The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston Stewar

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:27 am

Part 1 of 3


So viel ist wohl mit Wahrscheinlichkeit zu urteilen: dass die Vermischung der Stamme, welche nach und nach die Charaktere ausloscht, dem Menschengeschlecht, alles vorgeblichen Philanthropismus ungeachtet, nicht zutraglich sei.


THE remarks which I made in the introduction to the second division will suffice as a general preface to this chapter on the chaos of peoples in the dying Roman Empire; they explain to what time and what countries I refer in speaking of the "chaos of peoples." Here, as elsewhere, I presuppose historical knowledge, at least in general outline, and as I should not like to write a single line in this whole book which did not originate from the need of comprehending and of judging the nineteenth century better, I think I should use the subject before us especially to discuss and answer the important question: Is nation, is race a mere word? Is it the case, as the ethnographer Ratzel asserts, that the fusion of all mankind should be kept before us as our "aim and duty, hope and wish"? Or do we not rather deduce from the example of Hellas and Rome, on the one hand, and of the pseudo- Roman empire on the other, as well as from many other examples in history, that man can only attain his zenith within those limits in which sharply defined, individualistic national types are produced? Is the present condition of things in Europe with its many fully formed idioms, each with its own peculiar poetry and literature, each the expression of a definite, characteristic national soul -- is this state of things really a retrograde step in comparison with the time, when Latin and Greek, as a kind of twin Volapuk, formed a bond of union between all those Roman subjects who had no fatherland to call their own? Is community of blood nothing? Can community of memory and of faith be replaced by abstract ideals? Above all, is the question one to be settled by each as he pleases, is there no clearly distinguishable natural law, according to which we must fit our judgment? Do not the biological sciences teach us that in the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms pre-eminently noble races -- that is, races endowed with exceptional strength and vitality -- are produced only under definite conditions, which restrict the begetting of new individuals? Is it not possible, in view of all these human and non-human phenomena, to find a clear answer to the question, What is race? And shall we not be able, from the consciousness of what race is, to say at once what the absence of definite races must mean for history? When we look at those direct heirs of the great legacy, these questions force themselves upon us. Let us in the first place discuss races quite generally; then, and then only, shall we be able to discuss with advantage the conditions prevailing in this special case, their importance in the course of his tory, and consequently in the nineteenth century.

There is perhaps no question about which such absolute ignorance prevails among highly cultured, indeed learned, men, as tile question of the essence and the significance of the idea of "race." What are pure races? Whence do they come? Have they any historical importance? Is the idea to be taken in a broad or a narrow sense? Do we know anything on the subject or not? What is the relation of the ideas of race and of nation to one another? I confess that all I have ever read or heard on this subject has been disconnected and contradictory: some specialists among the natural investigators form an exception, but even they very rarely apply their clear and detailed knowledge to the human race. Not a year passes without our being assured at international congresses, by authoritative national economists, ministers, bishops, natural scientists, that there is no difference and no inequality between nations. Teutons, who emphasise the importance of race-relationship, Jews, who do not feel at ease among us and long to get back to their Asiatic home, are by none so slightingly and scornfully spoken of as by men of science. Professor Virchow, for instance, says [1] that the stirrings of consciousness of race among' us are only to be explained by the "loss of sound common sense": moreover, that it is " all a riddle to us, and no one knows what it really means in this age of equal rights." Nevertheless, this learned man closes his address with the expression of a desire for "beautiful self-dependent personalities." As if all history were not there to show us how personality and race are most closely connected. how the nature of the personality is determined by the nature of its race. and the power of the personality dependent upon certain conditions of its blood! And as if the scientific rearing of animals and plants did not afford us an extremely rich and reliable material, whereby we may become acquainted not only with the conditions but with the importance of "race"! Are the so-called (and rightly so-called) "noble" animal races, the draught-horses of Limousin, the American trotter, the Irish hunter, the absolutely reliable sporting dogs, produced by chance and promiscuity? Do we get them by giving the animals equality of rights, by throwing the same food to them and whipping them with the same whip? No, they are produced by artificial selection and strict maintenance of the purity of the race. Horses and especially dogs give us every chance of observing that the intellectual gifts go hand in hand with the physical; this is specially true of the moral qualities: a mongrel is frequently very clever, but never reliable; morally he is always a weed. Continual promiscuity between two ye-eminent animal races leads without exception to the destruction of the pre-eminent characteristics of both. [2] Why should the human race form an exception? A father of the Church might imagine that it does, but is it becoming in a renowned natural investigator to throw the weight of his great influence into the scale of mediaeval ignorance and superstition? Truly one could wish that these scientific authorities of ours, who are so utterly lacking in philosophy, had followed a course of logic under Thomas Aquinas; it could only be beneficial to them. In spite of the broad common foundation, the human races are, in reality, as different from one another in character, qualities. and above all, in the degree of their individual capacities, as greyhound, bulldog, poodle and Newfoundland dog. Inequality is a state towards which nature inclines in all spheres; nothing extraordinary is produced without "specialisation"; in the case of men, as of animals, it is this specialisation that produces noble races; history and ethnology reveal this secret to the dullest eye. Has not every genuine race its own glorious, incomparable physiognomy? How could Hellenic art have arisen without Hellenes? How quickly has the jealous hostility between the different cities of the small country of Greece given each part its sharply defined individuality within its own family type! How quickly this was blurred again, when Macedonians and Romans with their levelling hand swept over the land! And how everything which had given an everlasting significant to the word "Hellenic" gradually disappeared when from North, East and West new bands of unrelated peoples kept flocking to the country and mingled with genuine Hellenes! The equality, before which Professor Virchow bows the knee, was now there, all walls were razed to the ground, all boundaries became meaningless; the philosophy, too, with which Virchow in the same lecture breaks so keen a lance, was destroyed, and its place taken by the very soundest "common sense"; but the beautiful Hellenic personality, but for which all of us would to-day be merely more or less civilised barbarians, had disappeared, disappeared for ever. "Crossing obliterates characters."

