Karl Kautsky

Are the Jews a Race?

Chapter IV
Differences and Oppositions Between The Races of Man

WHILE the literary and journalistic race theoreticians regard the concept of race in the case of man as something self-evident, natural scientists are by no means agreed on the division of human races, but are obliged to admit that everything is in a state of flux. Darwin tells us

“Our naturalist would likewise be much disturbed as soon as he should discern that the distinctive traits of man are extremely variable ... We may doubt whether any trait may be adduced that is distinctive and constant for a certain race ... The form of the skull varies considerably in certain races; likewise every other trait ... The races of man graduate into each other, independently, in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having intercrossed. Man has been studied more thoroughly than any other organic being, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Rant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Dickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or sixty-three (Burke).” [1]

These words were written half a century ago, but are just as applicable today. In their embarrassment, many anthropologists finally resort to the device of classifying a series of races not by their somatic traits, but by language, concerning which Ernst Häckel maintains with a straight face that it “is transmitted far more rigidly than the skull forms” [2]

Of course, the only thing inherited is the ability to speak, not the specific language. Language is acquired, the earliest and most important teachers being the persons among whom the individual grows up when a child, not necessarily the parents in every case. Owing to migrations, to altered environment, to contacts with strange peoples, the ancestral language may be forgotten, and a foreign language acquired, while the native pigmentation of hair, eyes, skin, the form of the nose, etc., are not lost. Any races may, without in any way changing their racial character, change their language and, vice versa, the most different races may appear in succession in a certain region, each supplanting the other, and each receiving its language from its predecessors. In present-day Greece, practically the same Greek language is spoken as two or three thousand years ago, and yet, how many races have succeeded each other in that country! On the other hand, the Irish have abandoned their Celtic language in the course of the last few centuries, without noticeably changing their “race”. If language were a race trait, the Negroes of the United States would have to be counted as Anglo-Saxons, and many Negroes and Indians of Central and South America as Latins. In fact, some Negroes would also have to be classified as Germans. A German scientist was much surprised to encounter, in the primeval Brazilian forest, a Negro who spoke Low German. His master was a colonist who had immigrated to Brazil from the Waterkant, a part of Germany where Low German is spoken.

As a matter of fact, language is even less an indication of race than skin, hair, or head-form. There is no Semitic race, there is no Aryan race. The Aryan race is not a primitive race, but merely an “invention of the closeted scholar.” [3]

This does not mean that language may not be of great importance in defining the groups of mankind. Language is their means of communication, of social cooperation. When men speak the same language, it is easy for them to live and work together. When brought together by the material conditions of life and labour, they must seek to make themselves understood by each other by means of a common language. Thus, language is in a state of constant and close interaction with the compass of this social grouping of men; it becomes one of the most important means of uniting and segregating men; and the study of old linguistic survivals may at times help us in reconstructing the history of social groupings in periods that afford no other evidence on this point. It is no doubt justifiable to divide mankind according to language groups, but this division by no means coincides with the division according to race. Originally, while each race of man represented a geographical race, a human group inhabiting certain regions for many thousands of years, under like conditions, each race may also have developed a type of language peculiar to itself, a language dividing off into many dialects. A common language tree points in the first place to a former common home, and to the common life conditions of this home, and, in very primitive peoples, to membership in the same geographical race. But there is probably not a single tribe today that inhabits the primitive seats in which the language now spoken by this tribe was formed, without any mixture with other tribes. The more varied its wanderings, its mingling with other races, its historical destinies, the more will language and race become independent of each other. And, as the means of intercourse grow, as the groups of men become larger and larger who are united by their economy in permanent social cooperation, the sooner will very different races and race mixtures be embraced in a single linguistic and cultural group. On the other hand, this same increase in the means of intercourse, as the members of the same race are drawn into the most different regions of the earth, attaching them to the most different human communities, must divide many races into a number of linguistically different sections, so that many descendants of the same race will understand each other less and less, will become mentally less and less connected with each other.

Language as a race trait is therefore of no value.

And modern anthropologists are of quite different opinion on the matter of race from those “anthropo-sociologists” who term themselves thus because they know as little of anthropology as of sociology. Professor Felix von Luschan, of Berlin, presented a very interesting outline of the “anthropological view of race” at the First General Racial Congress held in London in 1911. We are giving his remarks in some detail, including those in which excellent light is thrown upon the pseudo-scientific race conceit of our colonial fanatics of the Rohrbach type. Luschan said, among other things

“Coloured people are often described as savage races, but it is comparatively rare to find any attempts to give a proper definition of coloured and savage.

