?

Bryan

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:21 pm
Subject: Re: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hi Bryan,

To clarify things: my first question to you was, what is your ultimate goal in your work as a critic of Anthroposophy? Is there a practical goal you want to achieve?

No, not in the way that I think of 'practical goals'. I didn't seek out the topic, I sort of stumbled onto it. When I was asked to write my first article on anthroposophy, I thought I'd just do the one piece and then move on. That article did include several 'practical goals', and was explicitly formulated along political lines. The outraged responses it generated made me go back to the materials, and the more I dug up the more I was drawn into a long term research project. At this point I'm trying to write a book on Steiner's racial theories and their reception among the first generation of anthroposophists, but it's coming along slowly. I do have a lot of the primary research done, but it's looking like I may have to hold off on the writing for a couple years.

Peter

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From: bryanmillermail
Date: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:04 am
Subject: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Peter:

At this point I'm trying to write a book on Steiner's racial theories and their reception among the first generation of anthroposophists, but it's coming along slowly. I do have a lot of the primary research done, but it's looking like I may have to hold off on the writing for a couple years.

Bryan:

Thanks for answering my questions. I hadn't met you before and it was interesting to know more about your perspective. More than ever, it seems clear to me that there will never be agreement between us when it comes to issues such as Steiner's alleged racism and I can't say I'm looking forward to your book. You view Anthroposophy from a socio-political-materialistic perspective only, while I see it from a cosmologic spiritual standpoint in which I believe. Just as a parallel, one can think of the caste system in Hinduism: The fact that an individual is forced to die in the caste he is born may seem socially unjust to those who don't believe he'll eventually come back in another caste, a fact that would make the whole system socially just after all. In order to fully understand Anthroposophy, or the caste system, you would have to believe in, or at least accept the possibility of, a spiritual realm such as each of them describes, and include it in your observations, instead of foccusing only on the material manifestations of it to draw your conclusions. For me, your work on Steiner becomes irrelevant due to your denial of the foundations on which all the ideas he put forward make sense and where it is even more crystal clear there's nothing racist about them. I see you as a blind man holding the elephant's ear and describing it as the elephant itself because you can't see the rest of it. You probably see me as imagining an elephant where there's nothing, just a palm leaf. That's why there's no sense, for me, in discussing such issues - we are coming from different places and will never actually meet in the middle. But, it takes all kinds to make a world and I appreciate you exposing your ideas in this forum. Now I'll go back to lighter fare, if you don't mind. Have a nice stay here.

Bryan

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

Hi Bryan,

To clarify things: my first question to you was, what is your ultimate goal in your work as a critic of Anthroposophy? Is there a practical goal you want to achieve?

No, not in the way that I think of 'practical goals'. I didn't seek out the topic, I sort of stumbled onto it. When I was asked to write my first article on anthroposophy, I thought I'd just do the one piece and then move on. That article did include several 'practical goals', and was explicitly formulated along political lines. The outraged responses it generated made me go back to the materials, and the more I dug up the more I was drawn into a long term research project. At this point I'm trying to write a book on Steiner's racial theories and their reception among the first generation of anthroposophists, but it's coming along slowly. I do have a lot of the primary research done, but it's looking like I may have to hold off on the writing for a couple years.

Peter

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:44 pm
Subject: Re: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hello Peter, you wrote to Bryan, in reference to your goals:

No, not in the way that I think of 'practical goals'.

That seems like a common answer for you Peter. You often tell us about the way you think, but you never really tell us why (before you go off on a tangent about this, see below).

I didn't seek out the topic, I sort of stumbled onto it.

And you are still stumbling, without any clear goal or stated motive that isn't emersed in a soup of finely articulated socratic method.

When I was asked to write my first article on anthroposophy, I thought I'd just do the one piece and then move on. That article did include several 'practical goals', and was explicitly formulated along political lines.

I can't help but feel that you have a hidden political agenda working in that raging intellect of yours. Anthropops have communities, schools, farms, training centers, ideas for a more humane society, and so on. I can see how someone involved with a group that might adhear to a marxist ideology (or something like it) would see anthro's and there endevors as a threat to there own ideas about "the knew world order."

Sorry but since you don't state your goals clearly, and you keep skirting my questions about your Motive and intent (which I think Bradford nailed to the wall), I'm left to speculate.

The outraged responses it generated made me go back to the materials, and the more I dug up the more I was drawn into a long term research project.

Yes, but you only seem to dig up whats relevant to your "long term research project". And I find it hard to understand why personal motive or intent or long term goals are not all that important, when writing a book about Steiners Racial theories.

Unless of course you just like the attention. Or if Like DD you like to play "philosophy wars" as a kind of "hobby."

Clear question:

What do you see as your motives and intent, for involving yourself in a "long term research project" that will culminate with you writing a book about Rudolf Steiner's racial theories?

I am hoping for a clear and direct answer to the question.

Thanks

Mike

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:02 pm
Subject: Re: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hi Mike, you wrote:

I can't help but feel that you have a hidden political agenda working in that raging intellect of yours.

Yes, I've noticed that you feel this way. This is puzzling to me, since my political agenda is very, very open. (By the way, my political agenda is anarchist, not marxist.) I don't believe in a new world order, as far as I know.

Yes, but you only seem to dig up whats relevant to your "long term research project".

I think what you're saying is that I only discuss what is relevant to my research, which is largely true.

And I find it hard to understand why personal motive or intent or long term goals are not all that important, when writing a book about Steiners Racial theories..

Yes, I know that this is hard for you to understand. I don't see what we can do about that, since you and I simply disagree about the relevance of motives and intentions to the finished product.

