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making sense of anthroposophist antisemitism

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  • Peter Staudenmaier
    One interesting facet of many exchanges on anthroposophy and antisemitism is the consistency with which Steiner s followers perpetuate the same ahistorical
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 20, 2011
      One interesting facet of many exchanges on anthroposophy and antisemitism is the consistency with which Steiner's followers perpetuate the same ahistorical myths, regardless of whether the particular anthroposophists in question are themselves open antisemites; across the anthroposophical spectrum, a striking variety of Steiner's followers today remain beholden to longstanding antisemitic beliefs. In part, this persistence of anthroposophist antisemitism is due to historical ignorance; many of Steiner's admirers are simply unaware of the wealth of readily available scholarship on the history of antisemitic thought.

      Steiner taught that the Jewish people should cease to exist. Though his fans for some reason confuse this stance with genocide, it was in fact a standard aspect of assimilationist antisemitism. It did not posit genocide as the 'solution' to the 'Jewish question' but instead called for Jews to abandon Jewishness. Many antisemites during Steiner's era promoted this sort of assimilationist antisemitism, including quite a few of the most notorious antisemitic demagogues of the time, such as Heinrich Treitschke and Adolf Stoecker. They wanted Jews to disappear by being absorbed into the German Volk, so that Jewishness as such would simply dissolve into Germanness.

      Steiner's stance, like that of other antisemites at the time, was the very opposite of the stance held by assimilationist Jews. The two viewpoints, that of assimilationist antisemites and that of assimilationist Jews, were directly contrary to one another. Rather than the abandonment of Jewishness and disappearance into gentile culture, assimilationist Jews wanted Jews to continue existing as Jews while being accepted as equal members of German society. Their goal was to combine Jewishness and Germanness.

      The position Steiner held was shared by numerous antisemites in Steiner's day, who called for the cultural elimination of Jews and Jewishness. There are many valuable scholarly studies of assimilationist antisemitism. George Mosse's book Germans and Jews, for example, explains that from the point of view of assimilationist antisemites, "The good Jew is one who ceases to be a Jew. The bad Jew is the Jew per se, who refuses complete assimilation." (p. 71) Jacob Katz's essay "German Culture and the Jews" in Reinharz and Schatzberg, eds., The Jewish Response to German Culture, notes that "even during the liberal era the Jewish contribution to German culture was acceptable only if it succeeded in being not Jewish." (p. 99) Uriel Tal's study Christians and Jews in Germany explains that stances like Steiner's "did not have in mind the integration of Jews within a pluralistic society which ensured the coexistence of various hereditary groups as part of one united nationality, but rather an integration within a uniform, homogeneous society, and this meant, as far as the Jews were concerned, extinction as the price for integration." (p. 53) Donald Niewyk's book The Jews in Weimar Germany notes that "the great majority of German Jews" explicitly rejected the position that Steiner promoted (p. 100). Alfred Low's book Jews in the Eyes of the Germans observes that many non-Jewish Germans demanded that their Jewish fellow citizens "completely relinquish Jewish identity, irrespective of whether it was primarily religious, cultural, or national in character. The German Jew was to shed his Judaic heritage, cease to be a Jew, and eagerly embrace Germandom." (p. 413)

      Historian David Sorkin explored this fundamental divide between contrary understandings of assimilation in his important article "Emancipation and Assimilation: Two Concepts and their Application to German-Jewish History" (Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook XXXV, 1990). Sorkin distinguishes sharply between the conception of assimilation shared by assimilationist antisemites and the conception of assimilation shared by liberal and pro-assimilationist Jews. Such distinctions are crucial to understanding how antisemitic thinking operated in German-speaking Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the most prominent antisemites of the era championed the same vision as Steiner, a model of assimilation that meant the disappearance of the Jews. From Richard Wagner to Heinrich von Treitschke to Paul de Lagarde, this sort of assimilationist antisemitism played a powerful role within German culture. These figures, who shared Steiner's viewpoint, were vigorously opposed by pro-assimilationist Jews. It was not at all uncommon for antisemites at this time to praise ancient Hebrew culture, have Jewish friends, and explicitly reject racial and ethnic hatred while nevertheless taking a firmly negative attitude toward Jewish existence in the modern world and calling for Jews to disappear into the German people. This was, in fact, one of the most common patterns within the antisemitic thinking of the era. It is essential to keep this historical background in mind when considering Steiner's statements on the 'Jewish question'.

