nichts weniger als günstig


From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:18 pm
Subject: nichts weniger als günstig

Thanks to a tip from a reader of this list, I just spent a couple of very interesting minutes at google, and discovered something I hadn't even thought of looking for before. But before I share my discovery, perhaps a brief re-tracing of our steps is called for to put this all into perspective -- and maybe this instance will help my detractors on this list understand why I am often very confident about the claims I have put forward here, to the point that many of you consider me insufferably arrogant.

Back in February we had a lively debate about how to read, and hence how to translate, a sentence from Steiner's 1888 article announcing that Jewry as such had no more reason to exist. Several members of the list angrily insisted that I had mistranslated Steiner's phrase "nichts weniger als günstig", which they took to mean "nothing less than favorable", while I took it to mean "anything but favorable".

In my typically haughty manner, I thought this was a more than usually interesting case of anthroposophical ignorance and incomprehension, because Steiner's sentence really does display syntactic ambiguity (although that was itself apparently contentious, as several of my detractors seemed to think it was a much simpler matter of lexical ambiguity, a very different kettle of fish), and because I had myself previously read the phrase to mean "nothing less than favorable", before eventually realizing my mistake by paying attention to the context. I was thus quite confident in my reading, having already subjected it to considerable scrutiny and self-doubt, and none of the counter-arguments brought forth by various Steiner fans made much sense.

One of those counter-arguments, advanced in particular by Detlef, was that numerous other occurences of the words "nichts weniger" supposedly confirmed his preferred reading of the Steiner passage. To this end, he provided a number of links to other texts in which those words appeared, in the belief that this was somehow relevant to our dispute. Since it was not in fact relevant, I ignored those other texts, and patiently explained this to a series of increasingly agitated anthroposophists. This behavior on my part struck a number of listmates as "running away" from the issue. But the real issue was not whether the two words "nichts weniger" in unrelated contexts could mean what Detlef et al wished them to mean in Steiner's case; the issue, as I explained repeatedly, was how those words operated as a phrase in the specific context at hand.

Which brings us to my google discovery. I just went to www.google.com and typed in the full phrase "nichts weniger als günstig" in quotation marks. This brought up a total of eleven distinct texts, not including repeats, on various webpages containing the phrase. Four of these texts were either re-prints of or quotations from Steiner's 1888 article. Of the seven remaining occurences of "nichts weniger als günstig", every single one of them, without exception, is used to mean "anything but favorable". Not one of them is used to mean "nothing less than favorable". For the sake of completeness, I will give the passages (including several from Friedrich Schiller and Ludwig Tieck) and the web links below.

I strongly encourage Detlef, Daniel, Frank, and anyone else who cares to re-visit the matter to read each of these examples, and tell us whether this has any effect on their reading of Steiner's use of the phrase.


Peter

"Ein besonders hervorzuhebender Grund für das Erreichen des heutigen Leistungsniveaus ist ein hohes Maß an professioneller Einstellung zum Sport, obwohl die Rahmenbedingungen in der Regel nichts weniger als günstig sind."

http://www.orientierungslauf.de/content.php?m=0&s=2&id=230

"Wir sahen uns gezwungen, alle Gespräche mit Hilfe von Dolmetschern zu führen, eine Methode, die einem tiefen Verständnis der Gedanken anderer nichts weniger als günstig ist."

http://mitglied.lycos.de/horstweyrich/meister-hausbau.htm

"Ob nun gleich der Tell einer dramatischen Behandlung nichts weniger als günstig scheint, da die Handlung dem Ort und der Zeit nach ganz zerstreut auseinander liegt, da sie großentheils eine Staatsaktion ist und (das Märchen mit dem Hut und Apfel ausgenommen) der Darstellung widerstrebt, so habe ich doch bis jetzt so viel poetische Operation damit vorgenommen, daß sie aus dem historischen Haus heraus und ins poetische eingetreten ist."

http://www.schulseiten.de/ams-8b/referate/7bwenzel.doc

"Das Interesse der Einbildungskraft aber ist: sich frei von Gesetzen im Spiele zu erhalten. Diesem Hange zur Ungebundenheit ist die sittliche Verbindlichkeit des Willens, durch welche ihm sein Objekt auf das strengste bestimmt wird, nichts weniger als günstig; und da die sittliche Verbindlichkeit des Willens der Gegenstand des moralischen Urtheils ist, so sieht man leicht, daß bei dieser Art zu urtheilen die Einbildungskraft ihre Rechnung nicht finden könne."

