On-line since: 13th November, 2000
THE following answers to questions (on the Tailor Example) given by
Dr. Steiner at the Seminar which accompanied this
course of lectures may be helpful to the reader:
Q. X brings up for discussion the problem of the tailor. (Lecture IV.)
A. The illusion arises because the effect in relation to the single suit
is extraordinarily small and therefore it needs a long time for this
small effect to become visible in the tailor's accounts and for the
loss to be really felt. Products become cheaper through division of
labour. When you work, under division of labour, for a community your
own products will also become cheaper than they would be if you were
to work for yourself. This is due simply to the cheapening effect of
the division of labour. If you interrupt it at a certain point, then
you will make the article concerned, which you have made for yourself,
more expensive. Now the single effect in relation to a single suit
would naturally be small, but it would be marked if all tailors were
to make their own suits. When a tailor, who makes his own suits, comes
to make up proper accounts, he ought to price his own suits higher
than the market price. He must reckon his expenses higher. Naturally,
the supposition is that the suits should be bought, not from other
tailors, but from the dealers in clothes, the clothiers. The price of
a suit at the clothiers is cheaper than it would be if tailors worked
without clothiers otherwise the division of labour and
merchanting would have no sense. Therefore the tailor ought to price a
suit a little higher if he does without the merchant, because the
merchant brings the single suit on to the market more cheaply than the
tailor could bring it into use...
Q. Does the tailor depress the price of other suits of clothes by that one suit?
A. He depresses the price of suits by withdrawing one suit from the total
number of suits with which the clothiers are dealing. He deprives the clothiers
of the opportunity of making a profit on this suit. Therefore the clothiers
must demand a higher profit on the other suits. This demand of the
clothiers for a higher profit brings about a rise in clothiers'
prices, but it means a drop in tailors' prices.
Q. Suppose there are considerably more clothiers than are economically
A. In what I have said there is the presumption that exactly as many
clothiers exist as are economically justified. We have to do not with
progression in a straight line, but in a direction towards a maximum
and a minimum. There is an optimum number of clothiers which will give
the best commercial results. Anything over or below it would work
Q. Can the number be ascertained?
A. When you have rational management, then you will have a determinate number
of clothiers, as of producers ...
List of relevant literature, published or distributed by Rudolf
Steiner Press unless otherwise stated:
The Threefold Social Order
The Social Future
The Inner Aspect of
the Social Question
Anthroposophy and the Social
Education as a Social Problem
The Liberation of Work (Routledge R Kegan Paul)
of the works of Rudolf Steiner in the original German. Published by the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland, by whom all rights are reserved.
General Plan (abbreviated):
I. Works written between 1883 and 1925
II. Essays and articles
written between 1882 and 1925
III. Letters, drafts, manuscripts,
fragments, verses, inscriptions, meditative sayings, etc.
I. Public Lectures
II. Lectures to Members of the Anthroposophical
Society on general anthroposophical subjects
Lectures to Members on
the history of the Anthroposophical Movement and Anthroposophical
III. Lectures and Courses on special branches of
Art: Eurythmy, Speech and Drama, Music, Visual Arts, History
Medicine and Therapy
and the Threefold Social Order Lectures given to Workmen at the
The total number of lectures amounts to some six thousand, shorthand
reports of which are available in the case of the great majority.
C. REPRODUCTIONS and SKETCHES
Paintings in water colour, drawings, coloured diagrams, Eurythmy
When the Edition is complete the total number of volumes, each of a
considerable size, will amount to several hundreds. A full and
detailed Bibliographical Survey, with subjects, dates and places where
the lectures were given, is available.
All the volumes can be
obtained from the Rudolf Steiner Press in London as well as directly
from the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung (address as above).