Author: Rudolf Rocker | File size: 575 KB
German anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker’s excellent critique of the concept of “race” used to justify the on-going exploitation and oppression of those races considered inferior. This pamphlet is an extract from his book Nationalism and Culture, first published in English in 1937. It was originally supposed to be published in Germany in 1933 but, with the Nazi’s coming to power, Rocker was forced to emigrate.
2nd Zabalaza Books Edition | November, 2014
The Nation in the Light of Modern Race Theories
by Rudolf Rocker
RACE RESEARCH AND RACE THEORY. CONCERNING THE UNITY OF THE GENUS MAN. THE ALLEGED ORIGINAL RACES OF EUROPE. CONCERNlNG THE CONCEPT “RACE.” THE DISCOVERY OF THE BLOODGROUPS AND THE RACE. PHYSICAL CHARACTERS AND MENTAL QUALITIES. GOBINEAU’S THEORY OF THE INEQUALITY OF THE RACES OF MEN. THE ARYANS. HISTORY AS RACE CONFLICT. RACE THEORY AND SEIGNORIAL RIGHT. CHAMBERLAIN’S RACE THEORIES. CHAMBERLAIN AND GOBINEAU. THE GERMAN AS THE CREATOR OF ALL CULTURES. CHRIST AS A GERMAN. PROTESTANTISM AS A RACE RELIGION. “GERMANDOM” AND “JEWDOM” AS OPPOSITE POLES. THE POLITICAL ENDEAVOURS OF CHAMBERLAIN. LUDWIG WOLTMANN’S THEORY. RACE THEORY AND HEREDITY. THE INFLUENCE OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. MODERN RACE THEORIES. THE “RACE SOUL.” RACE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GERMAN BEARERS OF CULTURE. THE POWER OF ACQUIRED CHARACTERS. HUNGER AND LOVE. RACE IN THE WORLD WAR. THE NORDIC THEORY. DENUNCIATION OF OTHER RACES. THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DELUSIVE CONCEPTION. CONTRADICTIONS IN MODERN RACE LITERATURE. MEN AND IDEAS IN THE LIGHT OF RACE THEORY. RACE AND POWER.
BESIDES the concepts already discussed concerning the character of the nation there is another which today is very clamorous and has gained many adherents, especially in Germany. We are here speaking of “Community of blood” and of the alleged influence of race on the structure of the nation and on its spiritual and cultural creative endowment. From the very beginning we must make here a clear distinction between purely scientific investigations concerning the origin of races and their special characteristics, and the so–called “race theories” whose advocates have ventured to judge the mental, moral and cultural qualities of particular human groups from the real or imaginary physical characteristics of a race. The latter undertaking is extremely risky, inasmuch as we are quite uncertain not only of the origin of races, but of the origin of men in general, and have to rely solely upon hypotheses, not knowing how far they correspond to reality, or fail to do so.
Scientific authorities are not agreed in their opinions as to the age of the human race. It was some time before they were willing to place the first appearance of man on earth as far back as the Glacial Epoch. However, the opinion is lately gaining ground that man’s past can be traced back to the Tertiary Period. We are also completely in the dark concerning man’s original home. Decided differences of opinion among the most noted representatives of biological science have again been brought sharply to the front during recent years by the results of the Cameron–Cable expeditions in South Africa and the Roy Chapman Andrews American expedition in Outer Mongolia. The question also remains unanswered whether the appearance of mankind was confined to a definite region or occurred in various parts of the earth approximately at the same time. In other words, whether the genus Man sprang from a single stem and the differences of race were subsequently caused by migrations or changes in the external conditions of life, or whether difference of race was due to descent from different stems from the very beginning. Most researchers today still maintain the standpoint of monogenesis and are of the opinion that mankind goes back to a single original source and that race distinctions appeared only later through change of environment. Darwin maintained this point of view when he said: “All human races are so immensely closer to one another than to any ape that I am inclined to view them as descending from a single form.” What has caused prominent men of science to adhere to the unity of the human species is principally the structure of the human skeleton, which determines the whole bodily formation, and which among all races shows an astonishing similarity of structure.
To all these difficulties must be added the fact that we are not at all clear about the concept of “race,” as is seen from the arbitrary way men have played about with the classification of existing races. For a long time we were content with the four races of Linnaeus; then Blumenbach produced a fifth and Buffon a sixth; Peschel followed at once with a seventh and Agassiz with an eighth. Till at length Haeckel was talking of twelve, Morton of twenty–two, and Crawford of sixty races – a number which was to be doubled a little later. So that as respectable a researcher as Luschan could with justice assert that it is just as impossible to determine the number of the existing races of men as of the existing languages, since one can no more easily distinguish between a race and a variety than between a language and a so–called dialect. If a white North European is set beside a Negro and a typical Mongolian the difference is clear to any layman. But if one examines thoroughly the countless gradations of these three races one reaches a point at last where one cannot say with certainty where one race leaves off and the other begins.
The Gothic word, reizza, really had only the meaning of rift or line. In this sense it found admission into most European languages where it gradually was called upon for the designation of other things and still is. Thus in English we understand by “race” not only a specific animal or human group with definite hereditary physical characteristics, but the word is also used for contests in speed, as for instance, horserace. Also we speak of the race of life, and a mill–race. In France, the word acquired, among other meanings, also a political meaning, as applied to the succession of the various dynasties. Thus the Merovingians, the Carolingians and the Capets were spoken of as the first, the second and the third race. In Spanish and Italian also, the word has a similar variety of meanings. Later, it was used mainly by breeders of animals – until gradually it became the fashionable slogan for particular political parties. Thus we have become used to connect the word race with a concept which is itself unclear. As eminent an anthropologist as F. von Luschan dared to say: “…yes the word race itself has more and more lost its meaning and had best be abandoned if it could be replaced by a less ambiguous word.”
Since the discovery of the famous human skeletal remains in Neanderthal (1856) scientific research has made about a hundred similar discoveries in various parts of the earth, all of which are traceable to the Glacial Age. We must, however, not overestimate the knowledge gained from them, for nearly all are single specimens with which no certain comparisons can be made. Besides, bone remnants alone give us no idea whatsoever concerning the skin colour, hair and superficial facial structure of these prehistoric men. From the skull structure of these human specimens only one thing can be stated with a certain degree of definiteness, namely, that in these discoveries we are dealing with at least three different varieties which have been named after the places where they were discovered. So we now speak of a Neanderthal race, an Aurignac race and a Cro–Magnon race. Of these, the Neanderthal man seems to have been the most primitive, whereas the Cro–Magnon man, both from his skull structure and the tools discovered, seems to have been the most developed scion of the European population at that time.
In what relationship these three races – assuming that we are really dealing with races – stood to each other and where they came from, no one knows. Whether the Neanderthalers really originated in Africa and emigrated to Europe, or whether they had inhabited great sections of our continent for thousands of years until about 40,000 years ago they were driven out by the immigrating Aurignac race, as Klaatsch and Heilborn assumed, is of course only hypothesis. It is equally questionable whether the Cro–Magnon man is in fact the result of a mixture of the Neanderthal and the Aurignac man, as some investigators have assumed. Entirely mistaken is the attempt to derive the present European races from these three “original” races, since we cannot know whether in these varieties we are really dealing with original racial types or not. Most probably not.
Not only in Europe are pure races wanting; we also fail to find them among the so–called savage peoples, even when these have made their homes in the most distant parts of the earth, as, for example, the Eskimos or the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego. Whether there were once “original races” can hardly be affirmed today; at least our present state of knowledge does not justify us in making definite assertions which lack all convincing proof. From this it appears that the concept of race does not describe something fixed and unchangeable, but something in a perpetual state of flux, something continually being made over. Most of all we must beware of confusing race with species or genus, as is unfortunately so often done by modern race theorists. Race is only an artificial classification concept of biological science used as a technical device for keeping track of particular observations. Only mankind as a whole constitutes a biological unit, a species. This is proved primarily by the unlimited capacity for crossbreeding within the genus man. Every sexual union between offspring of the most widely different races is fruitful; also unions of its progeny. This phenomenon is one of the strongest arguments for the common origin of human kind.
With the discovery of the so–called blood groups it was at first believed that the problem of race had been solved; but here, too, the disillusionment followed swiftly. When Karl Landsteiner had succeeded in proving that men can be distinguished according to three different blood groups, to which Jansky and Moss added a fourth, it was believed that this difference in the blood, a fact of great importance especially for medical science, would establish the existence of four primary races. But it was soon discovered that these four blood groups can be found among all races, though blood group three is rare among American Indians and Eskimos. Above all, it was shown that a long–skulled blond with all the marks of the Nordic race may belong to the same blood group as a dark–skinned: Negro or an almond–eyed Chinese. Doubtless a very sad fact for those race theorists who have so much to say about the “voice of the blood.”
The majority of race theoreticians maintain that so–called “race characteristics” are a heritage created by nature itself unaffected by external life conditions and are transferred unchanged to the progeny, providing that the parents are racially related. Hence, the race destiny is a blood–fate which none can escape. By race characteristics we mean primarily the shape of the skull, the colour of the skin, the special kind and colour of the hair and eyes, the shape of the nose, and the size of the body. Whether these characteristics are indeed so “inalienable” as race theorists maintain, whether they can really be changed only by crossing of races, or whether natural or social environment cannot also effect a change of purely physiological race characteristics, is for science a chapter far from closed.
How the special characteristics of the various races originally appeared we can today only guess, but in all probability they were in one way or another acquired by a change in the natural environment – a view held today by the most prominent anthropologists. There exist already quite a number of established facts from which it appears that physical race characteristics may be changed by external life conditions and the change inherited by the descendants. In his excellent work, Race and Culture, Friedrich Hertz records the experiments with molluscs and insects by the two researchers, Schroder and Pictet, who by changes in environment succeeded in altering the nutritional instincts, mode of ovulation and of pupation, and the procreative instinct so thoroughly that the changes were transmitted by inheritance, even though the modified conditions were later removed. The experiments which the American scholar, Tower, made with the Colorado beetle are well known. Tower exposed the insects to colder temperatures and by these and other influences succeeded in effecting a change in certain characteristics which also were inherited by the progeny.
Vatter records the experiences of the Russian anthropologist Ivanowsky during the three–year famine period in Russia after the war. Ivanowsky had made measurements of 2,114 men and women from the most varied parts of the country at half–yearly intervals, so that every individual was examined six times. Thereby it was discovered that the cross–section of the body was reduced an average of four to five centimetres, and the circumference of the head as well as its length and breadth was reduced and the cephalic index changed. This was true among the Great Russians, as also among the White and Little Russians, Syrians, Bashkirs, Kalmucks, and Kirgizes. (Among the Armenians, Grusians, and Crim–Tartars it was raised.) Likewise, the percentage of short–heads had increased, and the nasal index had become smaller. According to Ivanowsky, “The unchangeableness of anthropological types is a fable.” 
Change of food, of climate, influence of higher temperatures, greater humidity, and so on, unquestionably result in alterations of certain body characteristics. Thus the well–known American anthropologist, F. Boas, was able to prove that the skull formation of the descendants of immigrants showed a marked change in America, so that, for instance, the descendants of short–headed Oriental Jews became longer–headed, and the long–headed Sicilians became shorter–headed; the skull, that is, tends to assume a certain form of cross–section. These results are the more remarkable because they deal with a change in bodily characteristics which I can only be explained by the action of external influences on the so–called “hereditary purity of the race.” Of quite especial, and in its results as yet quite incalculable, significance are the results achieved in late years by the action of Roentgen and cathode rays. Experiments made at the University of Texas by Professor J. H. Miller yielded results which lead us to anticipate a complete revolution in theories of heredity. They not only prove that artificial interference with the life of the germ–mass leading to a controlled change in the race characteristics is possible, but also that by such experiments the creation of new races can be effected.
