Arthur de Gobineau’s

Essai Sur L’Inégalité des Races Humaines

“We (Wagner and Cosima) have done nothing but talk about you and your Essay since noon, when my husband came to tell me of the pleasure and interest he has found in reading chapter thirteen, which has absorbed him since he began it. Parsifal has been cornered into reading your books!! I am not able to express how much we love and admire this masterpiece…”

Letter of Cosima to Gobineau of March 27, 1881


The Essai Sur L’Inégalité des Races Humaines (Essay on the Inequality of Human Races), of which only the first volume is available in English, is a book published in 1853 and 1855 by the French philosopher Joseph Arthur de Gobineau. It is considered the initial work of racialist philosophy. Below I reproduce an abridged translation of the introduction by Adriano Romualdi.

There are books that act on the reality of many of the political events and, out of the narrow circle of the discussion, become a powerful idea, myth and blood supplying historical processes. The most typical is undoubtedly Marx’s Capital, a historical-economic study that has become religious dogma, battle gun and gospel. To these books belongs the Essay on the Inequality of Human Races of Count Gobineau, ignored during the time the author lived but released in Germany after his death.

Arthur de Gobineau was born in Ville d’Avray in 1816 to a family of ancient Norman origin. Shortly before his death, in his Histoire d’Ottar Jara he would relive the events of the Viking conqueror that reached the coast of France, giving rise to his family. Gobineau’s father was a captain in the Royal Guard of Charles X. After the revolution of 1830 he departed to live in Britain while the son went to study in Switzerland. There Gobineau learned German and peered into the vast prospects opened by Germanic philology in those years. Since Friedrich Schlegel in his Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Inder taught affinity between European languages and Sanskrit he assumed an Aryan migration from Asia to Europe. In 1816, Bopp, with his Greek grammar, compared Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin and founded Indo-European philology. Meanwhile, the Brothers Grimm rediscovered Edda and Germanic poetry, reviving the old heroism and primordial mythology while Kart O. Müller found in the Dorians (Die Dorier, 1824) the Nordic soul of ancient Greece. Thus Gobineau was familiar from his adolescence with a world that European culture was slowly assimilating.

In 1834 Gobineau went to Paris. He was not rich and tried to steer through as a writer and journalist. Of his literary works, many pages of Le Prisionnier Chancheux, Ternote, Mademoiselle Irnois, Les Aventures de Nicolas Belavoir and E’Abbaye of Thyphanes have withstood the erosion of time.

An article in the Revue de deux Mondes put him in touch with Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous author of Democracy in America, also of old Norman lineage. This friendship joined them through a lifetime despite their strong differences: Tocqueville, the aristocrat, resigned with melancholy by accepting democracy as a reality of the modern world while Gobineau, another aristocrat, rebelled and identified civilization with the work of a master race.

Tocqueville was appointed Foreign Minister and called his friend as his chief of staff. On the eve of the Napoleonic coup Tocqueville resigned but Gobineau put on a brave face to the Caesarism. He entered diplomacy and was the first secretary to take the delegation of Bern. It was in Berne where he wrote the Essai Sur L’Inégalité des Races Humaines. The first two volumes appeared in 1853, and more in 1855.

The book incorporates the movements of the great discovery of the Indo-European unity, i.e., a large extended Aryan family from Iceland to India. The Latin word pater, the Gothic fadar, the Greek patér and the Sanskrit derivations are revealed as originating from a single word. But if there has been a primary language of which several languages have branched, there must be a major lineage that existed, moving from its original home, and spread this language in the vast space between Scandinavia and the Ganges. It was the people that named themselves Aryans, a term with which the rulers are referred to themselves as opposed to the natives of the conquered lands (compare the Persian and the Sanskrit for arya = noble, pure; the Greek àristos = best , the Latin herus = owner, the soldierly Germanic Ehre = honor).

This is where Gobineau’s reasoning is channeled, mobilizing for his thesis ancient Indian texts revealing these prehistoric Aryans—tall, blond, with blue eyes—piercing into India, Persia, Greece, and Italy to make the great ancient civilizations flourish. Every civilization comes from an Aryan conquest, from the organization imposed by an elite of Nordic lords over a mass population.

Comparing each of the three great racial families the superiority of the Aryan appears to us evident. “If his [the black man’s] mental faculties are dull or even non-existent”—writes Gobineau—“he often has an intensity of desire, and so of will, which may be called terrible. Consequently, the black race is an intensely sensual, emotional radically race, but lacks of will and clarity of the organizer.” The yellow race stands before the black but it differs from the true creative will. Here we also have a race of second order, a kind infinitely less vulgar than the black but that lacks audacity, toughness and that sharp, heroic intelligence expressed in the gracile Aryan face. Civilization is thus a legacy of blood and is lost with the melting pot of blood. This is the explanation that Gobineau offers us about the tragedy of world history.

