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friedrich braun
Tuesday, October 26th, 2004, 11:52 PM
Rudolf Steiner & the Mystique of Blood and Soil: The Völkisch Views of the Founder of Anthroposophy

By Kerry Bolton
Reviewed by Troy Southgate
Available from Renaissance Press


Having studied H.P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine to a certain extent, as well as the development and significance of the Theosophical Society, I for one was particularly pleased to receive a booklet on Steiner. I had, for some time, rather dismissively regarded this individual as being little more than a guru of the liberal New Age Movement. It now appears that Steiner not only had much in common with Blavatsky’s own pronouncements concerning the root races of mankind but also took things one step further by openly alluding to the inherent differences between them.

Kerry Bolton unearths Steiner’s links to the philosophical elite and men like Goethe, Herder, Haeckel and Nietzsche, following the biological thread of racialism through to the very beginnings of Ariosophy and Franz von Liebenfels’ New Templars. Steiner’s thoughts on Race and the unique qualities of the Aryan psyche are explored in depth, with the author quoting at some length from works such as The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations [1915], Materialism and the Task of Athroposophy [1921], Spiritual Science As a Foundation for Social Forms [1920] and many others.

Steiner himself is shown to have worked alongside Austrian nationalists promoting folkish unity; to have emphasised the Nordic Race as the perfect expression of mankind and the one bearing the most potential for the ongoing process of biological evolution; to have developed a planetary system alluding to the innate qualities of each race; and to have warned against racial miscegenation and the loss of Aryan Man’s spiritual potential.

The Third Reich, however, denounced Steiner’s teachings, although it was probably wary of his growing influence. The author points out that, at the same time, many Nazi luminaries - among them Rudolf Hess and those in the NSDAP’s ecological wing such as Siefert, Ludovici, Haase and Walther Darre himself - began to warm to his ideas, particularly as the Anthroposophists have always been committed to organic farming techniques.

Finally, just to re-emphasise the effect that Steiner’s work has had on racial nationalism and the concept of Blood and Soil, Bolton quotes from Biehl & Staudenmaier’s Ecofascism: Lessons From the German Experience, which speaks of Anthroposophy thus: “This ideology mixes bizarre racialist spiritual theory (which somewhat unsurprisingly concludes that European whites are at the hierarchical scale of humanity) with concepts such as ‘biodynamic farming’, a form of organic agriculture which tries to foster a more organic relationship between cultivator and soil.”