- ******* Now that the US election is ended, I'll make a few remarks, since so many people have wanted to discuss politics.
First, I'd say that Steiner's predictions about demonic beings connected with Islam arising in 1998 deserve study and discussion, to place the current third world war in world context instread of only from a US perspective simply because their attack on us was perhaps more spectacular than the Bali bombing, the train bombing in Spain, the mass murder of schoolchildren in Russia and the other terrible massacres recently performed by adherents of this ideology of death and destruction. (I'm amazed that any Americans can be so ethnocentric as to look at a worldwide terrorist movement's arising as being a hoax created by the CIA or whoever here in the US; to anyone thinking rationally, that's like saying Marxism is a movement created by left-wingers in the US, or that Christianity was made up by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. It just shows an inability to view world events apart from one's own US political prejudices.)
Second, to look at US domestic politics, the electorate has once again handed the Presidency and both houses of Congress to a Republican Party increasingly conservative in principles. The Democratic Party here in the US has increasingly aligned itself with left-wing ideology, and the Republican Party has with the opposite, and the elections have repeatedly shown that Americans are overwhelmingly rejecting leftist positions and embracing conservative ones. Now, I recall seeing how zealous, committed leftists were unable to believe Stevenson lost to Eisenhower, that McGovern lost to Nixon, and on and on through generations now; small wonder people in denial want to believe conspiracy theories instead of that the majority of the voters just don't see things the same way that they do. But they simply DON'T.
There are three choices, as I see it, in how a leftist/Democrat can respond: either believe the majority that voted for the candidiate he didn't like are all evil, which means condemning the majority of your fellow citizens. Or you could believe that they are all fools, brainwashed idiots who don't see the Golden Truth you do (in other words, share your opinions).
The third choice is to question your own belief-system and assumptions, and see if maybe your fellow citizens don't have some legitimate reasons for disagreeing with part or all of it, so that their not voting for your candidiate or platform isn't evidence of being evil or being hypnotized by the Devil or some vast conspiracy.
So third, along that line, instead of personalities (Kerry is a pure servant of the angels, Bush is the devil), we need to look at principles. What is the proper function or functions of government? How is the "economy" different from the state? What are free citizens responsible for doing for themselves and what should a government do for them? How should government interact with the 'spiritual' or religious sphere? Steiner said a lot of things about these matters, but they can't be approached with wild emotionalism and opinions created within prejudices without free thinking. I've always left politics out of this list because no one approaches it with objective thinking, only what they imagine is such, which anyone who doesn't share the same opinions can see is clearly biased and often furiously so. But we could try. If it degenerates into vitriol and ranting and raving, I'll just declare it off-topic again.
P.S. Here, from the introduction to The Education of the Child in the Light of Spiritual Science, is Steiner's position on spiritual science and its mission of reforming society:
"It is true that in taking on this mission, Anthroposophy must be prepared to face all kinds of scepticism and opposition. Radicals, Moderates and Conservatives in every sphere of life will be bound to meet it with scepticism. For in its beginnings it will scarcely be in a position to please any party. Its premises lie far beyond the sphere of party movements, being founded, in effect, purely and solely on a true knowledge and perception of life. If a man has knowledge of life, it is only out of life itself that he will be able to set himself his tasks. He will draw up no arbitrary programmes, for he will know that no other fundamental laws of life can prevail in the future than those that prevail already in the present. The spiritual investigator will therefore of necessity respect existing things. However great the need for improvement he may find in them, he will not fail to see, in existing things themselves, the embryo of the future. At the same time, he knows that in all things ‘becoming’ there must be growth and evolution. Hence he will perceive in the present the seeds of transformation and of growth. He invents no programmes; he reads them out of what is there. What he thus reads becomes in a certain sense itself a programme, for it bears in it the essence of development. For this very reason an anthroposophical insight into the being of man must provide the most fruitful and the most practical means for the solution of the urgent questions of modern life. "
The entire essay can be found here at the Steiner E-Library: