The Renewal of the Social Organism

The articles presented in this volume were written during 1919 and 1920. In the Collected Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works, the volume containing the German texts is entitled, Aufsätze Über die Dreigliederung des sozialen organismus und zur Zeitlage 1915–1921 (Vol. 24 in the Bibliographic Survey, 1961.). They were translated from the German by E. Bowen-Wedgewood and Ruth Mariott; the translation was revised by Frederick Amrine. The publication of the printed volume was made possible by a grant from the Dietrich V. Asten Memorial Fund.

The cover (cloth) graphic form is by Rudolf Steiner, made for the first edition (1919) of his book Dir Kernpunkte der Sozialen Frage. The cover (paperback) graphic form is by Rudolf Steiner, made for the second edition (1920) of his book Die Kernpunkte der Sozialen Frage. Title lettering is by Peter Stebbing.

Rudolf Steiner Archive

Social Threefolding

What is social threefolding?

The threefolding aims to achieve constitutional reorganization of society and an accurate allocation of social phenomena, without having to create any party programs. The concrete political organization is kept open: It will have to be redefined for each moment of global historical development. A healthy social order implies a differentiation of society into the fields of cultural sphere (culture and education), economic sphere and rights sphere.

These three divisions of the community are autonomous, and will thereby influence one another positively and organically with their results. In this sense the rights sphere - also called the State - may not intervene into the autonomy of the cultural sphere and for instance pursue school politics. Only if the areas are autonomous and not mixed, they can develop themselves on their own terms and bring out their own ideals: Liberty in the cultural sphere, equality in the rights sphere and fraternity in the economic sphere.

Only the differentiation makes the ideals of mankind alive: When they are mixed they waive themselves mutually, and any other allocation of the ideals would work destructively: Equality in the cultural sphere kills all innovations, liberty in regard to law cancels all laws.

by Sylvain Coiplet

More information:

Website of the Institute of Social Threefolding