      Most German Jews during Steiner's lifetime were assimilationists. In fact the majority of them had already achieved a considerable measure of integration into German society. What they had not done, and what most of them quite reasonably declined to do, was abandon their Jewish identity in the process. In stark contrast to Steiner, German Jews thoroughly rejected the complete dissolution of Jewishness as such. The profound differences between Jewish and gentile understandings of 'assimilation' are a mainstay of the abundant historical research on German-Jewish history. Some familiarity with that history would go a long way in helping Steiner's admirers understand his statements about Jews and Jewishness. Greetings to all,


      Peter S.
    • Joel Wendt
      Dear Peter S. It would help me a lot if you could explain just what a Jew is. I realize there are many who use this term, and a lot of arguments are made
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 20, 2011
        Dear Peter S.

        It would help me a lot if you could explain just what a "Jew" is. I realize
        there are many who use this term, and a lot of arguments are made (as you've
        shown), but I am unclear. To help you understand better that question, let
        me ask some related ones: What is an American? What is a Catholic? What is
        an Anthroposophist? My concern is with general classes used as nouns in
        sentences. Is there a there there? Sometimes I feel we have left the realm
        of facts and logic and reason and wandered into the other side of the
        Looking Glass when we get caught up in formulating an argument using
        general classes of things, as if that class itself (in this case a "Jew") is
        a real concrete thing. What's a Democrat? What's a Republican? What's a
        Waldorf-Critic? Can a convert to the Hebrew religion become a Jew?. Is a
        person of Jewish descent or culture, who believes Christ is the Messiah, a
        Jew?

        joel wendt

        On Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 1:28 PM, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@...>wrote:

