Apr 28Liked by Seth Jordan

Seth, this is well-said and provocative, as always. At the risk of misrepresenting your point of view, though, I'll lay out a couple of reservations I have about the implication that systemic change is more needed than incremental changes.

First, there are some who argue that direct giving (donations that go right to individuals or small communities rather than to aid organizations) is the most effective and efficient way to donate. Evidence Action is the main group I'm familiar with in this area. Of course, I don't know what the research says about the long-term effects of this kind of giving, or whether the effects ripple outward to become something more systemic.

Also, Steiner has a kind of ladder of morality in his Philosophy of Freedom, in which actions motivated by the public good are seen as higher than those coming from egoism--but both can still be seen as unfree. The highest level is action out of "love for the deed" coming from intuition and not from a pre-conceived mental picture. We have all seen examples of "progressive" action that came across as anything but humane or loving. Which is just to say, acting out of our vision of an ideal social structure doesn't guarantee that our actions are done at the highest level of free morality, or that they honor the spiritual freedom of others.

I tend to feel we have our hands full navigating between our occasional free actions and our habitual unfree ones. I don't trust myself to design, or even endorse, a plan for systemic social change. Much as I love Steiner's vision of the threefold society, I can't see how it can come about except through lots and lots of small, localized acts or initiatives, lots of people stepping off the moving walkway to interact with others in a different way. This would be good practice in cultivating a new morality based on love, and maybe the model for systemic change from the bottom up.

Let me know if I've totally missed your point, or if you have any reaction to my reactions!

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