“A certain order issued by a European governor in Africa once stated what Negroes, Arabs, Hindus, Portuguese, Greeks, and other coloured people had to do on meeting a white man, and in the German Reichstag one of the successors of Bismarck once spoke of the Samoans as a ‘handful of savages’. Again, many books have been written on the differences between races of men, and serious scientists have tried in vain to draw up an exact definition of what really constitutes the difference between savage and civilised races. It is very easy to speak of ‘Greeks and other coloured people’; but some assign the ancient Greeks to the civilised races, and are so severe in their division as to exclude from that group the ancient Romans as half-barbarians.

“The division of mankind into active and passive races is an old one. Since then an attempt was made to put ‘twilight’ races between the ‘day’ races and the ‘night’ races, and the Japanese were included in this group of Dämmerungsmenschen, – the Japanese, who are now in the van of human civilisation in Asia, and who have, perhaps, saved the mental freedom of Europe at Tsushima and on the battlefields of Manchuria.

“Still weaker and more objectionable is the division as to colour. We now know that colour of hair and skin is only the effect of environment, and that we are fair only because our ancestors lived for thousands, or probably tens of thousands, of years in sunless and foggy countries. Fairness is nothing else but lack of pigment, and our ancestors lost part of their pigment because they did not need it. Just as the Proteus sanguineus and certain beetles became blind in caves, where their eyes were useless, so we poor fair people have to wear dark glasses and gloves when walking on a glacier, and get our skin burned when we expose it unduly to the light of the sun.

“It is therefore only natural that certain Indian races and the Singhalese are dark; but it would be absurd to call them ‘savage’ on that account, as they have an ancient civilisation, and had a noble and refined religion at a time when our own ancestors had a very low standard of life.” [4]

With the aid of many examples, Luschan then shows that the alleged inferiority of savages is in many cases only an apparent inferiority, the proofs adduced in favour of this inferiority being often merely a consequence of the simplicity and impatience of their observers, who inferred the absence of intelligence where intelligence was absent only from the observers. Luschan continues, in the same paper from which we have already quoted:

“In former times it was not so much the mental and material culture of foreign races as their anatomical qualities, which were taken as the starting point, in showing their inferiority. Especially in America, before the Civil War, anthropology (or what they called by that name) was engaged in showing that the Negro, with his black skin, his prognathism, his blubber-lips and his short and broad nose, was no real human being but a domestic animal. How to treat him was the owner’s private affair; it was nobody else’s business, any more than the treatment of his cattle or horses.

“Even today there are scientists who claim a separate origin for the various human types, and who link one palaeolithic race to the Gorilla and another to the Orang. The author of Anthropozoon biblicum goes still further and wants us to believe that the dark races are the descendants of incestuous intercourse between ‘Aryans’ and monkeys. But the great majority of our modern authorities now claim a monogenetic origin for all of mankind.

“So the question of the number of human races has quite lost its raison d’être, and has become a subject rather of philosophical speculation than of scientific research. It is of no more importance now to know how many human races there are than to know how many angels can dance on the point of a needle. Our aim now is to find out how ancient and primitive races developed from others, and how races have changed or evolved through migration or interbreeding.

“We do not yet know where the first man began to develop from earlier stages of zoological existence ... We shall probably not be far from the truth if we say that the Palaeolithic man of Europe was not, essentially different from the modern Australian. If we are allowed to draw conclusions as to the soft parts from the parts of the skeleton, our Palaeolithic ancestor had dark skin, dark eyes, and dark, more or less, straight hair. His home was probably in some part of Southern Asia; but we find similar types even now among the Toala of Celebes and the Veddas of Ceylon. In fact, millions of dark men in India belong to the same stock, and so do all the dark tribes of Afghanistan and Beluchistan.

“So we can trace an early and primitive type of mankind from Gibraltar, Moustier, Spy, Neandertal, Kropina, etc., to Ceylon, Celebes, and Australia. This certainly is a wide area, but every year is now bringing fresh proofs of this direct continuity of a distinct human type from the earliest paloeolithic ages to modern times.

“The question naturally arises how it is that our Australian brothers have remained for fifty or a hundred thousand years, or longer, in such a primitive state of mental and material culture, while we Europeans have reached the height of modern civilisation. The answer is not difficult. Australia was isolated from the rest of the world through an early geological catastrophe soon after the immigration of palaeolithic man. Every impulse and incentive from without ceased, and human life began to petrify.

