Reader, I wish you could experience the content of these
lectures as a listener, for that was the way in which they were
presented. Please imagine Rudolf Steiner speaking to you in
these lectures rather than finding hiccups in some of his long
sentences. Difficulties abound for a translator in finding just
one pesky word to convey the richness of German composite
words, but trying to offer the reader a string of alternate
words which might fit, could be utterly confusing. One
particular term needs some explanation.
lectures deal with the “Proletariat.” Dictionaries
translate this word as the common worker, bourgeoisie,
the working class people, the labour class,
the lower classes, the masses, the plebeians,
and so on. The use of the word “Proletarian” started
rising around 1900 and peaked around 1930 and again in 1980. I leave
it up to you to make the switch in your mind, when you come across
this word, to one of your choice.
same can be done for “bourgeoisie”, a word Rudolf
Steiner uses at times and which fits the same formula as above.
Yet it may be extended to refer to folk, to the general
public, and so on. A reference to “class”
distinction is avoided.
second lecture Rudolf Steiner suggests that the first four
lectures are taken as a unit, and not be judged as single
statements. The final two lectures could likewise form a unit
because they were given as Public Lectures, in other words they
were not limited to members of the Anthroposophical Society.
These two lectures take on quite a different tone and a brave
front and it is well worth your perseverance to reach the end.