This article was - just like the contribution Human Ethicism in Theory and Practice - rejected by Humanist, with reference to its too late arrival, its excessive length, and its inadequate relevance to the main content of Peter Staudenmaiers' article.


Cato Schiøtz


1. Introduction

In Humanist no 2/00 there is an article on p 38-57 with the headline "Anthroposophy and Ecofascism" written by the American left wing activist and writer Peter Staudenmaier. The article's purpose is, among others, to establish the following points:

a. Anthroposophy is based upon a racial thinking that deserves severe criticism.

b. Anthroposophy and Nazism are closely related.

c. Anthroposophy has significance for so-called ecofascism, which comprises an inhumane aspect of the present-day ecological movement that deserves criticism.

As "documentation" for the allegations presented in the article, a number of single quotes primarily of German origin are entered. The editors of Humanist obviously find this more interesting than a presentation of conditions in Norway.

The position of Anthroposophy in relation to Nazism and racism etc. in this country, however, has not been dealt with at all in this article - with the exception of graphics and photos. The Norwegian part of this material has been severely criticized - e.g. by Peter Normann Waage.

In this contribution we shall deal with the question that Humanist's readers do not get any further information about: Has the Anthroposophical Movement in Norway in theory or practice associated itself with Nazism, racism, or ecofascism?


2. The relationship to Nazism and anti-Semitism etc.

A. In general

For the factual information in this section, I thank Oddvar Granly.

It is easy to establish that during the two-three final years before Steiner's death in 1925, there was a clear contrariety between the new national-socialistic movement in Germany and Rudolf Steiner. Not only was Steiner subjected to a Nazi assassination attempt; Steiner was furthermore subjected to attacks by Adolf Hitler.

Hitler has a powerful diatribe against Rudolf Steiner in an article from March 15, 1921: "Staatsmänner oder Nationalverbrecher". His words are reproduced in a book by Walter Kühne who was with Steiner in the threefolding work: Die Stuttgarter Verhältnisse (Novalis Verlag 1989, p. 137.) It is about Upper Schlesien - whether it should belong to Poland or to Germany. In this dispute appears a German minister Simons, who was Jewish and also a supporter of the threefold social order. Hitler condemns Simons, who is characterized as as an "intimate friend of the Gnostic and Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner, adherent of the threefold social organism and how all these Jewish methods contribute to the destruction of people's normal spiritual condition...."

Steiner evidently never uses the term "national-socialistic" although NSDAP was founded in 1920. But some of his statements have an obvious connection. The news about the so-called Hitler-Ludendorf-Putsch reached Dornach November 10, 1923 and was posted on the bulletin board in the Shreinerei. There Rudolf Steiner is standing, and he is reading the message together with Guenther Wachsmuth, Anna Samweber, Karl Lang, and others. And Steiner says: "If these men get governmental power, I will no longer be able to set my foot on German soil." (Anna Samweber: Aus meinem Leben, Verlag die Pforte, Basel, 1981.)

On a previous occasion, towards the end the year 1919, Steiner comments upon the new usage of the swastika. A group of 4-5 people, among them Emil Leinhas, are sitting in a conversation with Steiner, who is referring to the origin of this sign from the interior Asia and then says with deep gravity: "Be certain that these people who are now bringing this sign to Central Europe - they know exactly what they are doing. This sign works." (Emil Leinhas: Aus der Arbeit mit Rudolf Steiner. Zbinden Verlag, Basel 1950, p.117.)

During a teachers' meeting in Stuttgart, Steiner says 7.31.1923: 31.7.1923: "Yes, conditions in Germany are now becoming darker and darker. The complete chaos is coming." (GA 300 III p. 88).

When this historical point of departure is not considered, the subsequent presentation naturallly becomes - mildly speaking - very twisted.


B. Conditions in the 1930's in Norway

It is well known that there were several very important Norwegian newspapers and organizations that had an uncritical - perhaps even ingratiating - relationship to Hitler's regime in the 1930's. This time period presents a dark chapter for large parts of Norwegian press. It is further documented that representatives for the Farmers' Party at the time as well as the labor movement had several central members who chose to follow Vidkun Quisling.

