Why Greens in particular should call out and denounce Anthroposophical organisations.

Steiner race

Over the past few years I have written a number of pieces on this blog, some very long, some short, on the influence of the far-right racist ideology of Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy and how support for the many ‘green’ Anthroposophical organisations helps to fund a highly dangerous quasi political sect that hides its agenda behind a mask of faux-spirituality that has white supremacy at its heart.

I have never claimed that individuals involved in Anthroposophical organisations are necessarily racists or are even aware that they are expanding and supporting a multi-national racist power-base worth many billions of pounds. But once individuals know what’s going on, continuing to support Steiner organisations is a racist act. And there’s only shame in that situation if one chooses to do nothing about it.

As an individual alone, I can not possibly make a huge difference to that state of affairs but, as a collective group of left-of-centre environmentalists, including Green Party members, Labour Party members, sceptics, Humanists, scientists, anti-racism campaigners, Steiner/Waldorf parents, Anthroposophical workers and as regular citizens we should and can make a difference.

Why is this important?

Steiner’s racial hierarchy is at the centre of his ‘teaching’ and everything he believed was in service to the idea that humans come of age by continually re-incarnating to white Aryan ‘perfection’. His spiritual education (Steiner/Waldorf), his agriculture (Biodynamics), his version of Christianity (Steiner Christian Community) are but three of the mechanisms used to further his cause of racial progression towards white supremacy. Since Steiner’s death, huge numbers of organisations have been founded to support his cause, from manufacturing to banking and from ‘medicine’ to care homes – the network world-wide is simply vast.

For most of us, Steiner’s writing is almost unreadable, even when translated into English, because it is so full of internal inconsistencies and esoteric mysticism – indeed most of it makes no sense at all – but those in charge of Anthroposophy are believers. Not only do they control vast wealth but they steer a growing list of powerful organisations.

It’s important because, with right-wing nationalism and white supremacy on the rise for the first time in decades, people of colour, minorities and othered groups are ever more at risk from attack. Brexit, Trump, UKIP and the rise of the right world-wide is a perfect environment for hard-core Anthroposophists; they believe Steiner was infallible – in short they refuse to denounce Steiner’s core belief and often even refute it is racist.

It is pointless for me here to re-write the vast amount of analysis, criticism, research, blogs, vlogs, polemics and complaints about Steiner so I’ll simply provide the following selected links.

For Background:

http://social-ecology.org/wp/2009/01/anthroposophy-and-ecofascism-2/

For Opinion and Information:

http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2012/07/the-insidious-pervasiveness-of-the-cult-of-rudolf-steiner.html

http://www.dcscience.net/2010/10/06/the-true-nature-of-steiner-waldorf-education-mystical-barmpottery-at-taxpayers-expense-part-1/

For information:

https://ukanthroposophy.wordpress.com/recorded-uk-organisations/

For Steiner material:

http://www.rsarchive.org/

There are also several of my pieces related to the subject here on my blog:

https://nicknakorn.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/mystic-shadows-of-colour/

https://nicknakorn.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/mystic-shadows-of-colour-2nd-part/

https://nicknakorn.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/the-bbcs-enchantment-with-woo/

https://nicknakorn.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/racist-steiner-schools-bbcs-robert-peston-gets-it-almost-right/

https://nicknakorn.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/can-we-trust-the-soil-association/

https://nicknakorn.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/more-support-for-rosy-racism-from-the-bbc/

Racism and Institutional racism:

https://nicknakorn.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/everyone-is-racist/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/30/why-im-no-longer-talking-to-white-people-about-race

It is important that Green party members in particular tackle this problem because the Green Party is still very, very close to Anthroposophy and many prominent Green Party members and green activists, locally, nationally and internationally support Anthroposophical organisations, such as this tiny selection from a huge pool.

