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The Fundamental Social Law

Rudolf Steiner on the Work of the Individual and the Spirit of Community

Paperback
September 2011
9780880106542
More details
  • Publisher
    SteinerBooks
  • Published
    20th September 2011
  • ISBN 9780880106542
  • Language English
  • Pages 136 pp.
  • Size 5.5" x 8.5"
$15.00

The healthy social life is found
When in the mirror of each human being
The whole community finds its reflection
And when in the community
The virtue of each one is living.


Rudolf Steiner understood that human social, ethical, and moral development lagged far behind what had been achieved in knowledge, science, and technology; and that what human beings had achieved in these fields rested on what caused social and moral life to be untenable for so many, namely, the universal rule of egoism and self-interest.

In 1905, a historic year of political and economic crises, Rudolf Steiner formulated what he called the basic "social axiom” or “the cosmic law of work": The well-being of an entire group of individuals who work together is the greater, the less individuals claim the income resulting from their own accomplishments for themselves, that is, the more they contribute this income to their fellow workers and the more their own needs are met not through their own efforts but through the efforts of others.

Underlying this "fundamental social law" is the seminal realization that human social reality pivots on the question of work and compensation. Does one work for oneself, for one’s salary? Or does one work for others, the community or larger society? For Rudolf Steiner, it was critical to understand that work should be a free deed. In other words, work and income should be completely separated.

In this profound work, Peter Selg traces how, at the end of the Great War, with Steiner’s tireless efforts for the threefold movement, this fundamental social-spiritual insight moved into the center of his activities as an overriding practical and spiritual concern, rephrased as the "motto of social ethics," and deepened and filled with the full reality of Christ’s teachings and life.

Anyone interested in a just, equitable, healthy, and spirit-based social future should read The Fundamental Social Law.

Peter Selg

Peter Selg studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin and, until 2000, worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke Hospital in Germany. Dr. Selg is director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy (Arlesheim, Switzerland), professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany), and co-leader of the General Anthroposophical Section at the Goetheanum. He is the author of numerous books on Rudolf Steiner, anthroposophy, medical ethics, and the development of culture and consciousness.