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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

Born 1963, Stuttgart.

1986–1993 Study of human medicine at the University of Witten/Herdecke, in Berlin and Zurich. Doctoral thesis: "Attempt to systematize Rudolf Steiner's human physiological ideas. An analysis of the entire lecture and written work (Witten/Herdecke 1995).

1993–2000 Further training as a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy. Senior physician in the psychiatric department for adolescents and young adults at the Herdecke Community Hospital.

2000–2002 Research associate at the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology (Freiburg).

2002–2006 Head physician at the Ita Wegman Clinic Arlesheim (adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy); since 2006 establishment and management of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Anthroposophical Research

Since 2007 professorship for medical anthropology and ethics at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Alfter near Bonn); teaching in the Studium fundamentale and in the accompanying studies in anthroposophic medicine at the University/Witten-Herdecke

Since 2020, co-leader of the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Section of the School of Spiritual Science (Goetheanum)