agreement and disagreement 2

answering questions


From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:39 pm
Subject: answering questions

Hi Tarjei,

I can't force you to discuss the issue, but I am still very curious about your reticence. You wrote:

You know very well by now what I mean and what Rudolf Steiner meant.

I have no idea what you meant, and you and I evidently disagree about what Steiner meant. Why are you avoiding a debate on the matter?

If you fail to see that my previous post was a response to your question, perhaps I didn't care to answer your question.

Yes, I got that impression. I don't understand this attitude. It seems to me a fairly straightforward issue, which can be answered by simply advancing a few basic claims and substantiating them. The issue before us, as I see it, is this:

Why did Steiner want Jewishness to disappear? (Or, for those of you who think I have misunderstood the several passages I quoted to this effect, What did Steiner really mean when he said the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to disappear?) Why did both the early and the late Steiner portray Jews as a closed totality dominated by racial qualities? Why did he think that the mere existence of Jews was a mistake of world history? Why did he use Jews as an example of decadent racial groups that refuse to progress?

I do not think that these views exhaust Steiner's perspective on the "Jewish question", but they were certainly a big part of it. To my mind, each one of those statements by Steiner, in the context within which he expressed them, counts as antisemitic. I can see that several members of this list disagree, and I'd be very interested to learn why. If Tarjei doesn't care to answer my question, I invite anybody else to do so.

Peter Staudenmaier

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:38 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Hi Peter, you wrote:

I have no idea what you meant, and you and I evidently disagree about what Steiner meant. Why are you avoiding a debate on the matter?

I cannot fathom that a person with your intelligence has not grasped the true essence of Rudolf Steiner's relationship to the Jews after all these years you have spent so much time on it. Neither can I understand why you are still blank about my own take here.

Steiner once said something interesting about debates. It was in connection with the Transubstantiation. When "This is my body" and "This is my blood" became the subject of debate, it was no longer understood. For this reason, Steiner said that when people begin to discuss something, they no longer understand it.

A debate can be fruitful if it is intended to get more knowledge and gain new insights, but that is not the case here. I see no point in debating as if it were a game of football or ping pong; I see no point in arguing - which usually entails a shouting match - for the purpose of persuading other people to change their minds about something, especially when their minds are very made up and determined.

Why did you say in your last post, "It isn't a trick question"? Is it because there are so many jokers in your deck that you are promising not to pull this time or something?

If you fail to see that my previous post was a response to your question, perhaps I didn't care to answer your question.

Yes, I got that impression. I don't understand this attitude. It seems to me a fairly straightforward issue, which can be answered by simply advancing a few basic claims and substantiating them. The issue before us, as I see it, is this:

Why did Steiner want Jewishness to disappear? (Or, for those of you who think I have misunderstood the several passages I quoted to this effect, What did Steiner really mean when he said the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to disappear?) Why did both the early and the late Steiner portray Jews as a closed totality dominated by racial qualities? Why did he think that the mere existence of Jews was a mistake of world history? Why did he use Jews as an example of decadent racial groups that refuse to progress?

I do not think that these views exhaust Steiner's perspective on the "Jewish question", but they were certainly a big part of it. To my mind, each one of those statements by Steiner, in the context within which he expressed them, counts as antisemitic. I can see that several members of this list disagree, and I'd be very interested to learn why. If Tarjei doesn't care to answer my question, I invite anybody else to do so.

Everything you're asking for is right at your fingertips, where it has been all along. You cannot possibly be unfamiliar with the paper, "ANTHROPOSOPHY AND ANTI-SEMITISM: Was Rudolf Steiner An Anti-Semite?"

http://www.waldorfschule.info/aktuell/anti.pdf

Here is the appropriate excerpt, somewhat edited by me (skipping footnotes and references to other pages in the text):

(Homunkulus, Modernes Epos in 10 Gesängen) (1888), which Steiner wrote for the Viennese journal The German Weekly (Deutsche Wochenschrift):

"It cannot be denied that Jewry still today presents itself as a selfcontained entity and as such has often intervened in the development of our present conditions in a way that was anything but favourable to Western cultural ideas. But Jewry as such has outlived itself and has no justification within the modern life of nations. The fact that it nevertheless has been preserved is a mistake of world history which could not fail to have consequences."

The tone of these remarks was not untypical for the Steiner of that time, who was then 27 years old. In the same year he had depicted the rule of the pope in his time as obsolete and unjustified, because it wanted to force forms of believing from the "darkest Middle Ages" on mankind.

Steiner's remarks are contained in an essay that aspires to defend Hamerling from being "adopted" by the anti-Semites. These remarks appear to be very disconcerting at first, when taken out of context. The review also met with the clear disapproval of the Jewish master of the house, Ladislaus Specht, in whose family Steiner lived as a tutor at the time. This is quite understandable. The quoted words can give the impression that he had fundamental reservations about Jewry. But that is definitely too short-sighted an interpretation. Only a more comprehensive look at the context in which the quoted sentences stand shows that the formulation expresses the exact opposite.

