Britain and the European Union – should we stay or should we go?

europe-flag via Reuters:Stefan Wermuth

Photo: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth via the Daily Telegraph

On 23rd June 2016 the British people will vote in a referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom should remain or withdraw as a member of the European Union.

This will be the second occasion on which the British people have voted in a referendum on their relationship with Europe (the first was in 1975) and it will be a highly significant moment in the history of the UK. I’ve been wondering about which way I shall vote, and whether anthroposophy can give any pointers to help me in my decision-making. This blog post is the result and is longer than usual, reflecting as it does just a few of the complexities involved in coming to a view on such a historically-charged issue.

The 1975 referendum

I’m old enough to have voted in the 1975 referendum on whether Britain should stay in what was then called the European Economic Community. At that time I voted Out, persuaded by the argument that the EEC was created in the interest of bankers and big business and was fundamentally undemocratic.

As Tony Benn of the Out campaign put it: “My view (of the EEC) has always been not that I am hostile to foreigners but I am in favour of democracy. I think they are building an empire and want us to be part of that empire, and I don’t want that.”

tony benn via the colossus.co

Tony Benn – photo via the colossus.co

However, most Britons came to different conclusions and the 1975 result was a landslide for the pro-Europeans. On a 65% turnout, more than two-thirds of voters backed British membership. Every part of the UK voted to stay in, except for the Shetlands and the Western Isles. It was the most emphatic endorsement of the European project the British have ever given.

The 2016 referendum

Forty years after that first British referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron has called a second referendum on 23rd June to try to quell a rising tide of anti-EU sentiment within the UK. By now, Mr Cameron is probably regretting his decision to hold a referendum, as far from shooting the UK Independence Party’s fox, its main effect to date has been to split his governing Conservative party apart.

cameron via uk.businessinsider

Prime Minister David Cameron – photo via uk.businessinsider

Angus Jenkinson, an anthroposophist and business consultant has written an interesting piece for LinkedIn, called The Fallacy of Brexit, in which en passant he looks at Cameron’s motives for holding the referendum:

“…In the first case, why are we having a referendum at all. Was a majority of the people of Britain calling for a referendum?  We are told not.  There are many people who would like to leave, the polls put it at 39%, but the betting houses are predicting we will vote to stay.  The real reason for the referendum is to deal with the politics of the Conservative Party. Approaching the last election, David Cameron needed to stop the haemorrhage of his fellow conservatives to UKIP.  He promised them a referendum after an election he did not think he would win. To his and the embarrassment of many Conservatives, others now wish to take the opportunity of a mass refugee migration to convince the public at large that it is time to leave. I do not see this as democracy but as the imposition of the internal politics of a party on the nation. It is nasty bureaucracy”.

Angus is firmly in the “Remain” camp and other friends and colleagues to whom I’ve spoken take the same view. We know that Rudolf Steiner felt that it was time for the age of nationalism and nation states to draw to a gradual close, and that would seem to accord with voting to stay within the EU. Probably most people in the circles I move in are also thinking of voting to stay in, on the grounds that we’re all European now and the EU is much better at environmental protection, human rights and general fair-minded decency than a British Conservative government is ever going to be. But is that the main or most important consideration?

What is the real issue?

To my mind, the issue is not Europe, with its great history, incomparable culture and diverse peoples – we shouldn’t confuse Europe with the EU. Nor is it that we in Britain need some European protection from the excesses of an unfettered and reactionary Conservative government. No, the issue is the European Union and the ultimate goal for the EU to become a superstate – the United States of Europe. Anglo-American elitists have been working hard behind the scenes to bring this about for more than a century now, because they see the United States of Europe not only as a bulwark of support for the USA in future struggles with Asia but also as the first phase in the formation of a system of world governance.

Here we come up against something that Rudolf Steiner warned about, which is the agenda of those behind what the first President Bush called in 1990 the “New World Order.” After Germany’s defeat in the First World War, Steiner made the following observation:

“… the actual victor is the being of  the Anglo-American peoples, and…this being…is destined to dominate the world in the future…It will be easy to win external dominion, for this will be done with the help of forces for which the winners can claim no credit. The transfer of external dominion will take place with the relentlessness of a force of nature…Will there be a sufficient number among those impelled to assume external dominion…who feel a responsibility for inserting into this entirely external materialistic dominion…an impetus for spiritual life? What is more, there is not much time in which this can be done. The middle of this century is a very important moment….the dominion of materialism bears within it the seed of destruction. To shoulder external dominion means to take on, and to live within, the forces of destruction, the forces of sickness in the world. Out of the new seed of the spirit will come something that can bear mankind onwards into the future. This seed will have to be nurtured, and those to whom dominion has fallen will be especially responsible for this.”

Rudolf Steiner, Ideas for a New Europe, lecture series in Dornach Dec 1919 to Feb 1920

Steiner is here saying that the elites of the Anglophone countries will be exerting a dominion in economic, cultural and political life in entirely materialistic terms and that this will lead inevitably to cultural disintegration and disaster. What is really interesting is that he is also saying that it is the people in these English-speaking countries who will have to find a way to counteract these forces by planting the new seed of the spirit that can bear humankind towards a better future.

The European Union and its part in the New World Order

The ultimate goal of these elites is world government, the first phase being the creation of the United States of Europe. This phase started in 1951 with the European Coal and Steel Community, which then became the European Economic Community, and which is currently the European Union. The second phase of the drive to world government is the creation of a Pan-American Union. Preparations for this have already been put in place with NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the USA. The third phase, the one which will be most difficult of all to achieve due to the disparity of cultures involved, is to convert the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum into an Asian Union.

This New World Order and the move to world government has been planned by the current elites such as the Bilderberg Group, the World Economic Forum at Davos and their forerunners such as the Pilgrims, the Skull and Bones Club, the Cecil Rhodes/Alfred Milner group for many, many years and has involved many well-known statesmen. Here, for example, is Winston Churchill in a speech at the Albert Hall given on 14th May 1947:

“The creation of an authoritative, all-powerful world order is the ultimate aim towards which we must strive. Unless some effective World-Super-Government can be set up and brought quickly into action, the prospects for peace and human progress are dark and doubtful. But let there be no mistake upon the main issue.  Without a United Europe there is no sure prospect of world government. It is the urgent and indispensable step towards the realisation of that ideal”.

Ironically, Churchill who was an old-fashioned imperialist, never envisaged Britain as part of what became the EU. He felt that the British Empire should endure and, as someone born to an American mother and a British father, saw Britain and America working together to spread Anglo-American values throughout the world. He must have felt betrayed when it became clear after the Second World War that, through the Marshall Plan, the American government was bent upon depriving Britain of its colonies and taking for itself much of the trade with those countries.

Winston Churchil AP Photo

Winston Churchill – photo via AP Photos

Back in 1947, Churchill saw himself as a patrician doing his best for the decent people in the lower orders:

“What is it that all these wage-earners, skilled artisans, soldiers and tillers of the soil require, deserve, and may be led to demand? Is it not a fair chance to make a home, to reap the fruits of their toil, to cherish their wives, to bring up their children in a decent manner and to dwell in peace and safety, without fear or bullying or monstrous burdens or exploitation, however this may be imposed upon them? That is their heart’s desire. That is what we mean to win for them.”

Churchill’s heart was in the right place and those things he listed may well be what millions yearned for; but the ordinary people were not to be allowed to seek for them in their own way, democratically. They were not to be told the ultimate goal but were to be led by a series of little lies and evasions along the path which the international elite had already determined would best satisfy the yearnings of the many – a United States of Europe that would be ‘little sister’ to the USA’s ‘Big Brother’.

The United States of Europe and the road to world government

An example of how this worked in practice was the way in which British citizens were lied to from the 1960s onwards, when the British government first began to try to persuade the British people that joining the EEC would be in our interests because it would make Britain richer and more prosperous; it was presented as merely a kind of economic club, the purpose of which was to increase trade. Had we been told from the beginning that the goal of the EEC was to do away with Britain’s national sovereignty and to incorporate Britain as just one member state of a centralised federal union, we would never have voted for it. But that goal of a United States of Europe – for Winston Churchill, for Jean Monnet (founding father of the EU), for US statesman Dean Acheson, for President John F. Kennedy, for former Prime Minister Edward Heath (who took Britain into the EEC) and many other prominent transatlantic figures – was in fact always the destination, on the long road to a world government.

World government, after all, sounds quite benign – until you look at the words of those who are planning for it. Here’s Brook Chisholm, former director of the UN World Health Organisation, in 1991:

“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas.”

And here is the famous French naturalist Jacques Cousteau, also in 1991, quoted in the UNESCO Courier:

“It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilised and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per year. “

UNESCO has previous form here. In 1948, for instance, Julian Huxley, the British scientist and first head of UNESCO (and brother of Aldous Huxley), wrote:

“Even though…any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is handled with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that is now unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”

rockefeller image via beforeitsnews.com

Image via beforeitsnews.com

And in a meeting of the Bilderberg Group in 1991, David Rockefeller, President of the Council of Foreign Relations and of Chase Manhattan Bank said:

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promise of discretion for almost 40 years…It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practised in past centuries.”

Yes, surely we would all be much happier with an intellectual elite and world bankers deciding everything for us – except that following the financial crisis of 2008 we now know where that leads. We are all still paying for it, while our public services are slashed to pieces or privatised, and by contrast the bankers are unpunished and continue to take huge risks within a financial system that is still largely unreformed.

Rudolf Steiner’s warning about a world dominion based solely on economic advantage

“A fundamental concept for the western areas which are so mired in platitudes must be to see the social organism as something living. And one sees it as living only when it is considered in its threefold nature. It is just those whose favorable economic position allows them to spread an [economic] imperialism over practically the whole world who have the terrible responsibility of recognizing that the cultivation of a true spiritual life must be poured into this imperialism. It is ironic that an economic empire which spread over the whole world was founded on the British Isles and then when they were seeking mystical spirituality turned to those whom they had economically conquered and exploited. [India — Tr.] The obligation exists to allow one’s own spiritual substance to flow into the social organism. That is the awareness which our British friends should take with them, that now, in this worldwide important historic moment, in all the world’s economic institutions where English is spoken, the responsibility exists to introduce true spirituality into the exterior economic empire. It’s an either/or situation: Either efforts remain exclusively oriented towards the economy — in which case the fall of earthly civilization is the inevitable result — or spirit will be poured into this economic empire, in which case what was intended for earthly evolution will be achieved. I would like to say: Every morning we should bear this in mind very seriously and all activities should be organized according to this impulse. The bell tolls with extreme urgency at present — with terrible urgency.”

Rudolf Steiner in Dornach, Feb 22 1920 Lecture 3, The History and Actuality of Imperialism

Britain is told to step back in line

cameron obama via metro.co.uk

President Barack Obama and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron wave from the steps of 10 Downing Street, London before a meeting Friday, April, 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

If we needed any further convincing that the USA is angry with Britain about the referendum, all it will have taken was the recent visit of President Obama to London and his extraordinary threat that Britain would be at the back of a 10-year long queue to negotiate a trade deal should we be foolish enough to vote Leave. Let us put aside for the moment the irony that the leader of a country that was founded after fighting for independence from a foreign empire is now seeking to convince the British that they don’t need their own independence from a latter-day empire. Let us also discount the warnings of no less than eight former US Treasury secretaries of the dangers ahead if Britain leaves the EU. All I will say is that we don’t have a trade deal with the USA at the moment (neither does the EU, although it’s currently negotiating one in secret) and yet we seem to be trading perfectly satisfactorily without one.

The threat of TTIP

And why is the USA so insistent that we shouldn’t leave the EU? Could it be anything to do with the TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently being negotiated in secret between the EU and the USA? There is concern that TTIP will enable companies to sue governments where state measures harm profits.  It will also open up Europe to rapacious US corporations, keen to find new profitable areas to exploit through the privatisation of our health and education services.

Richard House in an excellent article for News Network Anthroposophy has described what is likely to happen to our education system once forced academisation (preparing the ground for TTIP) comes in. However, TTIP is much more about power than about trade, and if national governments are faced with the possibility of very expensive lawsuits from very wealthy corporations should these governments have the temerity to introduce policies that hinder the corporate sector’s pursuit of profit so as to protect the environment or workers’ rights (which is what will be possible through TTIP) then these governments are far less likely to introduce those policies. This will be even more the case in poorer countries.

Iain Dale via LBC

Iain Dale -photo via LBC Radio

The Conservative media commentator, Iain Dale, has just woken up to the dangers of TTIP, and has written in his blog:

“Until this week, we only suspected what its contents are. Its drafting was so secret that the European Commission banned any knowledge of the negotiations. Anyone who revealed the contents were threatened with criminal proceedings. This week, a draft of the agreement was leaked to Greenpeace and it makes for pretty horrifying reading.

One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect, it means that unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically-elected governments.

For example, if the Government introduces an environmental tax on fracking which affects the profit of a US mining company, they can sue for loss of profits. Totally outrageous. It also forces public sector organisations such as the NHS to effectively open up all their services to privatisation. Now that may be a good idea, but it is our Government that should decide to do this – not TTIP.

US-manufactured GM food products will be forced on EU countries who currently ban them. I could go on. It’s an issue which even many Remain supporters are uncomfortable with. In essence it’s an affront to democracy. There is some debate about whether national governments have a veto over its final draft. Some say it is subject to Qualified Majority Voting. In my opinion, it’s so important that there should be a referendum on it in each of the 28 countries.”

The European multinationals want us to stay in

The European corporate sector, as represented by the CEOs of Philips, Volvo, Shell, Fiat, Nestle, BP etc, is also very keen that Britain should stay in the EU. They all belong to an organisation based in Brussels called the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT). It’s a private club whose only members are the CEOs of the biggest European multinational corporations.

The ERT was instrumental in forming the single market in the first place, in 1985. The aim of the ERT (and of the single market) is to promote growth and to orient the European economy towards exports, in order to obtain greater global market share for European corporations. ERT members are on very close terms with European Commissioners – they dine at each other’s homes, they meet regularly during work hours and they provide commissioners with places on the boards of their corporations in a classic example of the “revolving door” between government and the multinationals.

Many reports originating from the ERT end up as Commission policy almost word-for-word. For example, the ERT decided that we need to expand the motorway network in Europe, to facilitate growth and exports, and almost exactly the same map that they produced was used by the Commission and adopted by the European Parliament.