http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/schiller/pathos/pathos.htm

"Zum Unglück wollte es der Zufall, daß gerade damals Graf Johann von Beilstein mit den hessischen Münchhäusern erbitterte Kämpfe um die Wahrung seiner Waldrechte im Königswieser Holz ausfocht. Die entschiedene Stellungnahme der Hessen für ihre Untertanen auf dem linken Ufer des Ulmbachs war der Beilegung des Konflikts nichts weniger als günstig. Sie schuf eine Atmosphäre, in der auf beiden Seiten wenig Neigung zu Verhandlungen bestand."

http://www.aryanand.at/Geschichte/Graf/graf.html

"Unsere raschlebige Zeit mit ihrem weitverzweigten Wirtschaftsleben ist der Erhaltung alter Sitten und Bräuche nichts weniger als günstig. Wo sie in oft kümmerlichen und stark veränderten Formen bis heute lebendig blieben, überwiegt die dem Volkstum günstige Landwirtschaft. Faßt die Industrie in einer Landschaft festen Fuß, dann gleicht sie aus und vernichtet- sehr zum Schaden von Volkstum und Volkskunde- die in jahrhundertelanger Übung bewahrten Sitten."

http://www.aryanand.at/Geschichte/Hochzeit/hochzeit.html

"Der alte Lovell, den ich itzt mehrmals besucht habe, gehört zu den schätzbarsten Leuten, die ich je habe kennen lernen. Ohne die Prätension, die bei vielen Gelehrten von Profession ebenso lästig als lächerlich ist, verbindet er eine große Menge von Kenntnissen mit ebenso vielen Erfahrungen und einem sehr ausgebildeten Verstande. Er empfindet ebenso fein als tief und steht von den kalten Menschen ebenso weit als von denen mit glühenden Gefühlen entfernt! aber vorzüglich wert ist er mir durch diese innige Menschenliebe geworden, mit der er jedem Unglücklichen entgegenkommt, durch diese Bereitwilligkeit, mit der sein Mitleid so schnell als seine Hülfe dem Elenden zugesichert wird. Für sich selbst empfindet er weniger, als für andre, denn er verbirgt gänzlich den Gram, den ihm der Prozeß mit Burton notwendig machen muß, besonders da die Umstände für ihn nichts weniger als günstig sein sollen. Ich nehme, seit ich ihn mehr kenne, den wärmsten Anteil an allem, was ihn betrifft: so wie ich, sind alle seine Bekannte seine Freunde."

http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/tieck/lovell/Druckversion_lovell31.htm

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From: zapdingo
Date: Tue Apr 27, 2004 3:51 pm
Subject: Re: nichts weniger als günstig

Mr. Staudenmaier wrote:

In my typically haughty manner, I thought this was a more than usually interesting case of anthroposophical ignorance and incomprehension,

Quousque tandem, Peterlina...

Bryan

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From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:55 am
Subject: Re: nichts weniger als günstig

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

(snip)

Back in February we had a lively debate about how to read, and hence how to translate, a sentence from Steiner's 1888 article announcing that Jewry as such had no more reason to exist. Several members of the list angrily insisted that I had mistranslated Steiner's phrase "nichts weniger als günstig", which they took to mean "nothing less than favorable", while I took it to mean "anything but favorable".

(snip)

I strongly encourage Detlef, Daniel, Frank, and anyone else who cares to re-visit the matter to read each of these examples, and tell us whether this has any effect on their reading of Steiner's use of the phrase.

Actually, it doesn't. What I do agree about is that the phrase itself and Steiner's use of it is ambiguous and can be interpreted either way. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what Steiner meant. If I remember correctly, the word, "aber" (but) in the following phrase or sentence defines his meaning in this particluar context. At least that's the way I still see it. Am I absolutely, totally certain? No. And I assume you are not either, Peter, else you wouldn't be searching Google after all this time. Why not let it R.I.P.?

Frank

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From: Deborah
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:52 am
Subject: Re: nichts weniger als günstig

Why not let it R.I.P.?

Frank

My guess as to why Peter doesn't want to let go? Because the pool of Rudolf Steiner quotes that can be construed as anti-semitic is very small and he doesn't want to lose one.

