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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It does not depend on giving this or that person work, but which work is performed

It does not depend on giving this or that person work, but which work is performed, just work which the community needs. If we look at the matter in such a way, we realise that what must become the impulse of our work must be a feeling of solidarity penetrated by real wisdom, the living social feeling that shall take place in any human soul. Not the abstract love, not that love which talks only about love and cannot see beyond its nose, but only that love which is illumined by knowledge can cause an improvement of the human conditions.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Knowledge of Soul and Spirit: Occupation and Earnings – Berlin, 12 March 1908

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Previously posted on September 3, 2017

What poisons our economic life?

A completely different spirit must enter our economic life. This spirit must, above all, revive the connection that needs to exist between the human being and that which he produces, directly or indirectly, into the world.The present relationship is not any more right for many branches of life.

Many people are indifferent about whom they work for, and how that which they are working on, is related to the social organization. They are only interested in how much they earn through their work. That is their interest in the outer, material world, is limited to the amount of money they will receive for their labor; to what they will be able to acquire with the amount of money they earn. This limitation of interest to solely what people receive through their labor, instead of what they produce, is what poisons our entire economic life. However, herein also lies a severe obstacle to the concept of the threefold social organism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 337b – Soziale Ideen/Soziale Wirklichkeit/ Soziale Praxis – Dornach, October 10, 1920 (page 206-207)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on November 3, 2018

Unnecessary tasks

It is important that people who put a lot of effort into their work, do something that is needed for everyday life, something that is valid and fruitful.

It is not a question of letting as many people as possible be involved in some task, so that they can make a living, but it is a question of participating in activities that will involve people in something that is truly worthwhile in a social sense, something that will be helpful towards developing an effective social system. 

For example, consider how many books are printed today, of which not even fifty copies will be sold. Now, take such a book – how many people will have been working on it until it is finally finished! They earn their livelihoods, but they have a completely unnecessary task. It would be more sensible if they took on a different task whereby they could relieve innumerable other people from such useless activities. However, numerous typographic services, countless book binders, produce stacks of books – usually lyrical poems, but lots of other unnecessary written work is produced as well, piles of books are produced; Almost everything will be destroyed again. But such unnecessary activities are often engaged in today; Countless things are done unnecessarily.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 337b – Soziale Ideen/Soziale Wirklichkeit/Soziale Praxis – Dornach, August 30, 1920 (page 99-100)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 23, 2018

This work is not good enough for me

Every kind of work can serve the whole of humanity; and it is a surer sign of greatness of soul to perceive clearly how necessary for this whole world is a petty, perhaps even an offensive employment than to think: ‘This work is not good enough for me; I am destined for something better.’

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment – V: Some results of Initiation

Translated by George Metaxa / Revisions by Henry B. Monges

Previously posted on January 3, 2018