Extreme capitalism thus has on the one hand this terribly abstract moral-spiritual life, which seeks to separate itself entirely from all the external realities of existence. There is, however, another attitude in modern life which has exercised just as evil an influence: as materialistic capitalism, namely that attitude which induces people to say: “What do I care about Ahriman! Let Ahriman be Ahriman; I devote myself to the impulses of my innermost soul, I surrender to the spiritual world. I seek the spiritual world within my own being; my chief interest is the soul and its concerns. What do I care for Ahrimanic things, such as credit, money, income and property! What do I care for the difference between profit and assets, etc! I care for the things which concern my soul!”
But even as man unites within himself body, soul and spirit, which are linked together during the life between birth and death, at the impulses which we may find through our soul’s innermost structure are connected, in external physical life, with the impulses contained in the external economic order. Those who are merely devout, even devout in spiritual science, are just as much responsible for the catastrophes of the present time as the capitalists with their materialistic attitude and mentality; they are just as guilty as the capitalists, through the fact that they enclose spiritual-scientific truths within their own abstract limits and are not willing to permeate everyday reality with penetrating thoughts.
This fact has again and again induced me to tell you that the Anthroposophical spiritual movement should not be regarded as something which gives you the opportunity to listen to Sunday afternoon sermons, which caress the soul because they speak of an everlasting life, and so forth, but the Anthroposophical movement should be taken as a path which enables us to cope in a real, concrete way with the modern problems of life, the burning problems of the present. One of the first requirements is this: to understand from where we must set out, and that everything will be of no use whatever unless people find access to a really unprejudiced way of thinking.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 188 – The Emancipation of the Economic Process From the Personal Element / The Separation of the Moral-Spiritual Life From the External Realities of Existence – Dornach, 1st February, 1919