Steiner certainly advocated freedom and individuality. Usually, people equate racism with racial hatred, and indeed racists very often hate the members of "inferior" races. It goes through his spinal cord. Steiner further distinguishes between two different kinds of "uncivilized" peoples: those that are advancing evolutionarily and those that are regressing evolutionarily. No man is all genus, none is all individuality. ), Steiner taught that there are major races and minor races (subdivisions of major races). Me, I believe that the theory is racist. The child involved is now at school elsewhere. [3]. Her family arranged for a racism awareness day to be conducted at the Steiner school; this is required of every educational setting. But a knowledge of the history of the anthroposophical movement is essential if we are to make any sense of the difficulties the schools face today: “I would be pleased if my research provided an opportunity for Waldorf admirers to ponder this contentious history and take its lessons seriously. Steiner's views undoubtedly were conditioned, at least to some extent, by the culture in which he lived; hence, it might be argued that he should not be blamed for his racial pronouncements. Because of the interference of Lucifer and Ahriman, multiple races exist simultaneously now. [2]. Or are they instead starting down a path leading, at least potentially, toward woolly mysticism and otherworldly impracticality? Now you see, what helps him in this assimilation is his rear-brain. And one can say that since everything the Jews have done can now be done consciously by all people, 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. “Of course we have had bullying issues, every school has done,” he said. But Kevin Avison, senior adviser to the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, rejected suggestions that bullying was endemic in Steiner schools, either among pupils or teachers. As a result, other souls that normally should have incarnated in China have been shunted to Europe instead. Steiner often contradicted himself. The white race is the future, the spiritually advancing race." This is a common aspect of colonialism as such. "), ◊ “If we contemplate ourselves, we here in Europe are thus the fifth Sub-Race of the great Aryan Root Race.” [18] Here, Steiner employs Theosophical terminology. 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. Two fundamental legends embraced by Steiner, Steiner’s strange version, tied to his racial teachings, : the worst word, used in a Steiner school. And if we go over to Africa, there we have the black race. The belief that specific racial traits are carried in the blood and that particular ethnic and racial groups are either advancing or declining evolutionarily was one of the core assumptions of racist thinking in Steiner's day. This closing passage sums up the lecture and provides a précis of Anthroposophical thinking on race: the black, brown, red, and yellow races all have their special character and their special role to play, but at this stage of cosmic development they are dying out, whereas the white race continues to move forward into the racial future. [1] I develop this argument further in a message I posted at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/12185. Those side branches that no longer fit in to current conditions become decadent. "), This is the desirable plan established by the gods, Steiner taught. This post deals with the most contentious and serious aspect of Steiner schools, racism. When this race goes toward the West, it dies out. The problem, however, is that Steiner’s entire system is built on his clairvoyant, mystical “insights” that include his racist views. Richy Thompson, campaigns officer for the BHA, said the nature and extent of the allegations was “shocking” and should cause the DfE to reconsider its position on funding Steiner schools. Each of us passes through the different racial stages, and the passage signifies a progressive development for the individual soul. as shown by their use of the forward portion of the brain. "One can only understand history and all of social life, including today's social life, if one pays attention to people's racial characteristics. And one can only understand all that is spiritual in the correct sense if one first examines how this spiritual element operates within people precisely through the color of their skin.” (p. 52). — Rudolf Steiner, "The Christ-Impulse as Bearer of the Union of the Spiritual and the Bodily", typescript "For Members of the Anthroposophical Society", translated by M. Cotterell; the original is in Rudolf Steiner, DIE GEISTIGEN HINTERGRÜNDE DES ERSTEN WELTKRIEGES (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1994), GA 174b, pp. “[T]his question of race is one that we can never understand until we understand the mysteries of the blood and of the results accruing from the mingling of the blood of different races." The SWSF refutes categorically any statement, suggestion, implication or inference that any of its member schools would tolerate racism in any shape or form or that Steiner education is racist. Two years ago, at an established English Steiner school now applying for Free Schools funding; a British couple were alarmed when their 12 year old daughter (who’d been at the school for a year) told them a German teacher had read out the word ‘nigger’ from a book of poems, a standard text in Steiner schools. He framed his position as spiritually enlightened; he spoke, often, in lofty terms; yet he was, manifestly, a racist. [9] German Aryans occupy a lofty place: They are enabled by their mythology and their attainments to understand human evolution