Gobineau’s key concept is degeneration, in the proper sense of the word, which is expressed in the growing apart from one’s own original type (the Germans would speak of ­­Entnordung or denordization). Ancient peoples have disappeared because they have lost their Nordic integrity, and this can occur to modern man as well. “If the empire of Darius had, at the battle of Arbela, been able to fill its ranks with Persians, that is to say with real Aryans; if the Romans of the later Empire had had a Senate and an army of the same stock as that which existed at the time of the Fabii, their dominion would never have come to an end.”

The fate that overwhelmed ancient cultures also threatens us. The democratization of Europe, which began with the French Revolution, represents the revolt of the servile masses with their hedonistic and pacifist values against the heroic ideals of Nordic aristocracies of Germanic origin. Equality, that for a time was just a myth, threatens to become reality in the infernal cauldron where the superior mixes with the inferior and what is noble is bogged down into the ignoble.

If today the Essai Sur L’Inégalité des Races Humaines appears aged in many features, it retains a substantial validity. Gobineau has the great merit of having first addressed the problem of the crisis of civilization in general and the West in particular. In a century stunned by the commoner myth of progress, he dared to proclaim the fatal decline of every culture and the senile and crepuscular nature of the citizens of a rationalist civilization. Without Gobineau’s work, without the serious, solemn chiming bumps in the prelude of his Essai, all of modern literature about crises by Spengler, Huizinga and Evola is unimaginable.

Gobineau’s great work on the inequality of the races was completed, but the French culture did not take notice. Tocqueville tried to comfort Gobineau prophesying that his book would be introduced into France from Germany.

Gobineau died suddenly in Turin in October 1882. Nobody seemed to notice his disappearance. It was the Germans who valorized him. Wagner opened its columns of the Bayreuther Blätter; Hans von Wolzogen, Ludwig Schemann and Houston Stewart Chamberlain announced his work. It was Ludwig Schemann who founded the cult of Gobineau by instituting an archive near the University of Strasbourg, then in Germany. In 1896 Schemann founded the Gobineau-Vereinigung, which would spread Gobineauism throughout Germany. In 1914 Schemann had an influential network of friends and protectors and the Kaiser himself subsidized it.

On the trail of the work of Gobineau, racialism was born: Vacher de Lapouge, Penka, Pösche, Wilser, Woltmann, H. S. Chamberlain and after the war Rosenberg, Hans Günther and Clauss retook Gobineaunian intuitions and amplified them with a vast doctrinal body. In 1933 National Socialism, assuming power in Germany, officially recognized the ideology of race. Thus what Wittgenstein had prophesied about Gobineau was fulfilled: “You say you are a man of the past, but in reality you are a man of the future.”


  1. One of the reasons I believe that the white nationalist movement is fake (for details, see The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour) is that nationalists have not paid attention to their classics—even today!

    On Counter Currents for example there’s only one article as to date tagged under the category “Gobineau” (here). And the subject-matter is not him but Wagner!

    The Essai is the precursor of what Pierce and Kemp said in their more recent histories. Alas, American WNsts are as reluctant to face real racialism as the 19th century French infatuated with their egalitarian revolution, who gave the cold shoulder to Gobineau.

    Pathetic. You need to be a real national socialist to go beyond the provincial POV of American-style white nationalism. Everything of course has to do with the fact that WNsts treat mediterraneans like republicans treat mestizos. Both are egalitarians to the core, while Gobineau’s work set the bases of nordicism—true whitism.

    • Yeah, Stormfront wants a world in which Greek boys can have Swedish girls, even if they keep Greek girls away from Swedish boys.

      But we have to face the harsh facts. Swedes themselves are mongrels: Germanic men crossbred with Slavic women. This very site documented the slave-raiding of Eastern Europe.

      Even more harsh is the fact that races can detoriate, degenerate. Think of the movie IDIOCRACY. Egyptian civilization fell because the priests opposed National-Socialism, especially eugenics. The Egyptians went so far as to take disabled children from the trash heap to raise them as Egyptians.

      • You are wrong about the Scandinavians. Their mudblood is practically nil when compared to that of the Greeks’. The whole point of nordicism, or NS, is recognizing these facts stated since Gobineau, Chamberlain, and later by the Germans.

      • Compared to the Greeks, yes. But you have to admit that Swedes are White-White mongrels. Slavs are more blond and blue-eyed than Germanics are, likely because Germanics were better at abducting women.

      • Mongrels = any mixed offspring between a pure blooded White Caucasian and any Non-white race.

  2. [Re: 1st comment in this thread]:

    Absolutly, would be glad when more nationalists realize these facts.

    May this interest you as well (?)

    In Germany the Bayreuther Kreis around Wagner adopted and further developed the thoughts of Gobineau. Wagner’s son-in-law, the Englishmen Housten Stewart Chamberlain, added the antisemite point.