“It was quite otherwise in Europe and in Western Asia. The thousand advantages of the environment, the broken coastlines, the many islands, the navigable rivers, and especially the constant passing from Asia to Europe and from Europe to Asia and Africa, the ready exchange of inventions and discoveries and acquisitions, the incessant trade and traffic, have made us what we are.

“This primitive but uniform human type began to change chiefly in two directions. To the southwest of the line connecting Gibraltar with Australia, man, in some way or other, developed curly and woolly hair, and so became what we now call Protonigritian. We find his descendants in Melanesia and in Africa. The Pygmies form a very old branch of this protonigritic group ...

“On the other side of this line, in Northern Asia, primitive man acquired, during many thousands of years, straight hair and a shorter or broader skull. The modern Chinese, and the typical, now nearly extinct, American Indians, are at the end of this northeastern line of development, while the typical Negro represents the southwestern end.

“We have thus three chief varieties of mankind – the old Indo-European, the African, and the East-Asiatic, all branching off from the same primitive stock, diverging from each other for thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of years, but all these forming a complete unity, intermarrying in all directions without the slightest decrease in fertility.

“From these three varieties came all the different types of modern mankind, generally by local isolation. A very interesting example of such mutation is found in the earliest known inhabitants of Western Asia. This is the land of those extremely narrow and high-arched noses, we generally call Jewish or even Semitic. These remarkable noses, however, do not belong to the Semitic invaders, of whom Abraham is the eponymic hero, but to the pre-Semitic population which might be called Hittite or Armenoid, as the modern Armenians are their direct descendants.

“These old Hittites or Armenoids emigrated in very early times to Europe, where the ‘Alpine Race’ descended from them. In the most out-of-the-way valleys of Savoy, Graubünden, Tyrol, and Carinthia, more than half of the population has the head-form and the nose of this second immigration from Asia to Europe, and from the mingling of this short-headed ‘Alpine Race’ with the descendants of the long-headed Palaeolithic or Neanderthal or proto-Australian Race, all the great modern European races have sprung.

“While the first varieties of primitive man were certainly formed and fixed by long isolation, later variations were caused by migration and colonisation ...

“In former times ethnologists used to admire the apparent unity in the direction of the human mind, and to wonder how it was that in all parts of the earth men had similar ideas and ways. Now this Völkergedanken theory is nearly abandoned, and we are forced to admit the real unity of mankind. Fair and dark races, long and short-headed, intelligent and primitive, all come from one stock. Favourable circumstances and surroundings, especially a good environment, a favourable geographical position, trade and traffic, caused one group to advance more quickly than another, while some groups have remained in a very primitive state of development, but all are adapted to their surroundings, according to the law of the survival of the fittest.”

This mode of thought can hardly be better characterised than in the words of Luschan, and we have therefore given them in full. Essentially, this is the attitude of all of modern anthropology; of course, the various scientists differ considerably as to matters of detail, but this does not alter their essential agreement.

But we shall not take up this subject here. The important point is that modern anthropology does not consider differences of race to be an impassible gulf. The races are in a state of constant flux and transition, all are of the same origin in the long run; none of the dominant races may boast that its present superiority is based on its blood and is immutable so long as the race preserves its purity. We may not maintain that any of the subject races owes its servitude to a natural immutable inferiority. The superiority of one group is to be ascribed only to favourable circumstances in the environment, the backwardness of the other group to unfavourable circumstances. We may say of any race that under the same favourable circumstances it will accomplish as much as the highest races – not necessarily, however, at once. The Teutons mentioned by Tacitus lived about one hundred and fifty years after those mentioned by Caesar, and seem to have remained just as barbarous as the latter. Fully ten centuries were required, after the Teutonic migrations, before society again attained the level of the defunct Graeco-Roman civilisation, and further centuries have intervened before the attainment of our present level of civilisation. It is sometimes carelessly denied that Negroes have any cultural aptitude because in the United States, in the sixty years that have elapsed since their liberation, they have not yet so far emerged from the state of barbarism in which they had lived before their liberation, as to produce a Darwin or a Kant. And yet, the Negroes in the United States are methodically kept in a state of the greatest ignorance, having great difficulty even in obtaining such necessary and “inalienable” rights as the most rudimentary schooling.

Only a few years after the liberation of the Negroes, Häckel considered it his privilege to write: “The ulotriches (woolly-haired) are incapable of any true inner culture or of a higher mental training, even under such favourable (?) conditions of adaptation as have now been offered them in the United States of America.” [5]

A fine view for an “evolutionist” to hold! Truly, Häckel has no ground for this view, which is being relinquished more and more by anthropologists, except where the demands of a “scientific” pretext for a colonial policy revive such prejudices.