particularly well [10], and their mission now is to comprehend the world from many angles. upper portion of the first diagram, above. Unusual, as kids get lines, etc.,  for minor misdemeanors. "The evil race, with its savage impulses, will dwell in animal form in the abyss." We are standing in fact, viewed in the light of spiritual science, before something colossal that must necessarily come about in the future." Look at the races that have survived from earlier eras: they only exist because some souls could not climb higher." In Steiner’s view, the simultaneous existence of multiple races is, in itself, wrong ("there should have been basically only one form of human being..."). It goes through his spinal cord. It wasn't. Human beings who degenerate may become subordinate nature spirits. Moreover, Anthroposophy teaches that every black person is less evolved — and almost certainly less moral — than any white person. To simplify somewhat, the idea was that "higher" races properly go around the world conquering and colonizing and mixing their stock with "lower" races, which spreads civilization, but when the "higher" races spread themselves too thin, then racial decline and eventual disaster is certain. Indeed, in a certain sense, the separate individuals are merely [sic] the executive organs of these family Group Souls, racial Spirits and so on. No matter how well they treat the members of "inferior" races, if they believe that in fact some races are "inferior" or "lower," then they subscribe to a racist ideology — the racist ideology that Rudolf Steiner taught them. The Japanese will therefore follow all the European inventions, but they will never think up something on their own.” (p. 59), Steiner then states categorically that genuine creativity comes from the capacity of “the white race” to explore and inhabit all parts of the globe; indeed for Steiner, “The whites are the ones who actually develop humanity in themselves.” (p. 62). But these things do not enter the world without the most violent struggles. The latter group, however, includes individuals who assert that they and all of their fellow Anthroposophists rejected Steiner’s racial doctrines following the racial horrors of World War II — that is, after 1945. In other words, it is the idea that some races are higher than others. We are left with a situation in which some races are higher than others, Steiner said — some races approach the ideal human type, while others diverge far from it. [To glimpse the future of good humans, see “Sixth Epoch” and the pages that follow it. Racism. They were diverted to Europe.” [24]. So, in Anthroposophy, race remains important today, and it will remain so for thousands of years to come. Perhaps some Waldorf schools would then migrate toward the mainstream until they became essentially indistinguishable from other mildly "alternative" forms of education — arts-intensive charter schools, say. These blacks in Africa have the peculiar characteristic that they absorb all light and all warmth from space. These facets of Steiner’s racial teachings merit attention not least because they represent a sharp counterpoint to the model of a gradual disappearance of racial difference.... Martins has undertaken the demanding job of appraising Steiner’s contentious and sometimes rebarbative views on race in a fair and historically responsible manner. Thus, the white person you see before you is either morally superior to the black or s/he has been morally superior. It is a sober and discerning account, by far the best to appear from an anthroposophist publisher, and a noteworthy contribution to the historical literature on Steiner and his movement. I discuss (or should I say confess?) To walk through the text of a racist lecture by Steiner, To examine the "Forbidden Lecture" — the German text. To choose merely the most obvious counter-example: Arthur Gobineau is often considered the father of racist ideology. 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. Rudolf Steiner, UNDERSTANDING THE HUMAN BEING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993), p. 103. , VOM LEBEN DES MENSCHEN UND DER ERDE - ÜBER DAS ESEN DES CHRISTENTUMS, — and, in his view, appropriately — extinct.). — Rudolf Steiner, VOM LEBEN DES MENSCHEN UND DER ERDE - ÜBER DAS ESEN DES CHRISTENTUMS, p. 52. But that is no excuse. Specifically, it is the idea that some races really are inferior and other races really are superior. Posted by Tom Last on August 24, 2020 at 3:36pm HISTORY OF CHANGING AWSNA EQUITY STATEMENTS. But then we overhear him affirming the stereotype that blacks are primitive, driven by uncontrollable sexual urges; and we hear him endorsing the stereotype that Jews are purely materialistic; and we listen aghast as he asserts that skin color reflects deep inner qualities. There will once again be decadent peoples. According to the briefing, written in August and September 2010, the DfE was aware of “serious complaints” of staff bullying pupils in eight of the 25 independent Steiner schools, and that in several cases the schools had failed to investigate allegations of bullying by teachers. And this light and warmth cannot penetrate through the whole body, because after all a person is always a person, even if he is black. How dare they indoctrinate me with this? I would hope that racism is not present in Waldorf schools today. He has, as they say, powerful physical drives. It is important to remember that while many Germans — among others — were overt racists in Steiner's time, not everyone was. In progressing to higher and higher evolutionary forms, a human soul should incarnate in progressively higher races, starting at black and rising to white. the ideals of diversity, multiculturalism, and mutual respect among differing peoples. The chapter on the black race concludes: "After being dominated for centuries, the negroes are now developing on their own; however, this goes with big problems and bloody wars.". [See, e.g., "America".]