Steiner' obviously believed so strongly that the time for complete Jewish emancipation had come that he himself did not regard the formulation as an attack on the Jewish existence as such. The misunderstanding that Steiner himself tells us about in his autobiography My Life arose because Specht was not able to properly evaluate what actually was a polemical remark by Steiner in the light of his own basic attitude to life. He took the comment personally that Steiner hat written from the perspective of philosophy and the history of ideas. The purely human side, the complete recognition of his Jewish fellow men was totally selfevident for Steiner. The warm personal understanding between the Specht family and Steiner was in no way marred by this misunderstanding.

This formulation by Rudolf Steiner has often been misunderstood in the literature discussing it. The explanation that Ravagli gave in a pre-study to the present work, (Rudolf Steiner als aktiver Gegner des Antisemitismus. Rudolf Steiner as an Active Opponent of Anti Semitism.) has been criticised in an article in the journal Erziehungskunst 12/2000 p. 1370 (Thomas Voss and Markus Schulze) as being inadequate. It should be noted that the pre study only aimed at preventing a rigid one-sided interpretation of Steiner by pointing out his manifold and differentiated comments against anti-Semitism. Christoph Lindenberg, in his excellent biography on Rudolf Steiner (Stuttgart 1997), also did not delve deeply enough on this issue, when he jumps to the conclusion (p. 120) that the young Steiner committed a faux pas here.

The whole incident is a concrete example of what is described in subchapter 4 in the introduction to this study. We especially see what is meant by the sometimes pronounced or even polemical tone of the young Steiner. We must also consider another very important criterion in assessing Steiner's writings that warrants a fundamental statement here. There is possibly no other topic besides that of Judaism and Jewry where it is so important to take into consideration the difference in time when an event takes place and when it is evaluated. In concrete terms: the world situation has changed so radically between the time when Steiner wrote his review of "Homunculus" at the end of the 1880s and the time of the Third Reich and especially the Holocaust, that one needs to be extremely cautious today when looking at things in retrospect. For example, it is only fair, and should go without saying, to assume that Steiner, if he were to comment on these issues today, would not express himself in the same way or with the same words as in the 1880s.

The following episode can serve to illustrate this problem. The above mentioned Jewish writer Jakob Wassermann, who was highly regarded especially in the 1920s, wrote a letter to a German philosopher in February 1923. He later published it in his book Lebensdienst (Serving Life). The philosopher, who Wassermann 79) Jakob Wassermann, Lebensdienst. Gesammelte Studien, Erfahrungen und Reden aus drei Jahrzehnten (Serving Life. Collected Studies, Experiences and Speeches during Three Decades), Leipzig 1928.does not mention by name, had written to Wassermann to thank him for his work (which includes the novel Kaspar Hauser oder die Trägheit des Herzens; Caspar Hauser: The Inertia of the Heart). But he had also asked him to use his great influence to induce the Jews living in Germany to emigrate to Palestine. In this request, a continuing prejudice articulated itself: there was a specifically Christian type of anti-Semitism, which saw in the Jews a "people who had murdered God"; there existed a feeling of envy in relation to Jews that was wide-spread but difficult to pin down. It arose because the Jews with their highly developed talents could rise to leading positions in all cultural and political fields; and there also existed a subliminal resentment against the affluence of Jews in influential economic positions. This subliminal, and sometimes open aversion against people of Jewish origin completely ignored the fact that many of the reservations had their roots in the ghetto situation into which the Jews had been forced through many centuries, which prevented them from integrating into society, thereby causing them to be perceived as Jews in the first place. With great bitterness Wassermann rejected the demand of this unknown philosopher, also on behalf of his friend Walther Rathenau (1867-1922; at the end of his life Minister of Foreign Affairs of the German Empire), who had been murdered the year before by nationalist and anti-Jewish fanatics. He reproached the personality inquestion for obviously not having read his (Wassermann's) writings closely enough:

"[...] otherwise you should know that I have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Zionism [...]. On this count, I must disappoint you completely. And also Walther Rathenau would have had to disappoint you [...] as he - to the extent that the ideas and goals of Zionism were not of a purely practical-humanitarian nature - had as little sympathy for them as I do. Just as I, he saw himself as a German, and just as I he felt rejected by the Germans, misunderstood and unrewarded for all his dedication and readiness for sacrifice. We do not need to talk about his death; it is a part of German history [...] As to what you write [...] about it being time to prepare for the return of the Jews to the country of their fathers [...] an astonishing demand indeed [...] and because you also - I can't read it any other way - more or less openly propose the same to me, I first want to tell you that my ancestors demonstrably have lived in the Franconian province of Germany for at least 500 years, and that I would like to investigate how many who boast to be native Germans, Saxons, Pommeranians, Rheinlanders, and French emigrants to Brandenburg can say the same of their families. That the Jews have not succeeded in incorporating themselves deeper into the body of the nation is not the fault of the Jews [...]"

This context helps us to understand what Steiner meant with his remark that Jewry had long outlived itself, and that it was a mistake of world history that it had been preserved. These words strongly express Steiner's sincerely positive appreciation of Jewry. They also contain the same bitterness that was expressed by Wassermann about that fact that the assimilation which was desired by many Jews, especially the culturally active ones, still had not progressed further, due to a purely emotional aversion in the German speaking countries. Steiner opposes the fixation of contemporary thinking on national and racist categories and strives to promote the liberation of the individual Jew from the confinement of the collective, into which one again wishes to force him, in disregard of all emancipation and assimilation.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:51 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Hi Tarjei, thanks for your reply. You wrote:

I cannot fathom that a person with your intelligence has not grasped the true essence of Rudolf Steiner's relationship to the Jews after all these years you have spent so much time on it.

That's probably because you and I disagree about just what this "true essence" was, don't you think?

Neither can I understand why you are still blank about my own take here.

Because you haven't explained it yet. If you agree with Steiner that German or Austrian Jewry was a closed totality dominated by racial qualities, you just need to say so. If you agree with him that the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to cease to exist, you just need to say so. If you disagree, then just say so. It's not that hard.

Why did you say in your last post, "It isn't a trick question"?

Because you seem unusually shy about answering it.

You cannot possibly be unfamiliar with the paper, "ANTHROPOSOPHY AND ANTI-SEMITISM: Was Rudolf Steiner An Anti-Semite?"

Yes, I am quite familiar with this text. Shall I take it as an adequate expression of your own beliefs on the matter?

A tidbit from this text that Tarjei provided:

(Homunkulus, Modernes Epos in 10 Gesängen) (1888), which Steiner wrote for the Viennese journal The German Weekly (Deutsche Wochenschrift):

"It cannot be denied that Jewry still today presents itself as a selfcontained entity and as such has often intervened in the development of our present conditions in a way that was anything but favourable to Western cultural ideas."

Red alert to Detlef: Did you notice how that sentence is translated here? Care to revise your stated opinion on the topic?

Back to the text:

Steiner' obviously believed so strongly that the time for complete Jewish emancipation had come that he himself did not regard the formulation as an attack on the Jewish existence as such.

This is historical nonsense, Tarjei. Jewish emancipation in the Habsburg lands took place long before 1888.

This context helps us to understand what Steiner meant with his remark that Jewry had long outlived itself, and that it was a mistake of world history that it had been preserved.

If the context of Wasserman's letter from 1923 somehow helped you, Tarjei, to understand what Steiner meant in 1888, perhaps you could explain why?

These words strongly express Steiner's sincerely positive appreciation of Jewry.

That's silly. His assessment of Jewry in the quoted passage is explicitly negative.

Steiner opposes the fixation of contemporary thinking on national and racist categories and strives to promote the liberation of the individual Jew from the confinement of the collective

.....except that Austrian Jews in 1888 were not confined to the collective. A peek inside of a history book will tell you that. Would you like some reading tips?

Peter

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From: holderlin66
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:14 am
Subject: Re: answering questions

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com,

Peter Staudenmaier

Back to the text:

Steiner' obviously believed so strongly that the time for complete Jewish emancipation had come that he himself did not regard the formulation as an attack on the Jewish existence as such.

This is historical nonsense, Tarjei. Jewish emancipation in the Habsburg lands took place long before 1888.

Bradford being silly again;

Tarjei, "This is historical nonsense". Tarjei, you get that a lot don't you. Nonsense, how can you think that, what ever gives you that idea, nothing I expressed could be taken and nichts weniger is becoming nichts vinegar, "please not the vinegar".

Kind of reminds me of Christ on the Cross of Golgotha and they dip a sponge in nichts weniger and dab it on his lips. He thirsted. He thirsted. The question is, if you thirst, how do you know you thirst? I wish to drink.

Let me write here that the part in the human being that is truly and really dead that is subject to wanting to become alive, like "The night of the Living Dead", there is that part in the human being that thirsts. Thirsts for life and it is like looking for love in all the wrong places. "It's Alive" "It's Alive". Now really, a person should not try to jump start and have these Ahrimanic moral nihilistic creatures begin jerking the soul these dead things in the human soul to life. However it is good to know these dead things, like worms, like sepluchres full of dead things.. is really IN THE HOUSE.

The difference between philosophy of the 19th century and philosophy of the 21st century is the elastic livingness of the good parts of the soul..School is not going back to some dogmatic pompous screecher who has anal retentive power complexes, looking at his chain watch and saying..."Without out exception, on my authority, all that you say is nonsense."

Now Thirst is to drink. If we don't know what we thirst for and refuse to accept or discover that what we thirst for could, might, and maybe in the direction, over there.. lets say, "I Thirst" nichts vinegar bitte" we understand the enormous denial of the complexity of everything which makes the pile of sand look, not really so, but look like a pile of nonsense. Authorities and historians have told us all about this Jew business and this simple Jesus fellow.. We know and you are deluded.

But it is clear cut delusion, no holes barred delusion and I vote Peter stays around. I'm growing rather fond of his very singualr point of view.

Bradford

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From: eyecueco
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:52 am
Subject: Re: answering questions

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, holderlin66 wrote:

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com,

Peter Staudenmaier

Back to the text:

Steiner' obviously believed so strongly that the time for complete Jewish emancipation had come that he himself did not regard the formulation as an attack on the Jewish existence as such.

This is historical nonsense, Tarjei. Jewish emancipation in the Habsburg lands took place long before 1888.

Just a quick reply ...
Not really emancipation, toleration, perhaps - up to a limit in Hapesburg land.

For example, just one brief example, actually:

Gustav Mahler had to convert to Catholicism before he was allowed to conduct the Vienna orchestra.

It would be more appropriate to say the jews were facilitated when advantagous to the Hapsburgs, but, the term "emancipation" doesn't quite define the history of that period.

Lets' stop playing fast and loose with facts.
Please. :-)

Paulina

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:34 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

At 18:51 24.02.2004, you [Peter S] wrote:

Hi Tarjei, thanks for your reply. You wrote:

I cannot fathom that a person with your intelligence has not grasped the true essence of Rudolf Steiner's relationship to the Jews after all these years you have spent so much time on it.

That's probably because you and I disagree about just what this "true essence" was, don't you think?

So what?

Neither can I understand why you are still blank about my own take here.

Because you haven't explained it yet.

Yes I have.

If you agree with Steiner that German or Austrian Jewry was a closed totality dominated by racial qualities, you just need to say so. If you agree with him that the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to cease to exist, you just need to say so. If you disagree, then just say so. It's not that hard.

I haven't studied the socio-political happenings in Germany at that time with sufficient thoroughness to offer conclusive opinions about Steiner's position. When I say he had no anti-Semitic notions, it's because I have read his Christology- evolution- and occult history cycles for decades, and these lectures make it crystal clear that Steiner had the highest regard imaginable for the Hebrews and the Jewish people. This high regard for the Jews was evidently so deep and profound in Steiner that he obviously told the truth when he emphasized in his autobiography that he had not intended anything anti-Semitic when writing the politically inclined article in question.

You cannot possibly be unfamiliar with the paper, "ANTHROPOSOPHY AND ANTI-SEMITISM: Was Rudolf Steiner An Anti-Semite?"

Yes, I am quite familiar with this text.

In that case, your endless repetition of questions already answered in texts like this makes no sense.

Shall I take it as an adequate expression of your own beliefs on the matter?

Approximately. I do not have the time to start a thorough study of all the political debates surrounding this at that time. I am much more interested in other aspects of Steiner's life and work; the Apocalypse for the time being. If you are so itchy to discuss and debate and argue about this thing, which in my opinion is nonsense and a waste of time, you should find someone who shares your passion.

Like I said, the answers you asked for are in the text I pasted for you. If they don't suffice, I can't help you.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:48 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

I haven't studied the socio-political happenings in Germany at that time with sufficient thoroughness to offer conclusive opinions about Steiner's position. When I say he had no anti-Semitic notions, it's because I have read his Christology- evolution- and occult history cycles for decades, and these lectures make it crystal clear that Steiner had the highest regard imaginable for the Hebrews and the Jewish people.

Then why not simply say 'I think that Steiner expressed no antisemitic notions in his texts on christology, evolution, and occult history'? Why is it difficult to countenance the possibility that he held both philosemitic and antisemitic positions, out of a very wide variety of texts?

This high regard for the Jews was evidently so deep and profound in Steiner that he obviously told the truth when he emphasized in his autobiography that he had not intended anything anti-Semitic when writing the politically inclined article in question.

That is not in dispute. Nobody here says that Steiner intended anything antisemitic in the 1888 article.

In that case, your endless repetition of questions already answered in texts like this makes no sense.

But those answers are plainly false, in my view, thus your simply deferring to them, without providing any additional reasoning or subtstantiating evidence, is hardly persuasive to someone like me. I think this would also become very much less persuasive to you, too, if you took some time to find out more about the history of antisemitic thought in German and Austrian culture.
Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:00 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

At 20:48 24.02.2004, PS wrote:

Then why not simply say 'I think that Steiner expressed no antisemitic notions in his texts on christology, evolution, and occult history'? Why is it difficult to countenance the possibility that he held both philosemitic and antisemitic positions, out of a very wide variety of texts?

RS talked of negative as well as positive aspects of the Jewish culture. I have been accused of anti-Americanism when criticizing U.S. politics, although I'm very pro-American concerning grassroots, people and so on.

You're constructing difficulties of your own making here, trying to get others dragged into them for the purpose of endless discussions. That's what I call boring. You're also suggesting what I should say or write, which looks desperate.

But those answers are plainly false, in my view, thus your simply deferring to them, without providing any additional reasoning or subtstantiating evidence, is hardly persuasive to someone like me.

I have never been interested in persuading you about anything. If you think the answers are false, you are perfectly free to continue believing so.

I think this would also become very much less persuasive to you, too, if you took some time to find out more about the history of antisemitic thought in German and Austrian culture.

Your sentiment is noted, Peter.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:32 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Peter:

Why did Steiner want Jewishness to disappear? (Or, for those of you who think I have misunderstood the several passages I quoted to this effect, What did Steiner really mean when he said the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to disappear?) Why did both the early and the late Steiner portray Jews as a closed totality dominated by racial qualities? Why did he think that the mere existence of Jews was a mistake of world history? Why did he use Jews as an example of decadent racial groups that refuse to progress?

Jesus Peter you really are too much. You feel like a blockhead to me. No matter how many times someones responds to this question year in and year out you still do not get the answer you want and therefore negate that anyone responded to you in the first place.

So, lets see. What do you think Dr. Steiner meant by 'Jewery to end'?

