The Inequality of Human Races

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G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1915 - Civilization - 217 pages
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User Review  - alexperlloni - LibraryThing

Maybe important to understand historical misconceptions about human races. Although Gobineau is not the father of Nazi Germany's ideas of aryan superiority he has been recognized as one of the fathers of modern racism. Read full review

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Arthur de Gobineau's "The Inequality of Human Races" gave articulation to a human, eurocentric belief of the 19th century that obviously galvanized a segment of Europe's population, to later be realized in its epitome by the Nazi's and their slaughter of the Jews, the Romani and even the Poles. It is by early 21st century standards considered dangerous and certainly (at a minimum) politically incorrect. The fact that this book influenced so many people, including the opera composer Richard Wagner, and motivated them to heinious acts is still a contemporary threat to world thought. However, as a finished product, it also demonstrates that humans are very much part of the Animal Kingdom that so many people think they are distinct from. There may be degrees of separation but not with wide enough of a purview that we are an entity onto ourselves. Arthur de Gobineau's verbal elucidation, aside from being based on misconstructed logic and perspective, is more useful as a cognitive example of how human analyis is not based on observation or logic but an material artifact of human expression of a particular individual's psycho-physiological makeup. 

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Page 37 - The man Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes whate'er it touches ; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of men, and, of the human frame, A mechanized automaton.
Page 192 - Artistic genius, which is equally foreign to each of the three great types, arose only after the intermarriage of white and black. Again, in the Malayan variety, a human family was produced from the yellow and black races that had more intelligence than either of its ancestors.
Page 138 - It appears therefore past all doubt, that a race of people may be propagated by this man, having such rugged coats or coverings as himself: and, if this should ever happen, and the accidental original be forgotten, 'tis not improbable they might be deemed a different species of mankind...
Page 194 - It shows us that all civilizations derive from the white race, that none can exist without its help, and that a society is great and brilliant only so far as it preserves the blood of the noble group that created it, provided that this group itself belongs to the most illustrious branch of our species
Page 190 - ... sake of killing; and this human machine, in whom it is so easy to arouse emotion, shows, in face of suffering, either a monstrous indifference or a cowardice that seeks a voluntary refuge in death. The yellow race is the exact opposite of this type. The skull points forward, not backward. The forehead is wide and bony, often high and projecting. The shape of the face is triangular, the nose and chin showing none of the coarse protuberances that mark the negro. There is further a general proneness...
Page 124 - But saying o'er what I have said before : My child is yet a stranger in the world ; She hath not seen the change of fourteen years i Let two more summers wither in their pride Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
Page 37 - Why then, in the course of ages, has he not invented printing or steam power? I should be quite justified in asking our Huron why, if he is equal to our European peoples, his tribe has never produced a Caesar or a Charlemagne among its warriors, and why his bards and sorcerers have, in some inexplicable way, neglected to become Homers and Galens
Page 96 - The popular works of the country are greatly cheaper than ours ; they have no taxes on literature, and three or four volumes of any ordinary work, of the octavo size and shape, may be had for a sum equivalent to two shillings. A Canton bookseller's manuscript catalogue marked the price of the four books of Confucius, including the Commentary, at a sum rather under half-acrown. The cheapness of their common literature is occasioned partly by the mode of printing, but partly also by the low price of...
Page 33 - I can say positively that a people will never die, if it remains eternally composed of the same national elements.
Page 196 - There is no true civilization, among the European peoples, where the Aryan branch is not predominant. In the above list no negro race is seen as the initiator of a civilization. Only when it is mixed with some other can it even be initiated into one.

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