Aspects of the Brexit Referendum – The One and the Many

This article was first published (with slight abridgements) in New View magazine Issue 80 July  – Sept. 2016

On 23 June this year Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union (EU) resulted in a  dramatic decision to exit the European Union (EU), but the decision does not change certain fundamental underlying elements of our social and economic life today. The economic establishment has shown very little sign at all of changing its practices since the crisis of 2008, and furthermore, relations between the superpowers, the USA and its allies or subordinates vs Russia and China, have got much worse since then. We are facing the likelihood of economic or military catastrophes in the coming decades unless we radically change our ways, and that is not even to mention the ongoing environmental crisis. In fact, however, all three potential catastrophes have a common origin in the form of economic ‘values’ and practices that spread from Britain in the 18th century and which have since become accepted as ‘the norm’ throughout the world, especially since “the defeat of Communism” in the early 1990s, after which it was said “there is no alternative” to the economic values of the current capitalist order.


These economic ‘values’ were rooted in the notion that the (entirely justified) demand for personal liberty in the spiritual sphere, which had made its first substantial appearance in European history with Luther in the 16th century  – although it had had earlier antecedents (1) – was falsely applied in the subsequent decades and centuries to the spheres of politics and economy, where, as Rudolf Steiner was already indicating a century ago, it does not belong (2), because the true basis of the modern economy is actually cooperation. Since the 18th century, however, it has been axiomatic in the West that personal liberty should prevail in economic life: in production as well as in distribution and in consumption. The manufacturer presumes to be able to produce whatever he wants as long as he has the financial wherewithal to be able to do so. This very simple and profoundly consequential yet fundamentally false thought has led directly to our culture of overproduction and overconsumption and hence to our ecological and environmental crises which have been so damaging to the natural world. It has also led to many of our foreign policy crises because – due to the misapplication of this notion of personal liberty to economic corporations (so-called ‘corporate personhood’, the idea that a company is a legal person and has, in the eyes of the law, rights just like a human individual) – the individual’s freedom to be self-centred carries over into the economic behaviour of companies and multinational corporations. As a result, we get situations such as the recent scandal in Britain over the demise of the retail store chain British Home Stores (BHS). Its owner, Sir Philip Green, apparently concerned about the amount he would have to pay out in the company’s  pension scheme liability, sold it in 2015 to the firm Retail Acquisitions, headed by controversial businessman and former racing driver Dominic Chappell, for £1. It has since gone into administration. On 8 June the last interim CEO of BHS, Darren Topp, told a House of Commons Select Committee of the British Parliament that when he challenged the new owner, Dominic Chappell, over the withdrawal of £1.5million from the company accounts and its remittance to Sweden, he was told: “Do not kick off about this, Darren. I’ve had enough of you telling me what to do over the last few months. It’s my business. I can do what I want. And if you kick off about it, I’m gonna come down there and kill you.” Such attitudes, on a larger scale, have led to wars and the destruction of states and societies. Evidence of this was famously provided by Major-General Smedley Butler of the US Marine Corps in his 1935 book War Is A Racket. The most decorated Marine in US history at the time of his death in 1940, he saw military action in the Philippines, China, Central America, the Caribbean, and France in World War I. Highly critical of the practices of Wall St., he wrote that:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico [a city and port in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas] safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Despite such egregious activities in the capitalist West, the like of which – albeit somewhat more disguised – still goes on today in wars fuelled by the interests of armaments and energy companies, politicians and media pundits continue to come out with statements like that uttered by the British left-wing politician Harriet Harman recently, in reference to the BHS affair: “You’ve got to have private enterprise and the free market but they mustn’t be ruined by greed, corporate greed…”. The problem is how private? If it’s so private that decisions are made with the attitude of a Dominic Chappell – “it’s my business and I’ll do what I want”, then the personal liberty factor often simply doesn’t take into sufficient consideration the interests of employees, consumers and the natural environment. Instead, it looks primarily to self-interest. We have “corporate greed” in economic life because we have the greed of individuals. Now some might say: “human beings have always been greedy; we won’t be able to change that.” But here we have a case of greed in economic life that is sanctioned by society. In the Middle Ages, the Church and the craft or merchants’ guilds regulated economic behaviour from ‘above’, so to speak. With the coming of the modern epoch after the fifteenth century (the Renaissance, the Reformation and the emergence of the awakening to individual consciousness), in our modern era, the challenge is for individuals to become self-regulating on the basis not of ecclesiastical decree but of personal awakening to responsibility and to the reality that the economic life, in the modern world at any rate, is actually grounded in cooperation and service rather than on competition and exploitation. If the latter are allowed to go on much longer, the result will be the utter degradation of the natural environment and of our civilisation.