Deborah

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:58 am
Subject: Peter Staundnmaier's trip to AT was:R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

Hi Brian and all,

this gives me the chance of trying a recapitulation of Mr PS's trip to AT. As a basic fact we all know that inside the 80-85 thousands of pages that are the written memory of RS there is some line that, to a deeply "politically correct" orienteed mind, could vaguely resounds "racist". This in spite of the fact that not only the whole but also the single "daughters" of Mother Antropos-Sophia are deeply rooted in Spiritual wisdom,Cosmopolitism and anti racist and anti-nationalistic issues. Well this guy, Peter Staudenmaier, has been trying since 1999 to perform the task to demonstrate that the above few lines are the evidence of a "core racist" attitude of Steiner and, off course, of Anthroposophists too.

In order to perform this impossible task he followed some steps.
1) He took a very small portion of a lecture of a lectures' cycle ,namely the "Folk Souls" one , faking translation and contents in order to "demonstrate" the identical racist core of Anthroposophy and Protonazi Ariosophy's insights. ( Sune for the first unmasked the lie)
2) He took out of context a small number of Steiner's statement in order to "demonstrate" his racism and "floating" antisemitism ( He argues that Steiner was "in the same time" Anti and Philo-Semite )
3) He "studied" Anthromovement's story during Hitler's years emphasizing pro-nazi issues of somebody and minimizing anti-nazi issues of someone else in order to demonstrate the "closesness" between Anthropops and Nazism.
4) Jumping in the list he had only one way to support this sum of falsehoods: playing mindgambling and dialectic acrobatics,trying to prove that black is white and white is black, running away instead of responding when he had nothing to say and he did so tks to a certain ability in playing with words.
5) Doing so he has in the meantime demonstrated :
a) big lack of knowledge about basic Anthroposophical matters despite the fact to present himself like one able to "correct" the "mistakes" of those poor Anthropops.
b) lack of credentials and also of knowledge in basic historical and cultural matters.

Well, listmates can be such an evidently poor defamation's trip can be somehow harmful for the Anthro-movement ?

In my opinion It can be dangerous only for some beginner of for occasional surfers with no basic knowledge about the matter as it always happen in every slander's campaign - Neverthless I believe also that, tks to the work of Dottie, Pauline, Christine, Deborah, Tarjej, Sune, Bradford, Daniel, Detlef, Patrick, Bryan, Mike, Harvey, Frank (excuse me if I forget someone) and having unmasked the trick, we will be of good help for every goodwill seeker.

In other words: jumping into the list Peter Staudenmaier made, to speak in a soccer-like way, an actual own -goal

Andrea

----- Original Message -----

Wednesday, April 28, 2004 12:51 AM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

Mr. Staudenmaier wrote:

In my typically haughty manner, I thought this was a more than usually interesting case of anthroposophical ignorance and incomprehension,


Quousque tandem, Peterlina...

Bryan

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:53 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

At 14:52 29.04.2004, Deborah wrote:

My guess as to why Peter doesn't want to let go? Because the pool of Rudolf Steiner quotes that can be construed as anti-semitic is very small and he doesn't want to lose one.

Peter's obsession with everything racial in Anthroposophy and Lightsearcher's obsession with everything liberal in politics could be made interesting if we had a shrink on the list who could offer some insight.

Tarjei

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From: winters_diana
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:20 am
Subject: Re: nichts weniger als günstig

Deborah:

My guess as to why Peter doesn't want to let go? Because the pool of Rudolf Steiner quotes that can be construed as anti-semitic is very small and he doesn't want to lose one.

Except that the quote was anti-Semitic whether it said "anything but favorable" or "nothing less than favorable."

Tarjei:

Peter's obsession with everything racial in Anthroposophy and Lightsearcher's obsession with everything liberal in politics could be made interesting if we had a shrink on the list who could offer some insight.

Just curious, Tarjei, is anyone who studies racism in a particular setting in depth, or at length, "obsessed" and in need of a shrink? This would include thousands of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, journalists, psychologists, activists, politicians, travel and biography writers, literary critics, poets and songwriters and performers. People devote entire careers to the study of racism in smaller niches than a movement like anthroposophy.

Diana

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:55 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

----- Original Message -----
From: winters_diana

[Deborah:]

to let go? Because the pool of Rudolf Steiner quotes that can be construed as anti-semitic is very small and he doesn't want to lose one.

