Essay on the inequality of human races gobineau

An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races by Arthur Gobineau

Dan said: This is a very interesting and thought-provoking book.

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It's good, not because its r First French edition, Paris, , 4 vol. EMBED for wordpress. Tweet twitter. We will launch our 3rd Call for Proposals! Go, torture the Chinese, finish off the Turks, annex Persia—all this is possible and even inevitable. But while I do not interdict them, nevertheless the causes of your weakness continue to accumulate and are even aggravated by your activity. The thirst for material pleasures which torments you is an indubitable symptom, as certain as the red cheeks of those infected by diseases of the lungs.

All previous civilizations in the process of decay have shown these same symptoms and have congratulated themselves on their seeming vigor, as you do now.

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Can I do anything about this? Because I state what is happening and will happen, do I affect in any way the days left to you? I am no more criminal than is a physician who says that the end is approaching.

Either I am right or I am wrong. If I am wrong, then nothing remains of my four volumes. If I am right, then my facts cannot be altered by wishful thinking. Today there is no chance whatever that in France any intellectual work will receive either a lively or a lasting reception. Our temperament which has been so literary, particularly during the last two centuries, has undergone a complete transformation.

What prevail now are lassitude, disenchantment, and a distaste for ideas. Instead, there is a love for detail that goes along with those political institutions which dull the intelligence like a powerful sedative. The class that really rules does not read. Then it will be read in France. For in Europe it is only the Germans who become so enamored with what they consider to be abstract truth that they fail to calculate its practical consequences. The Germans can furnish you with a really friendly audience whose judgment, sooner or later, will produce profound reverberations in France.

But the consolation Tocqueville offered served only to send their controversy into another phase. While condemning the effects of the Second Empire upon French intellectual life, Tocqueville had mentioned the support given by the Roman Catholic Church to Napoleon III in return for his concessions to Catholic schools and for his active discouragement of anti-clericalism. Surely you are not unaware of how devout we have become here in France.

While in fact we now concern ourselves exclusively with material pleasures, we are said to be advancing daily along the path of saintliness.


For it must be said that although you bow occasionally in the direction of the Church, the very premises of your system are hostile to it. No doubt your great effort to remain within the bounds of Catholicism is made in good faith. Gobineau responded angrily. How easily his critics allowed themselves the liberty of personal attacks upon him!

The reviewers of his Essay had accused him of being everything from a disguised Jesuit to an extreme materialist. Now his old friend charged him with advancing opinions incompatible with his beloved religion. To the ultimate degree of perfection? Certainly not. But I regret my deficiencies while aspiring to a more nearly perfect condition.

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I should abandon immediately my view of history if I shared your belief that it could not be reconciled with Catholic doctrine. It is true that once I was a Hegelian and an atheist. But once M. Although you believe in the principles of feudalism, nevertheless you oppose Christianity. Not that I consider myself to be a systematic thinker of importance.

Social Darwinism and Race Superiority In The West Essay | Bartleby

To me, system has never seemed an essential part of human perfection. But I do not like the feeling of adhering to principles which are shockingly inconsistent with one another. Thus I had to make a choice. Either I must abandon my view of feudalism, or cease believing in Feuerbach and others like him because their political views horrified me. For I believe that the liberties which existed under feudalism have been calumniated and misunderstood by later generations which had become unworthy to enjoy these liberties.

This is my first point.

THE INEQUALITY OF HUMAN RACES: The rise and fall of civilisations

Secondly: when I saw revolution no longer as an abstract idea, but with my own eyes, the sight of all those men in dirty blouses so disgusted me, so sharpened my sense of what was true and just that, had I not been already married, I would have been capable of becoming a monk simply to assert my opposition.

And that was only the beginning. A life of action gradually pushed me further along the road of belief; my stay in Asia completed the process. Here one resorts to prayer throughout the day, for life is not without its dangers.

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And thus it is that I am most sincerely, and completely, and profoundly Catholic. No, my dear friend, calm yourself.

The Long, Stupid History Of Racist Junk Science

I know you too well to take you for a hypocrite. I believe you to be one of those—as numerous today as in the ages of faith—who, despite feelings of veneration and a sort of filial tenderness towards Christianity, yet remain, unfortunately, not absolutely convinced believers. A soul in this condition does not believe itself to be hypocritical when it pays every respect to a religion so benevolent and holy. It is among such villains that I have placed you.

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He concluded that race was the single most important factor determining the nature of human society , with the white race being responsible for all the great advances in history. He considered that his reasoning established that the black race had an "animal character, that appears in the shape of the pelvis"; has a crude yet powerful energy; and dull mental faculties but has an "intensity of desire". Christianity considers all men as brothers and equals. Sporadic waves of settlers. Click OK to close the Internet Options popup.

Forgive me. But I cannot believe that you do not realize the difficulties involved in reconciling your theories with either the letter or the spirit of Christianity. As for the letter—what is taught in Genesis if not the unity of mankind, its common descent from the same man? As for the spirit of Christianity—surely its distinctive quality is the desire to abolish all the racial distinctions still preserved in Judaism.

Thus Christianity treats all men as belonging to a single family whose members are equally capable of improving themselves. How can this spirit, as commonly understood by Christians, be reconciled with a philosophy of history which describes races as distinct and unequal in understanding, judgment, and behavior? And this inequality is attributed to unalterable and inborn predispositions which make it impossible for certain races ever to hope to improve themselves. Christianity considers all men as brothers and equals. Your theory regards them as cousins whose common ancestor is to be found only in heaven.

Here on earth, there are but conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves by right of birth. All this is so true that your doctrine is approved, cited, annotated—by whom?

By the owners of Negroes, by all those who favor eternal servitude and justify it by the theory of racial inequality. I know that in the Southern part of the United States there are clergymen nevertheless, slave owners who preach from their pulpits doctrines similar to your own. But you can be certain that the majority of Christians who are uninfluenced by this kind of self-interest will show not the slightest sympathy for your teachings.

I must say that reading your book has left me with doubts about the solidity of your faith. You tell me that in this I am mistaken, that you have become an absolutely convinced Christian. May Heaven hear you!