One thing is no doubt true: the leading races of modern civilisation have advanced with such immense rapidity in the last few centuries, particularly in their technology, that their lead has become more and more extensive, leaving the backward peoples farther and farther behind along the path the latter must follow in order to attain the level of the civilised races. But this by no means signifies that the backward peoples will and must continue to remain backward. The rapid progress of the European nations since the Sixteenth Century was due only to an expansion of trade which brought all the races and peoples of the earth into the closest contact with each other. The first effect of this process was to destroy the weakest races, for modern society is based on brutal hostilities of interests: it destroyed them body and soul. Some were exterminated, forced down into the status of domestic animals and doomed to the stupidity of the latter like the present condition of the European proletarians. But this tendency did not everywhere have a permanently degrading effect. As in the case of all the more energetic strata of the proletariat, there will also come a time for the more energetic of the backward races subjugated by capitalism, when their degradation will lead them to rebel against this degradation and thus proceed along an upward course. This rise can only be accomplished by taking possession of the mental and material weapons by which the “master races” have created their dominant position. The handicap of the dominant capitalist nations is too great for any one of the oppressed nations to believe that they may overcome it by self-devised means. They hasten to follow the lead of the “more civilised” and are gradually catching up with them by means of the processes devised and prepared by the leading nations themselves. The backward nations are spared the necessity of this labour of seeking and trail-blazing, and they may thus accomplish in a few decades that which required many centuries on the part of the leading nations. Of course, in order to achieve this, they must relinquish their originality, their original native traits, their spiritual independence.

Man’s teeth have suffered owing to the cooking and the artificial dividing of foodstuffs. His memory has very probably suffered owing to his use of writing and printing. Similarly, the inventive spirit of the backward peoples is probably being much weakened by their acquisition of so many superior inventions ready-made, requiring the use of their full mental powers to absorb them. The greater half of mankind is transformed from intelligently investigating creatures into imitative creatures, into mere pupils of superior teachers.

But this also is merely a transient stage, from which each people emerges as soon as it has attained the level of modern civilisation, after which it begins to partake actively in this civilisation.

The permanent result of this process of development must finally be a mental similarity of the human race, on the basis of this civilisation, in which the already very variable and indefinite mental race traits will be far more quickly eradicated than bodily traits, in order to be absorbed in anew body of traits, within which other, greater, individual differences wilt arise. Types disappear, individualities grow. The point of departure in human evolution was probably a uniform human race. This race is divided into an increasing number of races, which is now again forming a new community of the human race, but a community of a different kind. Ratzel, in his Anthropogeographie, has already mentioned this process, which, like his “negation” and his “negation of negation”, is a dialectic process resembling that expounded by Marx in Capital, there ending with the expropriation of the expropriators. Ratzel’s words, taken from the book above mentioned, are as follows:

“The similarity of species in present-day mankind is of far different origin than the similarities between the various animal and plant species. The latter similarities are caused by a more and more emphatic development of specific traits in a certain definite direction, while mankind has become more and more a unit – and will become even more so – by the combination of its formerly far diverging groups. These two groups of similarities have therefore come into being by entirely different paths, the former by segregation, the latter by conjoining and combining. Therefore the former are more limited in area, while the latter embrace the entire earth. And therefore these similarities are of different character also. The closed system of animal and plant species may be contrasted with the varied character of the branches of mankind, which are based on a great mass of reduced or attenuated differences which, however,’ tend more and more to combine, to make mankind a more unified mass. Present-day humanity may be conceived as standing, in time, midway between a humanity of the past, with greater internal differences, perhaps even differences of species, and a humanity of the future, with much smaller internal differences.” [6]

Ratzel is here concerned chiefly with the effects of race mixture. Like most anthropologists, he does not pay sufficient attention to the economic factor. But he is well aware of the tendency of evolution, and also of the differences between the race development of animals and that of historical man. The future belongs not to a separation of races into exploiting and exploited, or – as it is sometimes put more euphemistically – into active and passive, into day races and night races, but to a dissolving of races in a single human race. The first step in this direction will be a mental combination, an economic equality, from which there must result an increasing “toning down or attenuation of differences” – even though esthetes may turn up their noses at this possibility.

