April 2018

This War is Not Inevitable -- The Threefold Social Organism Drama from Down Under, April 6, 7, 8

“We talk about 'the 1%'. We watched 'Occupy Wall Street' flame up and flame out. The 'don't spend my money' parties take power in the US and (soon?) in Ontario? What does Anthroposophy have to say about this? Steiner's offering for the avoidance of the 1st World War is just as relevant today - and this play may be your best opportunity to begin to understand it." -- Grant Davis

Rudolf Steiner launched the idea of the Threefold Social Organism (Threefold Social Order) in 1917 in the hope that this would help shorten the war and prevent another great conflagration from breaking out. However, the times were against him then, and he was unsuccessful. But the question of the hour is: "Did what Steiner attempted in those years, plant a seed that has waited 100 years to mature?"

Three Performances, in Toronto and Thornhill, April 5, 6, 7

April 5th, 7 pm, Waldorf Academy, 250 Madison Ave, Toronto $25 (students/seniors $15)

April 6th, 3:00 pm, Hesperus, 1 Hesperus Rd., Thornhill (abridged) $15

April 7th, 7:30 pm, Christian Community, 901 Rutherford Rd., Thornhill $25.

The birth of the idea of the Threefold Social Organism 

It is 100 years since Rudolf Steiner first described his vision of the Threefold Social Organism (Threefold Social Order). His efforts in 1917 to rescue Germany from a devastating World War failed. However his description of the way that society needed to be restructured at that time is as relevant today as it was then. 

Steiner focused on the key role played by human creativity in our society. The activity of free individuals is the counterbalance to much that is wrong with society today.  Social three-folding, by countering both excessive state power and the tyranny of raw economic forces, brings harmony into society. That it should come into existence in the world, working in different ways in different countries, is an important precondition for world peace. 

This War Is Not Inevitable premiered in New Zealand in May 2017. It went on to play 35 times in New Zealand Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland and Germany. This is the premier performance of a completely new version of the play with Christian Peterson taking on the part of the second actor.

Biographies of the Cast

Born in Hannover, Germany, Christian Peterson moved with his parents to the United States where he attended the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School from K-12 in upstate New York. Recently, Christian attended the British American Drama Academy, in connection with the Yale School of Drama, at Magdalen College in Oxford, England where he studied classical Shakespeare acting. 

This is Christian’s first tour, and is excited to travel the world and share an important philosophy. He is, quote, “super stoked about it!” 

When not acting or writing, Christian is probably having an existential crisis of some sort. He plans to return to the UK in pursuit of furthering his experience at a leading drama school before transitioning to film. 

Born in 1955 in Auckland, Michael Burton first studied speech and drama at Auckland University, where he received a Diploma in Drama in 1977; he also has a B.A. in English Literature from Waikato University. He met Anthroposophy while working on a newspaper at the age of 21. This led to him doing an anthroposophical speech training that he completed in Hawaii under Virginia Brett in 1988. Since that time he has practised artistic speech and drama in various ways – as a writer, speech performer, actor, speech therapist and voice teacher.

As well as working on This War is Not Inevitable, Michael hopes to have some time to continue to give performances of his one-man-drama, Shakespeare and the Mystery of the Human Being, to give children’s performances, to conduct voice classes and teach chirophonetic therapy (a form of therapy that uses touch and the sounds of human speech). 

Working with Lemniscate Arts, he is the writer of The Working of the Spirit, a play that follows on from Rudolf Steiner’s Fourth Mystery Drama. His next task may be to facilitate productions of this play, possibly with amateur actors doing coordinated scenes in different places. The play is soon to be published by Hawthorne Press, UK. 

Toronto and Thornhill Performance Sponsors

Thornhill and Toronto performances sponsored by the Thornhill Group of the Anthroposophical Society and by the Toronto Branch of the Anthroposophical Society and by the Anthroposophical Society in Canada, 

Thanks to The Waldorf Academy, Hesperus Village and the Christian Community for the use of their
facilities for the Toronto and Thornhill performances.

Upcoming Performance Dates for the 2018 Tour

14. Copake Community Tues 10th April

16. New York City Thursday 12th April 

15. Kimberton Friday April 13th


Quotations from the Play

These words are all taken from the script of the play.  Many of the quotations will be found – perhaps in different form – in various places in the work of Rudolf Steiner and in particular in his book, written in 1919; Die Kernpunkte der Socialen Frage, titled in English variously as Towards Social Renewal, The Threefold Commonwealth or The Renewal of the Social Organism:

“In our time too much power falls upon the state. It is an evolutionary necessity today to change this. We can progress only if people become conscious that the workings of society take place in three quite different systems, the boundaries of which need to be clearly defined”. 