        >
        >
        > One interesting facet of many exchanges on anthroposophy and antisemitism
        > is the consistency with which Steiner's followers perpetuate the same
        > ahistorical myths, regardless of whether the particular anthroposophists in
        > question are themselves open antisemites; across the anthroposophical
        > spectrum, a striking variety of Steiner's followers today remain beholden to
        > longstanding antisemitic beliefs. In part, this persistence of
        > anthroposophist antisemitism is due to historical ignorance; many of
        > Steiner's admirers are simply unaware of the wealth of readily available
        > scholarship on the history of antisemitic thought.
        >
        > Steiner taught that the Jewish people should cease to exist. Though his
        > fans for some reason confuse this stance with genocide, it was in fact a
        > standard aspect of assimilationist antisemitism. It did not posit genocide
        > as the 'solution' to the 'Jewish question' but instead called for Jews to
        > abandon Jewishness. Many antisemites during Steiner's era promoted this sort
        > of assimilationist antisemitism, including quite a few of the most notorious
        > antisemitic demagogues of the time, such as Heinrich Treitschke and Adolf
        > Stoecker. They wanted Jews to disappear by being absorbed into the German
        > Volk, so that Jewishness as such would simply dissolve into Germanness.
        >
        > Steiner's stance, like that of other antisemites at the time, was the very
        > opposite of the stance held by assimilationist Jews. The two viewpoints,
        > that of assimilationist antisemites and that of assimilationist Jews, were
        > directly contrary to one another. Rather than the abandonment of Jewishness
        > and disappearance into gentile culture, assimilationist Jews wanted Jews to
        > continue existing as Jews while being accepted as equal members of German
        > society. Their goal was to combine Jewishness and Germanness.
        >
        > The position Steiner held was shared by numerous antisemites in Steiner's
        > day, who called for the cultural elimination of Jews and Jewishness. There
        > are many valuable scholarly studies of assimilationist antisemitism. George
        > Mosse's book Germans and Jews, for example, explains that from the point of
        > view of assimilationist antisemites, "The good Jew is one who ceases to be a
        > Jew. The bad Jew is the Jew per se, who refuses complete assimilation." (p.
        > 71) Jacob Katz's essay "German Culture and the Jews" in Reinharz and
        > Schatzberg, eds., The Jewish Response to German Culture, notes that "even
        > during the liberal era the Jewish contribution to German culture was
        > acceptable only if it succeeded in being not Jewish." (p. 99) Uriel Tal's
        > study Christians and Jews in Germany explains that stances like Steiner's
        > "did not have in mind the integration of Jews within a pluralistic society
        > which ensured the coexistence of various hereditary groups as part of one
        > united nationality, but rather an integration within a uniform, homogeneous
        > society, and this meant, as far as the Jews were concerned, extinction as
        > the price for integration." (p. 53) Donald Niewyk's book The Jews in Weimar
        > Germany notes that "the great majority of German Jews" explicitly rejected
        > the position that Steiner promoted (p. 100). Alfred Low's book Jews in the
        > Eyes of the Germans observes that many non-Jewish Germans demanded that
        > their Jewish fellow citizens "completely relinquish Jewish identity,
        > irrespective of whether it was primarily religious, cultural, or national in
        > character. The German Jew was to shed his Judaic heritage, cease to be a
        > Jew, and eagerly embrace Germandom." (p. 413)
        >
        > Historian David Sorkin explored this fundamental divide between contrary
        > understandings of assimilation in his important article "Emancipation and
        > Assimilation: Two Concepts and their Application to German-Jewish History"
        > (Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook XXXV, 1990). Sorkin distinguishes sharply
        > between the conception of assimilation shared by assimilationist antisemites
        > and the conception of assimilation shared by liberal and pro-assimilationist
        > Jews. Such distinctions are crucial to understanding how antisemitic
        > thinking operated in German-speaking Europe in the late 19th and early 20th
        > centuries. Many of the most prominent antisemites of the era championed the
        > same vision as Steiner, a model of assimilation that meant the disappearance
        > of the Jews. From Richard Wagner to Heinrich von Treitschke to Paul de
        > Lagarde, this sort of assimilationist antisemitism played a powerful role
        > within German culture. These figures, who shared Steiner's viewpoint, were
        > vigorously opposed by pro-assimilationist Jews. It was not at all uncommon
        > for antisemites at this time to praise ancient Hebrew culture, have Jewish
        > friends, and explicitly reject racial and ethnic hatred while nevertheless
        > taking a firmly negative attitude toward Jewish existence in the modern
        > world and calling for Jews to disappear into the German people. This was, in
        > fact, one of the most common patterns within the antisemitic thinking of the
        > era. It is essential to keep this historical background in mind when
        > considering Steiner's statements on the 'Jewish question'.
        >
        > Most German Jews during Steiner's lifetime were assimilationists. In fact
        > the majority of them had already achieved a considerable measure of
        > integration into German society. What they had not done, and what most of
        > them quite reasonably declined to do, was abandon their Jewish identity in
        > the process. In stark contrast to Steiner, German Jews thoroughly rejected
        > the complete dissolution of Jewishness as such. The profound differences
        > between Jewish and gentile understandings of 'assimilation' are a mainstay
        > of the abundant historical research on German-Jewish history. Some
        > familiarity with that history would go a long way in helping Steiner's
        > admirers understand his statements about Jews and Jewishness. Greetings to
        > all,
        >
        >
        > Peter S.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Tom Mellett
        ... ========================== Welcome back Joel! Your timing is impeccable, this Holy Week being the 7th anniversary of Judith von Halle coming down with
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 20, 2011
          --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Joel Wendt <joel232001@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Peter S.
          >
          > It would help me a lot if you could explain just what a "Jew" is.

          ==========================

          Welcome back Joel! Your timing is impeccable, this Holy Week being the 7th anniversary of Judith von Halle "coming down with" the Stigmata in Berlin. (The present Berlin Waldorf school sex-trafficking scandal appears to be quite the dark shadow cast by JvH.)

          This magnificent Waldorf Critics Symphony (in B-Flat Minor) has been sadly lacking in counterpoint against the somewhat saccharine melodic lines of Stephen Clarke, so you bring just the right bass notes to set it right, you cute chubby old melancholic son-of-a-Bodhisattva, you!

