- File Size: 468 KB
- Print Length: 38 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: SouthernCrossReview.org (December 30, 2012)
- Publication Date: December 30, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AV4YXU8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,401,386 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The History and Actuality of Imperialism Kindle Edition
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Steiner's main point in these lectures is that the history of imperialism goes through three stages. In the first, exemplified by ancient China or Assyria, the ruler is seen as divine, his henchmen as demigods, and no distinction is made between the material and the spiritual. In the second stage, the rulers are seen as representatives of God or the gods, but not as gods themselves. This corresponds to a stage in which the spiritual is no longer concretely present “here”, except in the form of symbols. Ancient Egypt is a transitional form between the first and the second stage, whereas the Holy Roman Empire is a typical representative of the “pure” second stage. During the third and final stage, the symbols become increasingly more hollow and turn into mere “platitudes” (a word Steiner almost obsessively use throughout the lectures). In the realm of imperialism, this corresponds to a stage where imperial domination is seen in strictly economic terms, without any spiritual embellishments. This is obviously connected to the secularization and disenchantment of the modern world at large.
Steiner takes the opportunity to criticize the Versailles peace treaty, Wilson and the “secret societies” in the Anglo-American world, which is interesting since the lectures were given in Britain (Steiner supported the Central Powers during World War I, something long denied by devout Anthroposophists). Yet, it's obvious that his criticism of “imperialism” isn't simply directed at Britain or the United States, but has a more general significance. Steiner believes that the “platitudes” should be exposed and the basely economic character of modern imperialism be laid bare. In this way, the ground can be cleared for the re-enchantment of the world, when people realize the need for concrete everyday spirituality as an antidote to the rampant materialism of our age.
This is connected to Steiner's belief that even materialism and scientism play “positive” roles in the evolution of consciousness, as a kind of antithesis to “ancient clairvoyance” and a preparation for the future synthesis of Anthroposophy. Steiner even attempts to see positive traits in the Masonic lodges he believes are unwitting tools of the real “secret societies”.
As I said, I don't think these lectures are particularly interesting, and I will therefore only give them two stars.
He identifies the "reality" of economic activity and indicates the type of progress that is needed in the economic sector