[Diana:]

Except that the quote was anti-Semitic whether it said "anything but favorable" or "nothing less than favorable."

Tarjei:

Peter's obsession with everything racial in Anthroposophy and Lightsearcher's obsession with everything liberal in politics could be made interesting if we had a shrink on the list who could offer some insight.

[Diana:]

Just curious, Tarjei, is anyone who studies racism

Exccuse me Diana and Tarjej.

Diana's claim is true but.... but there is a problem. Racism is to be studied where it is. For instance I like to study Appenino's wolves or bears' life and I go, when it is possible, where the wolves and the bears live namely the Appenino's ranges. Staudenmaier "studies" racism where there is no racism at all, namely Steiner's Spiritual Science. Here lies the need of a medical help.

Andrea

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:03 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

I wrote:

Peter's obsession with everything racial in Anthroposophy and Lightsearcher's obsession with everything liberal in politics could be made interesting if we had a shrink on the list who could offer some insight.

Diana wrote:

Just curious, Tarjei, is anyone who studies racism in a particular setting in depth, or at length, "obsessed" and in need of a shrink?

Each separate case would be up to the shrink to decide upon. I won't offer any amateur opinions when it comes to diagnoses and such. We're talking about a one track mind syndrome. Same thing with Lightsearcher and his liberals.

This would include thousands of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, journalists, psychologists, activists, politicians, travel and biography writers, literary critics, poets and songwriters and performers.

Absolute nonsense without rhyme or reason.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:44 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

At 14:52 29.04.2004, Deborah wrote:

My guess as to why Peter doesn't want to let go? Because the pool of Rudolf Steiner quotes that can be construed as anti-semitic is very small and he doesn't want to lose one.

Peter's obsession with everything racial in Anthroposophy and Lightsearcher's obsession with everything liberal in politics could be made interesting if we had a shrink on the list who could offer some insight.

Tarjei

My diagnosis: Ideology Addiction.

Addiction can be defined as "an obsessive compulsive destructive behavior" that is derived from an individual's lack of ability to "believe" in anything other than their own narrowly focused world-view. In street terms this is called "believing in your own bullshit," which is a good definition of "denial." This in turn is exemplified by an extreme "us and them" attitude toward any person, or group of people that seemingly opposes the "bullshit" that is being believed. Other symptoms often include a strong intellectual bend, especially when it comes to writing and reading words (word smithing), and a general lack of compassion.

Mike Helsher - Psychologist

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From: holderlin66
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:50 am
Subject: Re: nichts weniger als günstig

wrote

Mike Helsher - Psychologist

Finally a resident psychologist on call. Now I don't have to go to Italy. I think I need to make several appointments. My office will contact your office.

Mr. Bradord Riley
Department Of Michael School Affairs
adjunct to his holiness
Sirguy Prokofiev

Outpost Delta 1
lower Devachan

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From: Deborah
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:28 pm
Subject: Re: nichts weniger als günstig

Dear Diana,

you wrote:

Except that the quote was anti-Semitic whether it said "anything but favorable" or "nothing less than favorable."

Deborah:

This gets to the core of the problem. I'm not sure whether the remark is or is not anti-Semitic. I haven't read the entire article and do not have the context, but as a "stand alone" it certainly can be read, fairly, as an anti-Semitic statement.

So, does one anti-Semitic statement make an anti-Semite out of Steiner? No, probably not. How many does it take? Do the remarks have to be taken within the entire context of his work or can they be analyzed in isolation? And so on.

I'd like to offer an example that gets us away from Steiner and racism. Imagine a feminist scholar who dislikes Ralph Waldo Emerson. She feels strongly that there is a sexist strand in his work which has gone unrecognized. What sort of case would she have to build to convince the world that she is right?

First she would need to find examples of sexist statements in his work. Then she would have to demonstrate that the context does not invalidate the sexist content. That is, if he is telling a story, making a joke, quoting someone else as a negative example and so forth, the circumstances do not support her point very strongly. Finally, she would have to find a way to explain away the various circumstances in his life that do not support the charge of sexism. If he made positive remarks, for example, about women's suffrage, this would have to be invalidated. If he was happily married, kind to his sisters and had many strong, educated women friends it would also weaken her case.

Once she published her work, she would expect that Emerson scholars would descend upon it, angry and upset. Every quote would be scrutinized, every weak point in her argument torn apart, etc., etc. She would need to be prepared to defend every sentence against attack.