How was it then with the leading representatives for the Norwegian anthroposophical movement in the 1930's? Can we also accuse them of not having read the signs of their time, and of having adpopted a lukewarm relationship to the Nazi dictatorship in Germany and/or Mussolini's fascism?

The leading representatives for Anthroposophy in the 1930's were undoubtedly Johannes Hohlenberg and Alf Larsen, who as editors of the anthroposophical magazines Vidar og Janus set the official tone in Norway.. Alf Larsen was a complex personality, who could also come out with less judicious statements, but what Nazism was concerned, he was clear as a bell.

Hohlenberg and Larsen both saw very early what would be the consequence of Hitler coming to power. More clearly than most people did they warn strongly in writing and print against the threats from Germany.

In three articles, Terje Christensen has meticulously studied a number of articles by these two authors meticulously. See e.g.:

Med penn mot Leviatan - I, Libra 1990, no. 4, page 146 ff.

Med penn mot Leviatan - II, Libra 1990, no. 1, page 41 ff.

Økofascisme og antroposofi in "Klassekampen", Libra 1996, no. 3/4, page 142 ff.

The following quotes have been selected from Christensen's works.

Alf Larsen (1885-1967) published his magazine Janus in the period 1933-1941. The magazine was one of the most interesting magazines of its time and was influenced by the editor's spiritual worldview in general and its relationship to Anthroposophy in particular.

Johannes Hohlenberg (1881-1960) was Alf Larsen's closest co-worker for many years, but he was also quite active in the anthroposophical magazine Vidar, which he edited from 1926-1940. Hohlenberg was Danish, and held the office of General Secretary for the Anthroposophical Society in Denmark for a number of years.

Both Hohlenberg and Larsen commented the relationship to nazi-Tyskland and Quisling in the 1930's. A quote from Et sitat fra Alf Larsen's article in Janus no. 4/1933:

"The modern 'belief' which lies at the bottom of all fascism and Nazism, and which means that one knows nothing more, and therefore exclusively clings to one's instincts, is the lowest kind of religion that human beings have yet tolerated."

In the same article it is written:

"Think about the hatred against Jews that is now flaming up in Germany and try then to recognize what the swastika means! The communists' color is the red, it is the color of blood and of passions; it is the animal in man that 'sees red'. But the fascists' color is the black, it is the color of death itself, a thick darkness that waves over the world...."

"The persecution of Jews is a spot of shame upon the history of the German people, an unwashable spot of shame...."

"One thing we should have to agree upon, that fascism as well as Nazism and Bolshevism are hostile to freedom in the highest degree, are the deadly enemies of freedom...."

"It is a spirit of darkness and confusion in the most profound meaning of the word (about Nazism as spirit)

And further:

"The world is again ripe for the Caesars. Just like once in the past, we now see enormous masses of peoples with roars and screams follow some mediocre person who has the ability to hypnotize them. Soon we will see the same mass of people accept the licentiousness of a Nero of the cruelties of a Caligula in a dull-minded and servile manner."

In Janus no. 4-5/1939 Alf Larsen writes:

"If we now consider the dominant characters who reign at this time and present its direction, no further proof is needed to show that also in the purely human configuration the traits we have here described allege themselves. This applies not at least to the two characters who are farthest ahead in the picture: Stalin and Hitler. What engulfs the one is so obviously the crime: It is murder, prisons, torture, persecution, snitching, lies and again lies. That which in the same manner engulfs the other is the halo of madness: Hysteria and ravings, a deranged agitation, desperate coups, words without meaning, overwrought dreams."

Hohlenberg is equally blunt. In Vidar's April issue in 1937, he writes about Germany, among other things:

"Here in the least one should be able to see through this shabby substitute, which if permitted to spread will lead the people into animalization and barbarism. German is at the moment, really, under guidance of its leaders and under loud shouts about culture!, with full music, in resolute march on its way back to the baboon...."