          And now, Joel, if I may ask you the one question you neglected to ask Peter:

          It would help me a lot if you could explain just what a "Joel Wendt" is.
          (Not my usual Curley signoff:
          Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!
          But rather the more Lakota:
          Heyoka! Heyoka Heyoka!)

          Soitenly! Now, Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!

          Fr. Tom, Judas Priest (and Happy Birthday Adolf!)
        • Peter Staudenmaier
          ... I m not sure that would help much, but it is indeed a Joel Wendt kind of question. Or maybe Frank can tell us what a True Joel Wendt is. In any case,
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 20, 2011
            Tom wrote:


            > It would help me a lot if you could explain just what a "Joel Wendt" is.


            I'm not sure that would help much, but it is indeed a Joel Wendt kind of question. Or maybe Frank can tell us what a True Joel Wendt is. In any case, antisemites hold many different views on what a 'Jew' is. Some of them think Jews are a racial group, others a religious group, others a cultural group, others an ethnic group, and so forth. Steiner's view was a mixture of these various beliefs. He considered Jews racially distinctive, but nonetheless called for the absorption of Jews into the German people. For some anthroposophists, this process was supposed to be primarily cultural -- Jews were to abandon their purportedly Jewish cultural traits and adopt ostensibly German cultural traits -- while for other anthroposophists a principal criterion was religious -- Jews needed to convert to Christianity. A variety of anthroposophists promote similar views today. The underlying notion was and is that Jews as Jews are somehow less than fully German (indeed less than fully human), just as a number of white Americans believe that Puerto Ricans, for example, are less than fully American, precisely by virtue of their distinctiveness from other Americans. That is why Jewishness is such a central problem for anthroposophy's narrative of racial and ethnic evolution and its dim view of racial and ethnic difference and particularity. The continued existence of Jews as Jews, for Steiner and his followers, is an obstacle on the path toward the Universal Human. Greetings to all,


            Peter S.
          • Joel Wendt
            ... given by my mother and father. They did not name me, however, by any of the general categories of nouns which I might have acquired over my life time:
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
              On Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 10:24 PM, Tom Mellett <TomBuoyed@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > And now, Joel, if I may ask you the one question you neglected to ask
              > Peter:
              >
              > It would help me a lot if you could explain just what a "Joel Wendt" is.
              >
              > For those not entirely confused about language Joel Wendt is my birth name,
              given by my mother and father. They did not name me, however, by any of the
              general categories of nouns which I might have acquired over my life time:
              son, brother, etc. father, insurance adjuster, lawyer, supreme court clerk
              (Montana), Christian, Wizard, Anthroposophist, dishwasher, cook, mental
              health worker, guy who died twice in one day in the ER, Congregationalist,
              Lutheran, Buddhist, Shaman, idiot, divorced, confused, hopeless romantic,
              phlegmatic, writer of many books no one reads ... I did give myself a few
              "names" over the years: Lazy Bear was one (during my imitate native
              american's phase), "enlightened" was another when I was being very Buddhist.
              When I retired from active work life in 2002, I thought about the "naming"
              thing for a while and had a business card printed: "social philosopher ...
              and occasional fool".

              Peter S. confesses to you the obvious fact that different people think
              different things about those they call Jews, and if Peter was a little bit
              more the scholar he likes to pretend to be, then he would know from Owen
              Barfield's Speaker's Meaning that language has this peculiar quality in
              spades: i.e. meaning is not the dictionary or lexical meaning (which changes
              over time), but only what the speaker means, something not always easy to
              grasp for the reader or the listener.

              Asking What a Joel Wendt is, while seemingly "cute", is besides the point,
              since our birth names are never meant to be descriptive nouns in the same
              way Jew or Catholic is. Peter ducks the point, which suggests the quite
              distinct possibility that his own biases have never lead him to actually
              understanding what Steiner meant, and like all of us (including you, me,
              Peter, Dan et. al.), how we use language varies and miscommunication is
              frequently the norm - ask any one in an intimate relationship.