Now that a majority – albeit small – of the British people have opted not to remain in the EU, the Eurocratic elite will hope the ‘British disease’ of Euro-scepticism will not spread to other peoples in the EU and that the EU will therefore hold together and continue to bring the much vaunted ‘peace, prosperity and security’ to the members of the EU club. What will then follow will be a great surge to complete the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) ‘free trade’ deal between the EU and the USA. If the peoples of Europe do not put sufficient pressure on their politicians, they will find that negotiators of both the EU and of  the UK are likely to accommodate US wishes i.e. US corporate interests. What is at stake in this deal is the intention of elites in the USA to fuse the economies of the USA (and ultimately, of N. America) and Europe: in my last article in New View (Spring 2016), I referred to the arch-transatlanticist insider Winston Churchill’s vision (14 May 1947) of a “United Europe”, a United States of Europe, as he called it on other occasions,  that would be, as he put it, “the indispensable step towards the realisation” of the “ultimate aim” of “an authoritative, all-powerful world order”. First Europe was to be ‘united’ via economic ties; these would be gradually transformed into a political union by a softly, softly,  approach over several decades, a process so gradual and  – to the media – “boring” and of little interest –  that the peoples of Europe would not object to the loss of their national autonomy until it was too late. This process, I pointed out, has been supported at every step by the USA. Then, when this economic and political union of Europe has been created, which is almost where we are today, the same process – first economic and then political – would be repeated to connect Europe and the USA. As for the cultural realm, the cultural penetration of Europe by the ‘soft power’ of the USA has been proceeding apace since the First World War when Charlie Chaplin, Hollywood movies and ragtime music first landed in Europe. That penetration has been massively increased since 1945 and then again with the arrival of the Internet, a largely American-based (the actual hardware and servers), American-configured (Microsoft, Apple, Google) and American-influenced (Facebook, Twitter) force in the world. It is bad enough that the transatlantic elite – by which is meant the nexus of think-tanks, financial institutions, multinational conglomerates, media corporations and the military-industrial complex ¬ largely owns and controls the media in western countries (there are only 5 great media conglomerates in the western capitalist world(3)), but what is worse is that the mainstream media – the ‘gatekeepers’ of information and knowledge in the modern world – present a broadly uniform picture of TTIP and have failed to alert the public to just how secretive the negotiations have been and how difficult it is for journalists and politicians even to get to see the documents available so far. The public have been insufficiently alerted – by the mainstream media at any rate; the alternative online media and the blogosphere, by contrast, have been hard at work on the issue ¬ to the powers lurking within the thousands of pages of the TTIP documents that will enable US corporations to force their will in secretive courts of arbitration upon national, regional and local authorities through so-called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses” –¬ another example of the self-interest of corporate personhood at work. Dr. Patricia Ranald, Univ. of Sydney: “Amendments from the US are seeking to end publicly provided services like public pension funds, which are referred to [in the documents] as ‘monopolies’ and to limit public regulation of all financial services … They want to freeze financial regulation at existing levels, which would mean that governments could not respond to new developments like another global financial crisis.” (4)