The Global Redesign Initiative

But the best-laid plans of these elites can still go awry, partly through increased access by ordinary people to hitherto confidential information via the internet (viz Edward Snowden), and partly by unforeseen world events which are having a massive impact on people’s lives. Recently we can see that at least one of the wheels has fallen off the New World Order project bandwagon. In particular, the prospect of creating a United States of Europe is receding into the distance as the monetary union fiasco and migration disasters have demonstrated the inability of the EU to operate effectively in the interests of its members.   And so the global elites and the corporations have come up with their best – and most scary – idea yet: the Global Redesign Initiative.

Their argument is that when it comes to tackling global problems, nation-states and their public politics are not up to the job. They must therefore be replaced by a much more efficient new system in which ‘stakeholders’ –- that is transnational corporations, a few powerful governments, selected intellectuals and invited members of ‘civil society’ – will henceforth manage the world’s affairs together. Governments will become merely one actor among several running global affairs.

Dr Harris Gleckman via YouTube

Dr Harris Gleckman of the Transnational Institute – photo via YouTube

National governments can no longer control transnational corporations, and can no longer govern their own countries. If they try, in ways that inconvenience multinational corporations and their investors, those investors will remove their money from that country and force it to change direction. There is an excellent video entitled “How do corporations want to run the world in future?” featuring Dr Harris Gleckman of the Transnational Institute, who explains what the Global Redesign Initiative is all about.

The economic arguments for staying in

What about the economic arguments for staying in? The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has been trying to scare us with some truly absurd future scenarios. But what does seem to be the case is that Britain’s annual EU subscription of some £10 billion each year actually gives us nothing in return – yes, nothing, for the figure is calculated after netting off everything British farmers and scientists and others at present receive from the EU.

I’m no economist and I can be pulled this way or that by convincing-sounding arguments put forward by either side. But I’ve recently read a very good and evenly-balanced post on the “Notes on the Next Bust” blog, which comments on the UK Treasury’s report detailing the costs to Britain of leaving the EU. To my mind, it makes it clear that no-one actually knows what would happen and that it is far from certain that leaving the EU would be detrimental to Britain.

Can the EU reform itself?

This has been a longer-than-usual posting and I’ve not even touched upon some other important issues such as: the lack of democracy in the EU structures, the lack of effective measures to deal with security and defence, terrorism, money laundering and tax evasion, immigration, etc. One European response is to say that it just proves how we need “more Europe”: if only the EU had more overall power and less internal squabbling then for example it could maintain its own borders. In theory, perhaps, this is true, but experience is telling us that the EU is, by its constitution and because of its sprawling size, a system of bureaucratic regulation, but not a system of democratic, decision-making government whose citizens can believe in it.

We should always remember that changes in the EU to make it less corporate-centred and less signed up to the neo-liberal agenda are more or less impossible, because they would require changes to the Treaties; and these treaties can only be changed by the unanimous vote of 28 countries.

Rudolf Steiner’s ideas for a new Europe

Rudolf Steiner via Adoc photos - Corbis

Rudolf Steiner – photo via Adoc Photos/Corbis

What did Steiner want for Europe? Steiner hoped for a threefold association of European nations that would themselves be threefold societies in which the cultural, legal-political and economic spheres would be clearly separated yet inter-related, his diagnosis being that Europe’s ills were caused by the interference of the three spheres with one another: business seeking to dominate the political state and the state seeking to dominate the cultural life (e.g. education). For the European level, Steiner looked forward to a common European economic life, a common supranational European cultural life but to the maintenance of national values and traditions in the sphere of rights and law.

That’s what I’d like, too. It can still be worked for, when the moment is right.

We British are not going to be able to reject our corporate-controlled national government quite yet, but on 23rd June we have an opportunity to reject the European version. With luck and a fair wind, that will then provide some encouragement for us to join other people around the world to start creating the new and different story we all need so desperately.

 

 

88 Comments

Filed under Anthroposophy, Brexit, European Union, New World Order, United States of Europe

88 responses to “Britain and the European Union – should we stay or should we go?

  1. Gemma

    I would like to start by remarking on the fact that there is one element that has been left unspoken in the entire ‘Brexit’ affair, be it here or in the Mainstream Media. It is the issue of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). Anywhere you look there is no mention of this extremely important aspect. Even the more intricate economics blogs I comment on are largely silent on this matter.

    Now, of course, Britain is a member. Along with Norway, Switzerland and a scattering of other countries – some of which aren’t even remotely European.

    This is the one of the more important elements, as regards Brexit:

    There are two kinds of EU expenditure that the EEA EFTA States contribute to: operational and administrative. The EU operational expenditure is the total EU programme budget less the administrative expenditure

    http://www.efta.int/eea/eu-programmes/application-finances/eea-efta-budget

    In or out of the EU, Britain will be paying this.

    Britain’s Recent Activities In The EU

    Few will know about the manner in which the British acted in the recent vote on steel tariffs against subsidized Chinese steel. One would imagine that British envoys would have voted to protect the livelihoods of steelworkers in Britain.

    Only Britain has vetoed the tariff!

    One has to realize that Britain is no longer courting Indian investment – TATA and others – Britain is now courting Chinese investment, mainly in the power generation industry. In short, Britain no longer has the money to invest in its own infrastructure, which, put the other way around, means that Britain’s economy is effectively dead. That people still need to live and drive (and watch telly) only means there is a veil of activity. An upcoming post on my blog will deal with the realities of this in more detail, as they effect Britain’s car ‘industry’.

    Britain Outside The EU

    Whatever the politicians are saying, be it bare-faced lies* or just wishful thinking, there is the matter of EFTA. The British government will still pay most, if not all of the levies the EU demands. In remaining part of EFTA, Britain’s economic links with Europe will stand. The only thing Britain won’t be able to do is veto tariffs on Chinese steel.
    (*more likely the ‘liar’ is merely speaking the truth they can comprehend, which to those with more agile minds is actually revealed to be a lie which arises on account of an illusion.)

    The effect on Britain’s car industry will be all but negligible.

    There is one thing I would like to add, and that is viewed from across the channel, Britain is seen as not being a member of the EU in any case! People look to mainland Europe rather than Britain.

    The Referendum

    It will be remembered that the Dutch voted against the Maastricht Treaty in 2005. In a now well exercised manoeuvre, the EU asked the Dutch to vote again. Thus it is entirely likely that should Britain vote “out” they will simply be asked to vote again.

    On the other hand, as in Greece last year, the Brexit ‘no’ vote could simply be overturned, as happened with the infamous “oxi” vote last year.

    The Americans, who created the EU in the first place, are not the kind of people to take ‘no’ for an answer. But then, if you understood the processes* Rudolf Steiner was describing in his World Economy, you would know that this is the kind of behaviour that will destroy your economy. TTIP is merely the last spasm from the near-dead carcass. (*These cannot be described adequately in words, and need the reader to form the living concept in their own mind, rather than just remembering what he said).

    Like

    • Truth Seeker

      if the UK leaves it will not have to join EFTA, you do not need to be a member of EFTA to trade with the EU.

      Like

    • Gemma

      Truth Seeker,

      I don’t know which country you live in, or just how much of the details about EU membership you are cogniscant of – after all, these are not universal spiritual capacities that unveil themselves just by the manner in which a person expresses themselves!

      The state of the British economy is such that it is essential to remain in a ‘condition’ (if I can express it so clumsily) whereby the UK has no tariffs when trading with the European Union. This is because the UK depends on foreign owned car manufacturers to assemble (mainly) Japanese models that would face import tariffs were they imported into the European Union from Japan. These assembly plants are largely ‘screwdriver operations’* which are easy to set up and cheap to close because of the lack of labour regulations in the UK that encourage this kind of industrial practice. (*Heavily dependent on cheap and expendable human labour to assemble the cars).

      Thus the EFTA is essential if Britain is not to lose most of its motorcar industry. The heavy investment in engine plants (Honda and Ford) would remain, as would the speciality products (Aston Martin and the Formula 1 manufacturers – the Brits are the only nation who can turn out products to such fine tolerances). Even at this high-skill end, wages are poor in comparison to countries like Germany.

      Like

      • Truth Seeker

        Sorry Gemma but you are wrong. The UK economy is predominately Service sector (80%). though manufacturing is still important. The UKs balance of trade is a deficit in favour of the EU, ie they sell UK more than the UK sells to the EU, thus it is in EU interests not to hamper their exports. So it would be in everybody’s interest to have a free trade agreement but that does not mean necessarily EFTA. If not so there would be trade under WTO rules with tariffs (which anyhow would be small), but of course if that was the case the UK would impose its own tariffs on EU goods.

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      • Gemma

        The UK economy is predominately Service sector (80%). though manufacturing is still important.

        Okay, Truth Seeker, you got me, right? Bang to rights and all that. You can send me down to the cells.

        Because I was commenting on a specific point, not writing a Ph.D. thesis where all angles need to be covered – and my comments are long enough as it is! So let’s have a look at what you actually said: namely that 80% of the UK economy is the service economy. What’s more, you assumed that on account of my not having mentioned it, I knew nothing of it. That wasn’t a very clever move to make, especially for a seeker of the truth. Because if you understand what the service economy actually is, you would know why it is such a large part of Britain’s economy.

        Because you are right! the service economy in Britain is very large, probably the largest in Europe (if not the world). Only that isn’t the point. In economics, if you want to understand it properly, you need to look at it from the other perspective if you are going to understand anything more than what the papers tell you.

        So let’s put the situation the other way around: not that the service economy is so big – but ask yourself this question: “why is the productive industrial sector so small?”

        What has led Britain to all but lack any industrial productivity? The thing upon which any serious economy is founded. Mind you, the service sector still pays its taxes, still fills in the gaps where the economic figures are concerned…

        Why is it that the banks form 65% of the UK economy – again, figures are hard to find when the banks want to hide things, and there are any number of figures, both imaginary and real. The truth really has to be sought for, not just accepted because the guy runs a bank.

        More to the point, how are the banks in Britain making their money? It certainly isn’t through lending… no! They all game the stockmarkets, pumping money in using the fiscal equivalent of the job creation scheme: the derivative. The lack of regulation allows this, and has allowed the British subsidiaries of (for example) Deutsche Bank to run up some pretty stunning debts. Well, you’ve read about them in the news, haven’t you?

        However, my point is that this is the major part of the so-called service economy in the UK. What’s more, it’s just gambling, only without the croupier.

        You see, I was wrong, wasn’t I?

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      • Gemma

        Oh, and another aspect of my last comment is that if the UK does leave the EU, and refuses EFTA in preference of other agreements, this will have some severe implications for what is left of the UK car industry.

        Because the point of having employees instead of machines is that in a country with slack regulations, it’s easy – and cheap – to lay them off. If the tariffs increase even by a percentage point or two, in the mind of the accountant the clockwork begins to whirr – and it becomes worthwhile to transfer operations to their subsidiary in Romania. Or elsewhere.

        Britain really has sunk that low, when it’s up against the industrial power of Romania…

        Like

      • Tom H. Shea

        Dear Gemma,
        Your view of the UK car industry is slighting.
        All three major Japanese car companies in the UK are technically advanced, have good to excellent industrial relations records, and manufacture high quality products. They are not KDX assembly operations.
        I do not see what you imply by calling their operations ‘ largely ‘screwdriver operations’.’
        Their operations were not easy to set up, involving long and difficult negotiations with the obstructive and arcane British Unions, and, over the last 25 years, large investment of capital. Neither would their operations be cheap to close.
        In a capitalist society manufacturing always does rely on expendable labour, however all three companies pay well relative to the market they operate in.
        If Britain leaves the EU the companies might well re-locate to Romania but it would not be a cheap or easy option for them.

        Like

      • Gemma

        Tom H. Shea

        But don’t you make my point when you speak of Japanese car manufacturers? They swept the board in the US and have decimated the indigenous UK industry.

        The British car industry was crippled not only by the unions – but by an equally obstructive and arcane management. What is more, in a country with so little legislative support for the worker, those unions were an absolute necessity given what the management was capable of.

        Japanese management, like German management is a good step ahead of the British. But then, they are used to dealing with the shop floor – and it is usual for the workers and management to eat in the same workplace restaurants. They do not hold by the Anglo-Saxon view that you purvey: “In a capitalist society manufacturing always does rely on expendable labour”. The eye-wateringly tough regulations in force in Germany mean that whilst it is difficult to fire workers, it means that a great deal of investment is made in the worker themselves. Expendibility is only for the British, it seems; or those countries with poor regulation. If you are producing a commodity, expect to be treated like one.

        When you say “If Britain leaves the EU the companies might well re-locate to Romania but it would not be a cheap or easy option for them.” – that is what I meant when I referred to the wheels grinding in the heads of the accountants. That it is not cheap nor easy matters not: that is not their job. Remember that the recent investment in Sunderland was won from Barcelona by a very close margin.

        If, as a result of leaving the EU, Britain faces tariffs on its exports of motorcars, you can expect to see a dramatic shrinkage in production.

        Like

      • Truth Seeker

        I think its incorrect per se to value a manufacturing job above a service sector job. What’s better working in a call centre or digging up coal? And lets face it we all have enough “stuff” and I dont see a great need to add to it.

        Most Western countries have a high service sector, typically 70%+ as the calculation includes the Government sector. It also includes things like insurance and tourism, both important for the UK. Those nasty bankers in the City of London account for about 10%, which is specific to the UK and one of its competitive advantages.

        The City and many key UK industries, Oil, Pharma, Aerospace, Creative Industries, etc are global in outlook and reach, they can survive and prosper outside of the EU.

        Like

      • Gemma

        Well now, you’ve floored me. How can I answer a comment as wise as yours? The economy in Britain is perfect. I wonder that you need to seek the truth when the truth is, you’ve found it. Just look around, the truth is that the British economy is doing exactly what it should, and there are no problems whatsoever. The bankers are nice, the government in control.

        In your eyes, at least. After all, this is what modern truth seeking is all about: knowing the truth is all the nice things in your life and not looking any further. After all, it’s nice to know that your industries are global in outlook and reach and can survive and even prosper outside of the EU.