              Steiner is (obviously) not perfect, nor is anyone we can label (with a
              descriptive noun) Critics or Waldorfian, or anthroposophist. Labels are a
              lazy way of making a point without actually thinking about what words mean.
              I recently wrote a friend who sent me a piece on Nazis, Jews and atheists,
              that there were no Nazis, Jews and atheists - no there there when we use
              generalized categories. All the same everyone needs their individual point
              of view in order to orient themselves within their biography and at this
              stage of the evolution of consciousness the use by our I of general mental
              categories is common. Getting over that tendency is one of the reasons
              Steiner wrote The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, which contains as the
              last sentence in the original preface this warning: "One must be able to
              confront an idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its
              bondage."

              A person who thinks of themselves (or others) as Jews, or French or Critics
              or anthroposophists is simple not inwardly free of the habit of judging
              others so aptly pointed out by the Creator in the Sermon on the Mount via
              the lesson of the mote and the beam. Another person is just like us - an
              immortal spirit learning in the most outrageous school (life) ever invented
              - "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are altogether" sang the
              Beatles (thus my latest incredible book: The Art of God: an actual theory of
              Everything http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/artofgod.html

              therein endeth the preaching of the HLFMB* :-)

              joel

              *now there's a name!


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Tom Mellett
              ... A person who thinks of themselves (or others) as Jews, or French or Critics or anthroposophists is simple not inwardly free of the habit of judging
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Joel Wendt <joel232001@... wrote:

                A person who thinks of themselves (or others) as Jews, or French or Critics or anthroposophists is simple not inwardly free of the habit of judging others so aptly pointed out by the Creator in the Sermon on the Mount via the lesson of the mote and the beam. Another person is just like us - an immortal spirit learning in the most outrageous school (life) ever invented - "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are altogether" sang the Beatles (thus my latest incredible book: The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/artofgod.html

                therein endeth the preaching of the HLFMB* :-)

                joel

                *now there's a name!
                ====================

                Joel, I love you, man! Still spamming after all these years! Even in the Age of Twitter! You're like an used occult car salesman!

                (On that note, Joel, I wonder if you have thought of disciplining your writing self by means of Twitter. For example, could you compress this entire pontification post into ONE Twitter message? Sorry to scare you, Joel, but it might be a great discipline for you. Could even lead to peer review enough to have you published by someone other than your own self. I'll bet you eat off vanity plates, too!)

                But back to your post, Joel, wait a minute! Look at your own argument here, that people who think of themselves with labels as Jews, etc. --- your normal latter-day Nominalists --- are thereby judging others by such labels.

                But aren't YOU as alleged Realist judging Peter and other Critics here? So what gives you the right to exempt your own portly self from judging them, all the while you (some say hypocritically) point out how judgmental they are? Why, viewed from this perspective, you seem to be cancelling your own argument out. Making it null and void, just like any good Nominalist would. So j'accuse, my brother, you are as much a fucking Nominalist as Peter. Q.E.D. Ergo STFU and SMVD!

                Now as a corollary, Joel, I would like to pose this follow-up question to you:

                Joel Wendt, are you not yourself a Jew?

                If yes, then how would you characterize yourself as a Jew?
                If no, then how would you characterize yourself as not a Jew?

                (also, if yes, are you then ultimately a self-hating Jew?)

                This is a trick question, of course, but not for you my brother Joel, it's really for Peter and the Critics to fall into the trap. Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Soitenly! Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!

                Father Tom, Judas Priest

                . . . posting on Holy Thursday which celebrates the Last Supper at which Judas did betray Christ. Ah what a wonderful myth! (The Christ story, not the Judas Story. Heyoka! Heyoka! Heyoka!)


                PS Joel, I like your title: _The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything_. Did you know that Alicia, or interpid Swedish correspondent is preparing a book of her own on Canineosophy? Her working title I believe is:
                _The Art of Dog: a Potential Theory of Nothing_
              • Peter Staudenmaier
                ... Though his wares keep changing. Last time we were graced with his presence, Joel opined that Steiner s work is simply incomprehensible today, because
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                  Tom wrote to Joel:


                  > You're like an used occult car salesman!