Of course, Werner Sombart is one of these esthetes. He considers it imperative to maintain the race differences existing between men, for: “Who would want to miss the racy Judiths and Miriams? To be sure, they must be racy and ready to remain so. We cannot tolerate this black-blond mix-up:” [7]

And since “we” do not desire any diminution of race traits, the historical process will respectfully refrain from touching them. In this connection, Sombart had already forgotten in 1912 what he was still aware of in 1911, namely, “That when I say: this woman is racy (has class), this does not mean the same as when I say: this person belongs to the Mongolian race.” [8]

Anthropologists and scientific students in general speak of the Mongolian race; but the concept of a “racy” woman is born in those learned circles whose chief interest centres about horses and women of a certain class, to whom it transfers the jargon of the stable.

In spite of all these esthetic individuals, the attenuation of the races can hardly be retarded. Capitalism is working with all its might in this development and thus preparing a higher form of society by this means also. To socialism falls the task of strengthening the oppressed and disinherited against the exploitation of capitalism, of leading them to the victory, in other words, of making them not only superior in strength to .their exploiters, but also of making them their superiors or at least their equals in mental maturity.

The result of all this conflict and struggle between the capitalists and the proletarians of the advanced nations and the rebellious strata of the backward nations, is not only the international solidarity of the proletariat of the civilised nations, but – in the last analysis – the international unity of the entire human race in thought and knowledge, in investigation and aspirations.

Finally we shall behold the realisation of the dictum first uttered as an ideal of the thinkers and pioneers of the revolutionary bourgeoisie, the dictum adopted ready-made by the revolutionary proletariat

Alle Menschen, gleich geboren,
Sind ein adliges Geschlecht.

This aspiration might still have been considered chimerical some years ago. But in the meantime, the victories of the Japanese over Russia have revealed to all the world the extent to which Asia has been revolutionised by capitalism and by the uprisings of its nations. These nations, of whom it was once assumed that their conservative adherence to the traditional forms of life was of their very essence – of the marrow of their bones, as it were, a permanent race trait-have now become a revolutionary element in world history.

Not only the victory of the proletariat of the white races, but also the liberation of the “coloured” races, is only a question of time.

But is not this struggle for liberation a race struggle? Is it not a portion of the uninterrupted struggle of the races which has been going on from time immemorial and which must continue to be waged because the struggle for existence is a natural necessity?

We have seen that the struggle for existence in the animal world is almost exclusively a struggle against surrounding nature, not against individuals of the same species. In nature, this struggle – as a rule – is not even a struggle between different varieties of the same species. For these varieties are geographical in their origin, each having its special territory, within which it lives in a condition of equilibrium, and which it does not leave unless this equilibrium is disturbed, an event therefore traceable to geological eras.

In the case of man the situation changes. Man’s technology destroys the equilibrium in nature and also the equilibrium in his own ranks. In many regions we now find overpopulation ensuing, combined with a struggle for food resources. But this is not a struggle of race against race, but rather at first a struggle waged by the horde against a neighbouring horde which seeks to displace it, when all sources of food have been cut off. This cannot be called a race struggle, but a struggle within the race. The hordes and tribes were far too small to enable us to consider any single one of them as an entire race; each was but a portion of the same race.

If this condition of overpopulation continues, the movement will probably involve all the tribes of a certain region, some of whom must immigrate. These may advance so far as to come into hostile contact with hordes or tribes of another race, but the struggle with these groups is at bottom no different from that within the same race. At most, the foreign appearance of the opponent may accentuate the ruthlessness of the struggle and the completeness of the victory. But even here the differences in language and culture, making a mutual understanding, difficult, are of greater effect than the differences in race traits.

As civilisation advances, the social groups develop into states and nations; but even these are by no means synonymous with races. We have the simultaneous development of the differences between classes and of the oppositions between exploiters and exploited. These oppositions are a determining element not only in the internal, but also in the external politics of states. The exploiters seek to increase the number of those exploited by them, in order to increase the profits of exploitation, either by seizures of men, by slavery, or by the conquest of new regions and by the subjection of their inhabitants. The cause for war is no longer overpopulation, but exploitation: struggles between exploiters and exploited, or between the exploiters among themselves for the ownership of an exploited community.

The deep roots of these struggles are not to be found in the differences of race, but in the social conditions. It is possible that the opposing groups of those interested may be of different races, but this is by no means the rule, for it is self-evident that the first persons with whom one comes in contact either as exploiter or as one exploited are one’s own neighbours. It was quite a common thing to find Greek and Italian slaves among the ancient Athenians and Romans, while Negro slaves were practically unknown. The relation of exploitation, the opposition of interests, does not arise from differences of race, which may only serve as a contributing cause for rendering the expressions of this opposition more brutal.

