Social feelings in the place of unsocial instincts and passions

Spiritual science rises out of the whole human being, and it even brings to the fore things in which the human being takes a secondary interest. Although even spiritual science apparently develops intellectual concepts, it is nevertheless able to convey real things which contain a social element in the place of the anti-social element.

You see, in many ways we should consider the world from a different standpoint than the ordinary one of the nineteenth century and of the early twentieth century. At that time it was considered as praiseworthy that social requirements and social problems were so amply discussed. But those who have an insight into the world, merely see in this a symptom showing the presence of a great amount of unsocial feelings in the human beings. Just as those who speak a great deal of love, are generally unloving, whereas those who have a great amount of love do not speak much of love, so the people who continually speak of social problems, as was the case in the last third of the nineteenth century, are, in reality, completely undermined by unsocial instincts and passions.

The social system which came to the fore in Eastern Europe is nothing but the proof of every form of unsocial and anti-social life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 206 – Human Evolution, Cosmic Soul, Cosmic Spirit — II – Dornach, August 6, 1921

800 years ago it was already a fiasco

Today (1922), it is clear, we can only look with horror at the social organization that is trying to establish itself in Eastern Europe. Yet in considering what is going on there today, we cannot help remembering what happened some eight hundred years ago, in China. Here, quite suddenly, men sought and very largely realized a political system that aimed at ordering all the affairs of man, even those of an economic nature, in every detail on behalf of the state. At this period in China, there were government authorities that fixed prices from week to week, authorities that laid down how the land was to be cultivated here, there and everywhere, authorities that provided country people with the seed for the year. At this period in China, an attempt was made to impose a high rate of tax on people who were particularly rich, so that gradually their fortunes passed to the general public.

Remembering all this, we may say: the social configuration sought in Europe in our time by certain circles was largely realized eight hundred years ago, over a period of three decades, until the Socialist government concerned was overthrown and its supporters expelled from China. For thirty years, a system persisted whose features, if we described them without mentioning China, might very well be taken to refer to present-day Russia.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 83 – The Tension Between East and West – Vienna, 8th June 1922

Previously posted on 28th December 2013

800 years ago it was already a fiasco

Today (1922), it is clear, we can only look with horror at the social organization that is trying to establish itself in Eastern Europe. Yet in considering what is going on there today, we cannot help remembering what happened some eight hundred years ago, in China. Here, quite suddenly, men sought and very largely realized a political system that aimed at ordering all the affairs of man, even those of an economic nature, in every detail on behalf of the state. At this period in China, there were government authorities that fixed prices from week to week, authorities that laid down how the land was to be cultivated here, there and everywhere, authorities that provided country people with the seed for the year.

At this period in China, an attempt was made to impose a high rate of tax on people who were particularly rich, so that gradually their fortunes passed to the general public. Remembering all this, we may say: the social configuration sought in Europe in our time by certain circles was largely realized eight hundred years ago, over a period of three decades, until the Socialist government concerned was overthrown and its supporters expelled from China. For thirty years, a system persisted whose features, if we described them without mentioning China, might very well be taken to refer to present-day Russia.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 83 – The Tension Between East and West – Vienna, 8th June 1922

Translated by B.A. Rowley