Arthur de Gobineau
Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (July 14, 1816 — October 13, 1882) was a French aristocrat, diplomat, journalist, novelist, and a writer on race. In 1849, he became private secretary to Alexis de Tocqueville, who was foreign minister of France. Gobineau was for the next 30 years a diplomat and traveled widely, with his experiences of different cultures and peoples influencing his writings and theories. He was a diplomat in Iran, Athens, Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm. He was effective diplomat and a man of great charm.
He is today most well-known for this writings on race and has even been described as the father or founder of racism or race realism. However, he was not the first who wrote on race, but he may have differed from earlier writers by the being the first to more systematically write about race as a major factor in world history. He argued the importance of race on civilizations and race mixing as a cause of the decline and fall of civilizations.
Gobineau published his major work, Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, in four volumes, from 1853 to 1855. It did not attract much notice, and only began to influence European thinking 20 years later, after Gobineau became friends with Richard Wagner. Gobineau was selectively cited by National Socialists, contributing to Gobineau's negative reputation. Not cited were his positive views on Jews, his negative views on lower classes, and his pessimism regarding inevitable declines.
Gobineau is frequently depicted as a White supremacist, despite seeing the decline of the United States as inevitable due to the mixture of races living there and "Enslavement and displacement were cruel, and any attempt to civilize non-whites would only confuse and distress them. [...] Civilization was therefore doomed in the United States even before the Civil War! [...] He would have warned against any form of conquest or expansion as leading inevitably to mixture and decline."
Works by Gobineau
- The Moral and Intellectual Diversity of the Races (1856); (zip-packed pages 22MB)
- Les religions et les philosophies dans l'Asie centrale by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books
- Trois ans en Asie (de 1855 à 1858) by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books
- Histoire d'Ottar jarl, pirate norvégien, conquérant du pays de Bray, en Normandie, et de sa Desendence by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books
- Lecture des textes cunéiformes by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books
- An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races- full text
- Who Was the ‘Father of Racism’? https://www.amren.com/news/2009/12/who_was_the_fat/