Again for the umpteenth time Steiner was of the thought that holding onto blood and national ties was not a good thing for the whole of humanity. Kind of goes against the heart of your other racial arguments but hey so what right? Do you agree that it is better to have people isolated unto oneself and ones nation versus having a brotherhood of man if possible? What is your thought on this? Do you think Dr. Steiner advocated a way to ensure there was assimilation against all odds? That he was trying to make assimilation 'happen'? That he was actively pursuing, pushing, others to assimilate? And why do you think he would do such a thing?

Jews are closed to a certain extent within their totality in my experience. They hold onto their traditional values in the best way they can and mostly by keeping to their same communities when possible. When you say racial what exactly are you speaking of? Are you speaking of the fact that Dr. Steiner notes what his understanding of their cultural aspects are and his opinion of what they have contributed to humanity? Do you not know that he speaks of the Jews being able to incarnate within their own line the Messiah, Whom was Christ? Is this just a side note to you? It was not to Dr. Steiner rather it was the one of the greatest accomplishments of all time. It was foretold from the beginning.

And you are saying that Dr. Steiner said the 'mere' existence of Jews was a mistake? Can you quote me this somewhere please? He laid in their hands the greatest mystery that ever occurred and you say he thought their 'mere' existence was a mistake?

I think Frank was right about this being boring. It is the same old song and dance with your perverted understandings of Dr. Steiner and his writings that have no direct correlation to the intent of Dr. Steiners words.

Peter:

To my mind, each one of those statements by Steiner, in the context within which he expressed them, counts as antisemitic. I can see that several members of this list disagree, and I'd be very interested to learn why.

Round and round we go. Okay Peter, so where are the quotes, with book and page if you have it, that say the thing you purport them to say? Lets have them.

Dottie

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From: holderlin66
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:13 am
Subject: Re: answering questions

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, dottie zold wrote:

Again for the umpteenth time Steiner was of the thought that holding onto blood and national ties was not a good thing for the whole of humanity. Kind of goes against the heart of your other racial arguments but hey so what right? Do you agree that it is better to have people isolated unto oneself and ones nation versus having a brotherhood of man if possible? What is your thought on this? Do you think Dr. Steiner advocated a way to ensure there was assimilation against all odds? That he was trying to make assimilation 'happen'? That he was actively pursuing, pushing, others to assimilate? And why do you think he would do such a thing?

Jews are closed to a certain extent within their totality in my experience. They hold onto their traditional values in the best way they can and mostly by keeping to their same communities when possible. When you say racial what exactly are you speaking of? Are you speaking of the fact that Dr. Steiner notes what his understanding of their cultural aspects are and his opinion of what they have contributed to humanity? Do you not know that he speaks of the Jews being able to incarnate within their own line the Messiah, Whom was Christ? Is this just a side note to you? It was not to Dr. Steiner rather it was the one of the greatest accomplishments of all time. It was foretold from the beginning.

And you are saying that Dr. Steiner said the 'mere' existence of Jews was a mistake? Can you quote me this somewhere please? He laid in their hands the greatest mystery that ever occurred and you say he thought their 'mere' existence was a mistake?

Bradford blinks;

WOW! Dottie, just Wow! I think it has been established graciously by Peter that he is in 180 degree opposition to Spiritual Science. He is concentrating on a sliver of a layer of history where in hypocrisy, his and our spiritual enemy, allows him a slender margin to make a name for himself and as well serve a need in his soul life. People have responded well to Peter. His Pompous and cursed Intellectual Soul style has given him the option of responding in denial of the Christ Event as anything but mere imposed moral theism.

Our own ego can get in the way of our understanding the Christ Event. Especially if the Christ Event doesn't exist except in the deluded minds of those who somehow think that there are objective laws of morals somewhere out there in the universe. This means of course, that the height of delusion, somewhere their are weak chinks in the armor of this Steiner guy. He must be just like Peter and if you look carefully, Steiner must also be just like Catherine. Who is to say, Steiner and everyone else, must be mere men because Saints, well Saints are fables made by men. Well Peter doesn't know that we agree that the human being must win, for the 5th Post Atlantean A-typical struggle, his own freedom and free himself up from external and internal dogmatic suppositions. (ain't that right Peter?)

You know how it goes Dottie. What wild and crazy occult descriptions of madness can I squeeze out of these air-headed anthros who I am so certain that they are wrong. It really comes down to, and there is no way around it, how do we win for ourselves a perception of the Christ Event. How do we forgive our crappy destiny or what was the wisdom of our crappy destiny that forced Peter's superior Intellect into sloppy, silly, faith driven, Catholic hypocrisy? Peter knows he is above that. But the winning of a perception of the Christ Event in freedom is truly a Saul to Paul, pride at the pump for Peter.

There is no doubt Peter envies the intelligence and the non-typical Cult responses and the cosmopolitan nature of the Michael School. But all these interior drives and motives are really still knotted up and are willing, strongly willing, and (like the Wolf's Teeth) to pretend that moral relativism gives him license to overlook the truth latent in every human heart. To him this just reverts back to blind sloppy humanism. Steiner is imperfect and both Catherine and Peter have found cause to uncover it.