    He saw the Jewry as the antagonist to the Nordics, since theirs emancipation they have been the creator of all negative phenomena of the modern world, like egoism, materialism, the disintegration and decomposition of state, society and race.

    His The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (Die Grundlagen des 19. Jahrhunderts) [1899] became quickly popular, a lot of readers said that this was a awakening experience for them. The Foundations is a anitsemite classic, which inspired many NS.

    • And that’s precisely why I believe that WN is phony: they are unwilling to look at their absolute classics for the same reason that they are unwilling to treasure Pierce’s history on the white race: intellectual cowardice.

      • I agree with Nordicism in the cultural/spiritual sense (as a form of an essence), but not necessarily in terms of biological phenotypes.

        While I love and acknowledge that the (Prussian-Goth) Germans are the superior white group that was cultural hegemonic during the high times of the white race, I do not think that having blonde hair and blue eyes or being ‘Nordic’ in geography is necessarily a superior trait.

        I gladly accept my Italian heritage as being superior to the blonde hair, blue eyed Anglos, who today are the most prone to race-mixing and liberal ideology … as well as being the origin of materialism and cultural capitalism.

        What is the definition of ‘Nordic’ we are to accept?

      • Just for the record, below Theoderich refers to these texts:

        I am probably more Mediterranean than you and have struggled with this issue. Anyway, you may see also my comment here:

      • @ Chechar

        I generally agree with your sentiment.

        But I like my dark hair and eyes. I don’t feel any less Aryan.

      • My eyes (and hair) are also dark.

      • Seriously, a reeducation curriculum would ban television, beer and any sort of spectator sport, and make a study of languages and classics such as Essai, Foundations and many of the volumes in Great Books of the Western World would be compulsory reading. Dropouts would be flogged.

      • Amen.

  3. I see, it’s not easy to abandon the liberal ideology.

    Oogenhand what’s your point? Greeks are Mongrels, Scandinavians are Mongrels, we all are Mongrels? My point is that Nordics, Mongrels or not, are, with a huge distance, the purest and superior type of the white race and thus should been supported.

    Now, to all readers, the best way to realize your intra-white egalitarianism is, when you compare it to the liberal inter-racial egalitarianism.

    I agree with Whitism in the cultural/spiritual sense (as a form of an essence), but not necessarily in terms of biological phenotypes.

    While I love and acknowledge that the Whites are the superior race that was cultural hegemonic during the high times of the world, I do not think that having white skin and fair eyes or being “White” in geography is necessarily a superior trait.

    That’s 100% nonsense. Also we don’t say that having a Italian or Spaniard heritage is “bad”, they are smart and goods individuals in all races and types, the point is just that Nordics are more pure and in general superior and one should get over it. Maybe read the chapter “Race” in Stellrechts Faith and Action (for the Hitler Youth).

    With the smallest effort you could know that the Slavic type is blond and blue-eyed but “Easteuropid” and not Nordic. The categorization by the anthropologist F.K.Günther in his Rassekunde, another classic, is still accurate. Also when you would read Europa Soberana you would know that the “original” Aryan traits are orange hair and pale not white skin and thus the Nordics are very purer than the Easteuropids.

    Vikings [TV drama series] example: Lagertha played by Katarina Vinnitska (Katheryn Winnick) and Princess Aslaug played by Alyssa Sutherland.

    Questions left?

    • Just found a good article here, read it !

      from: link

      • Agreed: that article (the first you linked) is a good one. That white nationalists have had difficulties wrapping their heads around this subject is manifest even in the commentariat section to that piece.

    • Europa Soberana is a very good site. It is likely the Turks were originially redhead as well (Kizilbash). As we know the speakers of Sanskrit were blond and blue-eyed, it is obvious the Aryan redheads mixed with blondes.

      Under the F.K. Günther classification, Swedes are different from Norwegians and Danes. Only Swedes are largely Nordic. And Swedes do have traces of East-Baltid. Did it occur to you that crossing two White groups may lead to the Whitest traits coming to the top?

      • More precisely, the Aryans (RN) are orange-haired, red means already a mixture. The RN are ultra-recessive so you see theirs traits nearly only by Nordics. (My theory is that the rhesus-factor are from them, cause they developed so fast that they were on the way to a new species.)

        South Scandinavia is the land where the pre-Nordics (WN) originated from, in South Swede you have nearly 40% Nordics. Obvious that not all Swedes are Nordics.

        What do you mean with “whitest trait” ? The RN and WN are two different races and the Nordics share both traits of them.

    • With the smallest effort you could know that the Slavic type is blond and blue-eyed but “Easteuropid” and not Nordic.

      I’m not an expert, but aren’t those distinctions much more recent than the Aryan migrations of 5,000 BP that gave rise to the great civilizations. The Rus tribes came down from Scandinavia about 1500 years ago.

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