From all this it appears that bodily characteristics are by no means unchangeable and that a change can be effected even without racial cross–breeding. It is even more monstrous to infer mental and spiritual characteristics solely on the basis of bodily ones and deduce from them a judgment about moral worth. It is true that Linnaeus, in his attempts at a racial classification of humanity, took moral factors into consideration when he said:
The American is reddish, choleric, erect; the European, white, sanguine, fleshy; the Asiatic, yellow, melancholy, tough; the African, black, phlegmatic, slack. The American is obstinate, contented, free; the European, mobile, keen, inventive; the Asiatic cruel, splendour–loving, miserly; the African, sly, lazy, indifferent. The American is covered with tattooing and rules by habit; the European is covered with closefitting garments and rules by law; the Asiatic is enclosed in flowing garments and rules by opinion; the African is anointed with grease and rules by whim.
But Linnaeus was not in his scheme conforming to any political theories. The very naiveté of mentioning tattooing, clothing and greasing of the body along with forms of government proves the innocence of his effort. But, however odd the notions of the Swedish naturalist may seem to us today, we still have no right to laugh at them in view of the shameful flood of so–called race literature that has rolled over us during the last two decades, with nothing better to offer than Linnaeus could say two hundred years ago. For when the Swedish scholar brought tattooing, clothes and greasy black bodies into combination with forms of government, he did far less harm than when today men try to deduce the capacity for culture, the character and the moral and spiritual disposition of the separate races from the colour of their skins, the curve of their noses or the shape of their skulls.
The first attempt to explain the rise and fall of peoples in history as a play of race antagonisms was made by the Frenchman, Count Arthur Gobineau, who during his diplomatic career had seen many distant lands. He was a fairly prolific writer, but we are interested here only in his magnum opus, Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines (“Treatise on the Inequality of the Races of Men”), which first appeared in I855. According to his own statement, the Parisian Revolution of February, I848, gave Gobineau the first impulse toward the formulation of his ideas. He saw in the revolutionary occurrences of that time only the inevitable consequences of the great upheaval of I789–94, amid whose violent convulsions the feudal world fell in ruins. Concerning the causes of this collapse he had formed his own judgment. For him the French Revolution was nothing else than the revolt of the Celto–Romanic race mixture that for years and years had lived in intellectual and economic dependence on the Franco–Norman master caste. This caste was made up, according to Gobineau, of the descendants of those Nordic conquerors who had at one time invaded the country and subjected the Celto–Romanic population to their rule. It was this race with its blue eyes, its blond hair and its tall figure that held for Gobineau the sum–total of all mental and physical perfection, whose superior intelligence and strength of will in themselves guaranteed to it the role which it was, in his opinion, destined to play in history.
This idea was by no means entirely new. Long before the time of the French Revolution it had bobbed up in the minds of the aristocracy. Henri de Boulainvilliers (1658–I722), author of an historical work which was not published until after his death, maintained that the French nobles of the ruling caste were descended from the Germanic conquerors, while the great mass of the bourgeoisie and the peasantry was to be regarded as the progeny of the conquered Celts and Romans. Boulainvilliers tried on the basis of this thesis to justify all the privileges of the nobles, in opposition to both the people and the king, and demanded for his class the right to keep the government of the country always in their hands. Gobineau adopted this theory, extending it considerably to apply to the whole of human history. But since he – as he himself once said – “believed only that which seemed to him worth believing,” it happened inevitably that he pushed on to the most daring conclusions.
Just as Joseph de Maistre once declared that he had never met a human being, but only Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, and so on, so also Gobineau maintained that the abstract human being existed only in the minds of philosophers. In reality the human being is only the expression of the race to which he belongs; the Voice of Blood is the Voice of Fate, from which no people can escape. Neither the climatic environment nor the social conditions of life have any influence worth mentioning on the constructive power of peoples. The driving force in all culture is race, above all the Aryan race, which even under the most unfavourable conditions is capable of the greatest achievements so long as it avoids mixture with less worthy racial elements. Following the classification of the French naturalist, Cuvier, Gobineau distinguished three great racial groups, the white, the yellow and the black. Each, according to Gobineau, represented a separate experiment of God in the creation of man; God had begun with the Negro, coming round at last to the creation of the White Man in His own image. Among these three great racial groups there existed no inner relationship, since they were descended from different stems. Everything outside of these three basic races was racial mixture – for Gobineau, mongreldom – which had come into being by interbreeding of white, yellow and black.
It is clear that in Gobineau’s opinion the white race is far superior to the other two. It is in the best sense a “noble race,” for besides its physical beauty it possesses also the most distinguished mental and spiritual qualities – above all, mental breadth of view, superior capacity for organisation, and in particular that inner urge of the conqueror which is entirely lacking in the yellow and black races and which gives to the Aryans alone in history the power to found great states and civilisations.
Gobineau distinguishes ten great culture periods in history, which include all the significant epochs in human civilisation, and attributes them exclusively to the activity of the Aryan race. The origin, development and decay of these great epochs constitute, according to his understanding, the entire content of human history; for civilisation and degeneration are the two poles about which all events turn. Gobineau, to whom the idea of organic evolution was entirely unknown, tried to explain the rise and decay of the great civilisations by the degeneration of races, or rather, of the ruling race, since for him the mass of less important beings which constitutes the great majority in every state exists only for the purpose of being governed by the racially pure conquerors. Changes in social relationships and institutions are to be attributed solely to changes of race. The decay of a dominion and its culture occurs when a great deal of other blood is mixed with that of the conquerors’ caste. From this ensues not only an alteration in external race characteristics, but also a change in the spiritual and mental impulses of the master race which leads to gradual or rapid decay. In this inner decay of the noble race is found the final and authentic explanation of the decline of all great cultures.
The stronger the component from the white race in the blood of a people, the more prominent will be its cultural activity, the greater its power of building a state; while too strong an infusion of Negro or Mongolian blood undermines the creative cultural characteristics of the old race and gradually brings about its inner dissolution. In contrast with Chamberlain and most of the exponents of modern race theories, Gobineau was thoroughly pessimistic about the future. He could not escape the conclusion that the Germanic race, this “last bud upon the Aryan stem,” as he called it, was doomed to inevitable destruction. The wide dissemination of republican and democratic ideas seemed to him an unfailing sign of inner decay; they foretold the victory of “mongreldom” over the Aryan Noble Race. According to Gobineau only a monarchy can accomplish anything lasting, since it contains in itself the basic law of its being, while a democracy is always dependent on external powers and so can do nothing important. Only the degenerate blood of the mixed race demands democracy and revolution. On this point Gobineau is close to the views of Joseph de Maistre, the standard–bearer of reaction, with whom he has much else in common, including actually hair–raising distortion of historical facts and almost inconceivable naiveté of ideal interpretations. Although de Maistre found the root of all evil in Protestantism, it came to the same thing in the end, for democracy was for de Maistre a political variety of Protestantism.
On one point Gobineau is sharply at issue with all later advocates of the race theory: he has no sympathy with nationalistic ambitions and regards the notion of the “fatherland” with outspoken antagonism. Because of his aversion to everything that savoured of democracy no other position was possible. Then, too, it was from the French Revolution that the idea of the fatherland and the nation received the special imprint they bear today. This was enough to make Gobineau despise it as a “Canaanitish abomination” which the Aryan race had, against its will, taken over from the Semitic. As long as Hellenism had remained Aryan, the idea of the fatherland had been entirely alien to the Greeks. But as the intermixture with the Semites progressed farther and farther, monarchy had to give place to the republic. The Semitic element impelled toward absolutism, as Gobineau put it; still the Aryan blood which was still active in the mixed race of the later Greeks was opposed to personal despotism such as was common in Asia and arrived logically at the despotism of an idea – the idea of the fatherland.
On this point Gobineau is thoroughly consistent: his hostility to the idea of the fatherland is the immediate and deliberately derived product of his race theory. If the nation were in fact a community of descent, a race–unity, then the race instinct must be its strongest cementing material. If, however, it is made up of the most varied race constituents – a fact which no race theorist dares to dispute – then the notion of race must act on the concept of the nation like dynamite and blow to bits its very foundation. More talented and imaginative than any of his successors, Gobineau recognised clearly the opposition between race and nation; and between the pure–race ruling stratum of the nation and the “mongreldom” of the great masses he had drawn a sharp line which our nationalistically inclined race theorists have tried in vain to bridge over. The notion that the great masses of the nation are merely Helots who must without choice submit to the rule of a privileged caste determined by blood is in fact the greatest danger to national cohesion.
The admirers of Gobineau have tried to account for the master’s attitude on this point by explaining that he cherished in his mind an ideal fatherland corresponding to his innermost feeling and that he did not fail to take into account that patriotic need which is said to dwell in every man. But such an explanation is without value. If man can arbitrarily set up for himself the fiction of an ideal fatherland, that merely proves that the notions of the fatherland and the nation are fictitious concepts which can be drilled into the individual and can at any time be driven out by other fictions. Gobineau was a fanatical opponent of the equality of human rights; therefore the Revolution appeared to him as a desecration of divinely established order. His whole race ideology was merely the product of a profound wish: to implant in men a belief in the inalterability of social inequality. As Malthus had explained to the “superfluous” that life’s table did not have places for all, so Gobineau wished to prove to the world that the enslavement of the masses is ordained by fate and is a law of nature. Only when the instincts of the inferior mixed race begin to work in the blood of the master caste does the belief in the equality of everything in human form arise. For Gobineau this belief was an illusion which must lead irrevocably to the destruction of all social order.
Although little recognition was accorded Gobineau in his native France, even his purely literary work receiving less appreciation than it deserved, he exercised upon the development of race opinions elsewhere, especially in Germany, an influence that is not to be underestimated. Through his acquaintance with Richard Wagner, in whose home he first made the acquaintance of Schemann, the German biographer and translator of Gobineau, there was later formed the so–called “Gobineau Society” which looked after the dissemination of his work on race and further advanced the notions of the imaginative Frenchman to whom, in spite of all his scientific shortcomings, there cannot be denied a certain greatness which is entirely lacking in his later followers.
A much stronger influence on the development of the race doctrine in Germany, and also outside it, was exercised by the Englishman, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whose work, Die Grundlagen des 19. Jahrhunderts (“Foundations of the Nineteenth Century”) (1899), was rather widely circulated. Chamberlain enjoyed the special favour of William II, whom he knew how to approach from his most vulnerable side. He compared William’s reign to a “rising morning” and testified that he was “really the first emperor.” For such bald flattery the present Lord of the Castle of Doorn had a very receptive ear, so it could not fail that Chamberlain by high command advanced into the ranks of the great contemporary minds. The Grundlagen found a rapid sale among the members of the ruling caste in Germany. In order to assure for his work the widest possible circulation, a special fund was established; the Kaiser endorsed the work in person and so became benefactor to many a German private or state library and to all the schools of the Reich. According to von Billow’s malicious statement, William used to read whole sections of the book to the ladies of his court, until they fell asleep.
As a rule Chamberlain is regarded merely as the perfecter of Gobineau’s race theory; emphasis, however, is always laid on his mental superiority. It is impossible to oppose such a view too strongly. Chamberlain was merely the beneficiary of Gobineau, without whom his Grundlagen would be unthinkable. No one who has carefully compared the two works can avoid this conclusion. Chamberlain first became acquainted with Gobineau’s racial philosophy of history in the home of his father–in–law, Richard Wagner, and appropriated its essential features for his own work.
From Chamberlain, no more than from Gobineau, do we discover what, exactly, “race” is. He is the finished mystic of the race idea, which in him condenses into a devoutly believed race mythology. External characteristics, like the shape of the skull, texture and colour of the hair, the skin, the eyes, have for him only a qualified meaning; even language is not determinative. Only the instinctive feeling of cohesiveness which reveals itself through the “voice of the blood” is determinative. This “feeling of race in one’s own bosom,” which is subject to no control and cannot be scientifically apprehended, is all that Chamberlain has to tell us about race.
