Anthroposophy and Extremism are Incompatible

Germany. A working group of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany (AGiD) has formulated seven reasons to explain why anthroposophy and right-wing extremism are incompatible. Below is a summary.

The authors’ first reason is the fact that the core of anthroposophical philosophy and practice is a philosophy of freedom and the individual development of human beings. Accordingly, it is opposed to any form of collectivism, nationalism, and, therefore also, racism. Secondly, anthroposophy and its founder, Rudolf Steiner, have at all times been rejected by National Socialists. In 1922, for example, an armed Nazi group perpetrated an attack on Steiner that he just narrowly escaped. Reason number three refers to the fact that representatives of National Socialism viewed the philosophy of anthroposophy as a “danger to the state” and as an “internationally oriented” enemy as early as the 1920s. Waldorf education, oriented toward the individual, also stood in stark contrast to the National Socialist educational principles of conformity and collectivism. Thus, under the Nazi regime, anthroposophical institutions and Waldorf schools were closed and banned. The fourth reason: as early as 1923, anyone could become a member of the Anthroposophical Society, regardless of their national or religious background. Even today, anthroposophical and Waldorf educational institutions clearly position themselves in public statements and in their daily practice against any form of racism. Reason number five is that the philosophy and practice of anthroposophy, with its social reform and civil society approach based on the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, stands in clear opposition to all radicalized attitudes. The sixth reason: anthroposophy, with its idea of spirituality and universal human individuality, distinguishes itself from a reductionist and identitarian1 view of humanity. Physical, sociological, and cultural characteristics play no role in the spiritual individuality and development of identity. The seventh reason cited by the authors is the anthroposophical value of the free unfolding of each individuality and the assumption of responsibility based on knowledge. This requires conditions for a societal framework that are incompatible with right-wing radicalism, such as freedom of science, art, and religion as well as freedom of opinion, democracy, and pluralism as the foundations of coexistence and, furthermore, a free, solidarity,2 and sustainable economy.

More Anthroposophie gegen Rassismus

Translation Joshua Kelberman
Photo Markus Winkler

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  1. Identitarianism is a post-war European far-right political ideology asserting the right of peoples of European descent to culture and territory which are claimed to belong exclusively to people defined as European. . . . Some Identitarians explicitly espouse ideas of xenophobia and racialism, but most limit their public statements to more docile language. Some among them promote the creation of white ethno-states, to the exclusion of migrants and non-white residents.” Dictionary of Populism.
  2. “Solidarity economy rests on our shared values: cooperation, democracy, social and racial justice, environmental sustainability, and mutualism. Interdependence and respect are central.” Solidarity Economy Principles Project.

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