        Only, and I know that this is only rarely mentioned in the British newspapers, and then only in passing, that the government deficit is well over 7%. The warning signs are when the deficit approaches three percent. But of course, since this isn’t making the headlines, it means that Britain has the appearance of a first world country with a first rate economy.

        Doesn’t it?

        Like

  2. Thank you for an excellent article. In particular, the Green Party, which used to be anti-EU, now needs to be reminded that the EU has gone way past the point where it can be ‘reformed’. Brexit must be the first step in unravelling it all and restoring democracy to the nation states.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liliana

    Thank you Jeremy. An excellent overview. Here is something I came across recently which gives more details on who was behind the creation of the EU:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Liliana! That’s a really interesting piece of information you’ve found and it does seem to fit in with the picture of the USA manoeuvring behind the scenes to bring about the United States of Europe.
      Best wishes,
      Jeremy

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Truth Seeker

    A very interesting post Jeremy, thank you.

    As you rightly point out and it is something more or less ignored by both the Ins and Outs is the master plan of creating a United States of Europe. Like an old imperial power the EU is also obsessed with expanding its empire way beyond Europe, a junkie that needs an increasingly bigger fix.
    The referendum is the UK’s last hope in avoiding this outcome. My fear is that if the UK stays in it will eventually lead to a much much bigger upheaval in future.

    Vote Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gemma

      As stated above, if Britain votes ‘out’ it will remain in EFTA, with all this implies regarding observation of EU levies and legislation.

      Like

      • There’s an interesting paper by Ben Clement that deals with the question of Britain outside the EU here:

        http://www.iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/files/Clement%20BREXIT%20entry_for%20web_0.pdf

        It has a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages for Britain of applying to join EFTA on pages 29-31.

        Best wishes,

        Jeremy

        Like

      • Gemma

        Thanks for your response and the link, which I am perusing. It is a weighty tome!

        Before I start, I was not aware that the referendum was to leave the EFTA as well. In all the commentaries, blog posts and comments I have read so far, none has mentioned this one point. It just shows how easy it is to be misinformed, even if one is attempting to inform oneself in as non-judgemental manner as is possible in this world.

        Now, as to the link.

        Britain would benefit from improved international trading
        networks, in particular with the growing economies of the world, as
        opposed to those of the EU

        Please tell me how, in that Britain already has massive inward investment from India and China, that this might be improved by leaving the EU? Mr Clement makes comparisons to countries like Norway and Switzerland, both of whom have regulatory structures that are VERY different from those of the UK. The forms of social democracy that exist in these countries – that have in part arisen from these very regulations – means business owners have a very different approach to doing business than the British*. This negates any thoughts the author has on why Norway’s unemployment figures are so much better than those of the UK. (*I will add that this is slowly being eaten away by the economic tightening that arose as a result of the 2007 unveiling of the US-UK banking fraud crash.)

        Now further on, Mr Clement suggests:

        he UK Government would gain control and have the capacity to set its own level of value added taxation (VAT);

        The European Union sets a minimum level of VAT. If a country wishes to raise it above 15% (I believe that is the figure, it used to be 14%) that is for them to decide. In this respect, the current UK level could be cut without any referendum. Far more important for the UK is the ability to set their own interest rates without interference from the markets*. This has allowed the British government to borrow money at very low cost (they usually employ the euphamism “quantitative easing”). This has had the effect of making it easy for the government to appear to be in full control of its affairs, when in fact the government has something in the order of a 7,5% deficit. Hardly a good start to any year.
        (*The integrity of the markets leaves any economic forecasting based on them to be as useful as a chocolate weather-vane on a hot day).

        In this situation, the government has two choices if they are to pay back the money they have borrowed from the central bank, the Bank of England*. They can increase tax incomes by improving the economy (not easy given they have spent so much time ‘stimulating’ the economy with QE. The Germans did this by improving their housing stock – see my post entitled “the Stadtsanierung”). The alternative is to put up taxes – the easiest of which to levy is VAT. The hardest is, not surprisingly, corporation tax.
        (*This is privately owned, but you have to read the terms and conditions with the eyes of a lawyer).

        In Conclusion
        The things I have read so far in Mr Clement’s report would make no difference to the UK, in or out. The UK has far more independence than other EU countries, and does a manifestly poorer job. As mentioned in my first comment, the Americans are hardly likely to accept Britain’s leaving the EU, by referendum or any other means. Their style of democracy is to say “do as you are told or take the consequences”.

        [Off Topic]

        The EU has not had their accounts signed off by auditors for in excess of 18 years

        It is high time that it is known that the EU has not had its accounts signed off since its inception – in any shape or form. (Which is actually an infringement of EU law!*) This is mainly due to the input of funds from the boys MI6 calls “our friends”.
        (*But is a clear warning to all: the EU is saying “we are powerful enough to appear honest and just without having to abide by the rules” – in Anthro terms, they have allowed Ahriman to take control. Be warned of nice businessmen wearing fine suits).

        Like

  5. Gemma

    By the way, Jeremy, I’m sure that Tom Mellet would not have been so appreciative of a post that did not deal with something where he could express his expertise in Alchemy.

    Such that it isn’t.

    Like

  6. Ton Majoor

    As far as cultural life was concerned, Steiner saw a natural connection:
    `Spiritually conceived, today no earthly souls love each other more than the earthly souls of Middle Europe and the earthly souls of the British Isles.’ (1914, GA 158, untranslated lecture).
    Cf. Thomas Meyer: Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, A European: A Biography (2014, p.237, KBAAAQBAJ)

    Like

    • Gemma

      The cultural life between Britain and Germany was extremely clear. In the First World War, around half of the officers on either side had uncles and cousins fighting for the enemy. The aristocracy being intermarried from the Royal House of Hannover downwards (later, by marriage, Saxe-Coburg Gotha).

      The British and Germans had long had extremely good relations, and it was only in the 1880s that this began to be soured, mainly through the use of newspaper reports. According to Terry Boardman (threeman.org) the First World War was planned for the mid 1890s. Be warned: these people are very patient.

      They could also put their conceptual powers to far better use. (Indeed, it is only through challenging and transforming one’s own Ahriman that the full extent of this kind of abuse is unveiled. That in itself is as good a reason not to transform them… but that’s Ahriman for you.)

      The capacities of the British mind in comparison to the German can be summed up by this thought from the British soldier: “The best army in the world would have German officers and British sergeants”. This was clearly demonstrated on the D-Day landings and the cataclysm that overtook the Americans, the British lower ranking officers having overlooked some of their orders – and so saved countless lives as a result.

      Today, there are many British engineers who live and work in Germany, enjoying a standard of live well beyond that of their native land. The numbers run into the tens of thousands – one engineer told me there were ten thousand in Stuttgart alone (albeit, this is hard to prove). My own position as an industrial designer was filled only six years after I left the firm, partly owing to the scarcity of decent designers who can also speak German. A clear example of Rudolf Steiner’s ‘spiritual’ making businesses more profitable (Bosch power tools became the market leader when all the design was taken on by this studio).

      Like

  7. Tom H. Shea

    “This New World Order and the move to world government has been planned by the current elites such as the Bilderberg Group, the World Economic Forum at Davos and their forerunners such as the Pilgrims, the Skull and Bones Club, the Cecil Rhodes/Alfred Milner group for many, many years and has involved many well-known statesmen.”

    I don’t doubt there are people and groups that are promoting this project, but I also think that many of the people who write about it are prone to confirmation bias – “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.” (Wikipedia). Terry Boardman with his interminable articles in New View is just such a person. The phrase, ‘has involved many well-known statesmen..’ is suitably vague. There will have been many well-known statesmen (and women) who were/are not supporters of this project, but nobody says who they were.

    I am older than you, Jeremy, and can remember the cold war, the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, the erection of the Berlin wall, the cuban missile crisis, the apparent complete inflexibility and impregnability of the Kremlin. At a particular time in the 60’s, I was particularly fearful and a wise older member of CND said to me that there were doves as well as hawks behind the opaque facade of the Kremlin and of course 30 years later those the Soviet Union disintegrated.

    And I believe this to be true today. There are doves as well as hawks working at the highest levels of government and the people who want a New World Order are not all-powerful.

    Ahriman wants us to be fearful of these dark forces behind the scenes because fear destroys initiative. And Lucifer wants us to develop fantasies about the wonderful time we could have if we throw off the shackles of the European bureaucracy.

    Like

    • Tom, I may be paranoid but that doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me (and everyone else). 🙂
      I think Steiner would have reminded us to become awake to the reality of what is going on, because then it’s far more difficult for A and L to get past us.
      Best wishes,
      Jeremy

      Liked by 2 people

      • Gemma

        This isn’t something Rudolf Steiner would have needed to remind us of, for practically everything he spoke of pointed to the necessity of this transformation in one way or another. Every time you read a lecture, it will show you another way to work with these beings. It is in the nature of his work that such things may be veiled: that is only because in discussing practical issues the underlying process that lead to the outward manifestation will not be described.

        That is one reason why my own blog appears so dull to many anthroposophists. That in itself is my challenge.

        The task of humanity in creation is not to become enslaved by Ahriman or to dream along with Lucifer. Our task is to transform them, that we may employ them consciously for good. The problems in the world today are a direct result of people refusing to do this – and so the challenges they present us become the greater.

        Like

      • By the way, here is a film – “Brexit the Movie” – which puts the case not only for Britain to leave the EU, but should make all Europeans pause to consider their position:

        Best wishes,

        Jeremy

        Like

    • A correspondent has just written to me privately to draw my attention to even more sinister links, this time between Donald Trump and organised crime and Brussels officials and mafia/masonic connections:

      http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/Newsletter/articles/donald-trumps-alleged-links-to-the-mob.html?utm_source=email&utm_medium=artikel-1-link&utm_campaign=newsletter-20160512

      What interesting times we live in…but why would anyone wish to be part of this corrupt and crime-riddled EU?

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Dear Jeremy,

        I would agree with “voting out” again, as you did in 1975.. At least, this is a sure sign of your convictions concerning corruption from outside influences, e.g., America. Britain has the power to sustain itself without allying with the so-called “European Union”, which can be equated to a cleverly ahrimanic device coming from “you know where”. Yes, my district, which has been ruling the world since long before we were both born.

        Here is my assessment: Trump is a ‘trump card’ for the purpose of seeing Hilary Clinton elected as the first female POTUS. As such, she can be likened to the bogus election of George HW Bush in 1988, when all indications showed that Michael Dukakis of the Democratic Party would be the overwhelming winner. This is when the notion of “vote-scam” came into being as the real threat in the electorial process.

        While Michael Dukakis would have made a great President in the 1988 election, and brought back visions of JFK, it was foreordained that the Reagan years, c. 1981-1988, would be better served by someone from the Republican party, when the initiative was to dismantle the Soviet Union, and conduct the first war with Iraq. So, Reagan’s VP got elected over Dukakis in order to bring about these so-called “necessary affairs”.

        Then, after these pivotal four years, Bill Clinton gets elected as the Democratic Party President in 1992. This means that everything that ‘HW Bush’ had instigated in his one-term is foisted for the next eight years. So, from 1993-2000, we have all manner of occurrences that demonstrate an eastern-European genocide, and yet, Clinton does nothing about it. No, he let’s the Serbs rape the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, and then bombs the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia as some kind of retaliation. Then, the African embassy bombings occur in 1998, which become the precursor to the present ‘war on terror’. This leads to the eight year presidency of George W. Bush, the son of “HW”, who had conducted the first “gulf war” in 1992.

        So, let’s consider something today. After having launched the so-called, “War on Terror”, in early March of 2003, did President Bush really make the right decision in attempting to alleviate ‘terror’ from the world-scene? Or did he create the conundrum that the present POTUS has to deal with, and his successor in her four-year term in office?

        This is what is going to happen, as pathetic as it is. For us Anthro’s, it is more a sign of the soradtic [anti-Christ] initiative working in the world, as we speak.

        Steve

        Like

      • Gemma

        Steve Hale,

        I would agree with “voting out” again, as you did in 1975.

        Britain voted in in 1975.

        As to Clinton, his presidency was marked by something far more insidious than even the bombings in Yugoslavia – of which I have several first hand reports, all of which point to American collusion with the military authorities in Yugoslavia.

        Now, what else did Clinton do? He bent the will of the people to their banks: he did this by slackening the regulations on mortgage lending. This made it easier to lend money – which in itself would be leveraged from a tiny sum*. Hence the banks could make large sums of money, even if it was invested in housing stock. This worked extremely well until around 2001 onwards. (*You do need a banking license to do this, or as in one notable case in Ireland, the power to tell regulators to get stuffed.)

        What was the upshot of this American lending spree? What with the weakening economy – slackening regulations only helps the rich – people found it harder to pay off their mortgages. Under the terms of their mortgage, they handed their keys back to the bank – and the bank had their security.

        Which was the problem! The banks had been hoist with their own petard! Their demands to slacken the regulations allowed them the short-term fix of lending money against properties that were nowhere near that value. The ultra-tight regulations in Germany do not allow this, which meant the German government got clever – see my post on the Stadtsanierung. This was where everybody won.

        The point is that the American banks lost out on the very deal that was intended to improve their profits! But of course, being Good Americans, they just told everybody else that the assets they had purchased were of no value.

        The assets we now describe as ‘toxic’.

        Now had the American banks stood by the word in the contracts that backed these securities, there would have been no problem for the world economy. But they – in true Ahrimanic fashion – preferred their own security to that of everybody else. The fraud had been conscious from the very start.

        Now this is on topic, by the way. Because the European Union has been set up with this kind of thinking in mind: slacken regulations so that big industries can make a stack. As we have seen in the above example, this only works for so long, When it doesn’t work any more, they’re back wanting more slackening, which we’ve seen both in the US and UK.

        There will come a time when there are no more regulations for them to avoid, and the harsh reality will bite. This isn’t good business, but anybody who understands Rudolf Steiner’s ‘World Economy’ will know that a corporation is simply a conglomeration of small companies, all of whom failed. Forming a bigger business will make it appear (ahem) successful, but this is only a short-term measure to stay off the inevitable. There are ways to run a business and Rudolf Steiner described them very well in the above mentioned lecture series.

        Because these are problems we have created for ourselves on account of our not wishing to deal with the Ahriman that lives within us all. Not dealing with Ahriman creates problems, and the only way to solve them is to deal with the root of the problem! And yet I hear little of the genuine knowledge of how to deal with him, even here in this hallowed corner of the internet.