Back in 1998, the same transatlanticist elite groups tried to foist this agenda on the peoples of Europe and indeed the world. Then, it was called the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) (5), and then too it was done with a maximum amount of secrecy, but it was stopped in its tracks by the first concerted international Internet campaign, when details of MAI were leaked in Canada, and then picked up by French politicians who took action to block it. But the transatlanticist elite, which has been in operation for almost 120 years now (6), knows how to work with time, how to bide its time and wait for opportunities. The process that is now resulting in TTIP actually started in 1995 with the innocuously-named Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) meetings. MAI was a bit too optimistic, ‘a bridge too far’ at the time. So the elitists waited for 15 years, until 2013, to push the boat out again. In that year Barack Obama announced TTIP in his State of the Union address. And whereas MAI was an attempt to go immediately global, this time they have split the venture into three parts: TTIP, TPP and TISA (7). Regarding the secrecy of the draft [of TISA], Professor Jane Kelsey [Univ.of Auckland, New Zealand] commented: “The secrecy of negotiating documents exceeds even the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and runs counter to moves in the WTO [World Trade Organisation] towards greater openness.” Johnston adds, “It is impossible to obey a law or know how it affects you when the law is secret.” (8)

In 2012 Hillary Clinton referred to the upcoming TTIP as an “economic NATO” and claimed to be in favour of it; she’s since changed her tune and has become somewhat more critical of it, as she’s seen the level of public opposition in the USA, while President Obama said of it on 17.6.2013: “I believe we can forge an economic alliance as strong as our diplomatic and security alliances.”   Modern military planners know only too well that economics is a key part of modern warfare and in the ‘Cold War’ II that has already been going on between the US and China for almost 10 years now, both sides regard economics as part of their strategy against the other. Already in 2002 Wang Xiangsui, a professor at Beihang University, Beijing, China and a retired senior Colonel in the People’s Liberation Army, co-authored a book, Unrestricted Warfare, in which he described how non-superpower states could undermine a superpower like the USA by asymmetric strategies that included attacks on its financial systems, media and access to natural resources. Economic warfare between the US and China has clearly been going on in Africa and Central and South America for over ten years now.  Shawn Donnan of The Financial Times, a prominent insider news organ, writes: TTIP is an agreement that is as much about strengthening the transatlantic alliance as about stimulating economies and trade. …Why? Because TTIP is above all else a response to the rise of China. EU officials tend to be coy about saying that in public, but the United States is increasingly open about its motivations. “U.S. trade policy is a central part of what may be the most consequential strategic project of our time: revitalizing the post-World War II international economic order,” Mike Froman, the U.S. trade chief, told an audience in Washington in September. “A series of seismic shocks – globalization, technological change, and the rise of emerging markets – have shaken the foundation of this order” in recent years, he said. But the U.S. response is well under way, Froman added. “And trade is one of our most promising tools for that project.” (9)

The Spectre of Rome

The post-World War II ‘international economic order‘ was not an ‘international’ economic order; it was a completely US-dominated economic order, so the aim is evidently to return the world to such an order. For the transatlanticists, this means containing Russia and China and holding them in a subservient  place in that order, as envisaged by the British geopolitician Halford Mackinder over 100 years ago. Trade is here seen as but a tool in this larger historical-strategic struggle. Already in 1990, another arch-insider transatlanticist journal, The Economist, portrayed the world of the 21st century as one in which Europe and America would be fused together, while Russia and China would be separate. In an article in the Sept/Oct 1997 issue of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a man who has for decades been following the geostrategic principles of Halford Mackinder, showed Europe as “Atlanticist Europe” i.e. in alliance with the USA; this Europe included Ukraine and Turkey. Mackinder was financed from 1908 by Lord Alfred Milner (10), who had around him in South Africa a group of talented young acolytes known as ‘Milner’s kindergarten’.

