Houston Stewart Chamberlain

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Houston Stewart Chamberlain

Houston Stewart Chamberlain (September 9, 1855January 9, 1927) was a British author, cultural critic, racial theorist, and philosopher of science. His most famous work was The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century.

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The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts) (1899)[edit]

  • Certain anthropologists would fain teach us that all races are equally gifted; we point to history and answer: that is a lie! The races of mankind are markedly different in the nature and also in the extent of their gifts, and the Germanic races belong to the most highly gifted group, the group usually termed Aryan... Physically and mentally the Aryans are pre-eminent among all peoples; for that reason they are by right ... the lords of the world. Do we not see the homo syriacus develop just as well and as happily in the position of slave as of master? Do the Chinese not show us another example of the same nature?
  • To call the Germans a 'nation of thinkers' is bitter irony; a nation of soldiers and shopkeepers would certainly be more correct...
  • Though it were proved that there was never an Aryan race in the past, yet we desire that in the future there may be one. This is the decisive standpoint for men of action.
  • In the eyes of God all men, indeed all creatures, may be equal: but the divine law of the individual is to maintain and to defend his individuality.
  • All historically great races and nations have been produced by mixing; but wherever the difference of type is too great to be bridged over, then we have mongrels. That is the case here. The crossing between Bedouin and Syrian was — from an anatomical point of view — probably worse than that between Spaniard and South American Indian.
  • For the less Teutonic a land is, the more uncivilised it is.
  • ...yet I think that we are inclined to under-estimate our own powers [...] and to exaggerate the importance of the Jewish influence. Hand in hand with this goes the perfectly ridiculous and revolting tendency to make the Jews the general scapegoat for all the vices of our time...
  • ... one of the most admirable characteristics of the Jews [...] was their care to keep the race pure...
  • Their existence is sin, their existence is a crime against the holy laws of life.
    • (about the Jews)
  • ...that the Jew, thanks to Ezekiel, is the teacher of all intolerance, of all fanaticism in faith, and of all murder for the sake of religion; that he only appealed to toleration where he felt himself oppressed, that he himself, on the other hand, never practised it nor dared to practise it, for his law forbade it as it forbids it today and will forbid it tomorrow.
  • ...I say, therefore, that the men who founded Judaism were not impelled by evil, selfish motives, but goaded on by a demoniacal power...
  • One does not need to have the authentic Hittite nose to be a Jew; the term Jew rather denotes a special way of thinking and feeling. A man can very soon become a Jew without being an Israelite; often it needs only to have frequent intercourse with Jews, to read Jewish newspapers, to accustom himself to Jewish philosophy, literature and art. On the other hand, it is senseless to call an Israelite a 'Jew', though his descent is beyond question, if he has succeeded in throwing off the fetters of Ezra and Nehemiah, and if the law of Moses has no place in his brain, and contempt of others no place in his heart.
  • This will to live was the first thing that Judaism gave to Christianity: hence that contradiction, which even today seems to many an inexplicable riddle, between a doctrine of inner conversion, toleration and mercifulness, and a religion of exclusive self-assertion and fanatical intolerance.
  • Not only the Jew, but also all that is derived from the Jewish mind, corrodes and disintegrates what is best in us.
  • The noble Moor of Spain is anything but a pure Arab of the desert, he is half a Berber (from the Aryan family) and his veins are so full of Gothic blood that even at the present day noble inhabitants of Morocco can trace their descent back to Teutonic ancestors.
  • If the Mohammedan had not practised tolerance at a time when this idea was unknown to the rest of Europe, there would now be idyllic peace in the Balkan States and in Asia Minor. Here it is the Christian who throws in the leaven of discord; and with the cruelty of a ruthlessly reacting power of nature, the otherwise humane Moslem rises and destroys the disturber of his peace.
  • We are not yet free of peril from the Arabs, who long seriously threatened our existence, and their creation, Mohammedanism, is the greatest of all hindrances to every progress of civilisation, hanging like a sword of Damocles over our slowly and laboriously rising culture in Europe, Asia and Africa.
  • Though Mohammedanism may be the worst of all religions, as Schopenhauer asserts, who can repress a thrill of almost uncanny admiration when he sees a Mohammedan go to his death as calmly as if he were going for a walk?
  • ...the power [...] has never disarmed, is today in certain respects stronger than ever, possesses a much better disciplined, more unconditionally submissive throng of officials than in any former century, and is only waiting for the hour when it can unscrupulously assert itself.
    • (about the Catholic Church)
  • I have never understood why Catholics of culture take pains to deny or to explain away the fact that the Roman Church is not only a religion but also a secular system of government, and that the Church as representative of God upon earth may eo ipso claim — and always has claimed — absolute power in all things of this world.
  • We find that actual, concrete knowledge, that is, the great work of toilsome discovery, has one deadly enemy, omniscience. The Jews are a case in point; if a man possesses a sacred book, which contains all wisdom, then all further investigation is as superfluous as it is sinful: the Christian Church took over the Jewish tradition. This fastening on to Judaism, which was so fatal for our history, is being accomplished before our very eyes; it can be demonstrated step by step. The old Church Fathers, taking their stand expressly upon the Jewish Torah, are unanimous in preaching contempt of art and of science.

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