If the men who should be the most competent to pronounce an opinion on the essence and significance of Race show such an incredible lack of judgment -- if in dealing with a subject where wide experience is necessary for sure perception, they bring to bear upon it nothing but hollow political phrases -- how can we wonder that the unlearned should talk nonsense even when their instinct points out the true path? For the subject has in these days aroused interest in widely various strata of society, and where the learned refuse to teach, the unlearned must shift for themselves. When in the fifties Count Gobineau published his brilliant work on the inequality of the races of mankind, it passed unnoticed: no one seemed to know what it all meant. Like poor Virchow men stood puzzled before a riddle. Now that the Century has come to an end things have changed: the more passionate, more impulsive element in the nations pays great and direct attention to this question. But in what a maze of contradiction, errors and delusions public opinion moves! Notice how Gobineau bases his account -- so astonishingly rich in intuitive ideas which have later been verified and in historical knowledge -- upon the dogmatic supposition that the world was peopled by Shem, Ham and Japhet. Such a gaping void in capacity of judgment in the author suffices, in spite of all his documentary support, to relegate his work to the hybrid class of scientific phantasmagorias. With this is connected Gobineau's further fantastic idea, that the originally" pure" noble races crossed with each other in the course of history, and with every crossing became irrevocably less pure and less noble. From this we must of necessity derive a hopelessly pessimistic view of the future of the human race. But this supposition rests upon total ignorance of the physiological importance of what we have to understand by "race." A noble race does not fall from Heaven, it becomes noble gradually, just like fruit-trees, and this gradual process can begin anew at any moment, as soon as accident of geography and history or a fixed plan (as in the case of the Jews) creates the conditions. We meet similar absurdities at every step. We have, for example, a powerful Anti-Semitic movement: are we to consider the Jews as identical with the rest of the Semites? Have not the Jews by their very development made themselves a peculiar, pure race profoundly different from the others? Is it certain that an important crossing did not precede the birth of this people? And what is an Aryan? We hear so many and so definite pronouncements on this head. We contrast the Aryan with the "Semite," by whom we ordinarily understand "the Jew" and nothing more, and that is at least a thoroughly concrete conception based upon experience. But what kind of man is the Aryan? What concrete conception does he correspond to? Only he who knows nothing of ethnography can give a definite answer to this question. As soon as we do not limit this expression to the Indo-Eranians who are doubtless interrelated, we get into the sphere of uncertain hypotheses. [3] The peoples whom we have learned to classify together as "Aryans" differ physically very much from each other; they reveal the most different structure of skull, also different colour of skin, eyes and hair; and even granted that there was once a common ancestral Indo-European race, what evidence can we offer against the daily increasing sum of facts which make it probable that other absolutely unrelated types have also been from time immemorial richly represented in our so-called Aryan nations of to-day, so that we can never apply the term "Aryan" to a whole people, but, at most, to single individuals? Relationship of language is no conclusive proof of community of blood: the theory of the immigration of the so-called Indo-Europeans from Asia, which rests upon very slight grounds, encounters the grave difficulty that investigators are finding more and more reason to believe that the population which we are accustomed to can Indo-European was settled in Europe from time immemorial; [4] for the opposite hypothesis of a colonisation of India from Europe there are not the slightest grounds ... in short, this question is what miners call "swimming land"; he who knows the danger sets foot on it as little as possible. The more we study the specialists, the less certain we become. It was originally the philologists who established the collective idea "Aryans." Then came the anatomical anthropologists; the inadmissibility of conclusions drawn from mere philology was demonstrated, and now skull-measuring began; craniometry became a profession, and it did provide a mass of extremely interesting material; lately, however, the same fate is overtaking this. so-called "somatic anthropology" that formerly overtook philology; ethnographers have begun to travel and to make scientifically systematic observations from living man; and in this way have been able to prove that the measuring of bones by no means deserves the importance that was wont to be attached to it; one of the greatest of Virchow's pupils has become convinced that the idea of solving problems of ethnology by the measurement of skulls is fruitless. [5] All these advances have been made in the second half of the nineteenth century; who knows what will be taught about "Aryans" [6] in the year 1950? At present, at any rate, the layman can say nothing on the subject. If he turns up one of the well-known authorities, he will be told that the Aryans "are an invention of the study and not a primeval people," [7] if he seeks information from another, he receives the answer that the common characteristics of the Indo-Europeans, from the Atlantic Ocean to India, suffice to put the actual blood-relationship beyond all doubt. [8]

