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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Your search for fundamental social law returned 300 results

34. The Fundamental Social Law (an exerpt)

Rudolf Steiner
There is a fundamental social law which spiritual science teaches, and which is as follows: The well-being of a community of people working together will be the greater, the less the individual claims for himself the proceeds of his work, i.e. the more of these proceeds he makes over to his fellow-workers, the more his own needs are satisfied, not out of his own work but out of the work done by others. Every arrangement in a community that is contrary to this law will inevitably engender somewhere after a while distress and want. It is a fundamental law, which holds good for all social life with the same absoluteness and necessity as any law of nature within a particular field of natural causation.
It is a mischievous delusion to believe that particular persons sent up to some parliament as delegates from the people can do anything for the good of mankind, unless their activity is in conformity with the fundamental social law. Wherever this law finds outer expression, wherever anyone is at work on its lines—so far as is possible in that position in which he is placed within the community—good results will be attained, though it be but in the single case and in never so small a measure.
34. Anthroposophy and the Social Question: Anthroposophy and the Social Question

Rudolf Steiner
Most certainly a man needs only a glimpse into social conditions, and, let his theory as to the fundamental laws of life be ever so defective, he will cease to say: “Why doesn't the lazy rascal work?”
Every institution in a community of human beings that is contrary to this law will inevitably engender in some part of it, after a while, suffering and want. It is a fundamental law which holds good for all social life with the same absoluteness and necessity as any law of nature within a particular field of natural causation.
It is a mischievous delusion to believe that some particular persons, sent up to some parliament as delegates from the people, can do anything for the good of mankind, unless their whole line of activity is in conformity with this, the fundamental social law. Wherever this law finds outward expression, wherever anyone is at work along its lines—so far as is possible for him in that position in which he is placed within the human community—there good results will be attained, though it be but in the one single instance and in ever so small a measure.
328. The Social Question: The evolution of social thinking and willing and life's circumstances for current humanity. 12 Feb 1919, Zürich
Tr. Hanna von Maltitz

Rudolf Steiner
In my Newspaper called “Lucifer Gnosis” I tried to point out this fundamental social law in my contribution about the social question, which was published already at the beginning of the century. However, people were sermonizing about many things on this subject and even today, it falls to deaf ears, unfortunately. This law implies that no one, in as far as he or she belongs to the social body, the social organism, actually works for himself or herself.
This is the pure function human labour has in a social law within the social organism. Whoever dispels this law, works against the social organism. One works against the social organism when one implements the idea which has come about in the more recent history that the proletarian worker must live from the proceeds of his labour.
332a. The Social Future: Legal Questions. The Task and the Limitations of Democracy. Public Law. Criminal Law. 26 Oct 1919, Zürich
Tr. Harry Collison

Rudolf Steiner
On the other hand we hear that the social order must be so constituted that he can satisfy his wants within its limits. Here we are brought back to two fundamental elements of human life.
Then the fundamental error of the social question, the belief that the economic life need only be transformed in order to attain to new conceptions of law, will no longer be met by a theoretic answer.
The framing of laws is eminently a social matter. The moment we apply to a judge it is probably because we are concerned, either in a super-social or an anti-social matter, in a matter which has fallen out of the social life.
24. The Renewal of the Social Organism: Fundamental Fallacy in Social Thought
Tr. Ethel Bowen-Wedgwood, Ruth Marriot, Frederick Amrine

Rudolf Steiner
15. Fundamental Fallacy in Social Thought An idea such as the threefold social organism is constantly met with the following objection: “What the social movement is striving for is the elimination of economic inequalities.
They believe that when the changes in the social order that they have in mind come about, this possibility will exist. For anyone who looks more deeply into the state of human affairs, the principal cause of today's social evils is seen in the very fact that such a way of thinking has become the prevalent one.
All that must come about in the social sphere now and in the near future, depends on the courage to take this step forward in the cultivation of the spirit and the establishment of law.
186. The Fundamental Social Demand of Our Times: The Transforming of Instinctive into Conscious Impulses 13 Dec 1918, Dornach
Tr. Unknown