One of these was Philip Kerr (above left), later Lloyd George’s private secretary (1916-22), the man who drafted both the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the infamous Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles, which ascribed sole war guilt to Germany. In the 1930s Kerr was an arch-appeaser of Hitler, changed his tune in 1939 like many of Milner’s former acolytes and became a warmonger and was then, as Lord Lothian, appointed ambassador to the USA, where he died in 1940. He was always an ardent advocate of federalism and, like the British civil servant Arthur Salter, another member of the Milner Group, who worked with Jean Monnet during the First World War on Anglo-French maritime supplies, Kerr wanted to see a United States of Europe on the American model. In 1988 an organisation was established that bore Kerr’s name to carry on his impulses (i.e. those of the Rhodes-Milner Group) and those of the federalists, especially in academic circles, and to support the drive for a federal Europe that would be allied to the USA. This was the Lothian Foundation and it has been headed since 1989 by Prof. Andrea Bosco (above right), of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Florence. He has conducted a number of seminars at Chatham House, the leading British Establishment foreign affairs think tank founded by the Milner Group in 1919. In June 2014 Bosco gave a lecture at the University of  Latvia, in Riga, at a Jean Monnet seminar. It’s viewable on Youtube (11), but it’s the only lecture available online by this otherwise rather reclusive academic. He describes how and why the EU will not shrink but on the contrary, will enlarge during the 21st century. First, it will take in the western Balkans and then Ukraine, Turkey and … “the Middle East”,  for the sake of “trade” and “stability”. Then, he said, enlargement will continue to “the South”, i.e. to North Africa. He mentions  Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Syria and an eventual federal ‘EU’ of some 50 states (“like the US”) by the latter half of the 21st century. There are currently 28 states in the EU. To get to 50 would probably require the admission of France’s former West African colonies, something the French elite were always keen on. But what has Bosco essentially described? The Roman Empire Mk II! That is, the Roman Empire at the time of its maximum extent in the reign of Hadrian (117-138) plus those regions of northern and eastern Europe (and Ireland) which were never in the Roman Empire. Steiner several times spoke about the people of the West being  still gripped by “the ghost or spectre [Gespenst] of Rome” (12). It was true in Britain in the days of Milner and Kerr and evidently, it remains true today. Bosco did not mention the EU principle of the free movement of people. Clearly, if that principle were to be maintained in his EU of 50 states, including the Middle East and North Africa, then Europe and Europeans in c.2100 will probably look very different from how they do today.

Now, one might be excused for thinking that this sketch of the EU’s future that Bosco gave in Riga in 2014 is just the dreaming of one Italian professor. But if we look to The Economist of 15 March 2007 and the article The European Union at 100, we find an imagination of the EU aged 100, in the year 2057, an imagination obviously desired by the (as usual) anonymous Economist writer. We read: The eventual result [of Franco-German economic reforms in the 2010s] was a growing labour shortage, which was not resolved until the arrival of Turkey and Ukraine as full members in 2025. The accession soon afterwards of the first north African country, Morocco, helped to prolong Europe’s boom.” So clearly, large-scale immigration from Muslim countries in the 2020s was being imagined by The Economist in at least 2007 already. This 2007 article refers to a “Ukraine Crisis” “in the dangerous second decade of the century” (because of Putin – of course!) and less than a decade after  this Ukraine crisis – so sometime in the 2020s – Russia made its first application for membership of the EU, but, in 2057, we read (remember, this is The Economist’s view of the future), Russia’s application “has been  pending for 15 years” (i.e. since 2042 – N.b. 100 years on from Stalingrad), despite now being “impeccably democratic” and the Czar having been symbolically restored. Meanwhile, Cyprus had been reunified in 2024 and sometime after that – so in the late 2020s, as the year 2030 approached – to break the deadlock in the stalled Middle East peace process, Israel and Palestine join the EU, becoming its 49th and 50th members respectively! So we have a very similar scenario to that of Bosco and the same number of states – 50. Incidentally, it’s worth highlighting that both Bosco and The Economist in 2007 were sure that Turkey would be joining in the near future, in the mid-2020s, which contradicts the claim by the ‘Remain in the EU’ advocates in the recent EU referendum in Britain, including the Prime Minister David Cameron,  that Turkey would definitely not be joining anytime soon, not even for 3000 years! These people seemed to forget that in 1972 the EEC had only 6 members but only 44 years later, in 2016, it had 28 members! The reflected the Eurocrats’ relentless will for enlargement of the EU. In fact,  it is evidently the intention of the powers behind the scenes, who speak through agents such as Bosco and The Economist, that not only Turkey, but Israel and other Middle Eastern countries will join in the not so distant future.