Already in Vidar for June 1933, Hohlenberg wrote among other things:

"As a reaction to this, the Nazism in Germany now wants, just like similar trends in other countries, to abolish reason and understanding and to depend instead upon blood and instinct alone. Feeling and will are replacing reflection and thinking, and understanding and rational thinking is likewise mocked with a lack of restraint that matches its glorification in the 19th century."

In addition to the more general statements about Hitler and Nazi Germany, both Larsen and Hohlenberg came with an exceptionally sharp judgement against all the race- and blood-thinking of the Nazis.

Alf Larsen writes in Janus no. 4/1933: "One sees already now what it leads to when these old spirits are conjured up from the earth again, when one begins once more to speak to the blood and build upon the tibal feeling. It leads to all the old passions rising anew and calling down the same curses over the earth that were called upon when they reigned in their full power. And at that time they did reign in their right to life that they no longer possess. How much more terrible must not their consequences be now when they appear as illegitimate heirs in the battle for the land! Then the consequence must be precisely that which so many people are predicting and prophesizing about: The Armageddon of the great spirits and the final day for everything called culture...."

In Janus no. 7/1933:

"If the idea of freedom shall be revived, it must happen on the basis of a thought that is so great that it can master the wholeness, it must happen with help from men who acknowledge responsibility for the world, not only for a class, a society, a nation, or a race. Things must be led back to a synthetic point of departure. The table needs to be cleaned of the old conceptions, we must get down to solid ground again."

Hohlenberg was equally sharp in his statements. Alreasy in 1931, he wrote in Vidar's January issue:

"Like in so many other manifestations of the materialistic mode of thinking, one either believes without further notice to be able to transfer one's experiences with rational domestic animal breeding to human conditions, and on the other hand those kinds of endeavors are all too often used as a cover for narrow party-fanaticism and national prejudices, when this or that race or ethnological type to which an author himself belongs, is presented as a priori superior to others and predestined to rule. There are not many scientific fields where so much nonsense has seen the light of day as in racial research."

And he maintained further in Vidar's June issue in 1933: "The pure race is only repetition and becomes, precisely for that reason, a refuge for weaker and less independent souls, who flee from effort. One finds here, like in so many other areas in our time, that what really lies at the bottom of what is happening is fear. One grabs onto the racial mystique in order to avoid the burden that accompanies being a personality and having to assert oneself as that which one is by the force of one's own being."

These quotes - that represent only a small selection - should speak its clear language with regard to where the foremost representatives of Anthroposophists in Norwegian public life stood with regard to the relationship to Nazism and racial thinking.


C. The conditions of Norwegian anthroposophists during and after the war

It is furthermore a fact that the relationship of Norwegian anthroposophists to Vidkun Quisling's Nasjonal Samling was characterized by almost total rejection. 3 members only - from among ca. 300 - in the Anthroposophical Society became members of Nasjonal Samling, in other words an average that was far below the average for the Norwegian population.

Both Vidar and Janus were terminated - Alf Larsen's closing comment in the last issue of Janus in 1941 were the well known:

"It has become too dark to write."

Humanist's article is - as mentioned above - written by a "left wing" (Marxist?) activist. How were the left wingers in Norway doing in 1940? This question cannot be answered generally. Some representatives of the left wing distinguished themselves with strong resistance against fascism and Nazism. The others - first of all represented by the Norwegian Communist Party - marked themselves with their cooperation with the Nazis all the way up until the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. A comparison between Norwegian left wing radicalism and Anthroposophy what concerns the relationship to Hitler is a comparison that the anthroposophical movement has no reason to fear.

If one moves over to the post war years and examines anthroposophy-inspired magazines like Spektrum, Horisont, Libra, and Arken, one will see that the anthroposophical authors - without exception - represent ideals that lie infinitely far away from Nazism and anti-Semitism.

It is sufficient to point to the leading participants with anthroposophical roots in public debates during the 1950's and 1960's, like André Bjerke, Jens Bjørneboe, Ernst Sørensen, Øistein Parmann, and Dag Lindholm.