Like Gobineau, Chamberlain sees in every great culture period the undeniable product of the German intellect and with cool assurance appropriates for his Noble Race the cultural wealth of all peoples and of all the great minds that mankind has ever produced. The Germans are the salt of the earth; they have been endowed by Nature herself with all the mental and spiritual qualities which fit them to be “masters of the world.” This alleged historical destiny of the Germans follows so clearly for the author of the Grundlagen from all previous history that any doubt about it is stricken dumb. It is Germans who as leading caste have played an important role even among non–Germanic folk–groups, such as the French, the Italians, the Spaniards, the Russians; it is due only to their influence that a culture was able to develop in these lands at all. Even the great cultures of the Orient arose in this way. Under the influence of German blood they rose to undreamed–of greatness, and then went down as mental elasticity relaxed and the will to power was quenched in the deteriorating master caste by blood mixture with inferior races. Even Chamberlain did not deny that race–crossing can be advantageous to cultural development so long as it involves only the mixture of related races; for a noble race builds itself up only gradually by intermixture with other races of more or less the same worth. It is at this point that Chamberlain’s concept parts company with Gobineau’s. For Gobineau race stands at the beginning of all human history. It has its definite physical and mental characteristics which are transmitted by heredity and can be changed only by crossing with other races. And since he was convinced that in the course of thousands of years the blood of the noble race had been constantly debased and its precious qualities lost by mixture with yellow and black races, he looked toward the future with gloomy eyes. Chamberlain, on whom Darwin’s theory had not been quite without effect, saw in race not a starting point, but a product of evolution. According to his view the race arises through natural selection in the struggle for existence, which eliminates the incapable and preserves only the able individual for the propagation of the species. Consequently, the race is the end–product of a continuous process of splitting off from a related genus.
But if the race is a product of evolution and not its starting–point, then the production of noble races for the future also is guaranteed, provided that the ruling upper stratum of a nation takes to heart the teaching of history and wards off the threatening “race chaos” by a suitable race hygiene. For the strengthening of his position Chamberlain appeals to the experience of breeders and shows us how a noble race of horses, dogs or swine comes into being. It is true, he forgets the essential point, namely, that the crossings of the human races in the course of millennia have been carried on under very different circumstances from those followed in the so–called “ennobling experiments” in the stables of breeders. For Gobineau we should rightly read: In the beginning was the Race. Therefore the nation meant nothing to him, and the idea of the fatherland was just a cunning invention of the Semitic mind. Chamberlain, however, who believed in the breeding of a noble race, wished to train the nation to racial purity. And since the German nation seemed to him best fitted for this purpose, because in its veins, according to his opinion, Germanic blood flowed purest, he saw the Teuton as the Bearer of the Future.
After Chamberlain had fitted out the noble Germans with every conceivable mental and spiritual trait in a really big way, there remained nothing for the peoples of any other descent except to surrender unconditionally to the proud master race and in the shadow of its overtowering greatness to drag out a humble existence. Since these others are merely the culture–dungers of history, it is so much the worse for them if they cannot see it.
According to Chamberlain the opposition between Romanic peoples and Germans constitutes the whole content of modern history. And since the Romanic world, which had risen out of the great “chaos of peoples,” had bound itself for good or ill to the “materialistic aims” of the Catholic church; had of necessity so to bind itself, since the voice of the blood left it no other choice; therefore Protestantism became for him the great achievement of Germanic culture. The German is the specially chosen minister of the Protestant mission, through which Christendom is first made aware of its true content. That the Christian had thoughtlessly chosen the Jew, Jesus, for his saviour was surely a bitter pill; it was too late to undo that. But was it not written in the Gospel that Christ first saw the light in Galilee? And immediately the “instinct of the race” came to Chamberlain’s aid and informed him that in just this part of Palestine extensive crossing of races had occurred and, above all, that in Galilee Germanic stocks had settled. Must one not, then, admit that Christ had been a German? It was, in fact, unthinkable that out of “materialism–drunken Jewry” a doctrine could come to whose spiritual content the Jewish mind is completely opposed.
Chamberlain revealed an utterly morbid hatred of everything Jewish. He even ventured to assure his credulous readers that a Germanic child, the keenness of whose senses had not yet been ruined or blunted by the prejudices of adults, could tell instinctively when a Jew was near him. Yet he found it possible to speak highly of the Spanish Jews, the so–called “Sephardim,” while he could never severely enough disparage the “Ashkenazim,” the Jews of the northern countries. To be sure, he based his preference for the Sephardim on the assumption that they were in reality Goths who had been converted to Judaism in large numbers – a recognition which came to the great master of unproved assertion rather tardily, as it first appears in the third edition of his book. How the Goths, those genuine branches of the noble tree of Germandom, in spite of their “mystic inclination” and their inborn sense of “religious profundity,” which according to Chamberlain are the heritage of their race, could throw themselves into the arms of “materialistic Judaism” with its “dead ritualism,” its “slavish obedience,” and its “despotic God” remains an unsolved mystery. In this case the “race in their own bosoms” must have failed outright; otherwise the wonder is not to be explained. Chamberlain’s work on race swarms with similar assertions. There is hardly another work which reveals such unexampled unreliability in the material used and such reckless juggling with bare assumptions of the most daring type. As to this, not only the opponents, but also many outspoken believers in the race theory, like Albrecht Wirth, Eugen Kretzer and others, are fully agreed. Even so self–satisfied an advocate of the race theory as Otto Hauser speaks of Chamberlain’s work as “the Foundations of the Nineteenth Century which so frequently lacks factual basis.” 
Like Gobineau, Chamberlain is a fanatical opponent of all liberal and democratic ideas and sees in them a danger to Germanism. For him, freedom and equality are antagonistic concepts; who desires equality must sacrifice to it his personality, which alone can be the basis of freedom. But the freedom of Chamberlain is of a quite peculiar kind. It is the “freedom which the state is able to protect only on the condition that it shall limit it.” “Man does not become free by being granted political rights; rather, the state can grant him political rights only when he has attained inner freedom; otherwise these alleged rights are always misused by others.” 
This utterance proves that Chamberlain had never understood the nature of either freedom or the state. But how could he? Fatalism is the exact opposite of the concept of freedom, and no fatalism bears so plainly the Cain’s brand of hostility to freedom as the Kismet of race. Chamberlain’s concept of freedom is that of the well–fed and satisfied, to whom order is the first duty of the citizen, and who accepts such rights as the state hands out to him. Before such freedom no despot has ever trembled; but any trivial right that man wins by struggle against the tyranny of tradition brings the sweat of anxiety to the despot’s brow. Chamberlain’s “inner freedom” is just an empty word; only where the inner sentiment of freedom is transformed into liberating deed has the spirit of freedom a genuine homestead. “He who is occupied with nature and with ‘force and matter’ must, if he is honest, let freedom go,” opines Chamberlain. We think, however, that he who does not constantly strive to convert freedom into “force and matter” must always remain a slave. An abstract conception of freedom that cannot inspire its possessor to strive to the limit for the attaining of his rights is like a woman to whom nature has denied the gift of fertility. Chamberlain’s concept of freedom is the illusion of impotence, a cunning inversion of the inner feeling of serfdom which is incapable of any action. Ibsen had a very different view of freedom when he wrote:
You can never get me to regard freedom as synonymous with political liberty. What you call freedom, I call freedoms; and what I call the struggle for freedom is nothing but the constant, living assimilation of the idea of freedom. Who possesses freedom otherwise than as something to be striven for possesses it only as a thing without life or spirit, for the idea of freedom has always this quality, that it constantly expands as one assimilates it, so that if during the struggle one pauses to say: Now I have it! he merely shows that he has lost it. But to have just this dead kind – a certain static view of freedom – is characteristic of state organisations; and it is just this that I have called worthless.
Chamberlain never stood still on the road to freedom, because he never found himself on that road. His criticism of democracy has its basis in the past; he is the man who looks backward, the man to whom every product of revolution was hateful because it carried on its face the mark of its revolutionary origin. That which is today called democracy can be overcome only by forces which look not to the past, but to the future. The remedy lies not in what has been, but in the continual enlargement of the concept of freedom and its social applications. Even democracy did not overcome the will to power, because it was shackled to the state and dared not shake the privileges of the possessing classes. But Chamberlain did not find his base in the future; his gaze was fixed unchangingly on the past. Therefore he condemned even the constitutional monarchy as essentially alien to the Germanic spirit and advanced the idea of an absolute monarchy over a “free people” – whatever he meant by that. He was one of those unswerving ones who opposed to the very last every limitation of the royal power in Prussia and, like all his predecessors and successors in the race theory, stood squarely in the camp of undisguised political and social reaction.
One would think that a work like the Grundlagen, which offers no opening for earnest understanding, which has regard neither for social relationships nor for the slow process of spiritual endeavour, and in which actually only the violent whim of the author is revealed, would be wrecked on its own mad contradictions. But it worked quite otherwise. It became for the ruling castes in Germany a destiny. So profound was the infatuation which this work induced that the former Kaiser could write in his memoirs: “Germanism in all its glory was first revealed and preached to the astounded German people by Chamberlain in his Grundlagen des 19. Jahrhunderts. But, as the collapse of the German people showed, without effect.”
That the dethroned champion of divine right even today holds the German people responsible for the collapse is quite as delightful a revelation of the “lordly German spirit” as is the sorry role of those who with slavish exaltation revered the hopeless fool as “German Emperor” only to turn upon him after his downfall and kick him like maddened asses even to brand him as an “offspring of the Jews.”
What Chamberlain had begun so gloriously was continued in the same spirit by men like Woltmann, Hauser, Günther, Clauss, Madison Grant, Rosenberg, and many others. Woltmann, the former Marxist and Social Democrat, who one fine day threw over the class struggle and took up the race struggle instead, tried to supply historical proof for what Gobineau and Chamberlain had asserted about the origin and character of foreign cultures. He assembled an enormous mass of material which supposedly went to prove that all distinguished persons in the cultural history of France and Italy had been of German descent. To reach this conclusion he had examined the portraits of several hundred prominent personalities of the Renaissance period and was in a position to announce to an astonished world that most of them had blond hair and blue eyes. Woltmann was completely obsessed by his blue–eyed–blond theory and went into raptures every time he thought he had discovered a new blondling.
One utterly fails to see what such assertions are meant to prove. That there are Germanic elements in the population of France and Italy, no one has ever questioned. Both peoples are racially just as mixed as are the Germans, as are all the peoples of Europe. France and Italy were repeatedly overrun by Germanic tribes, just as the numerous human floods of Slavic, Celtic and Mongolian tribes poured over Germany. But to what extent the culture of a people is determined by race is a question to which science has as yet found no answer, nor is likely to find one. We are here depending merely on conjectures which can never serve as substitutes for actual facts. We do not yet know one thing definitely about the causes behind even purely external characteristics like colour of hair and eyes.
And so the whole portrait–diagnosis of Woltmann and his successor, Otto Hauser, is utterly worthless. It is the most utterly unreliable means that could be produced for the establishment of definite characters. In the picture books of our race astrologers such “documents” look very fine and serve there their full purpose, but for the earnest student they offer hardly even a point of attack. The work of painters is not photography, which incorruptibly gives back what is before it. It must from the first be valued as the reproduction of what the inner eye of the artist perceives; and this inner picture which hovers before the artist, and without which no work of art can be produced, not seldom misrepresents the original from a factual standpoint. Also, the personal style of the artist and the school to which he belongs play an important part in the work. To what genuine investigator, for example, would it occur to try to establish the characteristics of a race from portraits by our present–day cubists or futurists? Besides which, the very same portraits which serve Woltmann as proofs of the Germanic origin of the French and Italian cultures supply to other advocates of the race theory a basis for quite different views. For example, Albrecht Wirth, who also thinks that he recognises in race the determinative factor in historical development, explains in his Rasse und Volk: “In this view is involved a strange error; that Woltmann and his adherents discovered in so many geniuses and men of talent in France and Italy Germanic features. To unprejudiced eyes the very pictures which Woltmann gives as illustrations show just the opposite: Bashkir, Mediterranean, and Negro types.”
