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Before Hitler There Was

Updated on April 4, 2019
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Alex has taught at two public schools, been accepted into three honorary societies, and traveled the Americas and Europe. He has his A.A.T.

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Introduction to Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau

Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau was an aristocrat who lived from 1816 to 1882 (Blue 93). He was also “undoubtedly the most influential academic racist of the nineteenth century” (Gould). During one period in his life, “Gobineau served for some twenty years in the diplomatic corps of Napoleon III” (Blue 96). However, in some circles he is better known for being “antidemocratic and anti-Semitic” (“Joseph Arthur Gobineau, Comte De” 1).

More About Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau

Arthur de Gobineau was the author of the work titled THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES. In his infamous work, Gobineau states that African Americans possess an “animal appearance” (Gobineau 314). Gobineau goes on to compare this ethnic group to “the ape” (Gobineau 315). Although such text is unappealing to many people around the world, print copies of Gobineau’s works have existed for more than one hundred years.

The Racist

Paul A. Fortier writes about Gobineau, stating that he made “racial theories” (Fortier 341, 350). According to Fortier, one of said “theories” (341, 350) is that “the Aryans, or Germans, are all that is good and admirable” (Fortier 342). Fortier goes so far as to claim that Gobineau was one of “the forerunners of Hitler” (Fortier 343). Stephen Jay Gould summarizes Gobineau’s philosophical “position”; “the fate of civilizations is largely determined by” race (Gould). Furthermore, Gobineau was a notable “proponent of Nordic supremacy” (“Joseph Arthur Gobineau, Comte De” 1).


Conclusion

Although Gobineau died in 1882 (Blue 93), his works have continued to be an influence on the modern world. The former statement can be evidenced by the fact that Gobineau’s works can be easily found by the general public for free online. One should also recognize that Gobineau’s writings can be found and bought in print. However, with seemingly very little support, one can presume and even hope that Gobineau’s works are influential today in a more positive fashion than in the times of the hyperbolic yesterday.

Works Cited

Blue, Gregory. “Gobineau on China: Race Theory, the “Yellow Peril,” and the Critique of Modernity.” Journal of World History, vol. 10, no. 1, 1999, pp. 93-96. ProQuest. Web. 8 May 2017.

Fortier, Paul A. “Gobineau and German Racism.” Comparative Literature, vol. 19, no. 4, 1967, pp. 341-350. www.jstor.org/stable/1769493

Gobineau, A. de. THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, Introduction by H. Hotz, Appendix by J. C. Nott, M.D., pp. 314-315. J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1856.

Gould, Stephen Jay. “Ghosts of Bell Curves Past.” Natural History, vol. 104, no. 2, 1995, ProQuest. Web. 8 May 2017.

“Joseph Arthur Gobineau, Comte De.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 2016, p. 1. EBSCOhost. Web. 8 May 2017.

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye, Design by Dorothy S. Baker, pp. 164-183. Vintage Books, 2007.

Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau

Have you heard of Gobineau before reading my essay?

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© 2019 Alexander James Guckenberger

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    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      22 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      I appreciate all that you do my friend. La ilaha ilAllah, wa salaam u alaikhum.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      22 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Alexander, you got me. Thank you, and good day.

    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      22 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Miebakagh Fiberesima, I think that it's good to read people's work, even when we completely disagree with them.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      22 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Okay. What is bad for one seems good for another as a good read, right? Let me remind all here once again as I said in my previous comment: this Joseph-Author is a complete stranger to me. Thank you all.

    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      22 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Jo Miller, he's pretty bad for sure.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      23 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, I think it is because it is good to read? Thank you.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      23 months ago from Tennessee

      How could his works possibly be positive? Why would anyone want to read them?

    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      23 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Miebakagh Fiberesima, I'm really glad to have brought this to your attention! It may be an ugly part of history, but it is still important to learn.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      23 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Alexander, this Joseph-Author was a complete stranger tome in history. However, thanks for sharing.

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