Egoism / Poverty / Misery (9 of 11)

Anyone may now say: this is a nice little test of the social question; this is rather cute! Have we not always preached this, the one may say, that the human beings are selfish, and that one must count on their egoism? Now there comes the spiritual worldview and says that this can change. — Indeed, one has always preached that this could not be different and one was very proud of it and said, someone is a true practitioner who counts on the human egoism. 

Indeed, but here the thinking of the people does not turn the tables. For those who blame everything for conditions, for facilities must admit that at least — because just the conditions were in such a way as they have developed up to now — that also this desire and impulse came into the human being. However, there the thinking becomes too short. For, otherwise, they would have to say, yes, quite different surroundings are created at any rate, if the idea becomes established that it is indecent to found everything on personal self-interest. 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908

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Egoism / Poverty / Misery (8 of 11)

This principle has to penetrate every single human life to make the personally acquired independent from that which one works for the community. How does it assert itself?

There is only one possibility to assert itself, which will seem rather impractical to the so-called practitioner. There must be reasons why the human being works; nevertheless, namely rather diligently and devotedly if no longer the self-interest is the impulse of his work. Somebody does not create anything real concerning the social life in truth, who takes out a patent of any achievement and shows this way that he regards the self-interest as significant in life.

However, somebody works really for life who is led by his forces to right achievements merely by love, by love to the whole humanity, which he gives his work with pleasure and willing. Thus, the impulse of work must be in anything else than in remuneration. This is the solution of the social question: separation of remuneration from work. For this is a worldview which aims at the spirit to wake such impulses in the human being that he does no longer say: if my income is secure, I can be lazy. — A spiritual worldview can only achieve that he does not say this. Any materialism solely leads to its opposite in the long run.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908

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1892 by Otto Fröhlich

Egoism / Poverty / Misery (7 of 11)

This antisocial thinking tempts to shift all concepts. Think once how within the widespread socialism one speaks of exploiters and exploited. Who is the exploiter, and who is the exploited from the view of clear thinking? Let us look at a worker who produces a garment for starvation wages. Who is his exploiter? Perhaps, the man who buys the garment and pays a very low price for it. Does only the rich man buy this garment? Does the same worker who complains about exploitation not buy this cheap garment? Does he not require today, within the social order, that it should be as cheap as possible? You see the working woman who works with bloody fingers during the week can wear the dress for a cheap price on Sunday because the human labour of another person is exploited!    

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908

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Egoism / Poverty / Misery (6 of 11)

The social progress depends solely on the recognition of this sentence that someone does not want to get the yield of his work as a personal remuneration. Somebody leads an enterprise to quite different purposes who knows that he should have nothing for himself from that which he works for, but that he owes work to the social community, and that, vice versa, he should claim nothing for himself, but limits his existence to that which the social community gives him. As absurd this is for many people today, as true it is. The opposite fact influences our life today: by the claim of the worker to get the full yield of his work more and more. As long as the thinking moves in this direction, one comes into worse and worse situations.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908

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Egoism / Poverty / Misery (5 of 11)

If one thinks that through to the last consequences, it does no longer seem so strange if the ancient sentence of spiritual science is pronounced which sounds today as incomprehensible as possible: in a social living together, the impulse of working must never be in the own personality of the human being, but only in the dedication to the community. This is also often emphasised, but it is never understood in such a way that misery and need originate from the fact that the single human being wants to have paid what he has worked for. However, it is true that real social progress is only possible if I do that which I work for in the service of the community, and if the community gives me what I need, if, with other words, what I work for does not serve me.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908

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