An article especially commissioned by Humanist targeting Norwegian readers, that to such an extent neglects to provide a minimum of information about Norwegian anthroposophists' relationship to Nazism and anti-Semitism, stands out not only as defective, but as directly irresponsible. Unfortunately, there are not many organizations that have kept their path as clean as the anthroposophical movement in Norway and its leading representatives.


3. Further particulars about racism etc.

A. In general

In this section we shall not only look at the relationship to racism, but also include the relationship to so-called inferior human beings, e.g. gypsies, mentally handicapped, and others.

It is the anthroposophical movement that - without comparison - has subjected Steiner's works to the most critical scrutiny what his statements about races are concerned. We are referring to the Dutch report mentioned in Peter Normann Waage's contribution, and which is based upon a total study of the 89.000 pages in the aggregate that Steiner's collected works consist of.

In the report, the allegation of racism in Steiner is thoroughly examined. The conclusion is that there are 16 statements that would be perceived today as discriminating and that represent less than 0,05 % of Steiner's collected works.

When we take into consideration to what extent the age in which Steiner lived was bristling with racism, this is really exceptionally low. Besides, these statements have never had any influence upon anthroposophicl practice or statements in Norway, and there is not a single Norwegian anthroposophist who has supported or defended them.

In a lecture held 10.16.1917, Steiner says among other things:

"Nothing leads us more deeply into decadence than ideals based upon race-, folk-, and blood-relationships."

It is this attitude that has always been the very foundation of Norwegian anthroposophical work.


B. Racism etc. in Steiner's time - especially about conditions in Norway

As mentioned above, the age in which Steiner lived was completely dominated by racism, whereby one permitted onself to question the human worth of Negroes, and where the perception of "the savages" was very condescending and discriminating.

In the above mentioned quotes from Johannes Hohlenberg og Alf Larsen, it becomes crystal clear that the most central anthroposophists in Norwegian public life were fierce opponents of all racial thinking in the 1930's.

Also here is a challenge to discuss the relationship to Norwegian left wing radicalism with regard to racism, and where Peter Staudenmaier's Norwegian ideological allies - in terms of left wing radical activists - stood at this time.

The leading left wing radical organization in the 1920's and the 1930's was "Mot Dag" with its legendary leader Erling Falk. Falk's attitude to race was entirely different from the attitude of Hohlenberg and Larsen, and was - unfortunately - condescending as well as discriminatory.

During the fifteen years he led the group, Falk wrote only two books, and they were both published in 1925. One was entitled The Races, the other The Doctrine of Evolution.

The book about "The Races" was the pillar of Falk's political indoctrination and was influenced by the racial theories of the time, eugenics and racial hygiene with roots in Charles Darwin's theories about the survival of the fittest: Races and individual human beings with defects would according to this view be eliminated by the iron law of evolution or competition. Some of the obscure topics in Falk's books are characteristic enough:


1. The Races

2. The evolution of the human species

3. Heritage in humans

4. Sociology - The battle among the races

5. The Aboriginal Peoples


Erling Falk and his men considered themselves rational and well informed - in harmony with a sensible future.

Falk was influenced by the quasi-scientific fashions of the time. It is kind of characteristic that the very year when his work about The Races was published, a lecture was held in the "Government Economic Association" by the race researcher doctor Jon Alfred Mjøen with the title "How much do the minus-individuals cost government and society?"

Incidentally, the Norwegian Storting (parliament) implemented some baroque aspects and prejudices of racial hygiene with a law in 1934 that provided the opportunity for authorities to sterilize persons with or without hereditary diseases. Some Gypsies and transients were made to pay. The law had strong support from the left wing radical politician and chief physician Johan Scharffenberg (1869-1965).

From the same time period, we may mention other examples of Norwegian theory and brutal practice: The discriminitory treatment of the Lapps, the retarded and the asocial, and the activities of "Norwegian Mission Among the Homeless".