        Yet there is a paradox when British people want to vote to leave the EU! The British government has already done the very things the EU has been imposed on Europe to achieve! Just look at the British banks if you don’t believe me. After all, the 2007 banking fraud was unveiled in a back street in the City of London…

        Like

      • Okay Jeremy, the Brexit movie is impressive to say the least, but in looking at recent remarks from Gemma and Tom Shea, it is worth considering whether this expulsion from the EU really means anything other than a kind of reactionary position when what really needs to be considered is how to deal with our collective resources in the combine of nations.

        In truth, America is the ‘beast ruling the world’. and didn’t Cameron just meet with the outgoing POTUS Barack Obama. What did he say, and what does it mean?

        Steve

        Like

      • Gemma

        it is worth considering whether this expulsion from the EU really means anything other than a kind of reactionary position

        What expulsion is this? Under the terms of the Maastricht treaty, it’s not possible to leave the EU at all. But that’s modern politics for you: those who move get to call the shots, irrespective of any legislation.

        Furthermore, as stated in several comments, Britain’s problems are home-grown, and leaving the EU will have no effect on it. Britain does need to foster positive trade links with other countries – in the way Germany, the Netherlands and others have.

        What is not spoken of is the role China is now playing in the world. I don’t mean the things that are being spoken of in the Mainstream News, but their activities in Central and Southern Africa, which have been going on for well over thirty years now. America is so out of touch that it thinks it can extend its influence over Southern African countries, bring them under their wing as it were. The Americans will have to learn to respect the Chinese, or they really will wind up with a bloody nose.

        Which is the point of this comment: in setting up the European Union, the Americans did it their way. What most Anglo-Saxons are blissfully unaware of – and the American government is no exception to this – is how the Europeans look after themselves. If only you knew…

        The British I know here have almost no idea what it is to live in a democracy, and can only see countries like Germany through British lenses. Lenses that see all politicians as the evil monsters that inhabit Westminster. It is this kind of thinking that caused the first world war.

        Like

    • Tom, you mention Terry Boardman in your comment; so you (and anyone else who can get to Emerson College) may be interested to hear that on Monday 30th May at 8.00pm, Terry Boardman will be giving a talk at the college on the topic: “Britain at a Historical Crossroads – In, Out or Something Else?” I’m not sure what it is he will be saying but here is something from a recent article by him:

      “The EU, the goal of a United States of Europe has for 66 years now been an essential part of the “World State” that Anglo-American elitists have been labouring to construct since they first conceived it over a century ago. When Britons consider their options in the EU referendum on 23rd June this year they ought to reflect that this decision is not just about the jobs, pensions, business and migration opportunities of the present generation or about Britain’s ‘influence’ in the world; it is about the very direction the country may take for decades and even centuries. For 800 years the ruling, originally Viking-Norman elite of England led the country in a process of expansion across the world because it was their will to do so (the Anglo-saxons in England by contrast, had never invaded the Continent nor Ireland). The British people can ask themselves today, as they face this significant moment in their long national story, what was that expansion about? The drive to conquer first the Celtic lands of Britain, then to conquer France and then to expand all over the world? What was behind all that? And now that it is over, what kind of part do they wish their country to play in the ongoing world drama? Many Britons seem to have little consciousness of British history before the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the time when the English sense of separateness from the Continent began to grow significantly, the time when religion became, with Henry VIII, identified with politics and the national State. But that was only 500 years ago. Before then, Britain had been part of “Europe” in every sense: geologically, geographically, religiously, culturally, dynastically, militarily, economically. Britain was “made” by Europe, because Britain was and is part of Europe.

      In this 21st century it is obvious that America and Asia (notably China) are the great powers in the world, America slowly declining, and Asia rapidly rising. America, where the modern forces of self-centred personality are so strong (e.g. Donald Trump!) and Asia where the ancient forces of the self-abnegating collective are still so powerful (e.g. the Chinese Communist Party). Can Europe play a bridging role between these two great entities that still seem to have so little understanding for each other? And in so doing, can it contribute to world peace and prosperity? It is this writer’s contention that an artificial, unitary federal, centralised United States of Europe on the nation state model, increasingly allied to the USA and bound up with it economically, culturally and militarily, will not be able to play such a role. It will simply not be trusted by the peoples of Asia. For their part, can Britons begin to see that it makes no historical sense to reprise their country’s old part in the world drama – the little guy who expands to become a giant ‘buccaneering’ Gulliver, no matter how much David Cameron and other British politicians urge the British to do so? One scene in Britain’s national act within the great world drama is ending, and another one is about to open. Britain is no longer a great naval power nor does it even have much in the way of a merchant marine anymore. Having been ‘out and about’ in the world for 500 years, perhaps in the next scene, with their many abilities and lessons learned during those five centuries, individuals in Britain can return home to ‘mother’ Europe and help their maternal home to play a truly constructive, bridge-building role in our developing global society. It is, however, a role that is unlikely to be sound if played through the artificial construct of the EU.”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tom H. Shea

    I shall vote ‘in’.
    There may be a New World Order conspiracy but there are other forces at work as well.
    The Christ is there beside every human being whether they know that name or not and many now experience Christ as a real presence.
    The Buddha has begun working from the sphere of Mars.
    The Divine Sophia is awakening.
    Christian Rosenkreutz is walking the earth in a new guise.
    The members of the Michael school are not confined to the Anthroposophical society!

    I think the crudest greed and fear account for the way our capitalist economy works and that drives the political agenda in England and has done since Thatcher (including the Blair/Brown years).
    I am less afraid of the EU bureaucracy than I am of the rapacious capitalists who govern the United Kingdom at present and whose hands are tied to some extent by European legislation while we are part of Europe. (For example in the fields of human rights, employment law and environmental issues, to name just three.)

    Like

    • Truth Seeker

      Tom you think the UK’s capitalist economy is bad, but it so far has avoided high unemployment (a real social evil) and is employing millions of people from other EU nations. This I would argue is good.

      Ultimately though the referendum it is about how you want to be governed and who makes the decisions for you. UK democracy is certainly not perfect, but its MPs are accountable to the people and can be voted out. Change can be effected. The EU Commission which drives the EU agenda and make the laws is certainly not accountable to the people or even the MEPs.

      Thus in the UK (for the moment!) if the people dont want capitalism they can vote for Jeremy Corbyn and live in a socialist utopia.

      Like

      • Tom H. Shea

        Thank You, Truth Seeker.
        In brief, I believe a capitalist democracy such as we have in the UK to be probably the ‘least worst’ form of government. I will not be voting for a ‘United States of Europe’ but continued membership of the EU as it stands.

        Like

      • Gemma

        I would like to ask the Truth Seeker if he agrees with what the British government did in Europe. After all, there is a lot of talk about the steel industry that is owned by the Indian firm TATA. It is understandable that the government will be supporting this organization against the subsidized steel from China that is now threatening its existence.

        This is understandable in a country where the democratic government protects the livelihoods of steel workers.

        Can you explain to me in the context of your comment, why it was that the British government vetoed tariffs on cheap Chinese steel in the European Parliament, in a manner that runs counter to the democratic needs of the nation?

        Like

    • It’s noticeable in this referendum that it can bring about strange political bedfellows. This was also the case in 1975, when Enoch Powell and Tony Benn were both campaigning for “Out”. In the 2016 referendum, the case for Brexit often seems to be made by those on the right of the political spectrum; but here in an article by Paul Mason in The Guardian, is the left-wing case for Brexit:

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/16/brexit-eu-referendum-boris-johnson-greece-tory?CMP=twt_gu

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Steve Hale

    Dear Jeremy,

    There has been some discussion on another group that pays attention to this present concern of European affiliation, that it actually is a matter of karmic necessity that Europe must wrangle with its ever-so materialistic, economic, and intellectual-soul issues today. This is because the present-day Europeans are the rather short-term reincarnations of the very American Indians who were suppressed, and effectively wiped off the face of the earth with the colonization program begun by James I in 1607.

    I cite the relevant passage in order to help make the case for the present dilemma:

    “Where were the souls of the greater part of the population of Western Europe, of Middle Europe and far over towards Russia in their earlier life on earth? If we investigate this problem conscientiously with the methods of Spiritual Science, the fact emerges that we are here concerned with souls whose life in the spiritual world since their last death and their present birth has been of comparatively short duration. Our investigation leads us over to the West, to lands in which, after the discovery of America, large numbers of Europeans founded colonies and exterminated or at all events kept the original population in a state of subjection. We are led back to the centuries of the conquests of America and to souls incarnated at the time of these conquests in bodies of the American Indian race.

    Now you will not be able to understand what I have to tell you unless you have a true picture in your minds of the nature of these Indian peoples who were gradually exterminated by the colonists from Europe. They were not, of course, cultured people in the sense in which we think of culture today. But there was a certain quality in these souls which expressed itself in a universal, pantheistic form of religion. Their hearts were turned in aspiration to a great Spiritual Being and their religion was thoroughly monotheistic. I am speaking here of the leading stock, not of the more degenerate branches. These people had a living and vivid experience of one great Spirit Universal behind the world of nature and the deeds of men. We must try to understand this mood of soul and altogether get rid of the preconceived notion that these Indian peoples were the half animal savages which they are generally supposed to have been.

    Broadly speaking, the souls once living in those exterminated Indian peoples are incarnated today in the men of Western Europe, Middle Europe and on towards Russia. We shall never get to the truth if we cannot accept what seems so strange and improbable a statement. These were souls who had had no contact with Christianity in former incarnations and because of this it follows that the souls of a large proportion of Europeans today had not received the impulse of Christianity before their present birth.”

    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/PasInc_index.html

    I doubt this helps a great deal in today’s situation, and likely is only an odd curio in the cabinet 😉

    Steve

    Like

    • Gemma

      An interesting thought, if off topic.

      However, I would like to look at several things you said, the first of which was

      This is because the present-day Europeans are the rather short-term reincarnations of the very American Indians who were suppressed

      If this is so, are these people not more likely to have incarnated in ‘European’ souls that live in the USA?

      I put this to you, because you go on to quote the following:

      These were souls who had had no contact with Christianity in former incarnations and because of this it follows that the souls of a large proportion of Europeans today had not received the impulse of Christianity before their present birth.

      Now there is plenty of strife that arises from un-Christian thoughts, but it is the US that is bombing the Middle-East in a most un-Christian manner, and furthermore, supporting the most terrible Islamic associations. Does this not suggest that the people of the United States have souls that have had little to do with Christianity?

      Because I would like you to compare what the USA is doing, and what is happening in Germany today. That is to say, the floods of Syrians escaping the horrors wrought by US and Saudi financed terror groups that have arrived in Germany and have been officially welcomed by the government in Berlin. Furthermore, the refugees have been housed – tented might be a better word – but provision has been made to make them comfortable in the manner of ”

      The mood of the population is more equivocal, but is far from antagonistic. Is this not a demonstration of a country with a Christian ethic? A country in which souls have had a closer connection to Christianity?

      “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

      And this speaks of kindness, not bombs.

      Look ye not to the words they say, look at what they do.

      Like

  10. Steve Hale

    Gemma wrote:

    “If this is so, are these people not more likely to have incarnated in ‘European’ souls that live in the USA?”

    This seems logical, and yet Steiner reveals that modern-day Americans are the reincarnation of Asian Indians, who having lived at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha with a lofty spirituality owing to the teachings of Krishna’s “Celestial Song”, spent a very long time between death and rebirth.

    “This attitude of soul prepared them for a lengthy life in the spiritual world between death and a new birth, and it was a very long time before they brought themselves to descend again into new bodies. It was a very long time before the urge arose within them to come down again to the earth. These souls — a considerable number of them at all events — are incarnated today in the peoples of modern America. The whole constitution of the Americans today with all their astuteness in the practical and material sides of life, is due to the fact that in an earlier incarnation their souls were given up to spiritual contemplation of the universe, but that they then descended into very hard and dense material bodies. Fundamentally speaking what they are seeking to do now is to let their earlier experiences of the spiritual world live themselves out once again in a subtle and uncannily astute handling of affairs connected with the material world.”

    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/PasInc_index.html

    Like

    • Gemma

      That’s fair enough.

      So how then do you explain the need for democratic Americans to force TTIP on Europe, and more to the point, to form the European Union with this purpose in mind?

      How can such acts be considered free or even Christian?

      Like

  11. Democratic Americans don’t have the power to force anything except their own self development in the Consciousness Soul age. An important part of that is seeking the truth, and Spiritual Science exists to tell the truth, come what may. Steiner is “no holds barred” when it comes to telling of the enormously destructive powers now in the hands of the American continent.

    If it can be shown that the two world wars of Europe in the 20th century were actually pre-planned and strategized by the “western powers”, and all because war is good for the economy, then we know how much the economic order represents the over-arching and ruling dominion of Evil. And evil despises the trinity.

    We have talked here before about the disaster of Donald Trump becoming the next POTUS, but it is now looking very possible. Many Americans fear for the world if this happens. Europe detests the man, and this would not be good at all for the European dilemma.

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      Pentecostal Sunday 2016, May 15th

      Today is the seventh Sunday after Easter, and marks the event when the disciples of Christ became Apostles, owing to the streaming in of the “Spirit of Truth”; The Helper that the Christ had told His disciples would come in order to support them in their further individual endeavours as Apostles of the early Church of Christ. As such, we today should especially consider the profound importance of this event of Pentecost for the very reason that brings us together in these considerations of voting in/out of the European Union, as well as it stands to the next presidential election of the United States.

      We live at a crossroads moment in time, c. 2016, and this is one of those important moments that needs the light of anthroposophy, i.e., spiritual-scientific consideration, in order to make the right decision. I would hope that people here might have something more to say along these lines.

      Britain is its own entity. Europe, in its entirety, is its own entity, regardless of the western-most powers of America, and what they say and try to dictate to their so-called, “European partners”.

      Steve

      Like

  12. Gemma

    Aberdeen, a city inside the European Union.

    “It’s quick and brutal. People with decades of experience are arriving at work to find a box on their desk and then you’re gone,” she says.

    A lack of regulation in the British workplace won’t change because the country is outside of the E.U. This is happening now, today.

