Humanity has lost all aptitude for speaking thus concretely of the relation of the Spiritual to the Physical, would prefer that everything should be painted the same colour, if I may put it so. Men like best of all to devise theories according to which human beings the Earth over can find equal material happiness. The socialist of today insists that certain ideas are right and proper for the life of man — right for England, for America, for Russia, for Asia; he thinks that if one and all arranged their national affairs according to socialist principles, the happiness which is the dream of modern man would come to the Earth of itself.
All these ideas are abstract, unreal. Ignorance of the fact that something quite specific arises in one region of the Earth out of a particular people, something quite different in another region out of another people, the inability to understand the great difference between the West and the East — this is what causes endless confusion and chaos. For only when a man is able to build a bridge from his soul to the objective realities, can he co-operate fruitfully in shaping earthly existence.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 178 – Behind the Scenes of External Happenings – Zurich, 13th November 1917
Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield