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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Basic Issues of the Social Question
GA 23

This book was written in 1919, just after the First World War, and suggests solutions to the social, political and economic problems of those times. At the end of the book, Steiner writes: "... either people will accommodate their thinking to the requirements of reality, or they will have learned nothing from the calamity and will cause innumerable new ones to occur in the future." History since then has proven these words to be prophetic. The "social question" has not been resolved, nor have steps been taken to initiate the healing process. We all too often look to the political state for the solutions to all social problems, be they of an economic, cultural or political nature. Steiner's concept of a tripartite, or threefold society in which the economic, cultural and political spheres would enjoy relative autonomy within the social organism has not yet been tried. This book contains his basic ideas for the restructuring of society. This translation is by Frank Thomas Smith.

  1. The true nature of the Social Question
  2. Finding Real Solutions to the Social Problems of the Times
  3. Capitalism and Social Ideas
  4. International Relations Between Social Organisms