Obviously, if all this were brought about, Europe would end up very different from what it was 100 years earlier when the Treaty of Rome, which founded the European Economic Community (EEC),  was signed. But The Economist highlights another aspect that chimes with an important point made by Bosco in his Riga lecture in 2014  – the role of Russia in the completion of the EU. The Economist merely hinted at it in 2007 though in its end of year issue in 1993 it stated clearly that Russia would be defeated in a major war that would get underway in 2011 (!) and last for most of the first half of the 21st century. Russia, it said would lose all its territory east of the Urals i.e. the vast majority of the present Russian territory. Hence we can see how in 2007 The Economist  envisaged that the ‘rump’ of Russia  – now no longer seen as a “threat” – might be “welcomed into the fold“ of what Brzezinski called “Atlanticist Europe”. But Bosco is rather clearer in his lecture about the role of Russia. He says that just as the USSR and Stalin were necessary to get the European project off the ground, so to speak, in the 1950s, in the 21st century, friction and conflict with  Russia and Putin will be necessary to complete the project. As Bosco states: “Without the existence of the Soviet Union we would never become as we did. We had enormous pressure from the US to get united… The Americans had a fundamental influence on our business because we had a Cold War”. “Putin”, he says, is “the most formidable factor for European political union. Bosco does not spell it out, but he clearly thinks that a new Cold War with Russia will be necessary to complete the EU project. On 15 January 1917 (13), when explaining how the British pursue their global goals, Steiner pointed out that “in order to found a commercial and industrial world dominance, the first thing to do is to divide the main region into two parts… whatever takes place on the physical plane always requires a splitting into two parts.” In other words, if you wish to create something  – or indeed, to diminish or destroy it (cf. Germany 1914-1945) – you need two opposite poles to achieve the creation or destruction of an entity between those poles. This means that in effect, you actually have to foster the existence of that which you in fact oppose. Britain opposed Russia but ‘allied’ itself to Russia in 1907 in order to be able to crush Imperial Germany. Wall St. opposed Bolshevism but funded the industrialisation of the USSR in order to complete the destruction of Germany. Today, Putin is the bogeyman, the hate figure of  Western media and a new Cold War has begun – in order to push the countries of Europe into completing the EU project. In this sense, whether despite himself or no, Putin, by simply being who and where he is, is actually helping the Americans to establish the United States of Europe. They need him to be there so that they can do it.