For Peter, debating the cool issues, certain isolated and specialized concepts, is like the scientist in his lab. Again, what he has failed to learn about Science or the Intellectual Soul and academic community, is that Science has eerily discovered that not even the isolation of an atom behaves properly, even the atom adheres to the observers subjectivity and creeps up behind him and knocks him in the head. In other words the atoms and electrons appear where they shouldn't because the scientist is observing it.

True, we can present biographies and pose various philosophic paradigms and humanly stand back and look.. This is what Waldorf Teachers are famous for. They present various examples, show an experiment and ask what everyone saw. But Peter believes that Waldorf is just a ruse and a cult for further brainwashing. It is very interesting and for my opinion Peter can stay as long as he wants at AT.. he is just another viewpoint and another personality with his own set of limitations. Like swerving around a blown out truck tire in the middle of the autobahn.

The Christ Event and the Pauline experience and the experience described by Soloviev in the Anti-Christ, as the first indications arise in the 33 year old brilliant mind, as to why this idiot Jesus means nothing and the intellect of his own self is obviously superior and chosen..is very deeply hidden in the background and under the soil of the soul.. It is a refreshing and interesting experience to participate in this and I am not interested in bringing him or anyone else around to an Anthro point of view. Let the gods deal with this fish. Ask Jonah.

Bradford

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:35 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: answering questions

Hi Bradford, you wrote:

For Peter, debating the cool issues, certain isolated and specialized concepts, is like the scientist in his lab.

Not really. In my view, history is unlike the natural sciences in many crucial respects. There are some similarities, of course (hypothesis formation, rules of evidence, and so forth), but the procedures employed are very different. In the natural sciences, it is often possible to achieve something approaching certainty. That rarely happens in history.

But Peter believes that Waldorf is just a ruse and a cult for further brainwashing.

I definitely do not believe that.

he is just another viewpoint and another personality with his own set of limitations.

Now that I agree with completely.

Peter

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:56 am
Subject: Re: answering questions

Bradford:

he is just another viewpoint and another personality with his own set of limitations.

Peter:

Now that I agree with completely.

Peter, do you consider you have any set limitations within the context of what you are studying regarding Dr. Steiners work? Do you recognize what they are? Can you share them with the list if you do? And do you think, with the particular set of limitations you have given yourself, you see why it would be hard for a person with these particular limitations to do an actual historical review on a person such as Dr. Steiner with his particular stream of studies? Or do you think your particular limitations are irrelevant to the study of Dr. Steiners work and words?

Dottie

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:35 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: answering questions

Hi Dottie, thanks for your questions:

Peter, do you consider you have any set limitations within the context of what you are studying regarding Dr. Steiners work?

Yes, of course.

Do you recognize what they are?

I recognize some of them. Needless to say, I can't tell you much about the ones I don't recognize.

Can you share them with the list if you do?

Sure. I have very strong pre-existing opinions about many of the figures that Steiner admired (several of them well-known racists and antisemites). I am generally highly skeptical of attempts to marry esoteric beliefs with political endeavors. I greatly dislike the things that many anthroposophists did during the Third Reich.

And do you think, with the particular set of limitations you have given yourself, you see why it would be hard for a person with these particular limitations to do an actual historical review on a person such as Dr. Steiner with his particular stream of studies?

No, of course not. If I may speak bluntly for a moment: that is an extraordinarily naive thing to say. I spend most of my time studying Nazis. I really, really don't like Nazis, Dottie. Do you think this makes me less likely to come up with accurate historical arguments about them? Would you prefer that historians of Stalinism, for example, were sympathetic to Stalinism?

Or do you think your particular limitations are irrelevant to the study of Dr. Steiners work and words?

No, they are not irrelevant, they are often extremely helpful. A critical stance is frequently a boon, not a hindrance, to historical knowledge. Everybody works within their own limitations, and part of the point is to be conscious of them and pay attention to how they affect your work. But once you put the arguments out there for consideration, it is the substance of the arguments themselves that should become the focus. Hence if you genuinely believe, for example, that Austrian Jewry formed a closed totality in 1888, or that German or Swiss Jewry was dominated by racial qualities in 1924, then all you need to do is offer some sort of evidence to back up this belief. Your own personal limitations, whatever they might be, are not at issue. I do hope that this clarifies how I approach the topics we've been trying to discuss here.

Peter

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:58 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

No matter how many times someones responds to this question year in and year out you still do not get the answer you want and therefore negate that anyone responded to you in the first place.

If you think I missed any responses to my questions, could you point them out for me?

Again for the umpteenth time Steiner was of the thought that holding onto blood and national ties was not a good thing for the whole of humanity.

I agree, but what does it have to do with the questions I asked about his views on Jews? Jews are not especially marked by blood and national ties. There weren't in 1888 or 1924, either.

Do you agree that it is better to have people isolated unto oneself and ones nation versus having a brotherhood of man if possible?

Brotherhood sounds great, sisterhood too. What does this have to do with the question at hand? Do you consider the existence of the Jewish people do be a hindrance to the brotherhood of man?

Jews are closed to a certain extent within their totality in my experience.

More so than other people?

They hold onto their traditional values in the best way they can and mostly by keeping to their same communities when possible.

More so than other people?

Do you not know that he speaks of the Jews being able to incarnate within their own line the Messiah, Whom was Christ? Is this just a side note to you?