What do you see as your motives and intent, for involving yourself in a "long term research project" that will culminate with you writing a book about Rudolf Steiner's racial theories?

I consider Steiner's racial theories and their reception among early anthroposophists a prime example of several of the broader phenomena I study, namely the propensity toward left-right crossover, esoteric politics, and the profusion of racial-ethnic discourse in early 20th century German-speaking Europe.

Peter

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:05 pm
Subject: Re: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hi Bryan, thanks for your post. You wrote:

You view Anthroposophy from a socio-political-materialistic perspective only, while I see it from a cosmologic spiritual standpoint in which I believe.

I think that hits the nail on the head, and captures well why the discussions I've gotten involved in on this list are so often fraught with misunderstanding and suspicion. Although I don't call my own viewpoint "materialistic", I probably do qualify as such according to standard anthroposophical conceptions of materialism. And my perspective is definitely heavily socio-political. I do not view anthroposophy primarily as a cosmological spiritual standpoint (and I obviously don't believe in it in that sense); I view it essentially as a set of doctrines entwined with a movement, that is, as a historical phenomenon. I know that this makes me a hard person to talk to, for people who see anthroposophy very differently, and I appreciate the effort that several people here have put into it.

In order to fully understand Anthroposophy, or the caste system, you would have to believe in, or at least accept the possibility of, a spiritual realm such as each of them describes, and include it in your observations, instead of foccusing only on the material manifestations of it to draw your conclusions.

I don't think that's true from a historical perspective; the material manifestations (texts, documents, records, and so forth) are precisely what I look at, and are what my conclusions need to be based on.

For me, your work on Steiner becomes irrelevant due to your denial of the foundations on which all the ideas he put forward make sense and where it is even more crystal clear there's nothing racist about them.

I think that the foundations on which his ideas make sense is not nearly as straightforward as you seem to suggest here. A number of early anthroposophists (Karutz, Thieben, Uehli, and others) explicated Steiner's racial and ethnic teachings and came up with results that I consider clearly racist.

I see you as a blind man holding the elephant's ear and describing it as the elephant itself because you can't see the rest of it.

If the rest of it includes the higher worlds and so forth, that's true. That isn't the aspect of anthroposophy that I study.

You probably see me as imagining an elephant where there's nothing, just a palm leaf.

No, not necessarily. I don't know whether it's there or not, much less whether you or other anthroposophists have access to truths about it. I do not categorically deny that this is possible. I don't really have much to say on the matter one way or another, to be honest.

Have a nice stay here.

Thanks. I enjoyed our exchange.

Peter

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From: dottie zold
Date: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:12 pm
Subject: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Peter:

At this point I'm trying to write a book on Steiner's racial theories and their reception among the first generation of anthroposophists, but it's coming along slowly. I do have a lot of the primary research done, but it's looking like I may have to hold off on the writing for a couple years.

Dear Bryan,

I think you hit the nail on the head in an early post about the reason Peter has come here: to strengthen his case against Dr. Steiner by polling it first amongst his students. And this is what I feel he is doing.

By debating this site he gets to see, for this is truly his one weakness, what the argument is going to be about once his book is out. He gets to frame his rhetoric around what he has learned here on AT would be the strongest opposition to his works. In this way he can hedge his bets and make it so twisted that there would be no way around it and one who knows the truth would just leave the article with a twisted sense of just being screwed. And royally.

I think it is time to let this ugly fish move on unless we really want to continue aiding his twisted mentallity one day longer. He must really be enjoying this.

Time to way move on and let Peter get caught in his web of lies if he so wishes. It's only his own self respect that is on the line. And he doesn't seem to mind losing it.

Again, we are just helping him to see what the argument is going to be about and how to defend against it in another twisted ideologue polemical paper.

Dottie

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:48 pm
Subject: Re: SV: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hi Peter, you wrote

I consider Steiner's racial theories and their reception among early anthroposophists a prime example of several of the broader phenomena I study, namely the propensity toward left-right crossover, esoteric politics, and the profusion of racial-ethnic discourse in early 20th century German-speaking Europe.

Mike:

So, Steiners racial theories and their reception are an example of the broader phenomena that you study. OK, so why do you study this phenomena?

Thanks

Mike

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:25 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: To Peter

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

<snip>

I think it is time to let this ugly fish move on unless we really want to continue aiding his twisted mentallity one day longer. He must really be enjoying this.

Time to way move on and let Peter get caught in his web of lies if he so wishes. It's only his own self respect that is on the line. And he doesn't seem to mind losing it.

Again, we are just helping him to see what the argument is going to be about and how to defend against it in another twisted ideologue polemical paper.

Dottie

I think your right Dottie. I think he does enjoy it. Like DD and his "Philosophy wars" being his stated "Hobby."

Hey, we all have our personal hobbies, and I'm sure that he would find mine as "boring" (quoting Tarjei) as I find his.

I haven't read through all the posts yet, so I'm still wondering if he has had to balls to answer my pretty clear questions about his personal motive and intent.

Unless he's like his own rendition of RS and he just cant realize them.

Funny how those who shout the loudest, are almost always shouting about themselves.

All the best Dottie

Mike

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From: bryanmillermail
Date: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:27 am
Subject: Re: To Peter

Dottie, Mike,

Considering the help he's getting from us, the least we can do is to demand a share of the book's profits. Heaven knows I could do with some extra income.

Bryan

mhelsher wrote:

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

<snip>

I think it is time to let this ugly fish move on unless we really want to continue aiding his twisted mentallity one day longer. He must really be enjoying this.

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Re: To Peter 2


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