In fact, in the whole long portrait gallery which Woltmann displays to the world in support of his thesis, there is hardly a type that could stand as genuinely representative of the Germanic race. In every one of them unmistakable characteristics of the hybrid are more or less clearly shown. If the researches of Woltmann and Hauser were to lead us to any “law of history” at all, it could be only to this: that racial inbreeding gradually undermines spiritual vigour and has as its consequence a slow decline, while racial interbreeding imparts to the capacity for culture ever new vigour and favours the production of personalities of genius. The same holds good also for the German bearers of culture, and Max von Gruber is not wrong when he says:
And when we apply racial standards to the bodily characteristics of our greatest men we find, indeed, in many of them Nordic characters, but in none of them only Nordic characters. The first glance reveals to the expert that neither Frederick the Great, nor Baron von Stein, nor Bismark was pure Nordic; the same is true of Luther, Melanchthon, Leibnitz, Kant, and Schopenhauer, as also of Liebig and Julius Robert Mayer and Helmholtz, of Goethe, Schiller, and Grillparzer, of Durer, Menzel, and Feuerbach, and even of the greatest geniuses of that most German of all the arts, music, from Bach and Gluck and Haydn to Bruckner. They were all hybrids; the same is true of the great Italians. Michelangelo and Galileo were, if Nordic at all, still not pure Nordic. To the characteristics from the North apparently ingredients from other races must be added in order to produce the happiest combination of characters.
However much Woltmann may insist that “Dante, Raphael, Luther, and so on, were geniuses not because they were hybrids, but in spite of it,” and that “the foundation of their genius is their heritage from the Germanic race,” it remains but empty preaching so long as we are not in a position to establish indisputably and to confirm scientifically the influence of race on the intellectual characteristics of mankind. By just the same logic could we affirm that the spark of genius in Luther, Goethe, Kant or Beethoven was to be attributed to the presence of “Alpine” or “Oriental” blood in them. Nothing would be proved by this; the world would merely be richer by one more assertion. In fact, during the War there were found on the other side of the Vosges men like Paul Souday and others who explained that all the great personalities that Germany had produced were of Celtic, and not German, descent. Why not?
The latest advocates of the so–called race doctrine take great pains to give a scientific appearance to their views and appeal especially to the laws of heredity, which play such an important part in modern natural science, and are still the subject of so much controversy. By heredity, biology means chiefly the fact, firmly established by common observation, that plants and animals resemble their parents and that this resemblance is apparently traceable to the fact that the descendants arise from bits of the same protoplasm and so develop from the same or similar hereditary primordia. From this it follows that in protoplasm there reside peculiar forces which by the separation of the tiniest portions can transmit the whole to the descendants. Thus men came to recognise that the real cause of inheritance must be sought in a particular condition of the living cell–stuff which we call protoplasm.
However valuable this recognition may be, it has hardly brought us nearer to the real solution of the problem. Instead it has proposed for science a whole set of new problems, whose solution is no less difficult. In the first place, it is necessary to establish the processes in protoplasm which control the development of particular characters, a task attended by almost insurmountable difficulties. And we are just as much in the dark as to the inner processes which precede inheritance. Science has, it is true, succeeded in establishing the existence of so–called chemical molecules and even the existence of certain fairly well–developed organs within the cell structure, but the specific arrangement of the molecules and the inner causes of the differences between the protein groups in dead and in living substance are still unknown to us today. One can safely say that in this perplexing realm we rely almost entirely on assumptions, since none of the numerous theories of heredity has been able to lift the veil of the Magi that still hides the actual processes of inheritance. We have profited much by the observations on hybridisation and their interpretation; but of course these deal less with the explanation of causes than with the establishment of facts.
Seventy years ago the Augustinian monk, Gregor Mendel, busied himself in his quiet cloister garden at Brunn with twenty–two varieties of pea–plants and achieved the following results: when he crossed a yellow with a green variety, the descendants bore all yellow seeds and the green appeared to be completely eliminated. But when he dusted the yellow hybrids with their own pollen, the vanished green appeared again in their descendants and in a definite ratio. Of every four seeds in plants of the second generation, three were yellow and one was green. The characteristics of the green variety had, therefore, not disappeared; they were merely hidden by the characteristics of the yellow. Mendel speaks, therefore, of recessive or concealed, and dominant or concealing, characters. The recessive character – in this case green–seededness – in renewed fertilisations showed itself constant in heredity so long as self–fertilisation was strictly controlled and no new crossing occurred. The dominants, however, segregated regularly in each new generation. A third of their progeny were pure dominants, which bred true in later generations; the other two–thirds “mendeled,” that is, they segregated in reproduction again in the same proportion of 3:1. In the same ratio the process continued indefinitely.
Countless experiments by well–known botanists and zoologists have since then confirmed Mendel’s rules in the large. They also agree very well with the results of modern cytology, or cell–theory, as far as the growth and division of the cell can be observed. One can, therefore, agree that these rules have validity for all organic beings up to man and that in nature as a whole a unified plan of control of the processes of heredity obtains; but this recognition does not dispose of the countless difficulties which have thus far prevented our deeper insight into this mysterious occurrence. It is clear from the Mendelian laws of heredity that the characters of the parents are transmitted to the offspring in a definite ratio On the other hand, cytological research has shown that the hereditary primordia of a living being are to be sought in those carefully separated nuclear parts in the germ cell which we call chromosomes. And all that science has more or less certainly established seems deducible from this: that the hereditary primordia enter into the germ cell in pairs, and that In each pair one element comes from the sperm cell of the father, the other from the egg cell of the mother.
But since one cannot believe that all the hereditary primordia of both parents are transmitted to each of their offspring, because in that case their number would become greater with each succeeding generation, one comes to the conclusion that only in the nucleus of the soma– or body–cells of a living being are all the hereditary primordia present; the germ cell always suppresses finally a part of the nuclear factors so that it receives only one–half of all the primordia, that is, only one member of each character–pair. One learns that in the general body cell of man there are 48 chromosomes, but the germ cell when ready for fertilisation contains only 24. But this is not to say that man possesses only 24 character–pairs that function as bearers of heredity. In every chromosome several members of different character–pairs may be present, so that in the offspring the most varied combinations may appear. Since, however, every fertilisation is really a crossing, even when it occurs between beings of the same race, because in nature no two individuals are exactly alike, it follows that from every instance of fertilisation the most manifold results may ensue. From only two different hereditary factors there would arise in two generations four varieties; from three pairs, eight varieties; from four, 16; from ten, 1,024; and so on. From these clearly obvious possibilities of combination any comprehensive view of the results of the processes of heredity becomes not merely increasingly difficult, but actually impossible.
And we were still speaking only of purely physical characteristics. When we turn to mental or moral characters the processes become much more involved, because here no segregation or fixation of separate qualities is possible. We are, then, not in a position to separate mental characteristics into their components and to differentiate one part from another. Intellectual and moral characters are given us as wholes; even if we agree that the Mendelian laws of heredity apply in this field, we still have no means of subjecting their operation to scientific observation.
And when it becomes clear that pure races are nowhere to be found, in fact, have in all probability never existed; that all European peoples are merely mixtures and present every possible racial makeup, which both without and within each nation are only to be distinguished by the proportion of the separate constituents; then only does one get an idea of the difficulties which beset the earnest student at every step. If, further, one keeps in mind how uncertain the results of anthropologic research in regard to the different races still are today, how defective still is our knowledge of the inner processes of heredity, then one cannot avoid the conclusion that every attempt to erect on such uncertain premises a theory which allegedly reveals to us the deeper meaning of all historical events and enables its exponents infallibly to judge the worth of the moral, mental and cultural qualities of the different human groups must become either senseless playacting or clownish mischief. That such theories could find such wide circulation, especially in Germany, is a serious sign of the mental degradation of a society that has lost all inner moral strength and is therefore concerned to replace outworn ethical values with ethnological concepts.
Of the present–day advocates of the race theory, Dr. Hans Günther is the best known and the most disputed over. His numerous writings and especially his Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes have had an extraordinary circulation in Germany, and in wide circles have achieved an influence that one dares not underestimate. What distinguishes Günther from his predecessors is not the content of his doctrine, but the pains he takes to surround it with a scientific mantle, in order to endow it with an outer dignity which does not belong to it. As a basis for his views Günther has collected a great mass of material, but that is all. When it becomes necessary to establish scientifically conclusions of decisive significance, he fails completely and reverts to the methods of Gobineau and Chamberlain, who relied entirely on a wish–concept. For him the Aryan moves clear into the background; the Germanic man has also played out his part; Günther’s ideal is the “Nordic race,” which he endows with precious native qualities as generously as Gobineau does the Aryans and Chamberlain the Germans. In addition he has enriched the classification of European races by one new component, and has equipped the already existing divisions with new names without, by this, adding anything to our knowledge.
The American scholar, Ripley, who first attempted to write an anthropological history of European peoples, contented himself with three principal types, which he designated as the Teutonic, the Celtic–Alpine and the Mediterranean races. Later there was added to these three a fourth, the Dinaric race, and it was thought that in these four fundamental types the chief components of Europe’s racial makeup had been recognised. Besides these four principal races there are also in Europe Levantine, Semitic, Mongolian and Negro strains. Of course, one cannot represent these four types as pure races; we are merely concerned here with a working hypothesis for science, to enable it to undertake a classification of European peoples on more or less correct lines. The mass of European peoples is the result of crossings among these “races.” These themselves, however, are merely the product of certain mixtures which in the course of time have taken on particular forms, as is the case in every instance of race formation. Günther added, superfluously, a fifth to these four principal races, the so–called “East–Baltic race.” Along with this new discovery he effected a rebaptism of the Alpine race which he called the “Eastern” (ostisch). There was no reason at all for this change, and his bitterest opponent in the racial camp, Dr. Merkenschlager, may have been right when he assumed that Günther, in this renaming of the Alpine race, had the purpose merely of “representing it to the sentiment of his readers as ‘contaminated’ and to enable the unthinking masses to interpret it as Oriental–Jewish.”
Like nearly all of the present–day race theorists Günther in his discussions starts from the modern theories of heredity. He uses as his foundation especially the hypothetical assumptions of neo–Mendelism. According to these conceptions the hereditary primordia are not subject to any external influence, so that a change in the hereditary factors can occur only through crossing. From this it follows that man and all other living beings are to be regarded merely as the products of particular hereditary primordia which they received before their birth and which can be turned from their predestined course neither by the influence of the natural or social environment, nor by any other forces.
Here lies the essential error of every race theory, the reason for their inevitably false conclusions. Günther, and with him all the other advocates of race theories, proceed from assumptions which can in no way be proved and whose untenability can always be shown by examples from daily life and from history. One could take these assertions seriously only if their proponents were in a position to adduce conclusive proofs of these three points: first, that hereditary primordia are in fact unchangeable and are not affected by the influences of the environment; second, that physical characters must be taken as unmistakable signs of particular intellectual and moral qualities; third, that the life of man is determined entirely by congenital factors and that acquired or imparted characters have no essential influence on his destiny.
As to the first question, we have already shown that science knows a whole series of firmly established facts which prove irrefutably that action of the environment on the hereditary factors does occur and produce changes in them. The fact that numerous investigators have succeeded in effecting a modification of hereditary factors by radiation, changes of temperature, and so on, testifies to this. Besides, we have the effects of domestication, the importance of which has been brought out with special strength by Eduard Hahn and Eugen Fischer. Indeed, Fischer was led to declare: “Man is a product of domestication, and it is domestication that has caused his great variability, or contributed to it.”
