GA 23

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The Threefold Social Order

Die Kernpunkte der Sozialen Frage in den Lebensnotwendigkeiten der Gegenwart und Zukunft

This fundamental writing on a necessary reform of the whole of social life was written in 1919, a few months after the end of the First World War, in a situation of a new social beginning. In it, Rudolf Steiner, starting from a comprehensive critique of the omnipotence of the unitary state, systematically develops the idea of social threefolding. Steiner shows how the whole of public life is to be divided into three areas: a free spiritual life, an independent legal life based on the principle of equality and a fraternal economic life. Each of these three areas must be able to develop freely according to its own structure and order. Furthermore, Rudolf Steiner shows here how a new social order is only possible on the basis of a new concept of capital and property (neutralisation of capital). Although written almost a hundred years ago, the explanations have lost none of their actuality

The basis for this writing was a series of public lectures on "The Social Question" given by Rudolf Steiner in Zurich on 3, 5, 10 and 12 February 1919 and also in Bern and Basel during the same period. These lectures are published in GA 328.


I. The true shape of the social question, grasped from the life of modern humanity.

II. Attempts at real solutions to the social questions and necessities demanded by life

III Capitalism and Social Ideas

IV. International relations of social organisms

V. Appendix: To the German People and the Cultural World



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References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English (by Steiner Online Library).
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.