    Experts predict that the North Sea’s oilfield service industry could be slashed by a third as companies fold as a result of the downturn. Independent explorers which borrowed billions from lenders when there was little sign of a looming price collapse are now saddled with debt which dwarfs the value of the companies themselves.

    This time, a clear example of Britains lack of fiscal regulation. Britain seems to excel in lacking the very things that have made European democracies strong: regulation. Again, this isn’t something that will change if Britain is outside the E.U. It’s the sort of thing Britons slash to maintain some kind of competitiveness and the charade of reasonable economic figures.

    The message for the North Sea is clear: learn to cut the fat and operate as leaner enterprises regardless of the oil price.

    Well, somebody had to learn sometime, didn’t they? The motorcar industry in the UK only learned this when the management was trained in Japanese – or German – methods. Even so, Britain’s lack of legislation for workers is going to bite harder if there is any recession, or any increase in the cost of exporting cars to the continent.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/14/aberdeen-the-granite-city-in-crisis/

    Like

  13. Truth Seeker

    An interesting article today by Lord Carey ex Archbishop of Canterbury in favour of Brexit.
    In a nutshell “Let my people GO”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3590851/Why-m-voting-Brexodus-revelatory-call-quit-EU-former-leader-Church-England.html

    Like

  14. Dear Gemma,

    Jeremy personally voted “out” in 1975, while Britain voted “in”, and now we have the same kind of referendum in 2016. Jeremy has given further indication today that he intends to “vote out” with the ‘Brexit movie’ he has submitted. [see above]

    Yet, I tend to see your own strong indications that the real problem is lack of discipline in Britain regulating its own commodities and resources, and therefore, if Britain leaves the EU, it will lose those other elements of bondage that have served to help keep the “Brit boat afloat”. This is probably a very astute consideration for keeping ‘in’. You seem to wear the hat of reasonable accommodation, while also being someone who I feel also subscribes to the theory of, “simplify, simplify”, which HD Thoreau found so fulfilling in the years leading up to the American Civil War. Remember, he was arrested for civil disobedience and put in jail one time, and when his mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, came to visit him in jail, Thoreau said: “Why aren’t you in here?” This was asked because, at the time, Emerson was renowned, and Thoreau was a nobody. You see, Emerson’s own civil disobedience would have made news, and possibly had an influence that could have changed things.

    You wrote:

    “Because these are problems we have created for ourselves on account of our not wishing to deal with the Ahriman that lives within us all. Not dealing with Ahriman creates problems, and the only way to solve them is to deal with the root of the problem! And yet I hear little of the genuine knowledge of how to deal with him, even here in this hallowed corner of the internet.”

    I suspect that you have heard a great deal more than you are willing to accept concerning the power of Ahriman to continue to make mankind “turn stones into bread”, and yet some of us do it because it is the simple requirement that is made of the normal householder today. We do it because it is required. Yes, the so-called, “battle for the cosmic intelligence” is the issue at hand.

    Yet, by the United Kingdom ‘voting out’ in this year’s referendum of 2016, what does it mean in actuality? It means that *you’ll* have to get your shit together in formulating a better regulatory process in the overall scheme of commerce, Living in the Netherlands as you do, all that seems necessary is to keep on with the Thoreau initiative.

    I’m sure it is much more complicated than that, as you make it out to be somehow. But, I think Britain needs to ‘burst the bubble’, and start a needed paradigm if this so-called” new age” is ever to amount to anything.

    Steve

    Like

    • Gemma

      Yet, by the United Kingdom ‘voting out’ in this year’s referendum of 2016, what does it mean in actuality? It means that *you’ll* have to get your shit together in formulating a better regulatory process in the overall scheme of commerce

      Are you suggesting that the Northern European countries will need to form a better regulatory process with regard to commerce? Or Britain?

      As to

      I suspect that you have heard a great deal more than you are willing to accept concerning the power of Ahriman to continue to make mankind “turn stones into bread”, and yet some of us do it because it is the simple requirement that is made of the normal householder today. We do it because it is required.

      If you have read Rudolf Steiner’s ‘World Economy’, you will know that all advanced economies depend on what he terms the ‘division of labour’. Part of this is the development of money in the sphere of rights. Now the point here is that if we are to continue, we must employ ourselves in our various skills and trades. I myself took pieces of wood and made them into furniture that people wanted – we can’t eat wood, we can’t eat furniture. In imaginative terms, these are stones. Yet by them, I was able to eat.

      That is turning stones into bread.

      What is more, we need to be fully conscious of this process!

      Yet you still speak in a way that suggests that this is something imposed on us by Ahriman! No! It is the other way around: we have employed our Ahrimanic thinking – in this case, making sure that a drawer closes nicely, rather than sticking and jamming – in order to please customers. Believe me, it was no rare occasion for a client to have their chequebook opened to pay me before I’d even written out my invoice! For a person to pay a tradesperson in happiness is perhaps what proper economics is all about.

      Because this is one aspect of your “simplify, simplify” – only it requires a skilled hand to achieve this. Believe me, the skilled tradesman will have a simple solution, where the unskilled one will be mithering about with all manner of ideas, constructions and complicated solutions. The next time you see something complex, the people have let Ahriman rule them. When Ahriman is ruled, things do become simpler. They also become the more elegant.

      I’m sure it is much more complicated than that, as you make it out to be somehow. But, I think Britain needs to ‘burst the bubble’, and start a needed paradigm if this so-called” new age” is ever to amount to anything.

      If you see my thoughts as complicated, it is clear that you cannot discern the processes that underlie them. This is the gift of imaginative thinking, the ability to penetrate beneath the surface and see the ‘spiritual strands’ that unite various phenomena. Thus the world becomes rather simpler (but paradoxically it can also mean it becomes more complex – but this is quintessentially different from the complexity an intellectual will see in the scattering of happenings they cannot hope to understand).

      We have let Ahriman into our lives, yet few people know about this, and not knowing about Ahriman means he can get the better of it.

      As to Britain’s ”bubble” – what is this but a damming up of what should in reality be flowing? The problem with stagnant water is that it starts to smell, and when understood properly, money is no different. Albeit that it appears otherwise to those who cannot see this. What Britain has done is to dam up the economic process for their own ends and so poison the very thing they need for their sustenance!

      Lancing boils is a good thing, but the doctor needs to do this before the boil has festered and sent its poisons through the body and so make the person dangerously ill. Bursting the bubble now will send that toxicity through into other economies too, just as the American banks did in 2007 when they pricked their bubble of fraudulent activity.

      In or out of the EU, Britain’s economy will face the same challenges it does today, did a decade ago, indeed, a century ago. Their response a century ago was to foment a war with Germany – and thus spread their poison elsewhere too. In or out of the EU, it won’t stop Britain choosing the wrong path.

      Like

      • Gemma says, “Does this not suggest that the people of the United States have souls that have had little to do with Christianity?”
        It makes me sad to see a whole nation characterised in such a way. I believe one should not assume that every member of a nation supports the actions of their government. There are many deeply Christian Americans who oppose the actions taken by their government.

        “In or out of the EU, it won’t stop Britain choosing the wrong path”. What should I make of a statement like this?
        I am British with Irish ancestory.
        According to Gemma I am doomed to be led down ‘the wrong path’ no matter what choices British politicians make!

        Like

      • Steve Hale

        Gemma,

        Good points, of course. I think my general thesis in referring to “simplify, simplify”, was met adequately with your own skilled trade labor as a craftsman who realizes trade capital vs. industrial capital. This will have to become the trend of world economy for the simple reason that the earth’s own natural resources are dwindling, and the precious “fossil fuels” are on the way out, and especially because the solar element has proven to be the key focal point. Thus, clunky old initiatives, like north shore drilling, will be one of the last measures in proving that the former industrial-based economy must become enlightened by a return to the barter-trade
        environment that likely exists in Northern Europe, e.g., the Netherlands, where you and Ton reside. The simple measures of existence are something that will one day prevail again.

        Even here in the U.S., this type of cooperative/communal lifestyle is to be found. Barter-trade is even advocated by vocal opponents of anthroposophy, like Peter Staudenmaier. You see, anarchy in the world scene today must come to grips with the fact that the former industrial-military schema of intelligence is collapsing under the weight of its own obsolescence. Why? Because the mineral earth is dying, and must be resurrected and renewed to a kind of sun-like existence. This is what is happening, and especially when Gemma speaks her words of confident impatience with a referendum that she sees as meaningless one way or the other. In other words, either way {in or out] it means nothing.

        Yet, by voting “out”, Britain takes a stand which revokes any kind of idea of a “United States of Europe”. This seems important. Personally, as an American, I would like to see it happen.

        Steve

        Like

      • Gemma

        Tom Hart Shea,

        I believe one should not assume that every member of a nation supports the actions of their government.

        Did I ever say that all Americans support their government? Did I? If you believe that, then we have a serious problem when it comes to future dialogue.

        The very point of what I said was that the American government does things that its people have no say in. The truth of the British government is that it is equally democratic, and will do what the corporations who already control it tell them to.

        Steve Hale

        For those of you who are not craftspeople, it will be difficult to understand that it is possible to undertake my trade without the need for power tools. It does take longer – and thus makes it more expensive – but it can still be done. That is to say, people will always need houses, and they will either build themselves a shelter or employ someone like me to arrange for something a little more permanent and watertight.

        Now I can speed up the process by asking people to help me – people who are both unskilled, and without my direction (that is to say, my spirit) would have no work. This is Rudolf Steiner’s ‘division of labour’.

        But there is a problem: I cannot pay my labourers with food. The amount they would demand would mean that it would be stale by the time they came to eat it. Hence bartering is out of hte question.

        What was it Rudolf Steiner said? “The price of a shoe [house] should keep the cobbler [the carpenter] for as long as it takes him [her] to make the next one.”

        We cannot achieve a situation like that without the sphere of rights that we understand today in the form of money (amongst othre things). Rudolf Steiner pointed to the essential purpose of money above barter, for only with money can one hope to have the division of labour and a society built on more than just a hand-to-mouth existence that would result from people bartering.

        When you say

        Because the mineral earth is dying, and must be resurrected and renewed to a kind of sun-like existence

        Again, Rudolf Steiner pointed to this as our challenge. It is for us to counter the slow sterilization of our soils – not march forward with chemicals, pesticides and all manner of poisons that are peddled by the world’s corporations. Both European and American.

        I will add that as a carpenter it is entirely possible – using metal tools it has to be admitted – to make a house entirely out of wood. Everything from the roof shingles to the wooden latch on the door. All of this grows, can be replaced in a way that plastics cannot be. It does take time, it does take effort and it does take money.

        But used carefully and with intelligence, I, myself and some willing help, can make a house for you. But you will have to pay me with promisory notes. For a house is simply too expensive an object – as is a shoe – to be a barterable commodity.

        Like

      • Caryn Louise

        Gemma: “If you have read Rudolf Steiner’s ‘World Economy’, you will know that all advanced economies depend on what he terms the ‘division of labour’. Part of this is the development of money in the sphere of rights.”

        This is not correct Gemma, the sphere of rights (known as the old political realm) is the legal sphere that holds the balance between the economy and cultural life.

        It is the sphere of rights role to mediate in the legalities of the economic life with the irrevocable – all is equal before the law. The sphere of rights is the breathing rhythm of society and it is because of the very reason that the sphere of rights interferes in the economic life (and visa versa) the economy is suffocated.

        “The activities which are to be carried out in the facilities which serve the production and interchange of commodities are not conducive to the best possible influence on the area of human rights. In the economy one individual turns to another individual because one serves the interests of the other, but the relation of one person to another is fundamentally different in the area of human rights.

        The individual can only correctly experience the legal relation which must exist between himself and others when he does not experience this relation in the economic area, but in an area which is completely separate from it.

        Therefore, an area must develop in the social organism alongside the economy and independent of it, in which the rights element is cultivated and administered. The rights element is, moreover, that of the political domain, of the state. If men carry over their economic interests into the legislation and administration of the rights-state, then the resulting rights will only be the expression of these economic interests.

        When the rights-state manages the economy it loses the ability to regulate human rights. Its acts and facilities must serve the human need for commodities; they are therefore diverted from the impulses which correspond to human rights.

        The healthy social organism requires an autonomous political state as the second member alongside the economic sector. In the autonomous economic sector, through the forces of economic life, people will develop facilities which will best serve the production and interchange of commodities. In the political state facilities will develop which will orient the mutual relations between persons and groups in a way which corresponds to human rights-awareness.”

        Basic Issues of the Social Question, Chapter Two, Finding Real Solutions to the Problems of our Times (GA023)

        Like

      • Gemma

        Caryn,

        This is not correct Gemma, the sphere of rights (known as the old political realm) is the legal sphere that holds the balance between the economy and cultural life.

        The balance between ‘economy’ (inside) and ‘cultural life’ (outside) is precisely what money is there to balance. Money does exist in the sphere of rights, and it can only do so, because it is a medium for the exchange of values (rights), not the transfer of materials.

        Like

  15. Ton Majoor

    The City is the greatest financial centre in Europe. In 1922 Steiner characterized England’s original financial capital as Trade Capital in contrast to Germany’s Industrial Capital. Is this trade/industry distinction relevant in case of a Brexit?
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0340/19220801a01.html

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      Yes, because industry is on the way out. Trade is something we can do effectively with each other, and it only requires our own self-creative spirit-personality to engage the work. Industry, on the other hand, denotes the results of scientific-materialism, which was a Bacon initiative, which has had its day, and is on the way out due to simple obsolescence of the earth’s mineral nature. We live today on a dying crumbling earth, which means that its so-called “industrial-military” objectives are utterly stupid and without meaning for the real world.

      I see the Brexit vote [out] as a statement for real progress, or continuing to remain behind in the European theatre. America simply has to be opposed in what it is doing by a European voice. Brexit will start this process, and we can thank David Cameron for the foresight in making it happen, although it wasn’t what he thought.

      Steve

      Like

    • Gemma

      Rudolf Steiner characterized Britain’s original financial capital as Trade Capital in contrast to Germany’s Industrial Capital.

      Ton Majoor. What is forgotten here is that Britain’s Trade capital was turned into industrial capital.

      Today, Britain’s capital is owned by the banks and is now stagnating in their bellies like festering pus.

