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Encyclopedia > Arthur de Gobineau
Arthur de Gobineau.
Arthur de Gobineau.

Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (July 14, 1816October 13, 1882) was a French aristocrat, novelist and man of letters who became famous for developing the racialist theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855). Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Aristocracy is a form of government in which rulership is in the hands of an upper class known as aristocrats. ... Hitlers Nazi Germany: the epitome of 20th-century racialism Racialism is a term used to describe racial policy, in what is generally perceived to be a negative sense, as promoting stratification and inequality between racial categories (in themselves, often disputed). ... The Aryan race is a concept in European culture that was influential in the period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races by Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau is an early and significant work defining the concept of Scientific racism and White supremacy. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1855 (MDCCCLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Life and racialist theories

Gobineau had a strained family life: his father was a government official and staunch royalist, his mother, Anne-Louise Magdeleine de Gercy, was the daughter of a royal tax official and a Creole woman from Santo Domingo[citation needed], and a lady-in-waiting to Pauline Bonaparte, who subsequently published both a sentimental novel, Marguerite d'Alby (1821), and her own memoirs, Une Vie de Femme, Liée aux Événements de l'Époque (A Woman's Life, Tied to the Events of the Time, 1835). When he was fourteen his mother eloped with another man and brought Josef with her to Switzerland for a few years. It was in Switzerland that he began his interest in Orientalism. Pauline Bonaparte, Princess and Duchess of Guastalla (October 20, 1780- June 9, 1825) (she spelled the named Buonaparte) was the younger sister of Napoleon I of France, and was his favorite sister. ... For the book by Edward Said, see Orientalism (book). ...

When he returned to France in the later years of the July monarchy he made his living writing serialized fiction (romans-feuilletons) and contributing to reactionary periodicals. He struck up a friendship, and had voluminous correspondence with, Alexis de Tocqueville, who brought him into the foreign ministry while he was foreign minister during the Second Republic.[1] Gobineau was a successful diplomat for the French Second Empire. Initially he was posted to Persia, before working in Brazil and other countries. He came to believe that race created culture, arguing that distinctions between the three "black", "white", and "yellow" races were natural barriers, and that "race-mixing" breaks those barriers and leads to chaos. The Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, North Africa and southern France he classified as being racially mixed. For other uses, see Tocqueville (disambiguation) Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (Verneuil-sur-Seine, ÃŽle-de-France, July 29, 1805– Cannes, April 16, 1859) was a French political thinker and historian. ... This page is about negotiations; for the board game, see Diplomacy (game). ... The Second French Empire or Second Empire was the imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... For other uses, see Race (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... Though most indigenous Africans possess relatively dark skin, they exhibit much variation in physical appearance. ... “Whites” redirects here. ... Typical Mongoloid Skull A portrait of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan; the Mongolians, for which the term Mongoloid was named after, are an example of the prototype Northern Mongoloid. ... Frederick Douglass with his second wife Helen Pitts Douglass (sitting) who was white, a famous 19th century American example of miscegenation. The woman standing is her sister Eva Pitts. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Map of Central Asia showing three sets of possible boundaries for the region Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia is a vast landlocked region of Asia. ... Map of South Asia (see note) This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... This region consists of the southern part of France. ...

He believed the white race was superior to the others, corresponding to the ancient Indo-European culture – also known as "Aryan"(Indo-Iranian race). Gobineau originally wrote that the white race miscegenation was inevitable. He attributed much of the economic turmoils in France at the time to the pollution of races. Late on in his life, he altered his opinion to believe that the white race could be saved. The term Caucasian race has in time acquired somewhat different meanings in different contexts. ... Indo-Europeans are speakers of Indo-European languages. ...

Hitler and Nazism borrowed much of Gobineau's ideology, though Gobineau himself was not particularly anti-Semitic. On the contrary, Gobineau saw Jews as intelligent people who were very much a part of the superior race and who, if anything, stimulated industry and culture. As such, when the Nazis adopted Gobineau's theories, they were forced to extensively edit his work; much as they did in the case of Nietzsche. Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Nazism, or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ...

In Gobineau's view, the development of empires was ultimately destructive to the "superior races" that created them, since they led to the mixing of distinct races. This he saw as a degenerative process. This article is about the political and historical term. ...

