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Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

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  • Peter Staudenmaier
    Hi Patrick, you wrote: It is my perception that in each of the posts that I have made to you you have missed my point entirely. That s entirely possible. My
    Message 1 of 187 , Mar 2, 2004
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      Hi Patrick, you wrote:
      "It is my perception that in each of the posts that I have made to you you have missed my point entirely."
      That's entirely possible. My apologies if so.
      "I'm trying to understand your point of view and I hope you will do the same with me."
      Yes, I'm working on it.
      "Instead of another human being honestly trying to understand the other I find myself facing a "thrust and parry" dialectician."
      I think that is a good way to conduct public discussion on controversial topics.
      "Pardon me, Sir, but it seems that that is exactly what you are doing!"
      No, I haven't engaged in counter-presentation here. I'm not sure how you missed this, but I do not deny that Steiner held a number of perfectly acceptable views on Jews, on race, and so forth. My first post made this clear. Some of the rest of the listmates here appear to have trouble acknowledging that Steiner also held a number of other views on Jews and on race that can accurately be described as antisemitic and as racist. That is what I think we should be discussing.
      "My point is that you are taking Steiner's remarks about "Jewry" (I find this term crude but I will use it because it is germane to our discussion) out of the context of the anthroposophical worldview."
      Some of those remarks (e.g. the 1888 ones) were made outside the context of the anthroposophical worldview, hence this is exactly how we ought to take them. I do consider Steiner's post-1902 remarks about Jews within the context of the anthroposophical worldview, because this is crucial to understanding them.
      "You do not address the worldview only the remarks that fit your view."
      That doesn't make sense. What you call "my view" is of course my view of the anthroposophical worldview, which is exactly what I address here. This does not align with your own view of the anthroposophical worldview, of course.
      "This is your very complaint  about Waage."
      No, not at all. My complaint about Waage is that he simply ignores the stuff in Steiner that he doesn't like. I do not ignore the stuff in Steiner that I don't like, or that I do like for that matter. I look at both the philosemitic and the antisemitic aspects of Steiner's teachings about Jews, for example.
      "It is quite clear to me that if you are a dialectical materialist"
      I am not a dialectical materialist. I am not any kind of marxist. I am opposed to marxism, philosophically, politically, and all sorts of other ways.
      "then you couldn't possibly understand Anthroposophy unless you open your mind to it."
      I think that's a truism. Nobody understands anything until they open their minds to it.
      "If you do not acknowledge the key points of others"
      Since I've been on this list I have frequently acknowledged the key points of others and explained which I agree with and which I disagree with. Is there something about this approach that you find unsatisfactory?
      "I also suspect that you have ulterior motives."
      Join the club. Could you perhaps explain to me what you think these motives are?
      "Why else would you deny that linking Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy with racist and anti-Semitic ideologies taints both."
      Because I think that idea is wrongheaded in principle. I did not invent this stance for purposes of this list, I hold it across the board. This whole notion of "tainting" is foolish. Consider the analogous matter of my political views: for people who like Ayn Rand, my political views are anathema. This certainly does not taint me, for the simple reason that different people disagree about political views; some will find specific views repellent, while others find the very same views appealing. Same goes for things like racism and antisemitism. It is a really bad idea to treat such topics as a kind of contagion that might get on your clothes or in your hair if you handle them too closely. I think we ought to simply examine antisemitism and racism in historical perspective instead of worrying about the taint.
      "One of the first things I learned from anthroposophy is the following: thoughts are realities and have their effects in the world.  When you say that merely saying such things cannot have that effect you are being naive."
      Then we disagree about the relationship between thought and action. Holding antisemitic beliefs and trying to kill Jews are two very different things.

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    • at@ael...
      Another one of those interesting points that is too much effort to substantiate, I suppose. It is easy for Peter Staudenmaier to make claimes, but when asked
      Message 187 of 187 , Apr 22, 2004
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        Another one of those interesting points that is too much effort to substantiate, I suppose. It is easy for Peter Staudenmaier to make claimes, but when asked to back them up, he runs away.

        Daniel Hindes
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: at@ael...
        Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 10:20 PM
        Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

        Peter Staudenmaier (back in February):
        Sure. Daniel said a few days back: "To anyone who has done a comparative study of the two, similarities between Rosenberg and Steiner are tenuous at best. Claiming that Rudolf Steiner's teachings became official mythology of Nazi Germany is patently absurd."  I think the second sentence is more or less accurate, if a bit overheated, but I disagree with the first sentence.
        Peter, could you perhaps elaborate on how you see Rosenberg being similar to Steiner? I would find it helpful to hear some examples of specific instances where they agree. I am curious to determine whether this is another example of confusing similar terms for similar concepts, or if the case is perhaps made from such generic points of agreement that have nothing at all to do with race.
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