      Steve Hale “Industry, on the other hand, denotes the results of scientific-materialism, which was a Bacon initiative, which has had its day” – only because your greedy corporations have chosen to send it overseas, to Asia. America’s trade relies on goods manufactured in what are fast becoming enemies of your state. What’s more, in a truly Ahrimanic twist, it’s all your own doing.

      America is as ‘industrialized’ as the rest of the world, it’s just that it relies on other vassals to do their dirty work.

      Like

  16. Gemma

    There are people around here who see America’s influence in Britain as emanating from the European Union. This comment is to provide background information as to what has been done in the last three decades in the “TTIP experiment” to coin a term. This entity used to be the democratic country of Britain, which is now a corporate feasting ground – with the tattered remains of the functioning economy it once had.

    Now to be fair, there are those who believe that industry is unnecessary in our modern world, and the USA is a prime example of a post-industrial economy that lives only by trading goods made in other countries. Which is fair enough, in as far as it goes. But look a little deeper – as I will – and you will find that all is not well in such economies that have already fallen to the corporate empire. All this demonstrates is that the Americans have sold American jobs overseas so the bosses could make more money.

    Now: Britain’s infrastructure is in an apalling state on account of the way in which much of it was privatized – privatized in a democracy under the thumb of corporations. The railways are a prime example of this, along with the whacky idea to privatize the electricity industry. What is important to note here is that the European Union had no hand in this whatsoever. This particular march towards TTIP was Britain’s idea entirely, and in isolation! Because it really puzzles me that anybody should think this is a problem foist on Britain by the EU! Outside the EU, Britain can get up to this kind of nonsense quite happily through its own inability to deal with economic realities…

    You see, if Britain had dealt with these economic realities, thye wouldn’t need to woo Chinese investment in the British electricity sector if the British infrastructure was well planned… and the British went to the absurd – nay, alarming – lengths to achieve this by vetoing the steel tariffs in Europe.

    You cannot invent this kind of blind political fumbling, it really has to be the result of blind corporate pressure to sell this, then sell that, and all so that blind corporate greed can feast on railways privatized… and stations – railway and power alike – merchandized. What’s more it cost the British government a stack… but that’s what TTIP is all about, and it’s what Britain does best.

    Only later would the idea of rail privatization be seeded in Europe, having seen the profits to be made from the passing trade on the station concourses… and the rail industries effectively torn apart with the track maintenance and operations sides being divided, cut through with the blunt knife of dull bureaucratic thinking. For “track maintenance” please realize that this actually means “lucrative concourse franchises”. Track maintenance in Britain was scandalously bad… and probably still is.

    However, this does show TTIP to be the result of American corporate thinking – which as explained, is already in full swing in Britain. American corporate thinking, however, does not understand how Europeans work. Because SNCF, Deutsche Bahn – along with their so-called ‘track maintenance’ other halves – are fully privatized companies under the kind of law the US sought to bring into Europe… the problem is that they never dreamed of them being anything else than privatized companies.

    In a truly Ahrimanic situation, where the unseen consequences bite the creator the harder, it was utterly beyond them to think of the privatized company that is wholly owned by the government! Thus they made no provision for it, and the more astute governments made hay with the foolishness of the Americans who were blinded by selfish, Ahrimanic greed.

    The result is that Captrain and Schenker have mopped up the lucrative rail freight markets across Europe – including Britain. In Britain there is the odd glimmer of truly British rail lines, with Virgin and First (although I need to check facts here, and find out how much investment in these companies has been made by the governmental vultures SNCF and DB). Most of the smaller companies are now owned by the governments of France of Germany… just like the energy sector in Britain.

    This is precisely what TTIP was introduced to avoid!!! Oh, sorry, it’s not been formally introduced in the UK yet, has it?

    My apologies to all, but the difference between the British economy and one ruled over by TTIP is hard to distinguish these days.

    Like

    • It’s not been formally introduced anywhere yet, Gemma. TTIP is still being negotiated.

      Like

      • Gemma

        I am well aware that TTIP has not been formally introduced anywhere yet. But that is only because the outward, political formalities have yet to be finalized.

        However, as Rudolf Steiner continually asked us to, we must look at the facts. Facts that are in front of our very eyes!

        It is not good enough to simply listen to the politicians who blather on about this or that. What did Neville Chamberlain say in 1938? “Peace in our time”. Well we know how long that lasted, don’t we?

        The most important thing to realize is that Neville Chamberlain actually believed what he was saying!

        He believed in the depths of his heart that there would be peace in his time! And when he looked there, that was all there was to see!

        He literally could not see the things unfolding around him – in Europe for example, in Asia and in America. He believed what he said because he could not see the facts.

        The facts are itemized above, and point to the activities of people who work consciously with Ahrimanic evil. They know full well that their activities will overcome any objection because the mass of people do want cheap telephones and cheap Polish labour to make them a new bathroom. For half the cost.

        The facts are there, all around us.

        But we have to understand what it is in a person when they utter lies, yet fully believe they are telling the truth – because that is all they can see in their hearts. Unless one can appreciate this, and it means starting within oneself, one cannot hope to see facts unvelied. Without this, politicians can tell us what we want to believe, and they will be believed.

        Rather than seeing the facts of the matter for our own selves, which point to the truth.

        Like

      • Steve Hale

        Dear Jeremy,

        I would like to hear your assessment of what this thread of comments to your essay means to you. Personally, as an American, I see it as a very important statement to “vote out”, as I am a student of American interventionism in the world, and see where the logic and aim of world dominion is going. America rules the world with its associated partnerships, and this puts the onus on the United Kingdom to see this fact, and opt out of any future alliance with America. This stands to be a crossroads event, and the vote of June 23rd is one where it will be proved whether Britain has the courage to stand on its own two feet with the courage of Michael, and wielding that sword of meteoric iron.

        Gemma’s remarks throughout only serve to confound the fundamental position; whatever is true remains with the British vote. Even Tom Shea might be seeing the need to make a stand after all of this rhetoric. What will it prove in the long run? A great deal, I suspect, as the UK is a voice that crosses the frontier to other reasoning minds within the European theatre.

        Steve

        Like

      • Dear Steve,
        I’m grateful for all the comments because although in my own mind I’ve decided that Brexit is the lesser of two evils, it’s such a complex issue that there may be lots of things which I’ve not taken into consideration. I think that what we need is a new story to take us forward and I will probably be writing about this in my next posting.
        Best wishes,
        Jeremy

        Like

      • Gemma

        Steve Hale.

        When you say “Gemma’s remarks throughout only serve to confound the fundamental position”

        May I ask what this so-called ‘fundamental position’ actually is?

        Because the point of my comments has been to state the facts as they are seen not only by a Briton (me) but one who has the rare perspective of speaking three other European languages – thus giving me an insight into the cultures and the patterns of thinking that arose from them, and thus I am able to form an objective opinion of the things that go on in my own country. Rather than a subjective one, with all this brings.

        The essence of the problem for the Briton is that – as Rudolf Steiner speaks about economics and economic theory in his World Economy (GA 340) – is that they are inside the problem and cannot discern what is actually going on.

        Which is why I have sought to confound the fundamental position whatever form this concept might take in the mind of each reader. Which is why the likes of Boris Johnson and David Cameron stand on each side of a divide that exists largely in the mind of each, but not in reality.

        Like

  17. Gemma

    Jeremy, I am sure that you have seen this article from the Daily Telegraph in London:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/news/forget-organic-what-on-earth-is-astrological-food/

    It’s about eggs.

    Only this article really is about the European Union and TTIP – or at least, what leads to these. Because in the article it states quite clearly:

    However, the British Egg Information Service remain unconvinced. […] There is no difference in the nutritious value in eggs from different production systems and this has been shown in government tests.

    Now this is fine, in as far as it goes. After all, government tests are government tests. People believe government tests because the government is the most authoritative institution in the country and so cannot be faulted. But then, people who quote from their guru are saying that they would rather their guru made their decisions for them because he is their authority, just as they expect this of their government.

    When a peson expects testing to be done by other people who are in positions of authority, they are not going to test the thing for themselves, are they? This leads to the situation where my friend Jasper is puzzled by my choosing expensive chocolate like Lindt or Verkade – instead of the cheap stuff he buys.

    But then, he can’t taste the difference. Quite literally, his tastebuds are so de-tuned that he lacks the perception to determine the quality of chocolate.

    Back to eggs: the quality of bio-dynamic eggs is there for all who can see* to see* (*taste). The problem for scientists is a little like the riddle of DNA where turkeys share 99% of the genes of a chicken, yet the flesh is radically different.

    Well, it is if you don’t grow the birds in a sterile warehouse and slaughter them at nine weeks or whatever the figure is.

    The point here is that the science is limited in its perceptions – that is to say, it is limited to the physical properties of the egg or the turkey or the chicken, and so lacks the tools to determine quality. Quality, after all, is not a part of the physical realm, but part of the astral, the feeling realm – and no physical science can ever enter there. And that includes physical, intellectual thinking.

    The point I wish to make here is that when people – even highly trained scientists – lack the perception to enjoy the difference in the boiled egg they eat for their breakfast, how on earth can one expect them to form just laws on the basis of this?

    Which is perhaps the best explanation of why the run-up to the Brexit vote is so confused: neither party can state clear reasons for being in or out. They can only fumble about in the darkness that lies beyond their abilities to perceive and imagine…

    … and whilst they believe these imaginings to be concrete and real, they cannot actually prove them because they don’t know how (and since they seem concrete and real, there is no need, is there?)

    The only problem is that both “remainsers” and “exiters” are doing this… and neither of them can see the other’s point of view.

    So much for modern politics, eh?

    Like

    • Gemma, this reminds me of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer’s question to Rudolf Steiner. Pfeiffer felt that he was making little progress with the exercises from Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and asked Steiner why this should be so, expecting to be told that he wasn’t working hard enough at them. Instead, Steiner said: “It’s because of the quality of the food you eat.” This spurred Pfeiffer on with his work on biodynamics. If the quality of the food was so poor in the 1920s that it couldn’t support one’s spiritual development, how much worse must the situation be today? Most people are simply unable to conceive of any reality beyond the physical.

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

      Like

      • Gemma

        Well, if ever there was an answer, that was it. I will add that I am very well aware of the poor quality of food. There’s an upcoming post on my blog about it… but being public, it only deals with the overt, material aspects.

        If the quality of the food was so poor in the 1920s that it couldn’t support one’s spiritual development, how much worse must the situation be today?

        Firstly, and this was perhaps twenty years ago when the kids were little, I took one of our cabbages and made it into a coleslaw. After as healthy and nutritious meal as could be made in the circumstances – and yes, our soil was bio-dynamic although not certified as such. What I noticed was that my kids looked a little sleepy, which surprised me as the usual situation was for them to want to go and play outside.

        Then it hit me, too.

        Well, I can only describe it as a ‘high’. Now I’ve never taken drugs beyond the odd puff of cannabis, but I have to say that it was quite an amazing feeling.

        Another aspect to this is giving one’s children the best food one can, can be likened to the concept of ‘gift money’ – that is to say, the money one invests in a future that is unplanned. Free.

        On the topic of poor food, it is now a ‘suctional spiral’ in that poor thinking leads to thinking of food merely as fuel. The flavours now come out of a packet of spices rather than from the food itself – this is something I want to expand on in my blog post. The result is people who simply do not care! To them, their lives are material, and therefore since they are the archetypal ‘column of atoms’ will simply evaporate into the nothingness that is death (the abyss).

        In conclusion, I want to say that the number of people who have the capacity to perceive the material realities of Goethe’s colour teachings, are astonishingly small. It was this realization that made Rudolf Steiner realize that he had something beyond special in his hands, as it tied in with all he was able to conceive of – and had so many problems because nobody else beleived him.

        In our world, such a capacity is not going to blossom given the food most people eat. It really has to be something carried over from a past life, and needs to be nurtured – the principles are extremely simple and can be conveyed in the space of ninety seconds. Because otherwise, they may wither on account of the food ‘environment’ we now live in, and the abilities lost.

        The result is that today, I know of only three people who practice the verses in anything like a consistent manner.

        That is anthroposophy today.

        Like

  18. Caryn Louise

    Excuse my absence I have been helping a small company with their book keeping. Due to the stagnant economy, as it is here in a third world country, people tend not to pay their bills.

    It seems to me, in my part of the woods at least, there is a struggle going on between “capital” which is viewed as been “western” and socialism/communism which so far, is viewed in my opinion, as smashing everything that has been achieved through individual hard work.

    Therefore, if I may offer my opinion to you in first world countries do not turn your back on what your culture has built upon and learnt from the fourth Roman age. You will be amazed at how quickly a society can go downhill without these stalwart systems in place.

    I used to watch RT News until I came to the conclusion it is nothing but populist media.

    Caryn

    Like

    • Gemma

      Caryn,

      my father always added a line to his invoice: “If this invoice is not paid by [date supplied] it will incur a 10% levy.”

      It worked like magic in the third world – Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia.

      The only problems he ever had were with British and American companies…

      Like

  19. Tom Hart Shea

    in the Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal we celebrate Whitsuntide for 3 days, so I am a day late with this contribution.
    It is a poem by my friend and inspiration, John Gordon. Originally, in 1990, he named it ‘Call to the West’ though it was later published as ‘At Her Touch’.
    However, to me it seems particularly relevant today, especially with the first title, and somehow in this context, where we surely need the inspiration and help of the Spiritual World.
    ——————-

    ‘Call to the West’ by Rev. John Gordon.

    Across the ache of ages
    Extends the Mother’s hand.

    At her touch,
    There breathes a rose-pink fume,
    From every heart’s deep kore.*

    At her touch,
    Freed from childhood toils of woe,
    We ride forth anew as heroes of the sun.

    At her touch,
    There flows from every mouth,
    The healing water of the Word.

    At her touch,
    The Temple veil in twain is torn,
    Revealing radiant the Christ within.

    At her touch,
    The hidden Magi of the West,
    Foursquare cast their shepherd seed.

    At her touch,
    Each hand is sealed a servant of her Lord,
    Each deed is a lovelaunched barque of balm.

    At her touch,
    Whitsun roses, pink and gold,
    Cover o’er the silent black of Easter thorn.

    Across the ache of ages
    Extends the Mother’s hand.
    —————————————————-

    * ‘k’ is the intended spelling.