I am sure that there are feminist scholars who dislike Emerson. I am sure that there are isolated remarks in his entire body of work that would support a charge of sexism (he was a 19th century male, come on). But could a coherent, defendable charge of sexism be built? I doubt it.

I see the same problem with building a charge of racism and anti- Semitism in the case of Steiner. Smearing, as we have seen, is certainly possible. A scholarly, well-thought out, defendable case. Nah.

Deborah

Note: All my remarks on Emerson are purely speculative and are not based on any sort of research. This is simply an example.

So, my remark below should be amended to: Because the pool of Rudolf Steiner quotes that can be construed as anti-Semitic is very small and he doesn't want the impact of this one to be reduced in any way.

Deborah:

My guess as to why Peter doesn't want to let go? Because the pool of Rudolf Steiner quotes that can be construed as anti-semitic is very small and he doesn't want to lose one.

Except that the quote was anti-Semitic whether it said "anything but favorable" or "nothing less than favorable."

Tarjei:

Peter's obsession with everything racial in Anthroposophy and Lightsearcher's obsession with everything liberal in politics could be made interesting if we had a shrink on the list who could offer some insight.

Just curious, Tarjei, is anyone who studies racism in a particular setting in depth, or at length, "obsessed" and in need of a shrink? This would include thousands of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, journalists, psychologists, activists, politicians, travel and biography writers, literary critics, poets and songwriters and performers. People devote entire careers to the study of racism in smaller niches than a movement like anthroposophy.

Diana

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From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:50 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re:_nichts_weniger_als_günstig

Diana, Staudenmaier is so off base that his work is suspect. His work should be seen through his world view prism of the extreme rational left. It would appear true in that context of that particular mind set it seems. His work is a fallacy and he should have stuck with ARIOSOPHY when he found it. He did not. He went and found a word that sounds similar and just brought the two groups together. It is clear for anyone with an understanding of ARIOSOPHY.

He does not need a shrink any more than the rest of us. We are all a product of our environment as long as we stay tuned into the matrix of what we are supposed to be according to what we have encountered in the physical life.

He is wrong that Dr. Steiner was a racist and a nazi forerunner in the ideology. You have seen him twist himself into a pretzel to prove his point with word acrobats that defy the mind. Any mind.

I am sure in your life you have made comments as have the rest of us that can be construed as racist, president of PLANS did so innocently a few years back without realizing how one could have understood her point. Does that make her a racist? No it does not. Well, I am assuming she is not. Just like the crossing guard you pointed out earlier. Is she a racist for her comment or a product of her surrounding society. When things are brought to their attention sometimes people can see how 'wow I did not mean it that way', and others might say 'what the hell are you talking about, that doesn't mean I am a racist', yada yada ya...

It's one thing to say a thing sounds racist and another to say one is a racist and has formulated a racist ideology that tries to put one group of people over another. Staudenmaier went even further to say that the Doctor helped to formulate the nazi ideology through his teachings and that the nazis were influenced by this. He is wrong. And the Doctors work speaks to this time and time again.

Dottie

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:11 pm
Subject: agreement and disagreement: a recap

Hello anthroposophy tomorrow list,

as promised, I am getting out of your hair as of today. Since I began my sojourn on this list with a summary of agreements and disagreements, I thought it might be appropriate to part on that note as well. I think that Deborah's comparative example of a hypothetical feminist critique of Emerson is an excellent way to frame the issues that brought me here, so at the risk of annoying and irritating some of you one last time, I thought I'd leave you with a few of my reflections on the matter.

I brought up the "nichts weniger als günstig" issue again not in order to shore up the case about Steiner's early antisemitism (the 1888 article, in my judgement, is obviously antisemitic regardless of how one reads that one phrase), but simply because the new evidence was surprisingly unequivocal on a question that several listmates previously considered very important indeed. To my mind it wasn't a matter of either "running away", as Daniel would have it, or of letting it rest, as Frank prefers, but of showing that the notion of deliberate mistranslation never made any sense from the beginning. I highly recommend a re-reading of Detlef's posts on the topic in light of the passages I posted a couple days ago.