Concerning the second point, no sophistry will help. Not a shadow of proof can be adduced to show that external racial characters like the shape of the skull, the colour of the hair, slimmer or sturdier build, have any relation to mental, spiritual or moral factors in mankind; so that, for example, a tall, blond, blue–eyed Nordic because of his external physical characters should possess moral and mental qualities which one would not find in descendants of some other race. Our race ideologists claim this, it is true, but their doctrine is completely untenable, and based on assertions for the correctness of which they have not the slightest proof.
We have already emphasised that in the long line of persons of genius who deserve credit for the intellectual culture of Germany there is hardly one whose appearance corresponds even halfway to the ideal concept of the “Nordic man.” And it is precisely the greatest of them who are physically farthest from the fanciful picture of the Günthers, Hausers and Clausses. We need but think of Luther, Goethe, Beethoven, who lacked almost completely the external marks of the “Nordic race,” and whom even the most outstanding exponents of the race theory characterise as hybrids with Oriental, Levantine and Negro–Malayan strains in them. It would look even worse if one should go so far as to apply the blood–test to the champions in the arena of the race struggle like Hitler, Alfred Rosenberg, Goebbels, Streicher, for example, and give these worthy representatives of the Nordic race and the national interest the opportunity to confirm their rulership of the Third Reich by virtue of their blood.
If it is indisputable that men like Socrates, Horace, Michelangelo Dante, Luther, Galileo, Rembrandt, Goya, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herder, Goethe, Beethoven, Byron, Pushkin, Dostoievsky, Tolstoi, Balzac, Dumas, Poe, Strindberg, Ibsen, Zola, and hundreds of others were of mixed race this is surely a proof that external race–marks have nothing to do with the intellectual and moral qualities in man. It is really amusing to observe with what excuses our modern race fetishists try to overcome these difficulties. Thus, Dr. Clauss accounted for Beethoven’s inconvenient race affinities quite simply by declaring: “Beethoven was, so far as his musical ability is concerned, a Nordic man. The style of his work proves this clearly enough; and this is not altered at all by the fact that his body – anthropologically considered, that is, just the mass and weight of his body perhaps was fairly pure Oriental.”
As we see, the purest metempsychosis. What mysterious forces were at work when the “Nordic race–soul” of Beethoven was stuck into a vile Oriental body? Or did, perhaps, the Jews or the Freemasons have a hand in it!
There remains the last question, whether the qualities which man acquires during the course of his life or which are imparted to him by the culture in which he lives have actually no influence on his inherited factors. If this could be proved, then indeed should we be compelled to speak of a “Kismet of the blood” which no one could withstand. But how does the matter stand in reality? The power of the acquired characters reveals itself every day in our lives and constantly conceals the inherited factors with which we began our life journey. As examples we may take the two strongest impulses – which in all living beings and in men of every race and clime reveal themselves as equally powerful – hunger and love. Man has surrounded these two instincts in which the whole vital energy of the individual and the race exhausts itself, with such a network of age–old customs and usages, which in the course of time have been erected into definite ethical principles, that the inborn urge in most cases no longer asserts itself against this web of imparted and acquired concepts. Do we not see every day how in our great cities thousands of miserable, starving human beings silently sneak past the rich display in the show–windows of our food stores? They devour these splendours with greedy eyes, but very seldom does one of them dare to yield to the inborn impulse and take what would serve for the satisfaction of his most urgent needs. Fear of the law, dread of public opinion, inculcated respect for the rights of property of others prove stronger than the drive of the inborn impulse. And yet we are dealing here with acquired characters which are no more transmissible by heredity than are the calloused hands of the blacksmith. The child confronts these things quite without comprehension until it gradually learns to adjust itself to them.
And love? With how many prohibitions, duties and grotesque customs has man hedged in this most elemental of his impulses. Even among primitive peoples there exist a great mass of morals and customs which are sanctified by usage and respected by public opinion. Human imagination invented the cult of Astarte in Babylon and that of Mylitta in Assyria, the sexual religions of India and the asceticism of the Christian saints. It created all the institutions of sexual behaviour: polygamy, polyandry, monogamy, and all of the forms of promiscuity from the “sacred prostitution” of the Semitic peoples to the sequestration by the state of the women of the street. It brought the whole gamut of sexual passion under strict rule and developed definite views which today are deeply rooted in the minds of men. And yet here are at work also merely acquired concepts, customs, institutions, which have found emotional expression in definite trained–in characteristics. And it is just these characteristics which direct the love–life of man into definite courses and constantly impel the individual to quite distressing suppression of his inborn impulses. Even the most cunning sophistry cannot avoid these facts.
Every phase of human history shows us the powerful influence of religious, political and moral ideas on the social development of men, the strong influence of the social conditions under which they live and which in their turn react on the form of their ideas and opinions. This eternal reciprocal influence constitutes the whole content of history. Hundreds of thousands of men have gone to their death for particular ideas, very often with the most frightful accompaniments, and have by their conduct defied the strongest inborn impulse that exists in every living being. And this has happened under the overpowering influence of acquired ideas. Religions like Islam and Christianity have drawn peoples of all races into their bonds. The same may be said of all the great popular movements of history. We need but think of the Christian movement in the decaying Roman Empire, of the great movements of the time of the Reformation of international floods of ideas like liberalism, democracy or socialism, which have been able to exert their proselyting power upon men and women of every social class and enlist them under their banners. The peoples of the “Nordic race” have been no exception to this rule.
Our race alchemists have tried to save their faces by maintaining that the peoples of the Nordic race have all too often been misled by ideas that are racially alien to them and for which they had no real inner inclination. They call this incomprehensible invasion by “foreign custom” and “foreign spirit” one of the most lamentable aspects of Germanism and of the Nordic race in general. Such outbursts, which are quite common with Günther, Hauser, Neuner, and others, seem rather odd. What sort of remarkable race is this which allegedly feels itself drawn toward foreign ideas and foreign customs as iron is drawn to the magnet? This unnatural phenomenon might easily make us think that we have here a morbid degenerate form of the “Nordic race–soul” which otherwise is shown clearly enough by the whole “race” rubbish of our time. It is still more remarkable that the enraptured worshipers of the Nordic wonder–race constantly strive to eliminate these moral blemishes of their idol and in the same breath announce that race is destiny. If this is true, what is the use of all the indoctrination? Of what use that Günther and his “Nordic Ring” – a sort of Blue–Blond International – try by all means to prevent a war between the Nordic peoples in the future; or that Otto Hauser proclaims to an astonished world that the principal strategists of the World War on both sides were blond Nordics and honours the French General Joffre as a “blond Goth”? All the worse if this is so. It then merely proves that blond Nordics on opposite sides have killed one another for a cause which according to their blood was alien to them; above all it proves that the inborn “voice of the blood” could not prevail against the economic and political interests about which the war was fought.
The French race ideologist, Vacher de Lapouge, once announced that in the twentieth century “we shall kill one another by the millions because of one or two degrees more or less in the cephalic index,” and that “by this sign, which will replace the biblical shibboleth and kinship of language, related races will recognise one another, and the last sentimentalist will live to see a mighty extermination of peoples.” Even the bald and terrible reality of the war was less fantastic than the bloodthirsty imagination of this race fetishist. In the World War we did not smash skulls because they were a little longer or shorter, but because the opposing interests within the capitalistic world had grown to such a degree that the war seemed to the ruling classes the only available way by which they could hope to escape from the blind alley into which they had gotten themselves. In the late World War the most various races fought shoulder to shoulder on both sides. We even drew black men and yellow into the catastrophe with us, without any hindrance from the “voice of the blood,” to let themselves be slaughtered for interests which were certainly not their own.
Peoples have not infrequently undergone a fundamental change in their morals and customs which could in no way be traced to racial crossing. According to the unanimous testimony of all recognised race theorists, men of the Nordic race are today most numerous in the Scandinavian countries, especially in Sweden. But these very Swedes, Norwegians and Danes have in the course of their history experienced a profound change in their ancient ways of living. Those very countries which were once hated and feared as the home of the most warlike tribes in Europe now harbour the most peaceful population on the continent. The famous “spirit of the Vikings” which is supposed to have been the outstanding characteristic of Nordic race is, in these same Scandinavian lands, as good as extinguished The phrase “born pacifists,” which was invented by Günther and his satellites especially to bring the so–called “Oriental man” into moral disrepute, fits no one better than the present–day Scandinavians. they merely show that the latest destiny–faith of race is the shallowest fatalism that has ever been devised; it is the most pitiful and degrading surrender of the spirit to the cannibalistic delusion of the “voice of the blood.”
In order to prevent the submersion of the “Noble Race” they have hit, in Germany, on the grand idea of “nordification,” which has led cunning minds to the most daring proposals. The nordification theory has during the past ten years called forth a whole flood of literary productions than which anything more grotesque would be hard to find. No other country can approach Germany in this. Most of those strange saints who obtrude themselves in Germany today as reformers of sexual relations wish to put procreation under the controlling hand of the state. Others stand openly for the legal introduction of polygamy in order to put the Nordic race the quicker on it’s somewhat weakened legs. And, so that the lord of the family may come into his rights “in the midst of this effeminate old world” as Alfred Rosenberg, Hitler’s spiritual adviser, so picturesquely expresses it – Herr Richard Rudolf in his essay, Geschlechtsmoral, defends polygamy, not only because it provides a means for raising the fecundity of the Nordic race to its highest capacity, but also because this institution better corresponds to the polygamous instincts of the male.
Inspired adherents of nordification a few years ago called to life a special movement for the advocacy of the so–called “Midgard marriage” whose sponsors proposed the founding and financing of special settlements where Nordic men and women selected for this purpose should, in loving collaboration, devote themselves to the exalted task of preventing the decline of the noble race. There were to be ten women for every man. The marriage was to be regarded as a sort of bond of pregnancy which was to last only till the birth of the child, unless both the mates expressed a wish to prolong the union. In his book, Weltanschauung und Menschenzuchtung, Health Commissioner F. Dupré advocated a so–called “temporary marriage” which was to serve merely for breeding purposes. A state–appointed “Council of Elders” was to supervise these matters. “The couple must be brought together purely for the purpose of propagation,” declares this curious elaboration. “When this has been accomplished they are to separate…. The expenses of this breeding are to be borne by the state.” Very much like Hentschel, the inventor of the “Midgard marriage”, Herr Walther Darré, later Germany’s National Socialistic Minister of Nutrition, sets to work, in his book, Neu–Adel aus Blut und Boden (“A New Nobility from the Blood and the Soil”), for the breeding of a new nobility on special Hegehöfen (“breeding farms”). Herr Darré wishes to bring the propagation of the nation under constant supervision by establishing “breed–wardens.” For this purpose special “herd books” and “family records” are to be prepared for all women. All virgins are to be divided into four classes to whom on the basis of special “breeding laws” marriage is to be permitted or denied according to their racial characteristics and fitness for childbearing. On March 12, 1930, the National Socialists introduced in the Reichstag the following addition to Article 218 of the Criminal Code:
Whoever undertakes artificially to restrict the natural fertility of the German people to the injury of the nation, or by word, writing, print, picture, or in any other way to assist such attempts, or whoever by mating with members of the Jewish blood–community or of the coloured races contributes or threatens to contribute to the corruption and disintegration of the German people shall be punished by imprisonment for racial treason.
On December 31, 1931, the national administration of Hitler’s Storm Troopers issued a decree that after January 1, 1932, a marriage license should be issued to every Storm Trooper by a so–called “Race–office.” This curious document, which pleads for the “preservation by hygienic heredity of a distinct German–Nordic species,” and makes reference to a “book of kinship of the S.S.,” gave us the first foretaste of the glories of the Third Reich. It is characteristic that the same crowd which peddles its “German idealism” so insistently and with such profound moral enthusiasm combats the “materialistic debasement” of Germany, values sexual relations purely from the viewpoint of the breeder and would reduce the love–life of men to the level of the breeding stall and the stud–farm. After the “rationalisation of industry,” the rationalisation of sexual intercourse – what a future!
