Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only once a year. The Inequality of the Human Races [Arthur de Gobineau] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This work was the first modern attempt to prove. Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines (An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races) (–) by Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau.

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This is an OCR edition with typos. That I should even venture to touch on it will seem a Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www. That Gobuneau should even venture to touch on it will seem a kind of paradox to many of my readers.

People are convinced, and rightly convinced, that the good administration of good laws has a direct and powerful influence on the health of a people; and this conviction is so strong, that they attribute to such administration the mere fact that a human society goes on living at all.

Here they are wrong. They would be right, of course, if it were true that nations could exist only in a state of well being; but we know that, like individuals, they can often go on for a long time, carrying within them the seeds of some fell disease, which may suddenly break out in a virulent form.

If nations invariably died of their sufferings, not one would survive the first years of its growth; for it is precisely in those gobinewu that they show the worst ad1fuhTstfat1ori, the worst laws, and the greatest d1sorder. But in this respect they are the exact opposite of the human organism. The greatest enemy that the latter has to fear, especially in infancy, is a continuous series of illnesses—we know beforehand inequaliy there is no resisting these; to a society, however, such a series does no harm at all, and history gives us abundant proof that the body politic is always being cured of the longest, the most terrible and devastating attacks of disease, of which the worst forms are ill-conceived laws and an oppressive or negligent administration.

The reader will understand that I am not speaking of the political existence of a centre of sovereignty, but of the life of a whole society, or the span of a whole civilization. The distinction iequality at the beginning of chap, Paperbackpages. Published January 1st by Howard Fertig first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

The Inequality of Human Races by Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau

To ask other readers questions about The Inequality of Human Racesplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Inequality of Human Races.

Lists with This Book. Sep 08, Dan Gunderson rated it really liked it. This is a very interesting and thought-provoking book. It’s good, not because its reasoning is correct because it clearly isn’tbut because it inequslity a very clear picture of humah rationale for racism and even sets the stage for future Nazi race philosophy.

Again, remember that while the positions the book advocates may clearly be morally and logically wrong, the book itself is very valuable for what it reveals about racist thought.

Jan 28, Terri rated it did not like it Shelves: When I expressed my disdain for this book, my professor called me “a child of empiricism” and suggested that I could gobinesu from it. This book offers useful insights into the willful irrationality of racism, and a look into a time, a milieu, that was steeped in it. It is worth pondering how educated people, any people, thought they had reason to believe such nonsense.


I still don’t like it. Only those interested in studying the nuances of 19th Century Racism. Recommended to Czarny by: The book has legendary status. It is often credited with having been the source for Hitler’s theory of a master Aryan race. The prime purpose for reading the book is to obtain an understanding of the intellectual roots of political racism and Nazism. It is hard not to be inequaluty about reading such an odious work.

Racess does indeed argue that a master Aryan gobinexu having its origins in Central Asia provided the racial stock for all the nobilities of Europe.

Essay on the Inequality of Human Races

He is convinced that the Aryans have an inherent right to conquer rule over the other racial groups on the planet. One becomes progressively more repulsed the further one gets into this alarming work. However extravagant his ideas may have been, Gobineau demonstrated considerable erudition.

In his footnotes he quotes his sources in English, German, Greek, and occasionally French. Gobineau was an aristocrat and was writing for the intellectual elite of Europe. He took it for granted that his readers would be familiar with all these languages. Gobineau was not a twentieth-century demagogue promoting racism for the masses. Rather he was an nineteenth century European telling his peers that the nations of Western Europe by virtue of their superior racial stock had the right to colonize the rest of the world.

Just as Marx explains all human history as being economically determined in Das KapitalGobineau explains global human history from the beginning to the current era as being determined by race. Gobineau argues that education and institutions can neither improve nor degrade races.

Rather races chose the institutions and education that are appropriate to their races. Institutions proper to one race fail to work properly when imposed on another. When a race begins to change the institutions that have made it successful it has entered into an era decadence. Races only begin to change their institutions after they have allowed metissage racial intermingling to undermine their purity.

Maintaining racial purity then is the key for any successful race to maintaining its superiority and avoiding decline. At the start of the work Gobineau appears to be quite self-critical. He acknowledges that his ideas will offend those who follow the Enlightenment school of philosophy which held all men to be equal and that man was either elevated or debased demanding whether he lived in a society with good or bad institutions.

Similarly, Gobineau conceded that his ideas were contrary to Christian teaching which held that all men were descended from Adam and equal before God. Finally, Gobineau concedes that the scientific evidence in support of his contention that human races differ greatly and that there is a clear hierarchy from greater to lesser of races is very weak.

Having recognized the weaknesses underlying his thesis, Gobineau then ignores them. By about a quarter of the way through the book, Gobineau abandons all reserves and expounds progressively wilder racist ideas. Gobineau was very much a product of his time. He was living in the glory days of linguistics and ethnography. Scholars were studying Sanscrit to see if it was the first language and from there develop a theory of the evolution of human language.

Folk tales were being collected throughout Europe. Ethnographers were studying the social and culture practices in primitive societies. Attempts were made to catalogue the physical characteristics of the various peoples on this planet. In this context it was perhaps inevitable that some thinker like Gobineau would appear to propose a theory that race was the dominant factor in human history. Gobineau’s book still shocks.

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The Inequality of Human Races – Wikisource, the free online library

View all 3 comments. Sep 26, Arno Mosikyan rated it did not like it Shelves: This is a pseudo-science chauvinistic fascist garbage in its entirety.

QUOTE “I have shown the unique place in the organic world occupied by the human species, the profound physical, as well as moral, differences separating it from all other kinds of living creatures. Considering it by itself, I have been able to distinguish, on physiological grounds alone, three great and cl why 1? Considering it by itself, I have been able to distinguish, on physiological grounds alone, three great and clearly marked types, the black, the yellow, and the white.

However uncertain the aims of physiology may be, however meager its resources, however defective its methods, it can proceed thus far with absolute certainty.

The negroid variety is the lowest, and stands at the foot of the ladder. The animal character, that appears in the shape of the pelvis, is stamped on the negro from birth, and foreshadows his destiny. His intellect will always move within a very narrow circle. He is not however a mere brute, for behind his low receding brow, in the middle of his skull, we can see signs of a powerful energy, however crude its objects.

If his mental faculties inqeuality dull or even non-existent, he often has an intensity of desire, and so of will, which may be called terrible. Many of his senses, especially taste and smell, are developed to an extent unknown to the other two races. The very gobinsau of his sensations is the most striking proof of his inferiority.

All food is good in his eyes, nothing disgusts or repels him. What he desires is to eat, to eat furiously, and to excess; no carrion2 is too revolting to be swallowed by him.

It is the same with innequality his inordinate desires are satisfied with all, huamn coarse or even horrible. To these qualities may be added an instability and capriciousness3 of feeling, that cannot be tied down to any single object, and which, so far as he is concerned, do away with all distinctions of good and evil.

We might even say that the violence with which he pursues the object that has aroused his senses and inflamed his desires is a guarantee of the desires being soon satisfied and the object forgotten. Finally, he is equally careless of his own life and that niequality others: 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. Racees 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 to obesity, which, though not confined to the yellow type, is found there more frequently than in the others. The yellow man has little physical inequaljty, and is inclined to apathy; he commits none of the strange excesses so common among negroes.

His desires are feeble, his will-power rather obstinate than violent; his longing for material pleasures, though constant, is kept within bounds. A rare glutton4 by nature, he shows far more discrimination in his choice of food. He tends to mediocrity in everything; he understands easily enough anything not too deep or sublime.