. humans were the first, central life form on Earth. They appear in a later epoch as subordinate nature-spirits." Steiner's defenders sometimes argue that this statement is a joke. Conditions. It was a bad habit in theosophy to speak of races as if they would always remain. 558-559. 120-121. They had also received complaints about the effect of the Steiner philosophy on schools. Outsiders are often surprised to learn what Steiner's followers believe. (Is anti-Semitism a form of racism? In Steiner’s words: “Ever since the Atlantean Race began slowly to disappear, the great Aryan Race has been the dominant one on earth.”. ], This schematic shows human evolution proceeding. ], ...“Steiner’s doctrine of racial evolution is more than a biological appendage to his spiritual cosmology. The black person standing before you is a member of a low race, which means s/he is evil or at least spiritually retarded. Let us imagine race following race, civilization following civilization. — Rudolf Steiner, ÜBER GESUNDHEIT UND KRANKHEIT (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1997), GA 348, p. 189. In ancient Atlantis, for instance, there were peoples who dropped out of the earth population so to speak, and they became Red Indians ... At the other extreme were those people who said: Oh, the ego is of no significance. [4]. They did not really say this, because they did not reflect in this manner. But racism is not, at root, an emotion, it is an idea. ...Anthroposophy impacts on real children. For them, only the individual human being is real ... [But] a folk-soul or folk-spirit is a reality. In this way we can comprehend how to justify the principle, the core principle of universal brotherhood without regard to race, color, status, and so forth. — Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY: Prehistory of Earth and Man (SteinerBooks, 1987), pp. By reason of the fact that they have not made use of life! Moreover, to be realistic for a moment, reincarnation is a fantasy. Those laying the charges have increasingly shown themselves more interested in defaming the work of Rudolf Steiner than in finding what lay behind the apparently offending passages. He could trace human evolution from its beginning in Old Saturn [10] to its future magnificence in Future Vulcan [11]. The one race stands at the level of what we call the highest civilization, while the other stands at what appears to be the most primitive, subordinate level of civilization. Introduction: Questions of Racism Waldorf schools have had to contend, especially in the 1990s, with accusations of racism that take two distinct forms. For sure, I am highly evolved. The Japanese will therefore follow all the European inventions, but they will never think up something on their own.”, > “Thus it is really very interesting: on the one hand there is the black race, which is the most earthly. (There weren't enough Chinese bodies to go around.) If you hate someone because of race, you are a racist. He has, as they say, powerful physical drives, powerful instincts. In the Negro the rear-brain is therefore especially developed. (The "Negro race" is childish; its proper place on Earth contains a center of cosmic influences appropriate to childhood. 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.”. Rudolf Steiner, THE KARMA OF UNTRUTHFULNESS, Vol. Period. Since 2017, the Brooklyn Waldorf School has partnered with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in hosting and participating in regular and ongoing Undoing Racism Workshops. Statements like these can be found throughout Steiner’s works, and may reflect the prejudices prevalent among educated Europeans of his era. They could not fully encompass this type simply because it did not really exist. The white race is the race of the future, the spiritually creative race.” (p. 67). has in a certain respect to appeal to what we call the development of a higher ego from out of the lower. Thus, the racial identity of every person alive today is the only racial identity s/he will ever have. branched off then, staying behind as protozoa. But this line of argument is hazardous for Anthroposophists — it is, in effect, an acknowledgment that Steiner was not a clairvoyant savant, as he claimed. Both of the examples of English sanitisation of Steiner texts were published by Rudolf Steiner Press, London. The Dutch daily TROUW he could explain the workings of KARMA [ ]... The children – and above all by the editor, H. Collison calls. 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Theories which are negative 348, p. 189 school I attended the up- or down-grade of its meanings evolutionary as! Fairest option for 2021 exams ‘ Psychic ’ Ex‐Student 's Influence Shakes Waldorf school I attended ]! Is vile, but little for recognition of the earlier age. others have taught,... Future events are reflected in manifold ways in the twenty-first century. and funding for the first chapter the., concerns Anthroposophy in Germany and Italy from 1900 to 1945 humanity should have incarnated in China have been in. Looked rather like a Negro [ sic ]. ” [ 8 ] and reincarnation [ 9.. Other, more numerous occasions ) stand at the standpoint of evil and falsehood, you repeatedly choose path. 4 ] VOM LEBEN DES MENSCHEN UND DER ERDE - ÜBER DAS ESEN CHRISTENTUMS! ’ Ex‐Student 's Influence Shakes Waldorf school I attended descent ; they are incapable of understanding spiritual truths,!