    Like

  20. Caryn Louise

    Jeremy, you have this link labeled under a threefold association – where in it all I read is anti-“West” and anti-Rhodes propaganda?

    http://threeman.org/?p=815:
    Cecil Rhodes (above) had established his own secret society in 1891, ostensibly inspired by the Jesuits, with the goal not only of ensuring Anglo-American world domination by means of what is today called ‘hard power’ – joint naval action – but also ‘soft power’ – finance and culture, hence the famous Rhodes scholarships, whereby promising young Americans were brought to Oxford to imbibe the imperial ethos at Oxford University, in the city that has always been the heart of the traditional centre of English conservative culture.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_South_Africa_Company
    http://bsac.greatnorthroad.org/bsac.pdf

    Cecil John Rhodes, having succeeded in amalgamating the diamond industry in Kimberley and floated the De Beers Consolidated Company, received a royal charter from the government of Britain in 1889 granting Rhodes, leader of the Chartered Company, permission to colonize the areas north of the Limpopo River on behalf of Britain. In return for undertaking the expense of colonisation, the BSAC was given the right to control all mineral resources found in the new colonies. This large area comprising of many different societies and kingdoms was divided into three colonies, Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

    By the turn of the century, Rhodes’ Company held a vast, land-locked country, bisected by the Zambezi river. It officially named this land Rhodesia in 1895, and ran it until the early 1920s. The area south of the Zambezi became Southern Rhodesia, while that to the north became North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia, which were joined in 1911 to form Northern Rhodesia. Each territory was administered separately, with an administrator heading each territorial legislature.

    The BSAC encouraged mineral surveys of the three colonies, but by 1920 no large deposits of gold or any other minerals were found. Under these circumstances the BSAC was not willing to continue to pay for the colonial governance of these territories. In 1923 the BSAC gave up political control over these territories to representatives of the European settler community. Prior to 1920, Northern Rhodesia, the largest of the three colonies, was also the least integrated into the colonial and world economy. Settler-dominated beef, tobacco, and tea farming were developing in Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland respectively, but there was very little commercial activity in Northern Rhodesia.

    This situation changed dramatically between 1920 and 1950. Large deposits of high quality copper ore were found in Northern Rhodesia and across the border in the Katanga region of the Congo. This discovery happened at a time when the expansion of electrification and the electronic industries in Europe and North America created a strong demand for copper. In a period of 30 years, Northern Rhodesia developed into one of the leading producers of copper in the world.

    Policing north of the Zambezi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_rule_in_Rhodesia

    North-Eastern Rhodesia was initially policed by locally-recruited rank-and-filers, led by officers from south of the river; the first force was raised in 1896. During its early years it busied itself eliminating the slave trade, in which Arab traders captured local villagers for sale as slaves overseas. This objective was achieved by forcibly expelling all Arabs from the region. A more regular police force was then introduced by the Company in each of the northern territories.

    For Terry Boardman:

    The removal of the Cecil John Rhodes Statue at UCT.

    Like

    • Ton Majoor

      Steiner (1920) admired Rhodes’ practicality (not translated):
      http://fvn-rs.net/PDF/GA/GA337a/GA337a-258.html

      Like

      • Caryn Louise

        Thanks Ton, I have not seen this before and shall translate it. The above picture describes the sentiment much better than the youtube video does!

        Like

    • Caryn Louise

      “ The unsocial, often even antisocial, feelings of those who claim to be today’s socialist thinkers, stem from the cultural life of an earlier era, especially as it is manifested in the educational system. This spiritual-cultural sphere alienated from life itself has called forth a twisted notion of spiritual life. Broad segments of the populace believe that the genuine human impulses reside within economic forms. According to them, cultural life is nothing but a “superstructure” with its foundations in the economy, an ideology arising from a particular mode of economic activity. This view has been adopted (consciously or unconsciously) by almost the entire working class, the bearers of the social demands of the age. This working class developed during an age in which spiritual culture has foregone the attempt to find a direction and a goal of itself; an age in which the outward social form this spiritual culture has adopted is the result of political and economic life. Only self-administration can rescue the spiritual-cultural life from its present condition.

      Yoked firmly to the economy by the capitalistic system and technology, the proletariat now believes that mere organization of economic life will necessarily bring about “by itself” the needed reforms in the legal and cultural domain as well. The working class was obliged to experience how modern cultural life had become a mere adjunct to political and economic life, and so they formed the opinion that all cultural life must be such an appendage.

      If, in truth, they could see this dismal concept embodied within a social organism, it would be a bitter disappointment actually to discover that a cultural life arising from a social reform based on economic principles alone would lead to even more dire and pitiful conditions than the present ones. The fact that today’s working class has been harnessed into the economic system has led to the notion that only economic reconstruction can cure the ailment.

      The day that sets the working class free from this superstition; the day that allows people to become aware of their own instincts and to recognize that cultural and legal life cannot function as an ideology born from the economic environment; the day the proletariat perceives that the calamity of the modern age lies precisely in the fact that such an ideology has emerged; that will be the day that brings the dawn awaited by many.”
      Social Future 1: The Threefold Social Organism Democracy and Socialism

      Like

  21. Caryn Louise

    Caryn: “This is not correct Gemma, the sphere of rights (known as the old political realm) is the legal sphere that holds the balance between the economy and cultural life.”

    Gemma: “The balance between ‘economy’ (inside) and ‘cultural life’ (outside) is precisely what money is there to balance. Money does exist in the sphere of rights, and it can only do so, because it is a medium for the exchange of values (rights), not the transfer of materials.”

    So money is viewed as a standard for human value and the exchange of commodities has no value?

    This view comes from a socialist education where the cultural life is seen as an appendage to the economic and political life. And hence from this the economic life is viewed as being an inner process and the cultural life the outside spoils of this process.

    Whereas, in contrast to the circulatory respiration of the legal rights life, the economic life is related to the head through the nerves and senses which is directed to the outer world. The spiritual cultural life is related to the metabolism system.

    Thus, there is a clear Trinity in the social organism:

    The Economic Life – The Nerves and Senses
    The Legal Rights life – Respiration
    The Spiritual Cultural life – Metabolism

    To suppose that these separate realms infringe on one another’s distinct boundary is what Goethe termed – the mixed metals collapsed in a heap.

    Like

    • Gemma

      Caryn, first you misconstrue the things I say: “So money is viewed as a standard for human value and the exchange of commodities has no value?”

      And then you expand on this to say that I had a socialist upbringing and go on to imagine all manner of things…

      So let us stop for a moment, and consider your quotation

      The Economic Life – The Nerves and Senses
      The Legal Rights life – Respiration
      The Spiritual Cultural life – Metabolism

      And you go on to state that “To suppose that these separate realms infringe on one another’s distinct boundary” – which is precisely what Rudolf Steiner explains in his World Economy:

      “The Threefold Commonwealth — not the splitting into parts of the three members; the splitting apart is always there. The point is rather to find how the three members can be brought together, so that they may really work in the social organism with inherent intelligence, just as the nerves-and-senses system, the heart-and-lungs system, and the metabolic system, for example, work together in the natural organism of man.”

      So why do you say that it “infringes on one another’s distinct boundary”??? When Rudolf Steiner, who understood these things a bit better than you or I, states clearly that they should infringe. To take your thought from Goethe, it is for us to work the metals coherently, and not allow them to collapse.

      The question is, however, why do you need boundaries in the social organism in which you live, when Rudolf Steiner states that it is healthy and intelligent when the three realms should work together harmoniously as they do in the human body? After all, when they do not, in the human body it is called ´illness´ and in a society and its economy, it is no different.

      Like

      • Caryn Louise

        Sorry for my late reply Gemma, after posting my last post there was an electricity outage for 30 hours! Thanks for your reply. If we take the discussion back to the beginning where I commented this is not correct in the Threefold Society:

        “Part of this is the development of money in the sphere of rights”

        And study what the lectures say on the distinct three areas:

        The catastrophe of World War I has revealed the disparity between national structures and the interests of world economy. A large part of the war’s causes must be sought in the fact that the nations exploited the economy to augment their power, or in the fact that people involved in economic pursuits sought to promote their own economic interests by means of politics. Individual economies served to disrupt a world economy striving for unity. The various nations sought to turn the economic gains that should have remained within the economy to political advantage. Social Future 1: The Threefold Social Organism Democracy and Socialism

        The contradiction that has gradually developed between the self-imposed tasks of nation-states and the tendencies of economic life is one of the most significant facts of recent history. The nation-states have sought to draw the regulation of economic life within their boundaries into the sphere of their responsibilities. Persons, or groups of persons, who administer economic life seek support for their activities in the power of the state. One state confronts the other not only as a separate cultural and political realm, but also as a bearer of the economic interests at work within the region. Within the national states, cultural and political interests become entangled with those of the economy. Social Future 2: The International Economy and the Threefold Social Order

        What has brought humanity to the present state of affairs in the civilized world is that during the last few centuries the three spheres the economic life, the political life and the cultural life have in many respects grown together into a single, unified state. And the cause of the present unrest is that an enormous number of people are struggling (while unconscious of the real nature of their striving) toward a delimitation of these three spheres of life into separate systems of the social organism, so that the spiritual-cultural life may be free to shape itself according to its own spiritual impulses; that the sphere of rights may be built up democratically through the interaction (direct or representational) of people on equal terms; and that the economic life may extend solely to the production, circulation and consumption of commodities.

        A spiritual life that attempted to determine legal relations on its own terms would inevitably be led from the in-equality of human abilities to inequality in the law. It would be false to its own nature if it were to allow itself to be determined by economic interests. Under such a spiritual culture, people would never come to a true consciousness of what, in reality, the spirit may be for human life, for they would watch the spirit degrade itself through injustice and falsify itself through economic aims.

        A spiritual life that attempted to determine legal relations on its own terms would inevitably be led from the in-equality of human abilities to inequality in the law. It would be false to its own nature if it were to allow itself to be determined by economic interests. Under such a spiritual culture, people would never come to a true consciousness of what, in reality, the spirit may be for human life, for they would watch the spirit degrade itself through injustice and falsify itself through economic aims. Threefold Social Order 7: What Socialists Do Not See

        The regulation of legal affairs and the shaping of economic life afford us our proper place within the social order only when each is governed from its separate center and from its special viewpoint.

        An economy that governs the rights of human beings, and educates them according to its own interests, reduces the person to a mere cog in the economic machinery. It stunts the human spirit, which can develop freely only when it unfolds according to its own innate impulses. It stunts, too, those relations with our fellows that stem from these feelings, and refuse to be influenced by economic considerations — relations that are striving rather to be governed in accordance with the equality of all regarding what is purely human.

        The health of the social organism depends upon its articulation into three independent spheres: a spiritual-cultural sphere, a legal or rights-sphere, and an economic sphere.

        Far from dividing people into three social strata, the articulation will allow them to participate in all three spheres according to their interests as whole human beings. The separation will be such that in the cultural or legal spheres, for instance, no decision can be made concerning problems arising within the economy. In the unitary state, where the three systems are intertwined, an economic group will have the power to legalize its interests and declare them public rights. In the threefold organism this can never happen, because economic interests can play themselves out only within the economic cycle, and there will be no possibility of overflow into the legal sphere.

        The greatest possible guarantee that one sphere of the threefold organism cannot be violated by another lies in their union, effected by the total corporate body consisting of the delegates of the three central administrations and agencies. For these central administrative committees will have to deal with actual developments within their own spheres.

        They will not arrive at a situation where, for instance, the rights sphere or the cultural sphere would be impinged upon by the economic, because this would place them in opposition to the developments taking place in their several spheres. Should, however, the influence of one department over another become necessary, the factual basis for such influence can lie only in the sphere of corporate interest and not in the individual group’s interest. Social Future 1: The Threefold Social Organism Democracy and Socialism

        So far I am sure you agree the emphasis is on three distinct areas and due to the fact that they are distinct there will be a harmonious working together as human beings.

        Liberty
        The spiritual-cultural life free to shape itself according to its own spiritual impulses in education, art, science and religion

        Equality
        The sphere of rights built up democratically through the interaction (direct or representational) of people on equal terms

        Fraternity
        The economic life extended solely to the production, circulation and consumption of commodities.

        Metabolism
        Respiration
        Head

        Like

      • Gemma

        Good morning.

        Thankyou for your response, which on this occasion agreed with my own point of view.

        When you quote the following:

        The health of the social organism depends upon its articulation into three independent spheres: a spiritual-cultural sphere, a legal or rights-sphere, and an economic sphere.

        Far from dividing people into three social strata, the articulation will allow them to participate in all three spheres according to their interests as whole human beings.

        This articulation must be co-operative.

        You end your lengthy quotation with the comment

        So far I am sure you agree the emphasis is on three distinct areas and due to the fact that they are distinct there will be a harmonious working together as human beings.

        Well, it might in a perfect world. You are suggesting that people will become harmonious in and of themselves if the three areas become distinct. Now what was it Rudolf Steiner said?

        “If men will only become selfless, if they will only fulfil the categorical imperative of selflessness, the economic life will become good.” Such judgements are really of no more worth than this one: If my mother-in-law had four wheels and a handle in front, she would be a bus!*

        (This is a poor translation – as many are – the ‘handle’ here being the shaft for the horses).

        The most important element to realize about economics is that it is a human activity: it is a reflection of our society, not something that forms society out of itself. Thus the harmonious working together is a precondition for a healthy economy.

        We have the problem that there is little respect in our world; respect is the first step to a stable and effective business. Now it is true that there are many businesses that have been around for a century or more, and still managed to turn a profit. There is, however, a problem: if you do not know who your best customers are, there is no way in which one can expect a company to have a secure future. Many will have a future, but it will be at the expense of the nerves of the business owner and his ability to sleep at night. Given your lack of interest in my other comment, I will leave it at that, unless you show a direct interest in applying Rudolf Steiner’s ideas on economics and business in a practical way in our modern, topsy-turvy world.

        Like

  22. Caryn Louise

    Gemma, earlier you wrote against the privatisation of state owned entities citing the electricity and railways as an example. Is it not logical for people who are skilled in electrical engineering and in trains to run and manage the area they know. What does the legal-rights sphere know about electricity and trains?

    Like

    • Gemma

      I did indeed.