A few of the many influential greens who support Anthroposophy

Molly Scott-Cato

https://biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk/oakbrook-farm-welcomes-molly-scott-cato/

Kat Boettge

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2014/05/06/kat-boettge-co-operative-groups-farms-firesale-is-disgraceful/

Patrick Holden

http://www.stellanatura.com/sample_08.html

Steven Agnew

http://www.glencraig.org.uk/~camphill/cms/uploads/Camphill_News_Web_low.pdf

Denise Craghill

https://york.greenparty.org.uk/people/denise-craghill.html

Clause Sproll

http://camphillspecialschool.org/staff/claus-sproll/

http://thecenterforsocialresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/fromculturalmvmt.pdf

Various Green supporters of Anthroposophy:

http://www.leicestersocialists.org.uk/?p=2513

If you search for similar links you will find hundreds more; whole books have been written of the founding, by Anthroposophists, of various Green Parties around the world but I don’t intend to do all your research for you, it’s not up to people of colour to do all the work to convince white people to be anti-racist – how can we, we are outnumbered within predominantly white societies and we spend enough time fighting racism as it is. If you have read a fraction of the material listed here, itself a tiny fraction of the material available, and you are still not convinced then you haven’t been paying attention.

Finally, what to do? It’s simple; call out Anthroposophical organisations for what they are. Don’t choose to buy their products, don’t chose to work with their organisations, make your views concerning the unacceptable nature of the cult known. If, for example, you wanted to learn to play the piano, would you learn from a known racist piano teacher or from another person equally as good at teaching piano? It’s very simple. All the things Anthroposophical organisations do are available elsewhere; there are alternatives that do not provide support for spreading the gospel of the karmic racist hierarchy – that abomination is about the only unique aspect in Steiner’s so-called philosophy.

I have in the past sent similar lists of links and explanatory letters to senior and local Greens and not once had a cogent reply, it’s as if non-white people are simply not worth the trouble as far as Greens are concerned and I now support Labour. But it will be white Greens that other white Greens will take seriously. Just like in the rest of life, brown anti-racists are thought of as trouble makers with chips on their shoulders, taking everything too seriously, not being fair to white people, while white anti-racists are treated as heroes. Now is your chance to shine.

 

12th March 2018

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Working around illness when you’re self-employed.

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When the medical profession thinks an employee shouldn’t be working, yet most of the time the employee is able to work, it can cause headaches for employers. Those of us with chronic conditions that are debilitating yet inconsistent and with intermittent symptoms very often turn to self-employment as a solution. But instead of the employer having to put up with delays and additional admin, it is our customers who need to be flexible when we can’t manage a full week’s work at a regular pace.

For many years I have been self employed and in 2008 the DWP signed me off work completely due to my illnesses  (later I instead chose to work whenever I could). To keep me going, the welfare system provided assistance with rent through Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, the lower rate of Disability Living Allowance and other benefits.

But not only was that not enough to live on, it was a horribly isolating way to live. Not only that, it was making my conditions worse than ever. I suffer from a multitude of health conditions that combine to make me extremely tired when I work at a regular pace. Even when I am very careful and work slowly at about 50% of the pace I would be happy to work at, I still often can’t manage a full week and sometimes, in winter, it’s much worse.

I currently have a small classic car and older car restoration and repair workshop (for which I also receive a tax credit) that, for the past two years has not been financially successful in terms of a small business as if run by a healthy person. Partly my lack of success is down to my unreliability due to my health problems and partly because decades of poor health mean that my financial situation in my 60s is as bad as it was in my teens, worse in many ways, so I’m massively under capitalised. All work tends to be financed on credit cards at high APRs unless the customer supplies parts or pays for them in advance – as some of my customers are in the same boat as me, delays in the work abound. Also my workshop is not big enough to be able to progress two jobs at once.

Of course I make up for the inconvenience my customers experience with a very low charge rate. But the success of the business is that it turns over a few thousand every year, adding to the health of the economy through VAT and my supply chain, keeps me far fitter than I would otherwise be and provides a service to the community.  My main project will hopefully drag me out of the mire eventually but, meanwhile, the business ticks over but doesn’t make enough for me to have a social life, go out, be adventurous, have holidays or even ensure my bills are paid every month. Yet it feels like a worthwhile enterprise; I fix cars, teach skills and hopefully empower my customers to take on tasks they would otherwise not want to tackle.

 

But lately the Tory government are doing their best to undermine micro-businesses run by people with disabilities.  They have introduced the ‘Minimum Income Floor’ (MIF). That means that if you’re self-employed it is assumed your income is for a full working week at the the minimum wage. Well, last year my business lost money (as do many vast multinational companies, it’s not meant to be a death-knell ) so my income from work was zero. Yet the  MIF requirement I was told over the phone, was not able to be appealed on the basis of disability and because of it I have lost my Council Tax Benefit and am about £1000 a year worse off – in fact more than £1400 worse off as I make up the shortfall on credit cards.  Then there was the Bedroom Tax. Yes, I could have moved to a smaller place but my life is held together by the stability of my Housing association flat – I need a spare room for my daughter when she visits (it’s her room for goodness sake!) or for my very occasional guests. That has made me about £500 a year worse off. And those cuts are not including real-term cuts due to inflation in prices and stagnation in benefits. I’m also on an electricity key-meter, the poor are charged a higher rate for paying in advance while the rich get better deals and pay in arrears.

This piece is not about my complaints, though they are many, it is about letting my customers know I’m doing my best even when it seems I’m not pulling my weight. It’s about whether a community can make adjustments, as would an employer, for those who will never be able to compete with the young and fit in the market place.  When you’re poor everything is expensive because many things are bought on credit at high interest rates. Special deals are often made available when one has no means of accepting them. Bulk purchases are out of the question. Taking advantage of one’s knowledge in buying and selling is not an option – all life’s opportunities pass one by.

So what are these conditions that seem not to be apparent when you meet me? From an early age I suffered from Spontaneous Pneumothorax or collapsed lungs.  That condition went undiagnosed for years because, when I was a child, every teacher, my parents and doctors thought I was making a fuss and faking it, they said I was highly strung. They put me on barbiturates and that alone messed up my life-chances. All exams failed at school until I was off them but the damage had been done and I’ve been an insomniac for nearly 50 years.   Eventually one lung was fixed when I was an adult but both were badly scarred – the surgeon said “…you must have been in a lot of pain in your youth…” No kidding. When at the then under-staffed and under-funded Harefield Hospital, post-op, an infection swept through the ward damaging my lungs further but I was lucky, 10 of the 12 on the ward didn’t survive it. The staff were brilliant. Stupidly, my smoking habit (I give up every so often but it doesn’t last) has added a bit to the lung carnage but not as much as I would have expected (a bit of emphysema) as my lungs were somewhat crap anyway – what a poor excuse.

I have also have Short-cycle-bi-polar disorder that makes controlling mood swings tremendously tiring. It once led to a few weeks in a secure unit and years of therapy.

Additionally, I suffer from Pernicious Anemia for which B12 is required regularly but sadly the NHS are so strapped for cash they can’t do the tests for active and passive B12, only for serum level B12 – so I take it orally every day, very much second best if effective at all.

Another problem is that I have an allergy to an unknown allergen and was once almost DOA at the hospital, before I was diagnosed, due to a full-on Anaphylactic Shock – the quick wits of my girlfriend and passers by and the expertise of the amazing NHS A & E saved me. When conscious, ever interested in things medical,  I asked staff what my heart rate was when brought in – “oh, zero..” they said cheerfully. I’m ever thankful to them. So I now carry an Epipen and take antihistamine every day (it’s the non-drowsy sort but I notice I’m way more energetic if I forget to take it). The latest ailment is eczema, but it isn’t much of a problem.

I’ve mentioned all this to put things into perspective. I’m hugely lucky to be alive and regardless of all my ailments I want to work. I want to be creative, to earn a living or a partial living at least. But I can’t do it on my own. I’m incredibly grateful to all my customers who keep me ticking along but it’s touch and go work-wise and all the medical issues add up to being very, very tired all the time and exhausted much of the time to the point at which one feels suicidal on occasion. But I have a good barometer that tells me if I’m over-doing it – massive anxiety and heart palpitations. I tend to go home and rest now before that kicks in.

Perhaps a National Universal Income of some sort is the answer, I’d love it – I’d be able to work at my own pace without the constant anxiety of a never-ending cash-flow crisis and be far more productive. But a national prices policy would be required to prevent corporations simply milking the system and inflating costs. Whatever the future might hold, the current government seems intent on driving disabled people into the gutter and thence to an early grave – red in tooth and claw indeed.

Meanwhile, if you want little micro businesses like mine to survive and offer an inexpensive service to the community, please do understand that I’m only able to offer such bargain prices if, like an employer, you are able to make reasonable adjustments for the disabled.  Best wishes and Stay Tuned.

9th March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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