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Perishable Money in a Threefold Commonwealth
Rudolf Steiner and the Social Economics of an Anarchist Utopia

Guido Giacomo Preparata




Guido Giacomo Preparata taught political economy at the University of Washington and serves as lecturer in criminology. In 2005 he published "Conjuring Hitler - How Britain and America Made the Third Reich", and 2011 "The Ideology of Tyranny". Excerpts can be read on his interesting website The present Essay was first published in "Review of Radical Political Economics 2006 38: 619", and appears here with the kind permission of the author.


Austrian mystic Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) devoted significant portions of speculative activity to social and economic questions; during the fateful interwar period, he delivered remarkable lectures on the nature of economics and the physiology of the social order. He fashioned analyses consonant with the intuitions of monetary reformer Silvio Gesell and kindred to institutional narratives of the old German school, providing penetrating insight into the (perishable) nature of money, distribution, and the fundamental notion of the gift. His blueprint for social Utopia was the threefold social order, whereby three independent systems of collective life (economy, state, and arts and sciences) are conceived to function as a harmonious whole. Steiner’s contribution to the social sciences, naturally obliterated in our opportunistic times of “ultra-economism,” would deservedly occupy a preeminent place among heterodox thought that awaits impatiently the demise of modern capitalism’s unreasoning appetites with a view to refashioning an alternative, more humane economy.

Guido Giacomo Preparata:
Perishable Money in a Threefold Commonwealth: Rudolf Steiner and the Social Economics of an Anarchist Utopia (PDF)