But all the talk about nordification is entirely worthless because all the conditions for such a process are lacking. Even if the race were not a mere idea, but an actual living unity whose characteristics were transmitted to their progeny in their entirety, still such a project could not be undertaken. A farmer may be in a position to breed his oxen, cows or swine for the production of meat, milk or fat, but to breed human beings for definite moral and intellectual characteristics is quite another matter. All experiments which have so far been made on plants and animals have shown that a race never enters a mixture as a whole. So long as human beings with like or with very similar racial characteristics keep to themselves and propagate only within their own circle their peculiar characters reappear more or less conjoined and in like relations. When, however mixture with other racial elements occur, then race is not inherited as a compact unity, but each separate character by itself or in separate constellations. Therefore, not only may both pure and mixed characters occur in the offspring; there exists for each of them the possibility of every conceivable combination of the parental hereditary primordia.
There are no longer any pure races, least of all in Europe. The so–called “fundamental races” of Europe are today so thoroughly jumbled together that racially pure peoples are simply not to be found. This holds true especially for Germany, which because of its geographical situation in the heart of the continent seems to have been made for a highway for tribes and peoples. At the time of the migration of peoples Nordic tribes left the old homeland in troops and moved towards the south, where the Nordic blood gradually fused with that of the indigenous “race–alien.” Slavic tribes, which invaded the land from the east, took possession of the half–emptied territories and spread in the north as far as the Elbe and in the south as far as the Regnitz. Up to the middle of the eleventh century the Thuringian Forest was called the Slavenwald, and one can recognise in the appearance of the population there the strong influence of Slavic blood even today. The ancient population of Germany was completely recast by these continued intermixtures of blood. The Germans have long ceased to correspond to the description that Tacitus once wrote of the Germanic people. Not only have the physical characteristics altered, the mental and spiritual characters, too, have undergone a profound change. Among the sixty millions which today inhabit Germany there is probably hardly one person whom one could describe as a pure Nordic. It is, therefore, one of the strangest delusions that men have ever harboured that out of this variegated mixture there can be redistilled one of the old “basic races.” One must, in fact, be a race–theoretician to be able to think such things. The whole nordification Utopia is as Brunhold Springer cleverly remarks– “not an undertaking, but an Old–German community play.”
It is the extremes which mutually attract one another, especially in the love of the sexes. The blond will always be more drawn to the brunette than to one of his own type. It is the strange that charms and allures and sets the blood astir. The very fact that there are no pure races and that all peoples are mixtures proves that the voice of nature is stronger than that of race or of blood. Even the strictest castes of India were not able to preserve their racial purity. The “Nordic man” of Günther and his followers is a purely imaginary picture. The belief in a race which unites in itself every feature of physical beauty along with the most exalted qualities of mind and spirit is a wonder–faith, a dream notion, which corresponds to nothing in the past or the future.
If the Nordic race were in fact the miraculous entity from which every human culture has proceeded, how came it that in its Nordic homeland it was unable to bring forth any culture worth mentioning? Why did its “inborn culture–making capacity” unfold only in distant zones and far from its native soil? Why must we go to Greece and Rome to find a Sophocles, a Praxiteles, a Pericles, a Demosthenes, an Alexander, an Augustus, a hundred others, who are honoured by the Günthers, Woltmanns and Hausers as representatives of the Nordic race? The fact is, alas, that the Nordic man revealed his celebrated culture–building powers only in another environment and in association with foreign peoples. For the “proud Viking voyages” with which the books on race are all ablaze could hardly be described as cultural activities. On the contrary, they all too frequently threatened culture and laid waste valuable elements of it, as the robber–raids of Goths, Vandals, Normans and other Germanic tribes show clearly enough.
All modern race theorists are, however, agreed that the capacity for state–making was the most important characteristic of Nordic man, which destined him alone to be the leader and guide of peoples and nations. If this is true, how is it that Nordic man in those very Nordic lands never set up a great kingdom, like, for example, that of Alexander, the Roman Caesars, or Genghis Khan, but always stayed shut up in little communities? It really seems rather odd that this crowd which has so much to say about the state–building genius of the blond Nordic, in the same breath bewails the eternal disunion of the Germanic tribes as one of the most lamentable manifestations of their character and warns the present–day Germans of the fatal consequences of this bad habit of their forebears. Such a state of affairs is surely hard to reconcile with the capacity to weld together great kingdoms and nations; a fact – we may remark in passing – that is no great misfortune. The impulse of the Germanic tribes to split up, which is quite proverbial, goes very poorly, in fact, with their alleged capacity for state–building. The blond Nordic acquired this only in foreign parts when the power–concepts of the Roman Empire came to him as a new revelation – and a catastrophe.
We do not mean to deny to “Nordic man” cultural capacity or other valuable characters. Nothing is farther from our intent than to fall into the opposite error from that of the race ideologists. But we guard ourselves with all modesty against the immeasurable arrogance of those persons who dare to deny to other races not only all deep feeling for culture but every idea of honour and fidelity. In the end, all the talk about the “race soul” is nothing but an idle playing with imaginary ideas. The method which brings all human groups mentally and spiritually under a single norm is a monstrosity which can but lead to the most perniciously erroneous conclusions. It is not to be disputed that men who have reproduced for centuries in the same territory and under the influence of the same natural and social environment have certain outer and inner characters in common. These resemblances are more manifest between members of the same family than in a tribe or a people; and yet what immeasurable contrasts of character one finds when one goes deeper into the mental and spiritual makeup of the individual members of a family. In general the so–called “collective character” of a people, a nation or a race expresses merely the personal views of individuals which are taken up by others and thoughtlessly repeated.
What, for instance, are we to think when Günther in his Rassenkunde des jüdischen Volkes has this to say about the so–called “Oriental race”? “This race came out of the desert and their mental attitude inclines them to allow formerly cultivated lands to become desert again.” This is empty prattle based on nothing at all. In the first place, we lack any historical evidence that this race in fact came out of the desert; and in the next place, who is to produce proof that in the members of this race there really resides the instinct to “let cultivated lands become desert again”? But Günther needed this construction of history to convince his readers of the utter worthlessness of the Jews. Yet, in Palestine, the Jews were an agricultural people; their whole legislation was built around this fact. The Arabs changed Spain into a garden of which great portions became desert again after the expulsion of the Moors.
Fear of the Jews has developed among the advocates of the race theory into a genuine race panic. It is admitted, of course, even in those circles, that actually no such thing as a Jewish race exists, and that the Jews, like all other peoples, are a mixture of every possible racial element. Modern race theoreticians go so far as to assert that along with Levantine, Oriental, Hamitic and Mongolian blood, even a drop or two of Nordic blood flows in the veins of Jews! Nevertheless, it seems that of all races the Jewish has the worst inheritance. There is hardly any evil quality that hostile imagination has not attributed to the Jew. He was the real inventor of socialism, and at the same time he let capitalism loose in the world. He has infected all countries with his liberal ideas and loosened all bonds of authority; still, his religion is a creed of strictest authority, a cult of the utmost despotism. He caused the War and invoked the revolution. He seems to have just the one secret purpose of hatching out subtle conspiracies against the noble Nordic man. We are assured that mixture of blood destroys the original characteristics of a race and diverts the course of its mental and spiritual tendencies. How comes it, then, that so highly mixed a race as the Jews have for two thousand years been able to preserve their religious system in spite of the horrible persecutions they have endured because of it? Must one not infer from this that there are in history other factors than hereditary racial characteristics? And how comes it that the Jews could poison the whole world with their “modernistic spirit” if the ideas of man are only the outcome of hereditary fact inherent in his blood? Must we not conclude from this either that the Jew is much more closely akin to us by blood than our race ideologists are willing to admit or that the blood–determined hereditary characteristics are too weak to withstand foreign ideas?
But the attacks of modern race doctrine are not directed solely against the Jews; in even greater force they are massed against a section of their own people, against the offspring of the so–called “Alpine race” which Günther rebaptised “Eastern.” When Günther, Hauser, Clauss and their associates speak of the Eastern peoples they become downright malicious. That the Eastern race settled in the very heart of Europe is, according to Günther, a great misfortune, for with its “impure blood” it constantly threatens the exalted Nordic, whose mixture with this “talentless,” “uncreative” race leads only to ruin. The Eastern is the exact opposite of the Nordic man. If in the latter the “spirit of the commander” finds its most distinguished expression, in the former lives only the “sullen soul” of the pikeman capable of no great campaign. The Eastern is the “born pacifist,” the “mass man”; hence his preference for democracy, which grows out of his need to pull down everything superior to himself. He has no heroic traits and no feeling at all for the greatness of the fatherland and the nation. The Easterns are the “men of Jean Paul, already plentiful enough, in fact, far too plentiful, in Germany.” They make good subjects, but they can never be leaders only the Nordic man is a predestined leader (see Hitler and Goebbels). But that is not all.
“Sexual intercourse among near relatives, also between brothers and sisters and parents and children, is, I am assured by country doctors, said not to be unusual in those districts settled by Easterns. The Eastern mind, perhaps because of its origin, is not acquainted with the idea of incest.”
Otto Hauser has the worst things to say about Eastern man, of whom he presents the following charming picture:
He will do anything for money. He would unhesitatingly sell his honour if he had any. He is the born democrat and capitalist…. The Eastern man is more lascivious than the pure races or than the other mixed races. He makes men and women dance naked on the stage or wrestle with one another. He loves to read about perversions and practices them when he can afford it. He enslaves woman and is enslaved by her. He advocates individualism in the sense that everyone is to do what he pleases, violate girls and young boys, employ any means in social, mental, or political contests. And though it is contrary to all rules of sportsmanship to grasp an opponent by the genitals, he, who advocates in general the freeing of all desire, likes to make use of the practice when he wants to drag down to his own level those inconvenient geniuses whom he, the devoid of genius, cannot beat in a fair fight.
In another place in his works Hauser tells his readers:
The Eastern is vulgar in his sexuality. One cannot be with him half an hour before he begins telling not merely indecent stories, but his own sex experiences and possibly even those of his wife; and the women entertain the listeners with accounts of their menstrual difficulties. His brats bedaub the walls with vulvas and phalluses and make dates for sexual intercourse at public comfort–stations.
One can hardly trust one’s eyes when one reads such stuff. The first impression is that one is dealing with a diseased mind, for this joyous wallowing in the imagined sexuality of another surely springs from a perverted disposition and a morbid imagination incapable of healthy perceptions. Let us be clear about the monstrousness of these accusations which are published thus to the whole world. They throw this filth at a whole body of human beings, numbering millions in their own countries, and ascribe to them alleged “character traits” which really spring only from their own diseased and unclean imagination. This sort of “demonstration” is characteristic of the methods of the present–day race ideologists; it also is typical of the mental degradation of the men who do not hesitate even to draw on the secrets of the comfort–station in order to hang something on the “racial enemy” and so to satisfy their own dirty instincts. And this poison has been poured into the country for years by countless books, pamphlets and newspaper articles. Let no one be surprised if this sowing of dragon’s teeth shall someday germinate. For the absurdity of the present–day nationalistic movement in Germany is just this: that it rests on the race theory and that its advocates in their blindness fail to see that they are destroying with their own hands the strongest bulwark of the nation, the inbred feeling of national cohesion.
If one is not sufficiently deluded to be able thus to insult the members of his own nation, he can easily see how this race fatalism must operate against other peoples. Out of the short–sighted belief in the divinely ordained superiority of the noble race follows logically the belief in its “historical mission.” Race becomes a question of destiny, a dream of the renewal of the world by the conscious will of Germankind. And since one cannot admit that all peoples will view the approaching destiny from just the same angle of vision, war becomes the only solution. Experience has shown us where that leads. The belief that “In Germankind the world once more its weal will find” (Am deutschen Wesen einmal noch die Welt genesen) rouses in just those classes which had the greatest influence on the fate of Germany the conviction of the inevitability of the “German war,” of which they talked so much in Chamberlain’s circle. In a widely circulated work in which war is hailed as “midwife of all culture” Othmar Spann declares: “We must desire this war just to prove that all its burden will rest on us, that we alone must fight it out with all the power that the lordly Germanic race has manifested throughout the millennia.”