The Many and the One

Finally, there is a further aspect to the EU issue that will still be with us despite the British decision to exit the EU. In Britain’s EU campaign two forces from the past were battling each other: national and supranational forces: first, the national element, which stems from the age of nationalism in the 19th century following the French Revolution. This first factor related very much to people’s feelings and will, their emotional ‘bottom-up’ attachment to their locale, region, nation or language. The second factor was a more recent false supranational element which has been based largely on ideals and abstract ‘top-down’ ideation. It emerged around 1900. One can see this same polarity in developments in the arts at the same period. The trends to abstraction and modernism that set in after c.1900 (e.g. Cubism and Futurism in art and Serialism in music, to name but three) reflected increasing intellectualisation and abstraction in society and culture as well as the growing power of science and industry. After the First World War intellectuals rightly saw the catastrophe as the result of the nationalism of the 19th century, the populist feelings and emotions of the masses. Some in the elite then moved to the opposite pole to try to find a way to prevent this from happening again and embraced super-rationalist, modernist, abstract, technocratic, top-down, bureaucracy-driven solutions; the self-appointed shepherds of society sought to ‘design the future’ for the ignorant masses whom they would educate through the new methods that science and technology had made available: radio, PR, the mass media, propaganda etc. All governments went in for this to a greater or lesser extent – fascists, communists and democrats. There was a huge sprouting of international bodies after the First World War in this direction, including the League of Nations, and later the United Nations, the Paneuropa Union, headed by Count Coudenhove-Kalergi (which from 1922 advocated a United States of Europe), and ultimately the EU project itself, which was driven in its first years in the 1950s, 60s and 70s (Jean Monnet  – left -  died in 1979) by men who had been young in the 1920s during that wave of abstract technocracy. I would like to call these two forces from the past, from the 19th and the 20th centuries, a false Moon force and a false Sun force. One could perhaps even call the latter a star force, as it was not a real Sun force at all, though it certainly represented a powerful mental characteristic. It had light but no warmth. Just as the serial music of Stravinsky and Webern and the architecture of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe had no heart and were essentially inhuman constructs reflecting their authors’ striving for intellectually perfect systems that they believed corresponded to ultimate reality, the same thing happened in the field of sociology and social affairs. There was a great belief in designing social ‘systems’ for people to live in. The idea of a united, technocratic, elite-driven Europe was part of this. The people did not want it in any democratic sense; it was wanted for them by the intellectual elites of their societies who sought to foist it upon them. In the 1930s Nazism in Germany pushed it back to an extent by drawing on the ‘blood and soil’ nationalist and racist thinking that had been common in Europe in the 19th century, although the Nazis too borrowed aspects of the new rationalist technocratic approach which seemed to them ‘modern’. But with the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, the new wave of technocratic modernism resurged with a vengeance for about 30 years. One can still sense this today when one visits the complex of EU administrative buildings in Brussels or looks into the European Commission’s 1200 page Directory of Community Legislation in Force, listing all its directives and regulations.(14)

Out of a background of anthroposophy, some deep observations can be made about what lies beneath these two streams. Although Steiner identified anthroposophy as being informed and inspired by the Sun stream of the archangel Michael, whose impulses, he described,  are those of the spiritualisation of thinking and of cosmopolitanism, he emphasised that precisely in this increasingly cosmopolitan age humanity has been passing through since the late 19th century, we need to understand the different impulses that live in the various peoples and cultures of the world. Indeed, it was because we did not understand them that the nationalist catastrophe occurred in 1914. For this reason, he urged people to revisit the lecture cycle he had given in Oslo in June 1910: The Mission of the Folk Souls. In lecture 7 of that course (12 June) he speaks of the great polarity between what he calls “two spiritual currents in mankind… that which proceeds from plurality, which conceives the origin and source of existence as consisting primarily of a number of Beings and forces” (such cultures and religions can be found all across Eurasia) and “a synthetic, all-comprising movement which proceeded strictly from the Monon, Monism. The actual inspirers… of the worship of a single Divinity are the Semitic peoples. It is in their nature… in their blood, to represent the one God, the Monon.” We recall that Abraham of the Sumerian city of Ur (in modern-day Iraq) was the father of both Isaac and Ishmael and thus the ancestor of both the Jewish and Arab peoples. We see that over the past several hundred years, but especially since c.1900 these two peoples have played a momentous role in world events and notably in connection with the English and German-speaking cultures i.e. those peoples who have been playing a leading role in the world in what Steiner called the modern epoch since the 15th century. “It is the task of the Semitic peoples to give as an impulse that the world principle can only be unity… All the other peoples have the task of analysing the foundations of the world and thus to fill their several parts with rich contents, to fill themselves with rich material for conceptions that may lovingly comprehend the phenomena. The Semitic peoples have the task of ignoring all plurality and synthetically devoting themselves to the unity; …This is the great polarity between Pluralism and Monism…”the two are not possible without each other”, says Steiner; “Therefore we must recognise the necessity for both.” The 19th century pluralist impulse of nationalism was a false Moon force in that it over-emphasised  what could be called the incarnatory pole of human life, the birth pole i.e. birth into and attachment to a particular region of the world and its culture through one’s own genetic stream, one’s family, locale, region, nation, race to the extent of a lack of interest in other peoples and cultures or even a hostility towards them because they were different. It affirmed one’s own part of the plurality while tending to disparage others; it felt warmth for one’s own kin and culture but not for others. The 20th century impulse of monism, by contrast, was a false Sun force, which can also be called an excarnatory force because it essentially rejects the differences that earthly realities impose and looks instead to the non-earthly. But in our materialistic age, this meant it did not look to a spiritual world but to a realm of intellectual abstraction, which is only a shadow of the spiritual world. This false Sun force, which presents itself as rationality, logic, system and ‘science’, all too often amounted to the imposition on everyone of  a single monist light from on high, a single intellectual pattern, a light devoid of warmth and love which could not therefore truly understand the plurality. The 19th century was a time when the Many (cultures) asserted themselves at the expense of the One (human race); in the 20th century (especially its second half), the One  – supposedly the human race as a whole but all too often only the interests of one culture (the American capitalist worldview or the Communist worldview) – asserted itself at the expense of the Many (cultures): uniformity becoming all-pervasive. The anthroposophical solution is to affirm both of these poles, the One and the Many, and to seek to keep them in balance.

