An Introduction to the Three-fold Commonwealth

By Robert Stewart

Clearly, the last century was a disaster in terms of peace, both globally and locally. Tragically, this century is not looking any better. Poverty, racial and gender inequality, homelessness, hunger, climate change, crime, and genocidal wars have only increased in magnitude. Obviously our thinking has not come to terms with “the reality on the ground.” Entirely new ways of thinking about social issues are needed, and these issues are not just economic, nor do they beg a “political” solution. Huge social questions face each one of us daily, having to do with human rights, human needs, and quite frankly, inhumane institutions. The first step is to consciously find us within the whole; that is, the very first step is cognitive. In the past, human relationships were more instinctively or traditionally arranged. Today, they must be consciously articulated.

Towards Social Renewal
Mon, June 1, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15
TV Room
154 9799

Global economic forces surround us daily. They have invaded all aspects of our lives, including governance. Even religion is not free. This is one of the tragedies of modern social life: cultural-spiritual aspects and questions of human rights have not been isolated from the worldwide, ubiquitous forces of economic thinking. We therefore need to broaden our approach to economics in general by including the entire social organism, elaborating a separate sphere dealing exclusively with rights (which are to include land, labor, and capital).

And another sphere to which cultural-spiritual activity belongs is that of art, religion, medicine, science, and education. These latter two do not really involve the production, distribution and consumption of goods, or the servicing thereof, which is the strict definition of economic activity. Today, sadly, rights and culture are all too often treated as commodities to be bought and sold in the market place.

This presentation will be based on the spiritual-scientific insights and sociological work of Rudolf Steiner who, almost 100 years ago, elaborated the context of a modern social life into three distinct spheres of human activity: cultural, rights awareness, and economic. These three separate social spheres are to mirror our own three-fold constitution as comprising spirit, soul, and body. Today, as never before, we want to see in our social institutions the reflection of our own tripartite humanity.


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