Rudolf Steiner
We have been studying from many points of view the social impulses of the age, of the present day and of the future. You will have seen, among the many and varied phenomena which these impulses bring forth, that there is one apparently fundamental tendency.
For Ricardo and Lasalle could only have meant that if the social structure is left to itself this iron Law of Wages will begin to work. It was just in order that it should not work, that Workers' Associations were founded and that the help and influence of the State was called into play.
All other things they flee from and avoid. The fact is that not only the social thoughts but the social feelings and in the last resort the social events of our time have evolved under the influence of this flight from the spirit, this avoidance of spiritual things.
186. The Fundamental Social Demand of Our Times: The Logic of Thought and the Logic of Reality 14 Dec 1918, Dornach
Tr. Unknown

Rudolf Steiner
In the domain in which I have been speaking to you now for some weeks—in the domain of social life, of the structure of human society, many new demands result simply from the fundamental premises that I have set before you concerning the three-fold division of society which will be necessary for the future.
Then I explained how men did indeed receive Inspirations for the social institutions which they were to make; and how in truth it was not merely the one monarch following the other as in later times, but these things were determined according to the laws received from the Spiritual World.
I said: It is characteristic how men have observed, ever since Ricardo, Adam Smith and the rest, that the economic order entails this consequence: That in the social life of man together, human labor-power is used like a commodity, brought on to the market like a commodity, treated like a commodity after the laws of supply and demand.
186. The Fundamental Social Demand of Our Times: The Metamorphosis of Intelligence 15 Dec 1918, Dornach
Tr. Unknown

Rudolf Steiner
Without a knowledge of them it is altogether impossible to think fruitfully about the social question. Now let us ask ourselves (we have often touched upon this question, but today we will bring out certain other details),—let us ask ourselves what is the fundamental quality of soul, the fundamental and decisive quality which is brought out in the age that began in the fifteenth century and that will last, as I told you, on into the third millennium?
A unitary idea you must extend over the whole Earth, but of a thing inherently threefold you can say: “In the West the one is predominant; in the Middle the second is predominant; and in the East the third is predominant.” Thus what you find as the ideal of the social structure will be differentiated over the face of the Earth. This is the fundamental difference of the view, here presented out of Spiritual Science, from other views.
The second thing that must be attained is a regulation of social conditions, such that before the law or constitution, before the government in fact, all men are equal: Liberty in spiritual matters; Equality in the State (for if you will, one third may continue to be called so); and Fraternity in relation to the economic life.
186. The Fundamental Social Demand of Our Times: Understand One-Another 21 Dec 1918, Dornach
Tr. Unknown

Rudolf Steiner
In Bolshevism, my dear friends, the intention is to found a social order to the exclusion of all things spiritual—to group mankind in their social life so that the Spiritual plays no part in it at all.
I said: If we really see what is living in the world of man today, the mutual relationship of men, their social life, appears to us like a social carcinoma—a cancerous growth—eating its way through mankind. Men had only shut their eyes to this carcinoma of the social commonweal.
This too creates at the very foundations of all our social order the character of Egoism. For egoism cannot but prevail in the social (I say once more, in the social order—please understand me aright) if to obtain what he requires for his own needs a man must get his labor paid for.
191. Cosmogony, Freedom, Altruism: Fundamental Impulses in History 12 Oct 1919, Dornach
Tr. Unknown

Rudolf Steiner
And on the foundation of this economic matter-of-fact world, as a sort of superstructure upon it, are supposed to have grown up all those developments that we see in the way of Law, Moral Conventions, and especially spiritual life, including, of course, Art, Religion, Science, etc.
When one sees these things in the present day, in an age when the social situation is so critical, it shows how spiritual frivolity and cynicism of a spiritual kind have taken possession of men's lives.
We shall only get right by resolutely and consciously keeping before men's eyes the necessity for a new form of spiritual civilisation, for that alone can be the true starting-point for a new form of social civilisation. For the social order cannot any longer be evolved out of the economic order, but only out of a spiritual element that shall have sunk into the economic one.

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