Basic Issues of the Social Question

Rudolf Steiner

Unabridged edition, with translator's introduction and a section of notes explaining the historical situations and personalities mentioned in the text. Translated by Frank Thomas Smith

81 pages, $3.00

This book was written in 1919, just after the First World War, and suggests solutions to the social, political and economic problems of those times. At the end of the book, Steiner writes: "...either people will accommodate their thinking to the requirements of reality, or they will have learned nothing from the calamity and will cause innumerable new ones to occur in the future." History since then has proven these words to be prophetic. The "social question" has not been resolved, nor have steps been taken to initiate the healing process. We all too often look to the political state for the solutions to all social problems, be they of an economic, cultural or political nature. Steiner's concept of a triformed, or threefold society in which the economic, cultural and political spheres would enjoy relative autonomy within the social organism has not yet been tried. This book contains his basic ideas for the restructuring of society. The editors consider it urgent that these ideas be studied seriously and put into practice wherever possible.

About the author

Rudolf Steiner was born in Kraljevic, Austria on February 27, 1861, and died in Dornach, Switzerland, on March 30, 1925. He was a scientist, writer, lecturer and philosopher, as well as being the founder and leading light of Anthroposophy, a movement based on the belief that there is a spiritual world comprehensible to pure thought but accessible only to the highest faculties of mental (spiritual) activity.

Steiner edited Goethe's scientific works, and from 1889 to 1896 worked on the standard version of his complete works at Weimer. During this period Steiner wrote his "Philosophy of Freedom", then moved to Berlin to edit the literary journal "Magazin für Literatur" and to begin an extensive, life-long lecturing career.

Convinced of the possibility of spiritual perception independent of the senses, he called the activity of his research "anthroposophy", centering on "knowledge produced by the higher self in man". All of his many books and over 6,000 lectures are available in German and most in English as well.

The practical results of Steiner's work include over 800 "Waldorf" schools the world over - 104 in the U.S. and 13 in Canada - bio-dynamic agriculture and anthroposophical medicine. These movements continue growing and nourishing society.


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