                  Though his wares keep changing. Last time we were graced with his presence, Joel opined that Steiner's work is simply "incomprehensible" today, because Steiner lived a century ago. This is a common claim for esoteric epistemologies, and one reason for the widespread esoteric aversion to history.

                  In any case, it is certainly interesting to learn that Joel believes there are no Nazis, Jews, or atheists. Steiner did not share this belief, however. Steiner believed that there is such a thing as Jews. That is why he said and wrote the things he said and wrote about Jews. One of the things Steiner said and wrote about Jews is that Jews as a people should cease to exist. This claim is central to Steiner's teachings about Jews and Jewishness, and represents a core aspect of his overall scheme of racial and ethnic evolution.

                  Some anthroposophists embrace Steiner's teachings about Jews. Some anthroposophists deny Steiner's teachings about Jews. Some anthroposophists are unaware of Steiner's teachings about Jews. All of these responses contribute to the persistence of anthroposophist antisemitism today. Anthroposophists who oppose antisemitism would do well to familiarize themselves with Steiner's teachings about Jews and repudiate the antisemitic aspects of those teachings.

                  Greetings to all,


                  Peter S.
                • Tom Mellett
                  ... ============================ Ah, but Peter, you fail to realize and then marvel at Joel s incredibly subtle way of exposing your own anti-semitisn and
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                    --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > In any case, it is certainly interesting to learn that Joel believes there are no Nazis, Jews, or atheists. Steiner did not share this belief, however. Steiner believed that there is such a thing as Jews. That is why he said and wrote the things he said and wrote about Jews. One of the things Steiner said and wrote about Jews is that Jews as a people should cease to exist. This claim is central to Steiner's teachings about Jews and Jewishness, and represents a core aspect of his overall scheme of racial and ethnic evolution.
                    ============================

                    Ah, but Peter, you fail to realize and then marvel at Joel's incredibly subtle way of exposing your own anti-semitisn and racism.

                    Joel is just cleverer than you by half, Peter. And he did it in such an "aw shucks" Step'in'Fetchit way (hold on, that's a Negro reference and Joel is Caucasian) --- hmmm, better to say: in a Columbo way! Yes Columbo!

                    [NOTE: Columbo is an American pop reference to the bumbling but very successful TV detective Columbo played by Peter Falk.]

                    You see, Peter, Joel came on here making his characteristically pompous and megalomaniacal sweeping generalizations about the non-existence of categories like race, gender, Jewry, Gentilism, etc. In short, he was playing the role of a full-bore Nominalist.

                    And he played this role or gambit to the hilt, in order to force you to assert the reality existence of categories like Jewry, race, gender, etc., which you did exactly as he had planned.

                    So now you, Peter, are in the position of realism which is exactly that of Rudolf Steiner, and therefore, the categories of Jew and non-Jew, and of course, by extension, the categories of race and even gender, are categories which are real, palpable, objective and anything but some pro-semitic and anti-racist scheme of abstract intellectual Nominalistic labeling. You, Peter, have just validated the reality of Semitic and racial categories, just as Rudolf Steiner did a hundred or so years ago!

                    He gotcha, Peter!

                    Joel Wendt has just hoist you upon your own petard!

                    And this event therefore is an event of deepest WHS for THFEH.

                    So the score now reads:

                    JOEL--- 01
                    PETER---00

                    Are we ready for Game 2 of the First Set?

                    Tom the Gatekeeper, I mean, Scorekeeper
                  • Frank Thomas Smith
                    Now look what you gone and done, Joel: cause 2 WC inmates to push their respective bottom buttons. Tom s at least was mildly entertaining: You re like an used
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                      Now look what you gone and done, Joel: cause 2 WC inmates to push their respective bottom buttons. Tom's at least was mildly entertaining:"You're like an used occult car salesman!" - while Peter's button was a rehashing (picture him as a short-order ccok with a greasy apron in a greasy-spoon diner and a unisex WC) the same old BLTs, to wit: "...one reason for the widespread esoteric aversion to history..." and "..One of the things Steiner said and wrote about Jews is that Jews as a people should cease to exist..." and "..Some anthroposophists are unaware of Steiner's teachings about Jews..." and .."anthroposophists who oppose antisemitism would do well to familiarize themselves with Steiner's teachings about...".
                      Heard all that crap before? Yeah! How often? How deep is the ocean, how high is the sky?
                      Mr. Dan Dugan: I hereby request consideration of a new category for expulsion from the WC: excessive boring and repetitive posts. Peter cannot of course be nuked exp post facto, rather given another (one more) chance.
                      Frank

