Sunday, August 24, 2008

Latest Reading

The Inequality of Human Races by Arthur de Gobineau, the George L. Mosse Revokable Trust, published by Howard Fertig, Inc. 1999, originally written in 1854. This book has been given a bad rap by people who claim that it has been used by racists to justify their arrogance and hypocrisy. Well, if that is so I don't see how. Although the author is a man of his times at the height of colonial exploitation and prejudice and although he does give preeminence to the so called "white" race, he admits there is no real "white race". His main premise which I found interesting was that cultures aren't equal.
He also talks about civilizations failing because they are inheritited by different racial groups than that which founded them. To give you an analogy and comparison, the United States of Madison, Jefferson, and Henry was doomed to fail as it was inspired by an Anglo-Saxon Protestant ethnicity which then became mixed with a Celtic Southern European Roman Catholic ethnicity and a whole different set of ethics and standards. When slavery was abolished and blacks were eventually enfranchised another ethnicity was included in the mix. In the past century a great mix of Asian ethnicity was added. America could not be what it was because it isn't that anymore and has been inherited by others. So, that's my take on it using de Gobineau's theories.
All in all, its pretty interesting stuff but if you tried to use it to prove racial superiority you would have to define in what way? Superior artistic ability? The author says that only a mixture of white and black can produce that. Anyway, this book gives a pretty clear view of 19th century man's view of race. It's not our view, but we are different today.

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