In European history we can see this same polarity at work with especial clarity from 800 AD onwards as Europe was assailed from two directions – by the pagan, polytheistic Vikings from the North and by the strictly monotheistic Muslim Saracens from the South who, in the year 711, had already penetrated Europe in their invasion of Spain. Winter is a season of breakdown and fragmentation; it makes for plurality and individualism as each individual is forced to cope courageously with the cold, both in nature outside and inside his own soul. This was often reflected in the hard, ruthless and often anarchic egoism of the Vikings: “I go where I want and I take what I want”, as well as in their bold and enterprising seafaring. Summer is a season of merging and melting, when the human soul feels overpowered by the oneness of nature and seeks to unite with it. The Muslim penetration of Europe from the South brought Semitic impulses (Jewish as well as Arab) into European culture; we can think of Flegetanis, the astronomer and teacher of Kyot of Provence mentioned in Eschenbach’s 13th century poem, Parzival. In the story, Flegetanis was a Muslim but obviously Jewish, as he is described as a descendant of Solomon. The Mediterranean culture of the South was already present in Christian Europe in everything that came from Greece and Rome; here again were universalist impulses to monism seen not least in the Church’s striving to impose its universalist will on the fractious Germanic northern tribes and later, kingdoms. But Europe’s urge to ‘assert the manifold’ comes from those northern people’s individualistic will, and it is therefore an untruth to claim that European culture is only ‘Judaeo-Christian’ or based only in the Jewish, Greek and Roman traditions. Because these all come from the South, all from that which tends to assert universalism at the expense of plurality, whereas in fact, European culture has been a mixing of both streams. The birth of polyphony (several melodies sounding at once) in European music at the turn of the 12th century, as exemplified in the music of the two great masters Léonin and Pérotin at Notre Dame in Paris, is a wonderful example of this European mixture. It is very clear in their music how the northern, individualistic will element with its strong rhythms and multiple melodies penetrates the southern, universalistic thinking element which is the single contemplative floating melody of Gregorian chant).  When the strongly driving rhythmic compositions and divergent lines of Pérotin (early 13th century) take over from the older Léonin’s more modest, almost hesitant, first polyphonic additions to the single line (monody) of Gregorian chant (late 12th century), with Léonin and Pérotin, we feel European music is being born. The music repeatedly moves from polyphony to monody and back again, preserving both in a beautiful balance; often, while the polyphonic and melodic lines become increasingly complex, there is a continuous monodic drone underneath.

Steiner addressed this north-south issue from another angle in a lecture of 15 December 1919 (15) when he spoke of how the ancient Mysteries of Light (East/Spirit) coming from Asia interacted with the Mysteries of Space (South/Law) coming from Egypt and the Mysteries of the Earth (North/economic life). European culture is a rich mixture of all three strands, one of which (from the East: Light) tends to promote universalism while another (North: Earth) has historically been particularist and pluralistic but in the modern epoch, since the Industrial Revolution, has become increasingly uniform. The third stream (South: Space), that of law, rights and social structure was originally more monist and universalist but over time has become diversified, affected by different  European peoples’ development and traditions. We ignore each of these three streams at our peril. Steiner’s threefold vision of the social organism is a metamorphosis of these three historical streams in such a way that they preserve their identity within a modern society while yet relating to each other dynamically. The unitary nation state on the other hand, and the EU, which is but an attempt to create a unitary nation state on a larger scale, is overbalanced towards the monist principle.

