Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Threefolding Movement of 1917-1922: Part 10

Lady with Fan, Gustav Klimt, 1918

The Threefolding Movement of 1917-1922 and Its Present Significance

By Christoph Strawe*
(translated by Edward Udell)

Part 10 (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9)

Moltke Pamphlet

A hard blow against the movement was the prevention [in June, 1919] of the appearance of a pamphlet containing the memoirs of General von Moltke, who was linked with Steiner. This publication of background material with respect to the question of war guilt was intended as an attempt to positively influence the Versailles negotiations. Prior to distribution, a relative of Moltke received a freshly printed copy from Emil Molt, which resulted in the Moltke family compelling the pulping of the 50,000 copies of the pamphlet – on account of alleged inaccuracies.

The Founding of the Waldorf School

On 7 September 1919 in the Stuttgart city garden room took place the festive opening of the first Waldorf school. A liberal school law of 1836 had provided relatively favorable conditions for the negotiations that had begun in May [1919] with the Ministry of Culture, so that the necessary compromises remained reasonable. The school operations took place in the Uhlandshöhe restaurant building, which Molt had purchased privately for 450,000 marks. Soon the school, originally intended for the children of Waldorf-Astoria workers, opened to additional children, and grew to nearly 420 students. In August, Rudolf Steiner had given a kind of “crash course”7 to prepare the circle of teachers for its tasks. At the August 20th welcome to the participants in this course, he had said that the founding of the Waldorf school must be a cultural deed that would reform and revolutionize the school system. The basis of the school’s social structure is the principle of self-management by those who are active in the school – and to the extent this principle is adhered to, the school remains, beyond its immediate pedagogical role, an outpost of social renewal.

The Coming Day Corp.

In October a meeting of economically active anthroposophists took place in Dornach. R. Steiner called for economic enterprises to support the work of the Goetheanum (“Leading Thoughts for an Enterprise That Is to Be Founded”). In this sense “The Coming Day Stock Company for the Support of Economic and Spiritual Values” was founded on 13 March 1920. In Switzerland arose the parallel Futurum Corp. The share capital in spring 1920 amounted to 10 million marks, in June to 25 million, finally to 136 million (a number which however is to be qualified on account of inflation). The Coming Day was a union of economic enterprises with enterprises of cultural life. Through this union it was intended that these enterprises should support each other; it was hoped that eventually the research institutions that had received support would in turn come up with marketable innovative products.

“In total the following businesses belonged to the Coming Day at the end of 1922: 
Central, Stuttgart, Champignystrasse 17 
The Coming Day AG, Publishing, Stuttgart 
The Coming Day AG, Mail Order Bookstore Department 
The Coming Day AG, Printing Plant Department 
The Coming Day AG, Offset Printing Department 
The Coming Day AG, formerly Carl Unger Machine Factory, Hedelfingen 
The Coming Day AG, Chemical Plant, Schwäbisch Gmünd 
The Coming Day AG, Slate Quarry Sondelfingen 
The Coming Day AG, José del Monte Department, Cardboard Factory, 
   Stuttgart, with branches in Zuffenhausen and Weil im Dorf 
Guest house, Rüthling, Stuttgart 
The Coming Day AG, Branch Office Hamburg 
Guldesmill Dischingen, Estate, Flour Mill and Saw Mill 
Estate Ölhaus, O/A Crailsheim Estates Unterhueb and Lachen, O/A Leutkirch 
Estates Dorenwald and Lanzenberg at Isny im Allgäu 
The Coming Day Clinical-Therapeutic Institute 
The Coming Day Clinical-Therapeutic Institute, Fabrication, 
The Coming Day AG, Scientific Research Institute, Stuttgart. 
The Coming Day AG, Scientific Research Institute, Biological Department, 
   Stuttgart.” 8
There were also some investments.

The Coming Day AG soon came into difficulties, in which leadership problems and the difficult economic circumstances both played a role. When Emil Leinhas on September 22, 1921 takes over leadership, the situation is already rather muddled. In March 1922, a limitation of the program has to be undertaken. The Waldorf Astoria stock is sold off (and purchased by Reemtsma through a puppet). Molt is financially compensated, but never quite gets over this blow. In the end the enterprise must be liquidated. Through great sacrifice most of the Coming Day’s cultural establishments, such as the school and the Clinical-Therapeutic Institute, are preserved. Despite this failure, one must keep in mind not only that the Coming Day was a first attempt in practical terms to advance in the direction of associative cooperation in economic life, but also, that without it, anthroposophically-oriented pharmacy, for example, would not be thinkable.

[Part 11 is here.]

7   21 August to 5 September.

8 Hans Kühn: Dreigliederungs-Zeit. Rudolf Steiners Kampf für die Gesellschaftsordnung der Zukunft, published by the social science section of the Goetheanum, Dornach 1978, p. 111.

* Dr. Christoph Strawe has kindly given me permission to post my translation of his article. I have divided it into Parts 1, 2, etc. Words in brackets [ ] are my insertions. Apart from this note, the footnotes are from Dr. Strawe's article. The original German version can be read here. Dr. Strawe manages the Initiative Network Threefolding (Initiative Netzwerk Dreigliederung). The Initiative Network's English-language website is here.  The German-language website is here.  The Initiative Network Threefolding is part of the Institute for Present-Day Social Questions in Stuttgart (Institut für soziale Gegenwartsfragen e.V. Stuttgart). A biographical paragraph (in German) about Dr. Strawe can be found by scrolling near the end of this webpage. - transl.

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