During the last year, several major books have been published that document these shameful stains on official Norwegian health policy. In this context, we may refer, for example, to Nils Johan Lavig: The Intellectual Roots of Racism, for the research report by Per Haave about the sterilization of Gypsies, plus the book EA road to destruction - the extermination of the Gypsy culture in Norway by Olav Rune Ekeland Bastrup and Aage Georg Sivertsen.

Jo Nesbø wrote an article in Dagbladet 16 December last year [1999] about "The pure and upright", where he quotes, among others, Karsten Alnæs: History of Norway IV where Alnæs quotes from one of Aftenposten's columnists in 1924:

"....are we overrun by Jews of all countries, perhaps mostly Russian. They come in like streams of herring. They settle all over the city. Very soon there isn't a fruit store (....) without a smiling Jew standing behind the counter (....) Soon they have their foot inside a newspaper, a bank, the university, the National Gallery!"

Alnæs also quotes two sections from the Justice Department's proposition that warns against Eastern European immigration:

"To a large extent, this concerns persons belonging to populations and races that are very different from Norwegians. It will undoubtedly be very unfortunate if immigration of such alien peoples should take place to any significant degree."

This is emphasized in the rejection of an appeal from a deported foreign Jew by the same Department:

"The asylum applicant obviously belongs to the new type of Jews who cannot live without violating the trade laws so to speak (....) They are altogether people who are expensive to society , nothing is better than to get rid of them."

The founder of modern psychiatry in Norway, professor Ragnar Vogt, was a member of the committee appointed by the government in 1922 that among other things considered the question about sterilization.

Vogt thought it was self-evident that Negroes were bilogically inferior to whites. In 1914 he wrote (referred in an article by Lene Skogstrøm in Aftenposten 02.07.1999):

"It is unbecoming for a blue-eyed, intelligent Northerner to debase his genes through marriage with a Negro. Neither may the lower races be allowed so extended suffrage that a common state runs the risk of being run according to inferior human elements.

The inferior races must also accept the simpler kinds of work that are suitable for their abilities."

Prominent scientists thus became the providers of conditions for laws and other administrative actions with a sharp edge against ethnic minorities, and where the desire to prevent "minus-variants" from reproducing offspring was a prominent consideration. It was the psychiatrists who palyed a significant role when the sterilization law was passed against one vote by the Storting in 1934.

In 1934, Karl Evang attacked the reactionary character of racial hygiene. But the Evang the socialist also introduced the possibility that biology and the doctrine of heredity may be helpful tools in a future socialist society.

"The idea of reducing the number of poor heritage carriers is a completely rational idea that socialism has always been striving for," writes Evang in the book Racial policy and Reaction in 1934.

In the 1930's, Johan Scharffenberg was very concerned with precautions against the spreading of poor genetic material. It is common knowledge that Scharffenberg became a front fighter in the Norwegian struggle against Hitler's Germany and Quisling.

But for the Gypsies he suggested the following draconical actions in 1932:

"For that which is impure by nature there cannot be any hope. No wash can make the Gypsy white."

He statet further:

"Society must have the prerogative to take action against reproduction (among the hereditarily poorest endowed individuals), and because ban on marriage does not prevent child breeding, the only workable means are incarceration and sterilization."

(Both quotes are referred to in Per Egil Hegge's article in Aftenposten 09.06.2000.)

It is interesting to point out that these definitely despicable infringements were justified with references to precisely the same ideals that are presented by the Human-Ethical Union today: They were all done in the name of science, reason, and rationality.

The same ideals of science and humanism that are the trade marks of the Norwegian human-ethical movement were thus used as foundation for a view of humanity that has always been diametrically opposed to the anthroposophical one.

At the same time when Hitler was gassing the mentally handicapped and the Norwegian government castrated them in the name of science and reason, the anthroposophists were taking the first steps in their medical-pedagogical work with the mentally handicapped, where respect for their own worth was the very backbone.

It is sufficient to be reminded that in Norway, the first anthroposophical medical-pedagogical institution was founded before the war. Internationally, it was the anthroposophists and the Jew Karl König, who through his Camphill work with the mentally handicapped was the pioneer.

