Worldwide, economic life is unstable and driven to excesses. Political systems are rendered ineffective when basic human rights are 'purchased' by those with economic power. Cultural life also, rather than expressing a healthy striving toward a meaningful human future, is increasingly caught up in consumerism and dominated by commercial interests.
Social innovations have not kept pace with technological innovations. Our social sciences lag behind our mechanical and physical sciences. The methods of the physical sciences have been applied to the biological and social sciences, with the consequence that our social sciences lack a firm ground upon which practical social forms can be built that lead toward a healthy human future and sustainable, worldwide peace.
Few people today know that Rudolf Steiner developed a comprehensive scientific view of social life, one rooted in a deep understanding of social relationships and the evolutionary processes at work within them. In doing so, he developed new ways of thinking about social life that are phenomena-centered (based on human experience), holistic, and creative. Rather than present abstract theories, he offers readers the opportunity to derive ideas directly out of the social phenomena themselves. This leads to new perspectives, and even new perceptions of social life and opens up new ways to explore and address the root causes of today's social ills. Thus Steiner’s insights can help us take practical steps toward a new economy, a just and effective political life, and diverse, dynamic and meaningful cultural impulses.
From the Foreword
“What Gary Lamb and Sarah Hearn have accomplished with this Compendium is nothing short of extraordinary in its breadth and focus. And it is clearly a labor of love, inquiry, and service.” --- John Bloom, Senior Director of Organizational Culture for RSF Social Finance