In any case, the real dispute all along was about how to make sense of Steiner's contradictory public statements about Jews and Jewishness from various points in his career. My thesis is not, as Andrea surmises, that Steiner's stance was both antisemitic and philosemitic at the same time. My thesis is that Steiner's attitude toward Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness was basically antisemitic in the 1880s and early 1890s, basically philosemitic around the turn of the century, and basically antisemitic from his theosophical turn onward. I offered well over a dozen textual references as examples, many of which never got discussed here. I certainly agree that Steiner's antisemitic statements take up a relatively small portion of his work, and are dwarfed by his broader statements on race. But his arguments about Jews and Jewishness are the proper object of inquiry if we want to get a fuller sense of his views on that specific theme.

I think that the comparison to Emerson brings a number of these issues into focus. Deborah wrote:

I'd like to offer an example that gets us away from Steiner and racism. Imagine a feminist scholar who dislikes Ralph Waldo Emerson. She feels strongly that there is a sexist strand in his work which has gone unrecognized. What sort of case would she have to build to convince the world that she is right?

First she would need to find examples of sexist statements in his work. Then she would have to demonstrate that the context does not invalidate the sexist content. That is, if he is telling a story, making a joke, quoting someone else as a negative example and so forth, the circumstances do not support her point very strongly.

This, at last, is a reasonable description of some of the contextual factors that need to be taken into account in assessing a particular text. In the 1888 article, Steiner vigorously defends a crude antisemitic parody, namely the eigth canto of Robert Hamerling's book Homunculus, against various criticisms of its antisemitic content.

Finally, she would have to find a way to explain away the various circumstances in his life that do not support the charge of sexism. If he made positive remarks, for example, about women's suffrage, this would have to be invalidated. If he was happily married, kind to his sisters and had many strong, educated women friends it would also weaken her case.

That is completely mistaken. The presence of non-sexist and anti-sexist strands in an author's overall work does not weaken the argument for sexist strands. Innumerable authors, male as well as female, combine sexist and non-sexist elements in their works. Our hypothetical feminist critic would by no means need to explain away or invalidate the non-sexist or anti-sexist strands in Emerson's writings, she would instead need to relate the two competing strands to one another and offer an interpretive framework that tries to account for both of them. In the case of Steiner, the task at hand is to acknowledge both the antisemitic and the philosemitic components in his thinking, and see how they fit into his general outlook as it developed over time.

Once she published her work, she would expect that Emerson scholars would descend upon it, angry and upset.

That certainly has been known to happen among scholars, but it isn't necessarily to be expected; people who get upset by rival interpretations quite simply lack sufficient critical distance from their object of study. Far from getting angry, thoughtful Emerson scholars would welcome a new approach to the topic and explain which parts of it they found compelling and which unpersuasive.

Every quote would be scrutinized, every weak point in her argument torn apart, etc., etc. She would need to be prepared to defend every sentence against attack.

Or change her interpretation when encountering meaningful counter-arguments and new evidence. This is not a bad description of my correspondence with Ralf Sonnenberg on philosemitism and antisemitism in Steiner's works, by the way.

I am sure that there are feminist scholars who dislike Emerson. I am sure that there are isolated remarks in his entire body of work that would support a charge of sexism (he was a 19th century male, come on). But could a coherent, defendable charge of sexism be built? I doubt it.

Why would anybody doubt this before looking into the matter? That sort of attitude makes no sense at all to me. Why would it be in any way surprising to find sexist elements in Emerson's work on gender, or antisemitic elements in Steiner's work on Jews, alongside anti-sexist and philosemitic ones?

I see the same problem with building a charge of racism and anti- Semitism in the case of Steiner. Smearing, as we have seen, is certainly possible. A scholarly, well-thought out, defendable case. Nah.

Smearing is only successful with incompetent readers. If Steiner's work really were completely free of antisemitic elements, then Steiner's fans would have nothing to worry about, for the very same reason that I have nothing to worry about when silly accusations of forgery are made. As for a scholarly, well-thought out, defensible case that encompasses both the philosemitic and antisemitic strands within Steiner's work, that is what my latest article attempts to provide. The journal submission process takes some time, and the manuscript is currently under consideration for next year, so it will be a while -- assuming they accept it at all -- before it is published. Once that happens, I encourage anybody who considers themselves a Steiner scholar to descend upon it, angry and upset, to your hearts' content.

Until then, I recommend taking a second look at the arguments I have put forth on this list over the past two months.

And now I must truly run away, fast as I can, before my lying, forging, mistranslating, misquoting, professor-impersonating, card-catalogue-and-dust-jacket-reading past catches up with me at last and dooms me to reincarnate in a lower racial form. Anybody who would like to can reach me at pstauden@yahoo.de.

