A second phase of research into the UK Anthroposophy movement is proceeding more or less to schedule and, in need of a break, I’m just back from an archaeological jaunt. Accompanied by my best friend, a lot of flints plus some Samian ware and other ceramics were found and a few lumps and bumps in the landscape recorded. All good stuff.
During the jaunt, sitting around the campfire one night, my friend asked me why I spent so much time and effort on researching Steiner and Anthroposophy when my heart was so much more into archaeology. As a ‘green’ activist he’d met a few ex-Steiner school pupils on his travels and had found them to be pleasant enough, well grounded people. My answer ran something along the lines of it being because of my ethical commitment to challenging racism, Steiner core belief being incontestably racist therefore needed exposing and challenging. Also, Steiner’s version of evolution of humans on Atlantis in turn actively challenges archaeological and scientific based understandings of where we come from as a species and how we got to where we are today. Anthroposophical applications expand year on year and are increasingly entertained, embraced and supported by the state. How could I not take an active interest in Steiner/Anthroposophy?
We didn’t come to blows over the subject – it’s hard to get a fight going between a Buddhist and a pacifist – but we have argued about Steiner education before now. He takes a utilitarian view on the matter – if the kids have a happy time at the schools and come out the other end as half-decent people then what can be wrong with that. I ask him if he’d be happy placing his kids into a school in full knowledge of the school operating to a racist doctrine. You pays your money you makes your choice, as the saying goes.
The situation today has changed significantly though because that element of personal choice in the matter as to which sorts of schools we support has been taken away from us. State funding of Steiner education means that we, as taxpayers, pay for an education system underpinned by a belief system that is at least contentious if not racist. So the issue of Steiner belief takes on a political dimension and, yes, I am bovvered.