                      --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Tom wrote to Joel:
                      >
                      >
                      > > You're like an used occult car salesman!
                      >
                      >
                      > Though his wares keep changing. Last time we were graced with his presence, Joel opined that Steiner's work is simply "incomprehensible" today, because Steiner lived a century ago. This is a common claim for esoteric epistemologies, and one reason for the widespread esoteric aversion to history.
                      >
                      > In any case, it is certainly interesting to learn that Joel believes there are no Nazis, Jews, or atheists. Steiner did not share this belief, however. Steiner believed that there is such a thing as Jews. That is why he said and wrote the things he said and wrote about Jews. One of the things Steiner said and wrote about Jews is that Jews as a people should cease to exist. This claim is central to Steiner's teachings about Jews and Jewishness, and represents a core aspect of his overall scheme of racial and ethnic evolution.
                      >
                      > Some anthroposophists embrace Steiner's teachings about Jews. Some anthroposophists deny Steiner's teachings about Jews. Some anthroposophists are unaware of Steiner's teachings about Jews. All of these responses contribute to the persistence of anthroposophist antisemitism today. Anthroposophists who oppose antisemitism would do well to familiarize themselves with Steiner's teachings about Jews and repudiate the antisemitic aspects of those teachings.
                      >
                      > Greetings to all,
                      >
                      >
                      > Peter S.
                      >
                    • alicia h.
                      ... Wrong: The Spiritual Science of Dog: A Definitive Theory of Everything . Naturally. -a
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                        On 21 April 2011 17:49, Tom Mellett <TomBuoyed@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > PS Joel, I like your title: _The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything_. Did you know that Alicia, or interpid Swedish correspondent is preparing a book of her own on Canineosophy? Her working title I believe is:
                        > _The Art of Dog: a Potential Theory of Nothing_
                        >

                        Wrong: 'The Spiritual Science of Dog: A Definitive Theory of Everything'.

                        Naturally.

                        -a
                      • Peter Staudenmaier
                        ... Sure. But I m afraid it would still be game 1 of the first set, since Joel and Frank haven t begun to play yet. The game, after all, involves examining
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                          Tom wrote:


                          > Are we ready for Game 2 of the First Set?


                          Sure. But I'm afraid it would still be game 1 of the first set, since Joel and Frank haven't begun to play yet. The game, after all, involves examining textual evidence in historical context. It involves those devilish arguments that nobody every wins. It involves looking at actually existing anthroposophy rather than the Authentic Essence Of True Anthroposophy. Worst of all, for the Joel-and-Frank team, it involves reading Steiner's work.

                          With a few refreshing exceptions, that is a game anthroposophists won't play. Once they change their minds, I am available for as many repetitive sets as they would like. Greetings to all,


                          Peter S.
                        • Joel Wendt
                          On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM, Peter Staudenmaier wrote: Worst of all, for the Joel-and-Frank team, it involves reading Steiner s work.
                          Message 12 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                            On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@...>wrote:

                            "Worst of all, for the Joel-and-Frank team, it involves reading Steiner's
                            work."

                            Not so. The text never mattered. GA 2, 3 and 4 are about the scientific
                            study of one's own mind. Don't do that first, you'll never understand what
                            Steiner meant half the time, much less make real practical use of what he
                            pointed toward. Its always been about our own thinking, and not using
                            Steiner as an "authority". This just falls in the same lame trap the
                            Society fell into when it collapsed into disarray after Steiner died.
                            Interpreting Steiner's words can only lead to disagreement for the very act
                            of interpreting a text pretends that such a thinking activity leads to
                            knowledge.