In the 9th century, when these three streams were becoming entangled with one another, there was a man, Pope Nicholas I (r.858-867) who tried to keep them separate. He was assisted by his adviser Anastasius Bibliothecarius. As representative of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Nicholas stood especially for the Mysteries of Space – the law and rights of the church as social and spiritual institution, and he sought to preserve a middle space in Europe that would not be unduly affected by the impulses from the Northwest  and the Southeast: the impulses of pagan individualism on the one hand and of Asiatic collective ritualism and mysticism on the other. Nicholas, according to Steiner, was reborn on 23 May 1848 as Helmuth von Moltke (above), Chief of the General Staff of the German Army and thus Commander-in-chief in 1914 when war broke out. This meant he had to command armies fighting against both the Russians on the Eastern Front, and against the British and French on the Western Front. As Nicholas relied on his Anastasius, Moltke relied for emotional, intellectual and spiritual support on his wife Eliza, who was one of Steiner’s earliest esoteric pupils. After Moltke died on 18 June 1916, Steiner was in communication with the dead man’s soul for some seven years -  a unique occurrence in Steiner’s life – ¬ and he communicated messages from the soul of Moltke to Eliza von Moltke.(16) These messages make clear that the Moltke individuality recognised that what he had had to do in his previous life as Pope Nicholas, he now had to reverse. For the sake of Europe’s future, he now had to work to bring Central and Eastern Europe together, but in a way that respected the capacities of both regions. It is this connection between Central and Eastern Europe that the elite forces of the West, possessed by the spectre of ancient Rome,  are determined to prevent, not least through using Germany to forge a European Union that is anti-Russian. In the twentieth century, they were successful twice, in the two world wars. But because it lies in Europe’s destiny that this connection between Central and Eastern Europe should come about, the peoples of the two regions have continued and will continue to try to establish it. Will it be frustrated a third time in the 21st century? That is in no small degree up to the people of western Europe – whether they will awaken to the schemes of their rulers or once again allow their will to be turned by those rulers against the effort to link Central and Eastern Europe.

End Notes
(1) e.g. the Cathars in France (c.1300), the Lollards in England (c.1400), the Hussites in Bohemia (C14th).
(2) See Steiner, Towards Social Renewal (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999) (Collected Works GA 23).
(3) Comcast, Google, Walt Disney, Newscorp, DirecTV, Viacom, Time-Warner, Sony, Bertelsmann, Apple. These top 10 are all worth over $13 billion. All are American except for Sony (Japanese) and Bertelsmann (German).
(5) See
(6) Since the formation of the Anglo-American elite group The Pilgrims’ Society in 1902.
(7) Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal between the USA and countries in the Pacific and East Asian regions incl, Canada, Australia, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Vietnam, S. Korea, Japan, Singapore.
Trade in Services Agreement: a highly secretive international deal on banking, health care and transport among 23 countries incl. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, S.Korea, Japan, and the EU.
(10) Markus Osterrieder, Welt im Umbruch, Nationalitätenfrage, Ordnungspläne und Rudolf Steiners Haltung im Erstern Weltkrieg (2014), p.882
(12) For example, see Steiner lecture of 29.11.1918 in The Challenge of the Times (GA 186), Anthroposophic Press, 1941
(13) GA 173c. This has not yet been published in English. The text is available in English in The Karma of Untruthfulness, Vol. 2 (GA 174)
(14) See C. Booker and R. North, The Great Deception – Can The European Union survive? (2005) pp. 613-615.
(15) R. Steiner, lecture of 15 Dec. 1919 in Ideas For A New Europe (GA 194), Rudolf Steiner Press, 1992.
(16) See T.H. Meyer (ed.) Light for the new Millennium, Rudolf Steiner Pres, 1997 (rep. 2014)