Social Threefolding

Rebalancing Culture, Politics and Economics: An Introductory Reader

Social Threefolding
Rudolf Steiner By (author)
Stephen E. Usher Introduction by
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Rudolf Steiner Press

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5.5 X 8.5 in
208 pg

POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy


In the devastating aftermath of World War I, Rudolf Steiner gained a reputation as a leading social thinker. One mainstream reviewer of his book Towards Social Renewal referred to it as “...perhaps the most widely read of all books on politics appearing since the war.” Steiner’s proposals for the reconstruction of Europe and rebuilding the crumbling social structure were thus discussed publicly as a serious alternative to both Communism and capitalism.

Steiner’s “threefold” ideas involve the progressive independence of socioeconomic, political, and cultural institutions. This should be realized through the promotion of human rights and equality in political life, freedom in the cultural realm, and associative cooperation in economics and business.

In this carefully assembled anthology of lectures and writing by Rudolf Steiner, Stephen Usher gathers key concepts and insights to form a coherent picture of social threefolding. Apart from fundamental lectures on the theme, the volume also features the full content of Steiner’s unique Memoranda of 1917. The original texts are complemented with the editor’s introduction, “Seminal Ideas and Historic Moments,” plus commentary and notes.

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction: Seminal Ideas and Historic Moments, by Stephen E. Usher

1. Psychological Cognition
2. The Social Question
3. The Science of the Spiritual and the Social Question
4. The Social Question and Theosophy
5. Memoranda of 1917
6. The Metamorphosis of Intelligence
7. Culture, Law, and Economy
8. Central Europe between East and West

Further Reading

Author Bio

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Christian von Arnim is the founder and Editor in Chief of News Network Anthroposophy (NNA), "a news agency which covers news and events of interest to anyone wishing to develop a spiritually objective view of the world." He is an experienced radio and print journalist who has worked with news such organizations as the BBC (World Service) and The Scotsman (Foreign Leader Writer). Christian is the founding Editor of NNA. He has translated and contributed to several books, including Eclipses 2005-2017 and Moon Rhythms in Nature. 
Stephen E. Usher, Ph.D., is an economist with expertise in money, banking, and financial markets. He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan and served as a staff economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1978 to 1980. His tenure overlapped with Paul Volcker, president of the NY Fed until President Carter appointed him Fed Chairman in August 1979. After heading Anthroposophic Press from 1980 to 1988, Mr. Usher joined a premiere international firm of consulting economists (NERA) and specialized in securities and financial markets. Mr. Usher established his own economic consulting business in 1999. He has lectured hundreds of times in business, cultural, and academic settings and taught introductory economics courses at Rockland Community College in New York and principles of money, banking and financial markets at SUNY as adjunct faculty. Mr. Usher has published numerous books.