I hope I have clearly illustrated in these two paragraphs the great confusion which is prevalent among us to-day in regard to the idea "race." This confusion is not necessary, that is, with practical, active men who belong to life as we do. And it is unnecessary for this reason, that we, in order to interpret the lessons of history and to comprehend our present age in connection therewith, do not in any way need to seek for hidden origins and causes. In the former division I have already quoted the words of Goethe, "Animated inquiry into cause does great harm." What is clear to every eye suffices, if not for science, at least for life. Science must, of course, ever wander on its thorny but fascinating path; it is like a mountain climber, who every moment imagines that he will reach the highest peak, but soon discovers behind it a higher one still. But life is only indirectly interested in these changing hypotheses. One of the most fatal errors of our time is that which impels us to give too great weight in our judgments to the so-called "results" of science. Knowledge can certainly have an illuminating effect; but it is not always so, and especially for this reason. that knowledge always stands upon tottering feet. For how can intelligent men doubt but that much which we think we know to-day will be laughed at as crass ignorance, one hundred, two hundred, five hundred years hence? Many facts may, indeed, be looked upon to-day as finally established; but new knowledge places these same facts in quite a new light, unites them to figures never thought of before, or changes their perspective; to regulate our judgments by the contemporary state of science may be compared to an artist's viewing the world through a transparent, ever-changing kaleidoscope, instead of with the naked eye. Pure science (in contrast to industrial science) is a noble plaything; its great intellectual and moral worth rests in no small degree upon the fact that it is not "useful"; in this respect it is quite analogous to art, it signifies the application of thought to the outward world; and since nature is inexhaustibly rich, she thereby ever brings new material to the mind, enriches its inventory of conceptions and gives the imagination a new dream-world to replace the gradually fading old one. [9] Life, on the other hand, purely as such, is something different from systematic knowledge, something much more stable, more firmly founded, more comprehensive; it is in fact the essence of all reality, whereas even the most precise science represents the thinned, generalised, no longer direct reality. Here I understand by "life" what is otherwise also called "nature," as when, for instance, modern medicine teaches us that nature encourages by means of fever the change of matter and defends man against the illness which has seized him. Nature is in fact what we call "automatic," its roots go very much deeper than knowledge will ever be able to follow. And so it is my conviction that we -- who as thinking, well-informed, boldly dreaming and investigating beings are certainly just such integral parts of nature as all other beings and things, and as our own bodies -- may entrust ourselves to this nature -- to this "life" -- with great confidence. Though science leaves us in the lurch at many points, though she, fickle as a modern parliamentarian, laughs to-day at what she yesterday taught as everlasting truth, let this not lead us astray; what we require for life, we shall certainly learn. On the whole science is a splendid but somewhat dangerous friend; she is a great juggler and easily leads the mind astray into wild sentimentality; science and art are like the steeds attached to Plato's car of the soul; "sound common sense" (whose loss Professor Virchow lamented) proves its worth not least of all in pulling the reins tight and not permitting these noble animals to bolt with its natural, sound judgment. The very fact that we are living beings gives us an infinitely rich and unfailing capacity of hitting upon the right thing, even without learning, wherever it is necessary. Whoever simply and with open mind questions nature -- the "mother" as the old myths called her -- can be sure of being answered, as a mother answers her son, not always in blameless logic, but correctly in the main, intelligibly and with a sure instinct for the best interests of the son. So is it, too, in regard to the question of the significance of race: one of the most vital, perhaps the most vital, questions that can confront man.