And when did Humanist or the Human-Ethical Union confront its infectious past that was represented by the proponents of reason and science in those days?

At this point also it is the anthroposophists - who are always defined away when it comes to science and reason - who can acknowledge their past. The truth is that it was the Norwegian government with its rational spokesmen who stood for a view of humanity that in practice was a considerably closer to that of the Nazis than to that of the anthroposophists what social and psychological deviants are concerned.


C. How have conditions been after the war?

We all know that in textbooks for Norwegian schoolchildren in the 1950's, strongly discriminatory descriptions about Negroes were commonplace. What did Norwegian human-ethicists do about this? Did they protest at all?

Is it not a fact it was an anthroposophist - and not a human-ethicist - who protested against racist descriptions in our schoolbooks?

In Terje Christensen's article about ecofascism and anthroposophy (Libra 1996, no. 3-4) there is a quote on page 146 from a 4th grade geography texbook that was used in the 1950's, that I also find good reason to present. It says among other things about Africa:

"We meet many barefooted blackies [niggers] with glossy top hats, stiff collars, and modern winter coats. They resemble mostly adorned monkeys in a circus. But when the Negroes buy goods, the merchant gets to sell, and the factory at home in Europe can then produce more."

This mean and heartless description was commented in the following way in an article written by the anthroposophist Leif Wærenskjold in Frisprog 28. November 1953:

"This book is more than a scandal, more than malice against those children who are violated by its spirit and thoughts. We demand this book removed from education immediately, and we guarantee that we will not rest until it is done!"

When will the human-ethicists confront their own passivity what concerns their own silent acceptance of discriminatory statements in Norwegian schoolbooks?

If we also take a look at how for instance the Waldorf Movement has handled the relationship to the third world and foreign cultures, it appears almost as a role model. Many cooperative schools are supported. Operation Dagsverk is earmarked for developing countries etc. In education the significance of the single individual and the equality of all peoples is emphasized - regardless of skin color.

In Peter Staudenmaier's article, the conservatism of anthroposophists is highlighted. How can one explain that the Waldorf schools have a much higher percentage of SV-voters [Socialist Left Wing Party voters] than what is the average in Norwegian schools?


D. Conclusion

Accusations of racism are very stigmatizing. When Humanist accuses the anthroposophical movement of racism on the basis of a very few Steiner-quotes, that have naver had any practical significance in Norway, and where it is easy to document that Norwegian anthroposophists have been pioneers when it comes to rejecting every kind of racism, the omission of this fact is another example of how irresponsible the article in question is in its incompleteness.

What the battle against racism and defence of weak social groups is concerned, it is the other organizations that have something to learn from the anthroposophists - not the other way around.


4. Ecofascism in Norway?

A. Introduction

A major point in Humanist's magazine is to warn against certain untimely tendencies in the ecological movement. In the editorial article once confronts the so-called "bio-centrism" which claims that everything alive must be regarded as having the same "inherent value and right to life", whether one is talking about a body germ or a human being. One repudiates the environmentalists who clamin that famine catastrophes in the third world are "ecologically necessary", and that one therefore should not practice foreign aid.

To this, it is sufficient to say, "Welcome after." Hjalmar Hegge raised the same criticism in his authorship about nature and ecology many years ago.

Nobody has explored Rudolf Steiner's threefolding doctrine better than Hegge in his philosophical doctoral thesis, Liberty, Individuality, and Society (1988).

There we find a thorough discussion of, among other tings, the relationship to environmental work, which us summed up on page 169 in the following way:

"We have have been so occupied with the major viewpoints in the so-called 'green wave' or the two eco-political streams of today, because they have important contributions to offer to the debate with their emphasis on environmental questions and social analysis. And for the same reason, we have countered their opinions with so much criticism where we think they are inadequate, yes, are heading in a completely wrong direction."