Gobineau visited Bayreuth, home of Richard Wagner shortly before his death. There he influenced the development of the anti-Semitic "Bayreuth circle". Bayreuth [pronounced by-royt] is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb and the Fichtelgebirge. ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as they were later called). ... The Bayreuth Circle was a group of extreme right wing men and women who would listen to the music of Richard Wagner at Bayreuth, Germany. ...

According to his definitions, the people of Spain, most of France, most of Germany, southern and western Iran as well as Switzerland, Austria, northern Italy and a large part of Britain, consist of a degenerative race arising from miscegenation. Also according to him, the whole of north India consist of a yellow race. Frederick Douglass with his second wife Helen Pitts Douglass (sitting) who was white, a famous 19th century American example of miscegenation. The woman standing is her sister Eva Pitts. ...


To Bahá'ís, Gobineau is known as the person who obtained the only complete manuscript of the early history of the Bábí religious movement of Persia, written by Hâjji Mirza Jân of Kashan, who was put to death by the Persian authorities in c.1852. The manuscript now is in the Bibliothèque nationale at Paris. This article is about the generally-recognized global Baháí community. ... The room where The Báb declared His mission on May 23, 1844 in His house in Shiraz. ... The Persian Empire was a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the old Persian homeland, and beyond in Western Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. ... Tabatabaei House, early 1800s, Kashan. ... 1852 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The new buildings of the library. ... This article is about the capital of France. ...

Gobineau also wrote novels, notably Les Pléiades (1874). His study La Renaissance (1877) also was admired in his day. Both of these works strongly expressed his reactionary aristocratic politics, and his hatred of democratic mass culture. Year 1874 (MDCCCLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Reactionary (or reactionist) is a political epithet, generally used as a pejorative, originally applied in the context of the French Revolution to counter-revolutionaries who wished to restore the real or imagined conditions of the monarchical Ancien Régime. ... Aristocracy is a form of government in which rulership is in the hands of an upper class known as aristocrats. ... Democracy is a form of government under which the power to alter the laws and structures of government lies, ultimately, with the citizenry. ... Popular culture, or pop culture, is the vernacular (peoples) culture that prevails in a modern society. ...

Gobineau believed himself to be the descendant of Nordic Vikings and Condottieri. It has been suggested that Nordish race be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ... Condottieri (singular condottiere (in English) or condottiero (in Italian)) were mercenary leaders employed by Italian city-states from the late Middle Ages until the mid-sixteenth century. ...


  1. ^ DJ. Richards, "Arthur de Gobineau" in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 123: Nineteenth-Century French Fiction Writers: Naturalism and Beyond, 1860-1900. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Catharine Savage Brosman, Tulane University. The Gale Group, 1992. pp. 101-117.

External links

  • Les religions et les philosophies dans l'Asie centrale by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books
  • Trois ans en Asie (de 1855 à 1858) by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books
  • Histoire d'Ottar jarl, pirate norvégien, conquérant du pays de Bray, en Normandie, et de sa Desendence by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books
  • Lecture des textes cunéiformes by Arthur de Gobineau at Google Books

  Results from FactBites:
Count Arthur de Gobineau@Everything2.com (187 words)
Count Joseph Arthur de Gobineau was a French diplomat and writer.
An active supporter of social Darwinism, de Gobineau felt that the original "pure" European race had been contaminated by cross-breeding with other races that de Gobineau considered "unpure", such as the Africans and Orientals.
Furthermore, de Gobineau felt that it was too late to do anything abount the problem.
Arthur de Gobineau : Voyage à Terre-Neuve [suivi de :] La chasse au caribou (489 words)
En 1859, Gobineau est envoyé en mission à Terre-Neuve pour tenter de résoudre durablement le conflit latent entre pêcheurs français et anglais.
La confrontation de ces deux textes est une aubaine qui permet de découvrir ce qu'un créateur, dans ses œuvres de fiction, garde de sa propre expérience, ce qu'il façonne, ce qu'il transforme, ce qu'il tait, ce qu'il oublie, néglige ou rejette.
Seulement, je remarque qu'il a fallu établir cet état de choses si singulier, précisément à l'opposé de ce que les inventeurs de cités ou de républiques idéales ont été imaginer et réunir de combinaisons propres, suivant eux, à rendre l'espèce humaine douce, bonne, maniable et sociable, et susceptible de se passer du frein des lois.
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