This spirit was cherished through the decades and gradually reared to that fatalistic delusion which views all history under the aspect of race. Spann was not the only one who played with the race war of the future. At the conference of the All–deutscher Verband (“All–German Union”) of November 30, 1912, the question of the coming war held the most prominent place. There was talk of the “decisive struggle between the collective Slavic peoples and Germankind” by Baron von Stössel and others; and Dr. Reuter–Hamburg declared that it “is our chief task to inform the people about the real grounds of the war which is probably coming,” which is to be regarded only as a “battle of united Slavism against Germanism.” When the German administration brought in its new safety proposals in April, 1913, Bethmann–Holweg based the new provisions on the necessity of preparing for the threatened clash between Slavs and Germans. Although the groupings of the powers at the beginning of war must prove to every person of insight that there could be no talk here of a “war of the races,” there were still not lacking those who saw in the frightful catastrophe only the inevitable impact of races. Even so widely known a historiographer as Karl Lamprecht published in the Berliner Tageblatt of August 23, 1914, an essay in which he spoke of a “war of Germandom and Latin Catholic Slavdom against the invading Oriental barbarism.”
Lamprecht discovered then that Scandinavia, Holland, Switzerland, and America had been led by racial feeling to favour the German cause, and he announced jubilantly “Blood will tell!” The illusion of having America as an ally even led him to proclaim the living future of a “Teutonic–Germanic race!” And since very finally England did not fit into this scheme, the great historian emphasises: “Just observe that the central land of the British world–empire is no longer dominated by a pure Germanic spirit, but rather by the Celtic.” 
If the race theory can produce such incurable delusion in the brain of a scholar of worldwide renown, need we wonder at the crazy presumption of an economist like Sombart, who at that day of the world could announce: “Just as the German bird, the Eagle, soars high above all other animals on earth, just so shall the German feel himself exalted above all that mankind which surrounds him and which he sees at an infinite distance beneath him.”
We do not maintain that only the German is capable of such deluded notions. Every belief in a chosen religion, nation or race leads to similar monstrosities. But we must recognise that among no other people has the race theory found such wide acceptance or inspired a literature of such general circulation as among the Germans. It seems almost as if the Germany of 1871 had wished to make up for what its greatest spirits before the foundation of the empire, because of their broadly humanistic attitude, had fortunately omitted.
The exponents of race doctrine find themselves in the enviable position that they can venture the most extravagant assertions with no need to trouble themselves about intelligible proofs. Since they themselves know that most of these assertions cannot be maintained on the basis of their scientific value, they appeal to the infallibility of the race instinct, which allegedly gives clearer insight than is vouchsafed to the painstaking experience of scientific research. If this famous instinct of race were real and demonstrable to everybody it would get along very nicely with science, since the “inner voice” or “race in one’s own bosom” would bring certainty to men on every difficult question, even when science failed. But in that event we should expect at least the most distinguished advocates of the race theory to be in complete agreement and to voice a certain unanimity in their conclusions. But here is just the trouble. There is hardly a single question of fundamental importance about which those in the camp of the race ideologists are even halfway agreed. Often their views are so far apart that no bridging of the difference is conceivable. Just a few instances of this from the thousands:
In his work, Rasse und Kultur, Otto Hauser informs us that the Greeks “were a strictly blond people who, quite of themselves, attained to a height of culture that will always arouse admiration, will always serve as a model as long as the related Nordic blood flows in any people, in any human being.” Woltmann, Günther, and others have said the same thing in other words – basing their opinion, doubtless, on the same “Nordic instinct” which permeates the related blood through the millennia. But Gobineau, the real founder of the race theory, found nothing good to say of the Greeks; rather he constantly disparaged them in every way, because of his ingrained hatred of democracy. In his 1,200 page Histoire des Perses he praises the culture of the Persians in exaggerated terms and pictures Greece as a half–barbaric country with no culture of its own worth mentioning. Gobineau even denies to the Hellenes every moral quality and declares that they had no understanding of the sentiment of honour – as we see, the purest “Oriental.”
For Chamberlain, Christianity is the highest expression of the Aryan spirit; in the Christian faith the Germanic soul reveals itself in its true profundity and divorces itself most definitely from every Semitic religious concept. For Judaism is the complete antithesis of the Christian religion; any philosophic synthesis of the Jewish and the Germanic mind, even in religion, is quite unthinkable. On the other hand, Albrecht Wirth sees in Christianity a product of the Jewish–Hellenic mind, which undertook, as the “despised Jew fled from the misery of the outer world, to erect about it a higher inner world.” While Eugen Dühring condemns Christianity utterly because by its influence the Judaising of the Aryan mind was accomplished. Ludwig Neuner accuses the Frankish kings of having stolen from our ancestors and utterly destroyed “the ancient, indigenous faith that sprang from a childlike view of nature” and forcing on them instead “a harsh system of religion of outspokenly international character.” Then Erich Mahlmeister assures us, in his essay, Für deutsche Geistesfreiheit: “Christianity is of an unmanly, slavish nature, directly opposed to the German nature.” On the person of Christ he passes judgment thus: “The outcast traitor to his country of a hatred race is the God before whom the German is expected to bend his knee.”
Günther, Hauser, Clauss, see in Protestantism a spiritual movement of the Nordic race, and Lapouge, as well, sees in it “the attempt to adapt Christianity to the specific type of the Aryan race.” Chamberlain, too, is a decided opponent of the Catholic church and refers in his Grundlagen to the Semitic origin of the Papacy. He sees in the latter the exact antithesis of the Germanic spirit, which recognises no priestly caste and is emotionally opposed to a world hierarchy. For him, therefore, the Reformation is the revolt of Nordic man against the Semitic Caesarism of Rome and one of the greatest deeds of Germanism in general. Against this, Woltmann exalts the Papacy as the glorification of Germanism and takes great pains to demonstrate the Germanic descent of most of the popes. He was especially impressed by that “child of the Goths,” Hildebrandt, who sat on the papal throne as Gregory VII and was the real founder of the temporal power of the Papacy. Otto Hauser, however, explains this patent confusion of the Germanic spirit as follows: “It is characteristic of the power hunger of Nordic man that he is able to employ all his force in every undertaking and unhesitatingly makes use of every means to an end. We know how extremely frivolous was the attitude of many of the popes toward the Papacy and Christianity. So, while the Papacy was represented for a while by an almost uninterrupted line of Germans, it was nevertheless an un–German, un–Nordic idea.”
How are we to find our way in all this? What sort of strange thing is this “Nordic racial soul”? It glimmers with all the colours of a chameleon. It is popish and anti–popish, Catholic and Protestant. The Voice of the Blood in it is opposed to the rulership of a privileged priestly caste and rejects the thought of a world hierarchy, but at the same time its representatives exert every effort to bring the world under the yoke of the Papacy, whose forms are derived from “the Oriental despotism of the Semites”; and the matter becomes still more interesting when we learn that Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, was a blond–haired descendant of Germans – as Woltmann and Hauser assert. Here, as in the case of Beethoven, it seems that a dirty trick was played on nature. Think of it: Loyola, a blond–haired, blue–eyed German, the warlike herald and acknowledged preacher of the counter–Reformation; and Martin Luther, the “soul of the German Reformation,” a dark–haired man, of stocky figure, with brown eyes, who exhibits so plainly the outward characteristics of the “Eastern” that even Günther, Hauser and Woltmann cannot deny this! That Gobineau in his work on race and elsewhere makes laudatory mention of the controlling hand of the Catholic church, and in his Ottar Jarl damns heartily every heresy against Holy Mother Church, does not tend to simplify the matter. And, as if all this were not enough, Hauser assures us that the Reformation was a “movement of the blood” and indicates the “displacing of the mixed–race spirit by the Nordic.” And he says this just after he has, a few pages farther back, drawn for us this picture of the men of the Reformation: “What was left of Germany had reached the lowest point of its cultural and racial ebb about 1500. The Germans were at that time usually so ugly that Dürer and his forerunners and contemporaries in their realistic paintings are almost never able to present a beautiful, clear–cut, noble countenance, only features of a quite beastly repulsiveness; and even in their representations of the divine personages and saints from sacred history they were very seldom able to depict a halfway beautiful being because they had not even models to follow.” But these men of the “racial ebb,” after all, made the Reformation. How explain that this “movement of the blood” which displaced the “mixed–race spirit” occurred just at the time when, according to Hauser’s own statement, Germany had reached the “lowest point of its cultural and racial ebb”?
Let one take any period whatever of human history and one stumbles always on these same contradictions. There is, for example, the great French Revolution. It is mere matter of course that one finds among the exponents of the race theory no trace of understanding of the economic, political and social causes of that great European upheaval. Just as gypsies read the fate of a man in the lines in his hand, so the soothsayers of the race theory read from the portraits of the leading spirits of that storm–lashed time the whole story of the Revolution and its “blood–determined” causes. “We know that a man must of necessity behave as his appearance indicates, and that this law can manifest itself as well in the most primitive as well as in the most complicated and confused fullness of expression, that it must remain always and everywhere the timeless and unchanging law of the inheritance of life.”
This masterly exposition, which disposes of the most difficult question with which science has dealt for many decades as if it were the most matter of course affair in the world, is quite astounding. “We know!” Who knows? How do we know? Who established this “law” of which our author speaks? No one! No science! We are dealing here merely with an empty assertion that is not worth a bad penny. In fact, the author tried from the portraits of Louis XVI, Mirabeau, Madame Roland, Robespierre, Danton, Marat, to establish the inner law of their behaviour and to infer it from the degree of their racial mixture. Unfortunately this deduction rests on no law but merely on imagination, which is neither “timeless” nor “unchanging.” There may be men whose character is written on their forehead, but there are not many of them; for types like Karl and Franz Moor live only in works of fiction; in actual life one seldom meets them. No one is able to recognise the mental and moral characters of a man from his external features; the most expert physiognomists could hardly read the importance of any of the great personages of history from their faces. This ability is usually revealed only when one knows with whom he is dealing; and it would not have been so easy for the author of our selected work to pass judgment on persons like Mirabeau, Robespierre, Marat or Danton if these men had their historic roles still to play.
Gobineau saw in the great revolution only the revolt of “Celto–Romanic mongreldom” against the Germanic ruling class of the French nobility and damned the whole tremendous movement with the virulent hatred of the royalist, who on principle condemned every attempt to destroy the divinely ordained order. The revolution was for him the slave–revolt of men of baser race, whom he already despised because they were the exponents of those modern revolutionary and democratic ideas in Europe which had struck a deathblow at the ancient master caste. Chamberlain judged the revolution from a like point of view, since he, like Gobineau saw in democracy and liberalism the deadly foe of the Germanic spirit. In contrast, Woltmann saw in the revolution a demonstration of that same Germanic spirit and in support of this view tried to prove that most of the leading minds of the revolution were of German origin. While for Gobineau the slogan of the revolution, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” was merely the utterance of a completely unleashed racial mixture, Hauser tells us: “The demand for liberty, equality and fraternity is genuinely Protestant, but it holds good only for the selection which Protestantism makes, only for groups like that.” In another place in the same work he says: “The revolution begins as the work of Germans and Germanoids and on the basis of a Germanic idea, it finds an echo in all those of higher race, but it ends in the witches’ sabbath of the unshackled impulse of the baseborn mass, which has made use of the Germanic ‘heavenly light’ only ‘to be beastlier than any beast.’ Now does this mean that the Germanic descent of the French nobility of which Gobineau tells us was just an idle boast, or are we here dealing with an annihilating war of Germans against Germans, a sort of race–suicide?