Thanks for hosting me,

Peter Staudenmaier

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From: winters_diana
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:30 pm
Subject: Re: nichts weniger als günstig

I wrote:

Diana wrote:

Just curious, Tarjei, is anyone who studies racism in a particular setting in depth, or at length, "obsessed" and in need of a shrink? This would include thousands of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, journalists, psychologists, activists, politicians, travel and biography writers, literary critics, poets and songwriters and performers.

Tarjei replied:

Absolute nonsense without rhyme or reason.

What is absolute nonsense? My claim that a lot of people study racism, that it is a common theme in art and literature, that many people have spent their lives obsessed with racism - you don't think that's true? Perhaps I did not explain this well. Do you disagree that many people study racism? Or do you mean it is absolute nonsense for these people to do this? A sociologist who studies race for instance is wasting their time? Just clarify what you meant - please? and don't blow me off like Deborah.

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:17 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

[Bradford:]

wrote

Mike Helsher - Psychologist

Finally a resident psychologist on call. Now I don't have to go to Italy. I think I need to make several appointments. My office will contact your office.

Mr. Bradord Riley
Department Of Michael School Affairs
adjunct to his holiness
Sirguy Prokofiev

Outpost Delta 1
lower Devachan

Ok, I'll have my people call your people. We'll have lunch.

A good prerequisite for our meeting would be http://www.steinerbooks.org/detail.html?id=0880104961

We wouldn't want to get our animus and Sophia's mixed up.

Hey, who knows, we might end up with a new paradigm: "archetypes of the collected clairvoyant conscious experience."

:^)

...................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:07 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

At 04:30 30.04.2004, Diana wrote:

What is absolute nonsense? My claim that a lot of people study racism, that it is a common theme in art and literature, that many people have spent their lives obsessed with racism - you don't think that's true?

There is no use trying to make PS' allegations against anthroposophy legitimate by suggesting similarities with normal authors and researchers. Forget it.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with "studying racism in a particular". It has to do with redefining words like "racism" and projecting it where there is none, for years and years. That's what's obsessive and perhaps pathological.

It is hopeless trying to suggest that PS is in big company here. Face it: he isn't.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:02 am
Subject: Re: agreement and disagreement: a recap

Peter:

And now I must truly run away, fast as I can, before my lying, forging, mistranslating, misquoting, professor-impersonating, card-catalogue-and-dust-jacket-reading past catches up with me at last and dooms me to reincarnate in a lower racial form.

What a last scoop to show how truly Peter has no idea of what he speaks when discoursing on the Doctor: reicarnating into a lower racial form because he disagrees with the Doctors students. What a flabbergabber.

We all serve the end goal of evolution, every single last one of us. What looks like it might be against what others say many times is the catalyst towards the place we need to be going. And that is the Doctors teachings as well. That however doesn't mean we lie down and take it rather it requires that all those involve take part. We are all a part of a bigger brotherhood than we could possibly imagine. Mr. Staudenmaier stands right there with us. May the differences fall away and we realize in this time our true brotherhood where the ties that bind cannot be broken in any which way or loose.

In regards to the Doctors's students reading and ranting over his future writings as Peters hopes, I say lets not give him the devils due. We all reap what we sow whether we think we are fighting the good fight or the bad fight. Best we be about the Fathers business than to be caught up with Screwtapes Uncle. And on all sides.

Sincerely,
Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Deborah
Date: Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:02 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: nichts weniger als günstig

Please see the example I proffered of what actual scholarly work on such a topic would involve. Has anyone at PLANS, including Peter Staudenmeier, engaged in such work? Sloppy smearing is not equal to scholarship. Demanding respect for doing sloppy smearing is silly.

Deborah

At 04:30 30.04.2004, Diana wrote:

What is absolute nonsense? My claim that a lot of people study racism, that it is a common theme in art and literature, that many people have spent their lives obsessed with racism - you don't think that's true?

There is no use trying to make PS' allegations against anthroposophy legitimate by suggesting similarities with normal authors and researchers. Forget it.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with "studying racism in a particular". It has to do with redefining words like "racism" and projecting it where there is none, for years and years. That's what's obsessive and perhaps pathological.

It is hopeless trying to suggest that PS is in big company here. Face it: he isn't.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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