      Only when it comes to economics, it is impossible to apply logic of any kind. Rudolf Steiner makes it quite clear that we are all immersed in it, and thus can only see the realities of economics using pictorial thinking. This is perhaps the most important element of his “World Economy” lecture series.

      As to electricity generation and distribution, or for that matter, the railways, these two organizations are inherently part of the ‘rights’ sphere. These exist in order to transfer firstly power, and in the second instance, goods and people. They are effectively economic servants rather than economic masters. After all, a man who enters a train is unlikely to be any wiser when he steps out of it – and even if he is, it is not due to the influence of the means of his carriage. Nor will he be any richer. Thus they are economically neutral.

      The point I want to make is that a government is the best organization to run these, as it (should be) democratic and thus impartial to the economic moods of the country at large.

      And yes, you are right, electrical engineers are the best at running the electrical systems – that stands to reason. But that has nothing to do with who pays them for the work they do or who owns the apparatus they control on behalf of those who use it.

      As things stand both the railways and the electricity suppliers are best held in government hands. Indeed, the reality of this has been shown in the so-called privatizations in Europe – taking the railways as an example. It started with the chaos in Britain, and has slowly spread out across Europe.

      However, there still needs to be a national timetable and national fare structure – which in most European countries are extremely strict. The smaller and less profitable lines were given a lease of life through privatization; the main lines were better off in the hands of national operators on account of it being easier for the traveller to move from one end of the country to the other without having to worry about changes in ticketing regulations (a horror in the UK, by the way).

      What has elapsed with the opening of the rail markets across Europe is that concerns like Captrain and Schenker have mopped up all the profitable freight operations in Europe – with a few minor exceptions. Captrain is a company that is wholly owned by the French government; Schenker is owned by the German government. The absurd idea of privatizing the railways in Europe – dreamed up by libertarian Americans – has bitten them in the tail!

      The reality is that State owned rail operators are better at doing the job – even in a strictly ‘open market’ with outwardly private companies.

      Like

  23. James Tinney

    Hi, Really enjoyed reading your article. Rob (farm) passed it on to me. I’ve read many EU Ref articles and none have looked at the 100/200 year cultural movements. Unique in that respect!

    Hey, I wanted to tell you that I have organised a screening of the film “Brexit – The Movie” in the Village Hall on Sunday 19th June 6.30pm. It’s a film arguing the case to leave in terms of Democracy & Trade.

    And, I have Mark Hill, from the Green Party “Green Leaves” Campaign visiting to do a Q&A after the film. Hearing from Mark will be fascinating, on TTIP etc.

    If you would like a flyer, send me an email to jamestinney200 @ hotmail.com and I’ll get it to you.

    Be great to get the word out about the screening & the Green Leaves visit.

    ((NB. Anyone who can’t make the screening, can watch “brexit – the movie” free on youtube))

    Thanks

    James

    Like

    • Hi James,

      Many thanks for your kind comments and I’m delighted that you will be organising a screening of “Brexit – the Movie” in the Forest Row Village Hall on 19th June. I’ve watched it on YouTube and think it’s very good, but I do wish it didn’t feature quite so many people from the right wing. There is a very good left-wing and green case to be made for leaving the EU and I think both Labour and the Green Party have missed a trick in not making it.

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

      Like

      • James Tinney

        Totally agree!!

        LabourLeave are making “Lexit – The Movie”, that’s coming out very soon, so will look forward to it. If that was ready in time, I would have done that instead.

        Hopefully, GreenLeaves being there at my screening for Q&A will bring that balance & attract in people from the left

        If you want my flyer, send me an email. Need to get the word out now!

        James

        Like

      • Tom Hart Shea

        Hi, Jeremy and James,

        I watched the film, it is interesting and made me think but there are a few people featured whom I do not trust no matter what they say, and this made me doubtful about the integrity of many other participants.

        If I were able to attend the screening, in any discussion that followed I would want to draw the attention of the audience and the speakers to the following observations.

        1. Kelvin MacKenzie, is an ex-editor of the Sun. I do not believe he as any real respect for other people. His behaviour when editor of a national newspaper would indicate only contempt for truth.

        2. Claire Fox was once a member of the Revolutionary Communist party and is now described as a ‘Radical Libertarian’. She is still associated with the far left group who ran ‘Living Marxism’ which morphed into LM and then into ‘Spiked Online’. The ‘Institute of Ideas’ is one manifestation of this group of extreme marxist intellectuals.
        ‘Spiked’ contributors deny global warming, are pro GMOs and are anti-alternative medicines, for example, but nowhere do they state their positive ideology.
        What is Claire’s unspoken agenda?

        3. Janet Daley does have integrity but she has a very right-leaning Republican philosophy.

        4. Melanie Phillips has spent the last 20 years demeaning the professionalism of teachers, doctors and social workers through her column in the Daily Mail. She is someone who has practiced slighting and slandering zealously, never having any regard for the effect of her words on the people who give of their best to serve the children, the sick and the disadvantaged.

        5. Some of the other contributors are Conservative politicians whom I suspect are only interested in what will increase their personal wealth, for example David Davies, Nigel Lawson, et al.

        6. It should also be born in mind that Martin Durkin, the director of Brexit the Movie is most famous for making a film called ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’, in which he attacks the integrity of the scientists who warn of global warming.

        Like

      • Dear Tom,

        I agree that the cast of Brexit – the Movie is not the most appealing set of people, and I also think it unfortunate that so much of the Brexit campaign has been sidetracked into a contest to become the next leader of the Conservatives. But that is really not what Brexit is about, and it’s certainly not what I’ve been setting out in my post.

        But since you are a firm advocate of Remain, I’d be interested to hear what you think Britain should do if it votes to stay in. Should Britain for example now join the Euro? Should it apply to become part of the Schengen area? Should it vote for the United States of Europe to become a fact, with its own army, taxation system, and President? Because that is surely the logic of your position – if Britain votes to stay in but does not join the federal project, it is going to have a very tough time, with even less influence and many punitive developments imposed on it. If we vote to Remain, we will actually be voting for the end of the United Kingdom as a meaningful entity. Is that really what you want?

        Best wishes,

        Jeremy

        Like

      • James Tinney

        Hi Tom

        I recognise that Brexit – The Movie, is a right wing perspective.

        I am not a fan of Identity Politics. I am more keen on the battle of ideas, rather than the people who say an idea.

        I am backing brexit, 90% due to democracy ( I want to see a decentralising power > from EU to Westminster > then from Westminster > Regions). To localise decision making. 10% due to EU Regulations. As a farmer / farmer’s son, I/We have found the CAP “one side fits all” tremenously onerous over the years, and at times very costly with legal fees and also needly adjustments to buildings (just to fit the rules).

        I see myself as an pro-immigration internationalist brexiter.

        I would have enjoyed screening “Lexit – The Movie” (which Labour Leave are creating). However, that options isn’t available to me as it’s not finished yet!

        Also I have invited Mark Hill from Green Leaves (ex-Green Party Counsellor / Unofficial Green Party Out Campaign) to speak after the screeing to do a Q&A session. He recognises that this film is from a right wing perspective, and so he can add in the left perspectives through Q&A. That will be interesting.

        Thanks for writing to me, greatly appreciated!

        James

        Like

  24. Tom Hart Shea

    Dear Jeremy,
    I appreciate your positive response to my post and also James’s from the perspective of a farmer’s son.

    I will try to answer some of your points.

    Having seen education policy in England continuously changed and sabotaged by various interest groups over the last 30 years, I have come to see that what appears to be set in stone by legislation is in fact mutable.

    ‘Should Britain for example now join the Euro?’ To this I would say, maybe! there are still 9 member states that don’t and it remains to be seen whether they ever will and indeed whether some states that use it now will abandon it.
    ‘Should it apply to become part of the Schengen area?’ I would suggest not while immigration is still such a thorny issue – but in the future? Why not?
    ‘Should it vote for the United States of Europe to become a fact, with its own army, taxation system, and President?’
    No! I don’t see the necessity for that and I don’t accept that the federal project is widely desired in any European State. It is a vanity project of the administrative elite in France and Germany. But I think internal politics in all the major member states will not let it happen easily or soon.

    ‘If we vote to Remain, we will actually be voting for the end of the United Kingdom as a meaningful entity.’

    Is the United Kingdom a meaningful entity? I feel it has lost its soul in the last 30 years. Think of the drivel spoken by various politicians and public figures when they try to characterise ‘Englishness’. I feel we have moved beyond the old national stereotypes but do not yet have the imagery to describe what we are becoming.
    The desire for independence has not gone away in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. There are significant numbers of people who have no allegiance to a ‘United Kingdom’.

    I remember Nick Thomas in a lecture ( 5 or 6 years ago) talking about the folk-soul of the English. He said that he felt we had lost our folk-soul and it wasn’t clear yet what would replace it. He mentioned the Time Spirit and suggested that in the Spirit of Michael, we could become truly cosmopolitan. And in some respects it would seem that we have fared better than some nations in achieving that.
    I was very struck by Nick’s comments at the time, and still am, when I remember what a very ‘English’ man he was – Squadron Leader Thomas, thoroughly decent, honest, utterly devoted to the RAF and his task as a servant of the Queen and nation, yet suggesting that it may be our destiny to become exemplars of a truly world-conscious, cosmopolitan way of life.

    A brief response to James. Rather than leaving the EU we should learn how to resist the absurd dictats and support the life-enhancing ones. If Britain leaves the EU, I do not think the sort of people in the Brexit movie will be fighting to protect rights of the workers, the environment and all the creatures we share the earth with.

    Like

    • James Tinney

      My thought is, “Rather than leaving the EU we should learn how to resist the absurd dictats and support the life-enhancing ones.”

      What mechanism are there in the EU to do this? I’ve heard talks of reform for 20 years. With CAP, farmers never been able to have their say? Can I conclude you haven’t had direct workings with the EU on your business? Let me know, if otherwise, interested to learn.

      Again, “Rather than leaving the EU we should learn how to resist the absurd dictats and support the life-enhancing ones.” Perhaps a Brexit might force this issue. I don’t have an issue with potentially re-joining in the future 10-20 years down the line, provided it’s democractic (not run by the EC). However, I doubt it, as I see the concept of EU being old fashioned. 1970’s style centralised control, rather than a global network approach.

      NB. If brexit happens it’ll take 5 years or so, for this to full happen, it’ll be a slow process with considerations taken at each stage.

      Do remember, if Brexit happens, Nigel Farage won’t have any position of power. If anything that’ll be the end of UKIP. Most will drift away as they don’t have a common enemy in the EU anymore, back to the Tories & Labour parties.

      I see there’s a stronger progressive case for Brexit, than there is a right wing case.

      1) EU is about creating a free movement in labour, goods, services & capital = free market. A vast pool of flexible migrant labour. It’s a capitalist corporatist construct. The Social Chapter is secondary.

      2) Look at the EU behaviour towards Greece. Workers rights meant nothing. Forced Austerity. More bailouts are coming too. 50% unemployed youth.

      3) TTIP? You’re supporting it by voting remain. What will be the effect on NHS / GM Food etc? This is the future? what will be in the next trade deals with other countries?

      4) The effect on Tariff’s of Africa, been terrible for African food producers & dumping food. Unethical.

      5) EU’s racist immigration policy: European Supremacy. If you’re in the club you’re allowed in no questions asked, if you outside the EU and want to work in UK, It’ll be tricky for you. Why can’t we treat everyone in the world the same?

      6) Workers Rights. Most of the arguments I’ve heard unfairly compare workers’ rights in the UK back in 1972, with workers’ rights in the EU in 2016. Unfair comparison. You don’t need to be in an anti-democractic union to get workers rights. The UK would have continued the movement towards more & better workers rights. UK is often well above the minimum standards of the EU. Currently UK has some of the highest standards of workers rights in the world. No future government will diminish these. If they do, the public will reject them at the ballot box. #projectfear = tories will take rights away from you, with their majority of 12. No. The Middle Class won’t accept it. Tory backbenchers in marginal seats will revolt. Tony Benn, “I would rather be rules by a bad government, than by a good king.” The EU isn’t even a good king! The remain arguement I hear is, “The EU is a bit crap, but we’re really crap, so lets stay.”

      7) What about the working class people of this county (ie probably not us Southerners, if you’re based in Forest Row?). They’ve had downward pressure on their wages, due to such high levels of immigration. There’s some snobbery around about this, dismissing it.

      9) EU doesn’t have a great record on Environmental Issues either. The UN gave us Paris Climate Deal, not the EU.
      This is a good article. Better to read than more to paraphraze,
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/24/why-british-environmentalists-should-vote-for-brexit

      Re “I do not think the sort of people in the Brexit movie”. I see you relate to Identity Politics. If so. Aren’t you concerned that ALL the establishment is on the remain side. Do all the Multi-Nationals, Banks care about workers rights, environmental rights?
      Do you know the extent of the opulance of the 50,000 people who work for the EU, do you know about the perks they get (including private school allowance etc) & then the special tax breaks just for them. Do you know about the EU tax haven’s scandles. Do you know how much lobbying money goes to those in power in EU (like FIFA). And, what would Tony Blair do?

      Love to hear your comments!

      Thanks for engaging with me in conversation.

      James

      Like

  25. Tom Hart Shea

    Hi, James, you make many interesting points which I cannot answer adequately. You may well be right though I have seen some of them answered/interpreted differently by other commentators.
    All forms of government are open to abuse. Like I said in a previous dialogue, capitalist democracy is probably the ‘least worst’ form of government. And to me staying in the EU seems to be the least worst option. I may be wrong and certainly don’t feel any great confidence in my decision as to which way to vote. I pray that the voting public will arrive at a wise decision without assuming I know what that decision should be.

    Like

  26. James Tinney

    Tom

    I feel blessed to have read your post. Heart opening.

    Many Thanks!

    James

    Like

  27. Herrmann Finkelsteen

    “The EU, the goal of a United States of Europe has for 66 years now been an essential part of the “World State” that Anglo-American elitists have been labouring to construct since they first conceived it over a century ago” Terry Boardman
    “The Americans, who created the EU in the first place, are not the kind of people to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
    Gemma
    And who is the anglo-american elite? Could you give some historical flesh on this carcass of statements? Sorry Folks it all sounds like “the-stab- in -the back- myth” after 1. World War to me.

    Herrmann Finkelsteen

    Like

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