                            A text never gives knowledge - only direct personal experience. But Steiner
                            was stuck with a civilization still bound to the intellectual (as if text
                            matters), so he did the best he could under the circumstances, which was
                            considerable. The French post-modernists with their de-constructionism took
                            a courageous step forward, although they missed certain self observational
                            possibilities (such as the inspirational aspects of us telling each other
                            our stories).

                            The textual arguments here are pissing into the wind - nothing is gained,
                            the descent into argument is itself a vanity (me believing I can persuade
                            you toward something you are not inclined to persuade yourself). We need to
                            show each other more respect (although respect sometimes means being
                            confrontational, instead of just nice and wimpy - there there Peter, Joel
                            doesn't want to play the game - so sorry. See War Games, the movie, when
                            even the inhuman AI computer (Joshua) realizes that the only winning move is
                            not to play the game at all.

                            joel


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • petekaraiskos
                            ... Actually, he s exposing STEINER S... ... I was a Step n Fetchit fan as a child... Colombo too... But I think we re dealing with more of a Gomer Pyle
                            Message 13 of 13 , Apr 21, 2011
                              --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mellett" <TomBuoyed@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > In any case, it is certainly interesting to learn that Joel believes there are no Nazis, Jews, or atheists. Steiner did not share this belief, however. Steiner believed that there is such a thing as Jews. That is why he said and wrote the things he said and wrote about Jews. One of the things Steiner said and wrote about Jews is that Jews as a people should cease to exist. This claim is central to Steiner's teachings about Jews and Jewishness, and represents a core aspect of his overall scheme of racial and ethnic evolution.
                              > ============================
                              >
                              > Ah, but Peter, you fail to realize and then marvel at Joel's incredibly subtle way of exposing your own anti-semitisn and racism.
                              >

                              Actually, he's exposing STEINER'S...

                              > Joel is just cleverer than you by half, Peter. And he did it in such an "aw shucks" Step'in'Fetchit way (hold on, that's a Negro reference and Joel is Caucasian) --- hmmm, better to say: in a Columbo way! Yes Columbo!
                              >

                              I was a Step 'n' Fetchit fan as a child... Colombo too... But I think we're dealing with more of a Gomer Pyle here...

                              > [NOTE: Columbo is an American pop reference to the bumbling but very successful TV detective Columbo played by Peter Falk.]
                              >
                              > You see, Peter, Joel came on here making his characteristically pompous and megalomaniacal sweeping generalizations about the non-existence of categories like race, gender, Jewry, Gentilism, etc. In short, he was playing the role of a full-bore Nominalist.
                              >
                              > And he played this role or gambit to the hilt, in order to force you to assert the reality existence of categories like Jewry, race, gender, etc., which you did exactly as he had planned.
                              >

                              If you will read the above that you yourself quoted, you will see, Tom, that Peter asserted no such thing. He talked about Joel's beliefs and then said "STEINER believed that there is such a thing as Jews". Peter, as he always does, left his own beliefs out of the discussion.

                              > So now you, Peter, are in the position of realism which is exactly that of Rudolf Steiner,

                              Um... because you mistook Steiner's position for Peter's?

                              > and therefore, the categories of Jew and non-Jew, and of course, by extension, the categories of race and even gender, are categories which are real, palpable, objective and anything but some pro-semitic and anti-racist scheme of abstract intellectual Nominalistic labeling. You, Peter, have just validated the reality of Semitic and racial categories, just as Rudolf Steiner did a hundred or so years ago!
                              >
                              > He gotcha, Peter!

                              No... I'm pretty sure he got YOU Tom!

                              >
                              > Joel Wendt has just hoist you upon your own petard!
                              >
                              > And this event therefore is an event of deepest WHS for THFEH.
                              >
                              > So the score now reads:
                              >
                              > JOEL--- 01
                              > PETER---00

                              JOEL---01
                              TOM---00


                              > Are we ready for Game 2 of the First Set?
                              >
                              > Tom the Gatekeeper, I mean, Scorekeeper
                              >

                              You'll have to do better than that if you're the one who's going to keep score Tom...


                              BTW... Welcome back Joel!

                              PK
                              Sharks feed in muddy waters!!!
                              http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2010/12/steiner-quotes-jews-racial-progression.html
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