No, it's not a side note to me. I agree with you that this notion was important to Steiner's overall evaluation of Jewishness. It certainly doesn't make his views more congenial to the continued existence of Jews in the modern world, though.

And you are saying that Dr. Steiner said the 'mere' existence of Jews was a mistake? Can you quote me this somewhere please?

I've done so several times now, Dottie. Are you trying to say that you missed all these quotes, or are you simply saying that you disagree that Steiner says the existence of Jews is a mistake of world history? Here is the quote one more time:

Jewry as such has long since outlived its time; it has no more justification within the modern life of peoples, and the fact that it continues to exist is a mistake of world history whose consequences are unavoidable.

If you really, truly don't think he says the existence of Jewry is a mistake here, could you clarify just what you think he does say above?

He laid in their hands the greatest mystery that ever occurred and you say he thought their 'mere' existence was a mistake?

Yes, their existence now, two thousand years after they fulfilled their role in this mystery.

It is the same old song and dance with your perverted understandings of Dr. Steiner and his writings that have no direct correlation to the intent of Dr. Steiners words.

Please tell us what you think the intent was of Steiner's words above about Jewry as such.

Round and round we go. Okay Peter, so where are the quotes, with book and page if you have it, that say the thing you purport them to say? Lets have them.

I gave them to you in full in my very first message to the list. Have you forgotten that already? Here are the citations again:

The above quote about "Jewry as such" is from Steiner, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Literatur p. 152. The two quotes from his 1924 lecture on "The Essence of Jewry", where he says that the best outcome would be for Jewry as a people to simply cease to exist, are from Steiner, Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker p. 189 and 190.

By the way, speaking of unanswered questions.... Are you ever going to get around to telling us who you think the ariosophists were, and which ones you think became Nazis? Thanks in advance,

Peter Staudenmaier

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

From: at
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:56 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Peter Staudenmaier:

Nobody here says that Steiner intended anything antisemitic in the 1888 article.

Daniel:

Didn't you offer this article in your very first post as an example of Steiner's early anti-Semitic views? Or do you mean that, while Steiner didn't intend it to be anti-Semitic, it nonetheless qualifies because it's assimilationist suggestions are tantamount to a "soft" kind of anti-Semitism?

Daniel Hindes

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:25 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Hi Daniel, you asked:

Didn't you offer this article in your very first post as an example of Steiner's early anti-Semitic views?

Yes, indeed I did. In one of my replies to Dottie, or Mike, or somebody, I quoted a crucial passage from a famous article by Shulamit Volkov about the importance of distinguishing motives and intentions, on the one hand, from the cultural dynamics at work, on the other, when analyzing antisemitic ideology. There are lots of similar passages in works by other historians. It's a common theme in the literature.

Or do you mean that, while Steiner didn't intend it to be anti-Semitic, it nonetheless qualifies because it's assimilationist suggestions are tantamount to a "soft" kind of anti-Semitism?

That is close to my argument, but one of the central parts is wrong: it is not Steiner's "assimilationist suggestions" that make the passage antisemitic, in my view. It was entirely possible for non-Jews to make assimilationist suggestions in Vienna in 1888 without thereby participating in antisemitic discourse. I am sorry that I still have not succeeded in conveying my perspective on assimilationist antisemitism versus assimilationist philosemitism, and I will try to find a chance to re-state my argument again soon.

Peter

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

From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:04 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

In a message dated 2/23/2004 11:47:26 PM Eastern Standard Time, pstauden writes:

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:39 pm
Subject: answering questions

Hi Tarjei,

I can't force you to discuss the issue, but I am still very curious about your reticence. You wrote:

You know very well by now what I mean and what Rudolf Steiner meant.

I have no idea what you meant, and you and I evidently disagree about what Steiner meant. Why are you avoiding a debate on the matter?

If you fail to see that my previous post was a response to your question, perhaps I didn't care to answer your question.

Yes, I got that impression. I don't understand this attitude. It seems to me a fairly straightforward issue, which can be answered by simply advancing a few basic claims and substantiating them. The issue before us, as I see it, is this:

Why did Steiner want Jewishness to disappear? (Or, for those of you who think I have misunderstood the several passages I quoted to this effect, What did Steiner really mean when he said the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to disappear?)

********************* (Christine)

Date: 2/23/2004 1:26:18 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Peter Staudenmaier

Here is what Steiner said in his 1924 lecture on "The Essence of Jewry":

"the best thing that the Jews could do would be to disappear into the rest of humankind, to blend in with the rest of humankind, so that Jewry as a people would simply cease to exist."

"the only proper thing would be for the Jews to blend in with the other peoples and disappear into the other peoples."

**********************(Christine)

In my other post of today, I establish that you yourself state the following about these two sentences:

"Assimilation is most certainly not antisemitic in and of itself. "

"..., there were many supporters and defenders of Jewish rights; these people are sometimes called philosemites (though that term, particularly in Germany, carries a quite a few complicated connotations). In my view, Steiner belonged to this stream around the turn of the century, when he published a series of articles denouncing organized antisemitism."

"...racism and antisemitism are two different things. Although they do often coincide, there are certainly racists who are not antisemites and antisemites who are not racists. This is relevant to the contested notion of assimilation because most racial antisemites -- those who viewed Jews as racially distinct from 'German' or 'Aryans' -- opposed assimilation."