In the corresponding note 128 on page 357 it says:

"Another aspect of much contemporary environmental thinking or 'ecological movement' deserving criticism, is its naturalistic, not to say biological undertones. Because cognition of distinctive human characteristics as individuality and social being is lacking, one has identified it with egoism and exploitation of nature. In this way one has endeavored to enhance nature (which is then also understood materalistically) at man's expense, something which in its time, however, encountered considerable criticism internationally as well as here at home."

Hegge has elaborated his views on this question in his collection of essays, Man and Nature, Understanding of Nature Through the Ages - with Special Reference to our Environmental Crisis (2nd edition, Antropos Forlag 1993), which supplements the points of view in the above-mentioned doctoral thesis.

A treatment of Norwegian anthroposophists' relationship to ecology and environmentalism that does not include a thorough account of Hjalmar Hegge's presentation becomes defective and incomplete.


B. More about bio-dynamic agriculture in Norway

We will now take a closer look at whether or not there is in practice a basis for a possible allegation of eco-fascism within the Norwegian anthroposophical movement. Is that how anthroposophists in this country - especially in agriculture - mingle with neo-fascists in a contemptable manner?

The first Norwegian ecological farm was founded by Norwegian anthroposophists in 1930.

The anthroposophical farmers were virtually the only ones practicing ecological agriculture for about thirty years, and for this reason, they represent the pioneers of ecological agriculture.

The practical esperiences that Norwegian anthroposophical farmers gained at this time have benefited the entire ecological movement. The human-ethicists who may operate an ecological farm today are benefiting from the valuable experiences that have been acquired by the anthroposophists.

In August last year [1999], a 10th and a 30th anniversary were celebrated on two big Norwegian biodynamic farms, Folkhol and Øvre Alm in Stange county. Many representatives for the Norwegian movement were present, and and the anthroposophical agriculture was praised - by the non-anthroposophical ecologists - for its pionering achievements and for the invaluable help with which the anthroposophists have contributed.

As a biproduct of biodynamic agriculture, the import and wholesale company Helios was founded more than thirty years ago. Helios is today - beyond comparison - the biggest organization of its kind, and in 2000 and 2001 its gross will exceed 100 million [kroners]. But it does not stop here: the organization responsible for controlling ecological farms, Debio, has had a strong anthroposophical element throughout the years in its management.

Not on a single point is it possible to accuse Norwegian biodynamic farmers of questionable intercourse with any green wing extremists from the political right who justify their totalitarian and racist social views with references to the "natural" and the "ecologically healthy", which is the point of departure in the Humanist article.


C. Anthroposophical engagement in the environmental movement in general

The anthroposophists do not only stand behind very important contributions to the ecological movement.

Ever since the early years following World War II, the anthroposophists have, in writing and in speech, pointed out the environmental threats we are facing - long before this type of questions were put on the public agenda.

If we browse through the magazines Horisont, Libra, and Arken, we will find a comprehensive and persistently strong environmental commitment. We can read all the articles with a magnifying glass without finding one single example that justifies warnings against the anthroposophical movement in the fashion of which Humanist is making itself a herald.

It is not technology, science, and rationalism that are being identified as causes of the severe environmental problems we are facing. On the contrary, the factors being emphasized are man's ruthless exploitation of nature based upon commercial interests, the shortsightedness of big corporations, and the greed of the single individual.

I have had the pleasure of being chairman of the board for the "Landsbystiftelsen" - "The Village Foundation" - that runs six Camphill properties for mentally retarded people and drug abusers. In The Village Foundation, work with the mentally retarded goes hand in hand with the concept of environmental protection.. In the villages, one will find biological cleansing plants and even a windmill; one invests in ecological agriculture and puts a great deal of emphasis on choice of materials used etc. (See the home page for Vidaråsen Landsby.)

The Waldorf schools are colored by same basic environmental view. There aren't many movements where one finds environmental protection ideals translated into practical work to such an extent as what one finds in the Anthroposophical Movement, and this has - as mentioned above - a longer tradition among anthroposophists than in other organizations that have bonded with the environmental movement in the course of later years.

