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Bruce in 1923 and 2007  Peter Staudenmaier
 May 23, 2007 05:13 PDT 

Good morning Bruce,

 Variety ist he spice of life!

Why are you still avoiding the question? You made a series of inaccurate
claims about race. You made those claims in 2007, not in 1923. We can talk
about those claims from the standpoint of 2007, though it sounds like that
might mean thirty years or so of catching up for you. I would also be
delighted to discuss ideas about race in 1923, and have attempted that many
times over with you, but you have so far refused. How come? Is there
something scary about this topic for you? What might that be?

 I'm not reluctant to follow links at all:

You ignored dozens of them. When you want to discuss a particular topic in
public, and you don't know much about that topic, it's often a good idea to
inform yourself a little bit about it.

 Interesting: the opening paragraph is most interesting - the research is
mostly from the last 30 years!

Much of the relevant research is a good deal older than 30 years, for what
it's worth. Franz Boas' work goes back to the 1890s, for example, and
Finot's work is from the first decade of the 20th century, while Barzun's
book Race: A Study in Superstition appeared in 1937, then there's Mead and
Montagu etc, not to mention Ruth Benedict's 1940 book Race: Science and
Politics, or Paul Radin's 1935 book The Racial Myth; and the UNESCO
statement on race dates to 1950.

 When did Steiner die?

In 1925, eighty-two years before you made your various claims about race on
this list. When I try to get you to discuss race in 1923, however, you
suddenly have nothing to say. Why is that?

 OK: but I don't really doubt the current definitions of race,

Doubt them? You were evidently unaware of them, according to your own
statements about race and blood groups and so forth.

 and I'm not so
sure that they are relevant!

If we want to talk about Bruce's views on race in 2007, then of course they
are relevant. For example, you appear to believe that the presence of black
people in Europe is troubling, that there is a connection between skin color
and intelligence, that different races have different tasks, that some races
are higher than others, and so forth.

If you're still shy for whatever reason about discussing your own views,
then we ought to discuss Steiner's views, indeed that is what I've been
urging you to do all along. To get a better grasp of the context within
which Steiner's racial teachings emerged, you might try looking at some of
the material I've posted on spiritual-racial theory, particularly its
theosophical variants. And for a better sense of what public discussion
about race was like in Steiner's day, take a look at any of these works:

Jean Finot, The Death-Agony of the “Science” of Race (London 1911)

Jean Finot, Race Prejudice (London and New York 1906)

Joseph-Antenor Firmin, The Equality of the Human Races (Chicago 2000),
original French edition 1885

William Babington, Fallacies of Race Theories as Applied to National
Characteristics (London 1895)

W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks, Chicago 1903

Ignaz Zollschan, Das Rassenproblem unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der
theoretischen Grundlagen der jüdischen Rassenfrage (Vienna 1910)

Friedrich Hertz, Rasse und Kultur: Eine kritische Untersuchung der
Rassentheorien (Leipzig 1915)

Friedrich Hertz, Moderne Rassentheorien: Kritische Essays (Vienna 1904)

If nothing else, I think you would do well to note the date of publication
of those works. For historical overviews see any of the following, in
addition to all the other titles I have recommended previously:

Paul Weindling and Marius Turda, 'Blood and Homeland': Eugenics and Racial
Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, 1900-1940 (Central European
University Press 2006).

George Stocking, Volksgeist as Method and Ethic (Madison 1996)

H. Glenn Penny and Matti Bunzl, eds., Worldly Provincialism: German
Anthropology in the Age of Empire (Ann Arbor 2003)

John Haller, Outcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes of Racial
Inferiority 1859-1900 (New York 1971)

Geoffrey Field, Evangelist of Race: The Germanic Vision of Houston Stewart
Chamberlain (New York 1981)

Hans Werner Debrunner, Presence and Prestige: A History of Africans in
Europe before 1918 (Basel 1979)

Paul Weindling, Health, Race and German Politics 1870-1945 (Cambridge 1989)

Ruth Römer, Sprachwissenschaft und Rassenideologie in Deutschland (Munich

Peter Weingart, Jürgen Kroll, Kurt Bayertz, Rasse, Blut und Gene (Frankfurt

Even if you are unwilling to look at any of that material, it remains
unclear why you cannot simply answer the questions that have been posed to
you many times on this matter. (This would, by the way, have the advantage,
from your viewpoint, of letting your own ill-considered claims about race
off the hook, relatively speaking.) All you need to do is explain why you
believe that Steiner's racial views were not racist in 1923, in 1915, in
1906, and so forth. Greetings,

Peter S.

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