"However, there are instances of antisemites who favored assimilation and who also held a more or less racial conception of Jewishness; in my view, some of Steiner's mature views on Jews (after his turn to Theosophy) fall into this category."

(Christine's note - the word used by you is "racial conception of Jewishness" NOT - "racist conception" - just wanted to bring this out for clarity)

"In summary: assimilation itself is neither necessarily antisemitic nor necessarily racist; it is, instead, a significant distinguishing issue in the complex debates over the status of Jews within German culture and society in Steiner's day."

Why did both the early and the late Steiner portray Jews as a closed totality dominated by racial qualities?

(Christine)
What quotes have you given for the above statement?

Why did he think that the mere existence of Jews was a mistake of world history?

(Christine)
What quotes have you given for the above statement?

Why did he use Jews as an example of decadent racial groups that refuse to progress?

(Christine)
What quotes have you given for the above statement?

*********************
I do not think that these views exhaust Steiner's perspective on the "Jewish question", but they were certainly a big part of it. To my mind, each one of those statements by Steiner, in the context within which he expressed them, counts as antisemitic.

(Christine)
This statement directly contradicts the five statements you made above, at least in terms of those specific two sentences you quoted above by Rudolf Steiner. What are the statements by Rudolf Steiner (not interpreters) that "count as antisemitic"?

I can see that several members of this list disagree, and I'd be very interested to learn why. If Tarjei doesn't care to answer my question, I invite anybody else to do so.

Peter Staudenmaier

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:48 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] answering questions

Hi Christine,

here, for the umpteenth time, are the quotes again:

"It certainly cannot be denied that Jewry today still behaves as a closed totality, and that it has frequently intervened in the development of our current state of affairs in a way that is anything but favorable to European ideas of culture. But Jewry as such has long since outlived its time; it has no more justification within the modern life of peoples, and the fact that it continues to exist is a mistake of world history whose consequences are unavoidable. We do not mean the forms of the Jewish religion alone, but above all the spirit of Jewry, the Jewish way of thinking."

(Steiner, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Literatur, p. 152)

"Today all aspects of the Jews are dominated by racial qualities. Above all they marry among themselves. They see the racial qualities, not the spiritual. And this is what must be said in reply to the question: has the Jewish people fulfilled its mission within the evolution of human knowledge? It has fulfilled it; for in earlier times one single people was needed to bring about a certain monotheism. But today spiritual insight itself is necessary. Therefore this mission has been fulfilled. And therefore this Jewish mission as such, as a Jewish mission, is no longer necessary in evolution; instead the only proper thing would be for the Jews to blend in with the other peoples and disappear into the other peoples."

(Steiner, Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker p. 190)

"Everyone who works in this way prepares the ground for the human bodies of the future, for the bodies that souls will later need. There is a word that beautifully expresses this work toward the future, which we will understand when we clarify the difference between soul development and racial development. All of you were once Atlanteans, and these Atlantean bodies looked very different, as I have already described. The same soul that was once in an Atlantean body somewhere is now in your body. But not all bodies have been prepared, in the way yours have been, by a small number of colonists who long ago migrated from the West to the East. Those who remained behind, who bound themselves up with their race, they degenerated, while the advanced ones founded new civilizations. The last stragglers on the way to the east, the Mongols, still retain something of the culture of the Atlanteans. In the same way, the bodies of those people who do not develop themselves in a progressive fashion will continue into the next era and will constitute the Chinese of the future. There will once again be decadent peoples. After all, the souls that inhabit Chinese bodies are those that will once again have to incarnate in such races, because they had too strong an attraction to that race. The souls that are today within you will later incarnate in bodies that come from people who work in the way I have indicated, and who beget the bodies of the future, just as the first colonists from Atlantis once did. And those who cling to the ordinary, who do not want to join with the movement toward the future, they will become fused with their race. There are people who want to stick to the familiar, who want nothing to do with progress; they refuse to listen to those who lead the way beyond the race to newer and newer forms of humanity. The myths have preserved this intention in a wonderful manner. The best way they could portray this is by pointing to one of the greatest ones, who spoke the words: “Whosoever does not leave father and mother, wife and child, brother and sister, cannot be my disciple”; and by depicting, in contrast, the tragedy of the person who says, I want nothing to do with such a leader, and rejects him. How could one express this more clearly than in the image of the person who rejects the leader, and who is incapable of advancing! That is the legend of Ahasver, the Eternal Jew, who sat there and pushed away the greatest leader, Christ Jesus, who wanted nothing to do with evolution, and who therefore must remain in his race, must always reappear in his race. These are myths that have been given to humankind for its eternal memory, so that humankind knows what it is dealing with."

(Steiner, Menschheitsentwickelung und Christus-Erkenntnis pp. 186-187)

Peter

Why did both the early and the late Steiner portray Jews as a closed totality dominated by racial qualities?

(Christine)
What quotes have you given for the above statement?

Why did he think that the mere existence of Jews was a mistake of world history?

(Christine)
What quotes have you given for the above statement?

Why did he use Jews as an example of decadent racial groups that refuse to progress?

(Christine)
What quotes have you given for the above statement?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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