Even in cases where opposing interested groups belong to different races and, differing even in their external earmarks, are brought into savage opposition to each other, we never find a race unified in its conflict with another. We are always dealing with individual groups, each of which may enter into the most varied combinations with other groups either of its own race or of another race. Many of the Negro slaves brought by white traders to America had formerly been the slaves of other Negroes who had sold them to the whites.

The struggle between Indians and “palefaces” in North America may appear to have been a race struggle. But the whites, after their arrival in America, did not act as representatives of one and the same race, cooperating with each other, but as the representatives of different states, fighting each other bitterly. In this struggle, each sought and obtained the assistance of Indian tribes. During the entire Eighteenth Century, we find whites struggling against whites in America; Frenchmen against Englishmen, later American colonials against Englishmen, and Indians against Indians. And where we find Indians fighting the whites, they were often acting on the instigation of other whites.

But it is sufficient to consider our own epoch, in which the conception of the race struggle plays such an important part, to reveal the emptiness and ridiculousness of this phrase.

We are told that the “race” of the Teutons is destined by nature for a life-and-death struggle with the “race” of the Slavs and the Romance races. It was found necessary to increase the German army because the Balkan War had disturbed the equilibrium between Teutons and Slavs and Austria was now threatened by the Southern Slavs. But it was not the race of the Teutons that had come into hostile contact with the Europeans, but the more or less impure race of landed proprietors (agrarians), particularly the Hungarian, Polish and Bohemian junkers, who cared mighty little about the Teutonic race!

But simultaneously the Teutons of Germany, in order to wage the “race” struggle against the Latins of France, allied themselves with the Latins of Italy. For a time, our Teutons also aimed to obtain the friendship of the Teutonic race in England; then, “blood was thicker than water”. But later, the English Teutons wickedly sought an entente with Russia, the home of the Slavic race, and with the principal Romance race, France, in order to oppose their Teutonic blood-kindred in Germany!

Like the “Aryan” and “Semitic”, the Teutonic or the Slavic race, the race struggle itself is an invention of the brains of schoolmasters, rejected by serious scholars.

This was the case even before the World War, which forced the German Government to seek the aid of the Turks and of the entire Mohammedan world, while, during the war, France and England, and later America, sent coloured regiments against their white enemies. This would appear to be a peculiar phase of the race struggle.

Eduard Meyer once said concerning this struggle:

“While the differences in somatic structure, and particularly of skin pigment, have always been obvious, they have never had any effect on the relations between nations except where these sharp distinctions involved not only mere external appearance, but also – and particularly – a difference in the cultural aptitude and the mode of thought, as between Europeans and Negroes. In this field also, it was reserved for our time to assign an inner significance to the external contrast, and many theories, in their far-fetched application, have ascribed to the factor of race a significance which it never possessed and which is in direct contradiction with all the experiences of history.

“The popular notion that the hostility to the Jews (‘anti-Semitism’) is a race hostility, or that it has anything to do with race, is completely erroneous; we find this hostility among the closest of kin to the Jews, as well as among the Europeans. It is generally known that the importance of race is hardly dreamed of in the Orient and that even the aversion for the Negro is found fully developed only among the Teutonic (English) tribes.” [9]

There is surely nothing more absurd than the theory of the “natural” hostility between races, but unfortunately it is not one of the theories that may be killed by laughing at it. It arises from interests that are too strong, it serves too well the purpose of facilitating the demagogic exploitation of ancient prejudices and errors on the subject of foreign phenomena, to prevent this absurd creature of the overheated pedantic brain to be considered in editorial offices and on the parliamentary rostrum, by professional patriots as a recognised science, as a self-evident truth, imparting to it ever new accessions of vitality.




1. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, London 1871, vol.ii, pp.22s, 22s.

2. Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, 5th ed., p.602.

3. Dr. E. Houzé, L’Aryen et l’anthropologie, Brussels 1906, p.33.

4. Anthropological View of Race, reprinted in Papers on Inter-racial Problems, Communicated to the First Universal Races Congress, held at the University of London, July 26-29, pp.13 et seq.

5. Ernst Häckel, Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, 5th ed., p.603.

6. Vol.ii, p.586.

7. Die Zukunft der Juden, Leipzig 1912, p.72.

8. Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben, Leipzig 1911, p.349.

9. Eduard Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums, I, 1, 3rd ed., 1910, p.77.


Last updated on 26.12.2003