That Marx and Lassalle were Jews by descent is, for men of the stamp of Philipp Stauff and Theodor Fritsch and their kind, the best proof that the socialist doctrine is based on the Jewish mentality and is alien to the racial feeling of Nordic man. That the enormous majority of the founders of socialism were non–Jews and that the socialist movement found quite as easy entrance into Germanic countries as into Romanic and Slavic has for these gentlemen just as little significance as the fact that Marx and Lassalle were influenced most deeply and permanently in their mental development, not by the ideology of Judaism, but by the philosophy of Hegel. As for the idea of socialism itself, Woltmann explains, that it has its most convinced adherents in the German sections of the proletarian population on account of their blood, because in the Germanic elements the urge to freedom finds strongest expression. Gobineau, on the contrary, recognises in socialism a typical sign of Mongolism and the covetousness of the born slave, hence his outspoken contempt for the workers, to whom he denies any sustained cultural ambition. Driesmans designates the socialists as “Celto–Mongolians.” Chamberlain scents in the socialistic movement everywhere the influence of Jewish ideology, which in this movement pursues its aim of utterly destroying the Germanic spirit in Germans. Dühring, however, declared categorically: “The Jewish social democracy is a reactionary gang whose state–enforced activities tend, not toward freedom and good husbandry, but toward the universality of bondage and exploitation through enforced service to the state in the interest of leading the Jews and associations of Jews.” And so that nothing might be lacking to this crazy potpourri, the “rough riders” of the race theory in Germany declared a holy war against Judaised Marxism and proclaimed a so–called “national socialism” that probably presents the most gruesome enlivening of capitalistic platitudes with worn–out socialistic slogans that was ever thought of. Under this banner, and with the lovely motto, “Germany awake! Judah, perish!” they made their way into the Dritte Reich.
But crazier still was the picture when the advocates of the race theory set themselves to subject to the Nordic blood–test the great personalities of history. What they got out of it could be written on no single parchment, though it were made from the skin of the famous Cloud–cow Audumla of the Norse saga. First, there is Goethe, whose character portrait in the race–books is suspiciously shaky. The appearance of this “most German of all Germans” is certainly very little like the representation of a Germanic man. To begin with, he lacked the “sparkling sky–blue eye,” the blond hair and several other features which alone make the 100 percent Nordic. Regardless of this, Chamberlain rates him as the most perfect genius of the Germanic race and recognises in Faust the ripest product of the German mind. Albrecht Wirth is of the opinion, in which anthropologists seem to be fairly well agreed, that Goethe was a non–Nordic; and most anthropologists see in him a product of the Alpine race. Lenz recognises in Goethe a Levantine–Germanic hybrid. Dühring questions the Aryan descent of Goethe and believes that he recognises in him Semitic traits. Hans Hermann goes farthest of all. In his Sanatorium of Free Love he presents this picture of the greatest of German poets: “One looks now at Goethe; these protruding brown eyes, this nose slightly hooked at the tip, this long body with its short legs, with even a slightly ‘melancholy’ expression; and we have before us the very prototype of a descendant of Abraham.”
Lessing, whose creative work was of such decisive and profound significance for the intellectual development of Germany, is honoured by Driesmans as the living embodiment of the German spirit. Dühring, on the contrary, sought to adduce proofs that the author of Nathan had Jewish blood in his veins. Even the noses of Schiller and Richard Wagner aroused the scorn of the race snifflers, and Schiller was as good as done for when Adolf Bartels, the literary pope in the present Hitlerite state, traced the “un–Germanics’ in Schiller’s works to Celtic admixtures in his blood.
For Chamberlain Napoleon I was the living embodiment of all Non–Germandom. But Woltmann discovered in him a blond–haired German, and Hauser opines: “If one sees in him a ‘Corsican’ one assigns him to a group in which he is an exception; in the North Italian nobility, however, to which he belongs, one finds all the splendid condottieri of the Renaissance and perceives at once that he is to be counted with these.” As to this, we may note that the notion that Napoleon sprang from a line of condottieri is merely the thoughtless adoption of an assertion of Taine’s. The fact is that in the whole tribe of the Bonapartes there was not a single condottiere – neither in the line from Treviso nor in that from Florence – though probably there is Saint Bonaventura. Wherefore Mereshkowski quite properly inquires: “Why should the blood of these supposititious robbers (condottieri) have run stronger in the veins of Napoleon than that of the actually provable saint?”
But enough of this unpleasant game, which one could keep up indefinitely without becoming any the wiser. It is neither the conclusions of science nor the voice of the blood which is responsible for the ideas of the founders of the race theory, but their strongly asocial sentiment, which makes them walk roughshod over every feeling of human dignity. To no one so well as to them does the old saying of Goethe apply: “We are able to understand correctly how anyone will think about any particular matter only when we know what is his sentiment toward it.” It was not their doctrine that shaped their sentiment; it was the sentiment that gave form and content to the doctrine. But this sentiment is rooted in the very foundations of all spiritual, political and social reaction: in the attitude of masters towards their slaves. Every class that has thus far attained to power has felt the need of stamping their rulership with the mark of the unalterable and predestined, till at last this becomes an inner certainty for the ruling castes themselves. They regard themselves as the chosen ones and think that they recognise in themselves externally the marks of men of privilege. Thus arose in Spain the belief in the sangre azul, the “blue blood” of the nobility, which is first mentioned in the medieval chronicles of Castile. Today they appeal to the blood of the “noble race” which allegedly has been called to rule over all the peoples of the world. It is the old idea of power, this time disguised as race. Thus one of the best known defenders of the modern race idea declares with noble self–assurance: “All Nordic culture is power culture; all Nordic talent is talent for matters of power, for matters of enterprise and world–making, whether in the material or in the spiritual realm, in the state, in art, in research.”
All advocates of the race doctrine have been and are the associates and defenders of every political and social reaction, advocates of the power principle in its most brutal form. Gobineau stood squarely in the camp of the counter–revolution and made no bones about his purpose of attacking by his teaching “democracy and its weapon, the revolution.” The slave–owners of Brazil and of the southern states of North America appealed also to his work to justify Negro slavery. Chamberlain’s Grundlagen was an open declaration of war against all the achievements of the last hundred years in the direction of personal freedom and the social equalisation of men. He hated everything which had sprung from the revolution with grim bitterness and remained to the last the bellwether of political and social reaction in Germany. In this respect the representatives of the modern race theory differ in not the slightest degree from their predecessors except that they are more soulless, outspoken and brutal, and therefore more dangerous at a time when the spiritual in people is crippled and their emotions have grown callous and dull because of the war and its horrible after–effects. People of the brand of Ammon, Günther, Hauser and Rosenberg, are in all their undertakings ruthless and hidebound reactionaries. What that leads to, the Third Reich of Hitler, Goering and Goebbels shows us realistically. When Günther, in his Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes speaks of a “gradation in rank of the Germans according to their blood” his concept is thoroughly that of a slave–people who are arranged in a definite order of ranks that reminds us of the castes of the Indians and the Egyptians. One comprehends how this doctrine found such ready acceptance in the ranks of the great industrialists. The Deutsche Arbeitgeberzeitung [“German Employers Newspaper” – ZB] wrote thus about Günther’s book: “What becomes of the dream of human equality after one takes even a single glance at this work? Not only do we regard the study of such a work as this as a source of the highest interest and instruction; we believe, too, that no politician can form a correct judgment without investigation of the problems here dealt with.”
Of course! No better moral justification could be produced for the industrial bondage which our holders of industrial power keep before them as a picture of the future.
The race theory first appeared as an interpretation of history. But with time it has acquired a political significance, and it has crystallised today in Germany into a new ideology of reaction in which lurk future dangers that cannot be overlooked. He who thinks that he sees in all political and social antagonisms merely blood–determined manifestations of race, denies all conciliatory influence of ideas, all community of ethical feeling, and must at every crisis take refuge in brute force. In fact, the race theory is only the cult of power. Race becomes destiny, against which it is useless to struggle; therefore any appeal to the basic principles of humanity is just idle talk which cannot restrain the operation of the laws of nature. This delusion is not only a permanent danger to the peaceful relations of peoples with one another; it kills all sympathy within a people and flows logically into a state of the most brutal barbarism. Whither this leads is shown in Ernst Mann’s Moral der Kraft, where we read: “Who because of his bravery in battle for the general welfare has acquired a serious wound or disease, even he has no right to become a burden to his fellow men as cripple or invalid. If he was brave enough to risk his life in battle, he should possess also the final courage to end his life himself. Suicide is the one heroic deed available to invalids and weaklings.”
Thus we should happily attain the cultural level of the Papuans. Such lines of thought lead to total depravity and inflict on all human feeling deeper wounds than one suspects. The race theory is the leitmotif of a new barbarism which endangers all the intellectual and spiritual values in culture, threatening to smother the voice of the spirit with its “voice of the blood.” And so belief in race becomes the most brutal violence to the personality of man, a base denial of all social justice. Like every other fatalism, so also race–fatalism is a rejection of the spirit, a degrading of man to a mere blood–vessel for the race. The doctrine of race when applied to the concept of the nation proves that this is not a community of descent, as has been so often asserted; and as it dissects the nation into its separate components it destroys the foundations of its existence. When in spite of this its adherents today so noisily proclaim themselves the representatives of the national interests, one can but recall the saying of Grillparzer: “The course of the new education runs from humanity through nationality to bestiality.”
- Some English philologists trace the verb “to write” to reizza, as it originally meant to mark something.
- Ernst Vatter, Die Rassen und Völker der Erde. Leipzig, 1927, p. 37.
- F. Boas in Die Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 1913; Band 45. Compare also the same author’s Kultur und Rasse. Zweite Auflage, Berlin, 1922.
- Die Germanen in Europa. Dresden, 1916, p. 5.
- Demokratie und Freiheit. Munich, 1917.
- Letter to George Brandes of February, 1871, in Henrik Ibsens samtliche Werke in deutscher Sprache. Zehnter Band, Berlin, 1905.
- Ludwig Woltmann, Die Germanen und die Rensissance in Italien; 1905, Die Germanen in Frankreich; 1907.
- “Volk und Rasse” in Süddeutsche Monatshefte, 1927.
- The well–known race hygienist of Munich, Max von Gruber, President of the Bavarian Academy of Science and a leading mind in the race movement in Germany, certainly an unprejudiced witness, has drawn the following picture of Hitler: “Today I saw Hitler close–up for the first time. Face and head of a bad race, a mixture. Low, retreating forehead, ugly nose, wide cheekbones, little eyes, dark hair. A tiny toothbrush mustache, only as wide as his nose, gives his face a defiant aspect. His expression is not that of a self–controlled commander, but of a crazy emotionalist. Repeated twitchings of the facial muscles. Final expression that of happy self–satisfaction (Essener Volkswacht of November 9, 1929.)
- Rasse und Seele, Munich, 1925, p. 60
- Brunhold Springer, Die Blutmischung als Grundgesetz des Lebens, Berlin.
- L. F. Clauss, Rasse und Seele, p. 118.
- Rasse und Kultur, Braunschweig, p. 69.
- Zur Soziologie und Philosophie des Krieges, 1913.
- F. Hertz: Rasse und Kultur.
- Werner Sombart, Händler und Helden, Patriotische Besinnungen, Munich, 1915, p. 143.
- Das Auf und Ab der Völker. Leipzig, 1920, p. 84.
- Die Judenfrage als Frage der Rassenschädlichkeit fur Existenz, Sitte und Kultur der Völker. See also, Sache, Leben und Feinde.
- Deutsche Gott–Natur–Kunde.
- Die Germanen in Europa, p. 112.
- Rasse und Kultur, p. 331.
- A. Harrar, Rasse Menschen von Gestern und Morgen. Leipzig, p. 86.
- Die Germanen in Europa, pp. 149–150
- Sache, Leben, und Feinde, p. 207.
- Rasse und Kultur, p. 14.
- L. F. Clauss, Rasse und Seele, p. 81.
2nd Zabalaza Books Edition | November, 2014