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Steiner’s Legacy

Despite a long record of opposing prejudice and discrimination in any shape or form, Rudolf Steiner is occasionally depicted as a racist. Some even describe Anthroposophy as “racist to the core”. These attacks are so ludicrous as to be silly if the charges weren’t so serious, for it does not take much reading in Rudolf Steiner‘s works for the uninformed reader to become aware of how strongly Steiner campaigned for the overcoming of all forms of prejudice, and thus how absurd the accusation really is. Yet as these claims are repeated more frequently, a danger arises, namely that something starts to be perceived as true simply because it is repeated so often. In our media saturated age, opinions are often formed by quick soundbites rather than careful consideration, and advertisers and propagandists of every persuasion exploit this fact. Another tendency also comes into play: the obsession with sensationalism that is so prevalent in our culture contributes to the situation where people are more eager to hear that once revered personalities actually had feet of clay than to build well-informed opinions. So there is a real danger that Rudolf Steiner‘s life work dedicated to overcoming prejudice might actually become associated in the minds of a many with an opposite ideal, the discredited and harmful doctrine of racism and anti-Semitism, simply through having the accusation repeated frequently. And it is very easy to throw labels like this around.

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