“This war is the visible expression of what happens when ideas have lost their effectiveness and the antisocial forces are not checked and have come to dominate the world.”

“The threefold ordering that I describe must come to pass. It will evolve either through people taking up the ideas in freedom or through great suffering and catastrophe. This war gives us an opportunity to progress to something that was never possible before. Behind the tragedy of armies locked in pointless conflict with each other is the push towards a whole new way of living together. Perhaps, out of great destruction, there will arise in people an openness for a new society appropriate to the conditions of the times.” 

"The state, as we know it, is an archaic relic; it must disappear." 

"The political sphere can do no other than destroy economic life when it takes control of it; and the economic sphere loses its strength and vitality when it tries to become political…"

"I tried to show them how to deal with what happens when individuals meet one another across the gulf that separates this world from regions of soul and spirit. This takes place when the powers that hold the soul together are loosened. People of future times will have to learn how to conduct themselves, as such things increasingly take place."

"The Threefold Social Organism is still needed by the earth. Of course, times have changed, and it will not be for you as it was for us in 1917 or 1919. But Steiner told me that, out of the chaos of the times, humanity would be given another chance after 100 years had passed." (Spoken by Emil Molt)

"The ultimate failure of society is war. Those who believe in the super-powerful state desire and promote war because it gives them what they need to control populations. The free human individuality is the one power that will liberate us from the interventions of the state and the depersonalisation of the financial system."

"Forces driving us towards destruction are getting stronger but so too is the power to wage peace. Solutions will not come from the kinds of thinking that have caused our problems. If you want to become the change that is needed in the world, you will have to risk everything. (Spoken by the Homeless Man)"

Reference Materials for Further Study

Websites concerning The Threefold Social Organism: (A PUBLIC APPEAL AND CALL TO ACTION)

For Rudolf Steiner’s complete lectures and writings on the subject 

see: (ensure capitals are used) 

Books related to the threefold structuring of society:

Shaping Globalization - Civil Society, Cultural Power and Threefolding;
Nicanor Perlas (New Society Publishers, 2003) 

Common Wealth - For a Free, Equal, Mutual, and Sustainable Society;
Martin Large (Hawthorn Press, 2010) 

After Capitalism;
Michael Spence (Adonis Press, 2014) 

Functional Threefoldness in the Human Organism and Human Society;
Johannes Rohen (Adonis Press, 2011) 

What is Money? - A Discussion; 
Joseph Beuys (Clairview Books, 2010)

Freeing the Human Spirit: The Threefold Social Order, Money & the Waldorf School;
Michael Spence (AWSNA, 2001)

Associative Economics;
Gary Lamb (Waldorf Publications, 2016)

Finance at the Threshold: Rethinking the Real and Financial Economics; 
Christopher Houghton Budd (Routledge, 2016)  

Threefold Now; (a series of five books  re-imagining the basis of civilizational renewal)

Travis Henry (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014-2016)

Becoming Human: A Social Task - The Threefold Social Order;
Karl Konig (Floris Books, 2011)

We are the Revolution!: Rudolf Steiner, Joseph Beuys and the Threefold Social Impulse;
Ulrich Roesch (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2010)

Thanks and Credits

The Prometheus Foundation

Ceres Enterprises of Auckland

Gerrit and Bernie Raichle 

Anne Perry 

Christy Robinson 

Crystal Bridge 

Lynn and John Daniel 

The Anthroposophical Society of New Zealand

Jim Willetts, Sacramento

...along with the many individuals who gave amounts of various sizes in 2017. These people and organizations enabled this idea to be born into the world, and we are deeply grateful. 

As well as our financial sponsors, we’d like to thank the following:

Rod Green – director of the original production

Michael Spence – chief advisor concerning the Threefold Social Organism 

Scotty Smith – soundtrack 

Kathy Burton – printing and publication

Jim Willetts – chief encourager for us to take the work to North America

Christine Burke and Debbie McCarthy – hosts in California 

Kimberley Rogers and Christine Burke – inspirers of new performances

And the many people who made this tour possible.

Want more? Here's a four-page article about the background of the play and the players.