The work of anthroposophists in connection with the establishment of Cultura Sparebank three years ago is an additional example of how anthroposophists represent a vanguard - in this connection with regard to alternative thinking in the field of banking and finance.


D. The relationship between human ethicism and environment

I den humIn the Human-Ethical Movement, it is customary to emphasize the significance of protecting natural resources as the best way to advance one's world view.

The environmental view of Human-Ethical Movement still appears - at least from my point of view - as unclear.

Where does in fact Humanist - quite concretely - really stand on the central issues of today regarding gene modification, food additives, the use of pesticides, plant treatment chemicals, etc.?

It is my impression - I repeat impression - that the Human-Ethicical Movement with its ironclad faith in "science and reason" has a considerably more liberal and reticent - even passive - attitude to the above mentioned challenges than anthroposophists do.

Environmental protection quickly boils down to concrete standpoints to concrete questions. I read human-ethicists' words of honor about environment. What the Human-Ethical Union and Humanist do in practical action, on the other hand, is more difficult to discover.


E. Conclusion

If the claim about eco-fascism in this issue of Humanist pretends to address Norwegian conditions, we are faced with a directly nonsensical allegation. If the aim is exclusively to point out conditions in Germany, the piece is misleading and the failure to document and elaborate the nuances with a reference to conditions in Norway, is unacceptable.

The environmental work of anthroposophists bears the mark of their pioneering effort, the practical value of labor, and the consistent attitude of anthroposophists.

I permit myself briefly to raise the question if anthroposophists with their practical work have not meant more to the Norwegian environmental movement than the Human-Ethical Union has, with their 50 times as many members.


5. Closing remarks

In the Humanist article, a picture is drawn of the anthroposophist where racial thinking, Nazi connections, and continual flirtations with Fascism are the major ingredients.

Let us sum it all up in conclusion: In this present article it has not been our concern to refute the untenable accusations that in general are directed against Rudolf Steiner with regard to his significance for the national-socialist movement in Germany or claims about alleged racism and eco-fascism. This has been accomplished in other contributions. Our main concern has been to establish the following:

1. When an article about anthroposophists' relationship to Nazism, racism, and eco-fascism is imported, and strongly stigmatizing and burdensome allegtions are presented, this is to a great extent useful for the purpose of discrediting the Anthroposophical Movement in Norway, unless crystal clear reservations are provided. Such reservations - or supplimentary information - have not been provided in the Humanist article. For Norwegian readers, therefore, the article appears irresponsible.

2. There is no supporting evidence for claiming that there is a commection between anthroposophy on the on hand, and Nazism/Anti-Semitism on the other, in Norway. It is easy to document that anthroposophists in the 1930's and during the war, distanced themselves from everything connected with Nazism and Fascism to a greater extent than did the representative bourgeois newspapers and the political left wing movement.

3. There is no supporting evidence indicating that leading Norwegian anthroposophists have made racist remarks or represented racist behavior in any way. Furthermore, there is no cause to criticize the work done by anthroposophists with other groups persecuted by Hitler, i.e. mentally disabled and others.

4. The attitude of Norwegian anthroposophists to racism stands out in clear contrast to the ruling official notions that existed in the 1920's and 1930's. The very circles that in the 1930's pledged allegiance to the same ideals (science-mindedness and reason) that the human-ethicists of today swear to, represented a shameful chapter in the history of Norwegian health care regarding the treatment of gypsies, vagrants, and mentally handicapped.

It is also a fact that central figures in the political left wing movement - in contradistinction to the Anthroposophical Movement - made themselves spokesmen for extremely racist and discriminating statements. After the war, anthroposophists have protested against racism in official school texbooks while representatives for the Human-Ethical Movement have remained completely passive.

5. Possible claims about Norwegian anthroposophists having - or having had - connections with anything that can be characterized as eco-fascism, are groundless. Anthroposophists have in many instances been pioneers within environmental protection, and with practical labor they have contributed considerably, and have thus had - in spite of their small number - a greater influence than the Human-Ethical Union.

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