Nothing is so convincing as the consciousness of the possession of Race. The man who belongs to a distinct, pure race, never loses the sense of it. The guardian angel of his lineage is ever at his side, supporting him where he loses his foothold, warning him like the Socratic Daemon where he is in danger of going astray, compelling obedience, and forcing him to undertakings which, deeming them impossible, he would never have dared to attempt. Weak and erring like all that is human, a man of this stamp recognises himself, as others recognise him, by the sureness of his character, and by the fact that his actions are marked by a certain simple and peculiar greatness, which finds its explanation in his distinctly typical and super-personal qualities. Race lifts a man above himself: it endows him with extraordinary -- I might almost say supernatural -- powers. so entirely does it distinguish him from the individual who springs from the chaotic jumble of peoples drawn from all parts of the world: and should this man of pure origin be perchance gifted above his fellows, then the fact of Race strengthens and elevates him on every hand, and he becomes a genius towering over the rest of mankind, not because he has been thrown upon the earth like a flaming meteor by a freak of nature, but because he soars heavenward like some strong and stately tree, nourished by thousands and thousands of roots -- no solitary individual, but the living sum of untold souls striving for the same goal. He who has eyes to see at once detects Race in animals. It shows itself in the whole habit of the beast, and proclaims itself in a hundred peculiarities which defy analysis: nay more, it proves itself by achievements, for its possession invariably leads to something excessive and out of the common -- even to that which is exaggerated and not free from bias. Goethe's dictum, "only that which is extravagant (uberschwanglich) makes greatness," is well known. [10] That is the very quality which a thoroughbred race reared from superior materials bestows upon its individual descendants -- something "extravagant" -- and, indeed, what we learn from every racehorse, every thoroughbred fox-terrier, every Cochin China fowl, is the very lesson which the history of mankind so eloquently teaches us! Is not the Greek in the fulness of his glory an unparalleled example of this "extravagance"? And do we not see this "extravagance" first make its appearance when immigration from the North has ceased, and the various strong breeds of men, isolated on the peninsula once for all, begin to fuse into a new race, brighter and more brilliant, where, as m Athens, the racial blood flows from many sources -- simpler and more resisting where, as in Lacedaemon, even this mixture of blood had been barred out. Is the race not as it were extinguished, as soon as fate wrests the land from its proud exclusiveness and incorporates it in a greater whole? [11] Does not Rome teach us the same lesson? Has not in this case also a special mixture of blood produced an absolutely new race, [12] similar in qualities and capacities to no later one, endowed with exuberant power? And does not victory in this case effect what disaster did in that, but only much more quickly? Like a cataract the stream of strange blood overflooded the almost depopulated Rome and at once the Romans 'ceased to be. Would one small tribe from among all the Semites have become a world-embracing power had it not made "purity of race" its inflexible fundamental law? In days when so much nonsense is talked concerning this question, let Disraeli teach us that the whole significance of Judaism lies in its purity of race. that this alone gives it power and duration, and just as it has outlived the people of antiquity, so, thanks to its knowledge of this law of nature, will It outlive the constantly mingling races of to-day. [13]

What is the use of detailed scientific investigations as to whether there are distinguishable races? whether race has a worth? how this is possible? and so on. We turn the tables and say: it is evident that there are such races: it is a fact of direct experience that the quality of the race is of vital importance; your province is only to find out the how and the wherefore, not to deny the facts themselves in order to indulge your ignorance. One of the greatest ethnologists of the present day, Adolf Bastian, testifies that, "what we see in history is not a transformation, a passing of one race into another, but entirely new and perfect creations, which the ever-youthful productivity of nature sends forth from the invisible realm of Hades." [14] Whoever travels the short distance between Calais and Dover, feels almost as if he had reached a different planet, so great is the difference between the English and French, despite their many points of relationship. The observer can also see from this instance the value of purer "inbreeding." England is practically cut off by its insular position: the last (not very extensive) invasion took place 800 years ago; since then only a few thousands from the Netherlands, and later a few thousand Huguenots have crossed over (all of the same origin), and thus has been reared that race which at the present moment is unquestionably the strongest in Europe. [15]

Direct experience, however, offers us a series of quite different observations on race, all of which may gradually contribute to the extension of our knowledge as well as to its definiteness. In contrast to the new, growing, Anglo-Saxon race, look, for instance, at the Sephardim, the so-called "Spanish Jews"; here we find how a genuine race can by purity keep itself noble for centuries and tens of centuries, but at the same time how very necessary it is to distinguish between the nobly reared portions of a nation and the rest. In England, Holland and Italy there are still genuine Sephardim but very few, since they can scarcely any longer avoid crossing with the Ashkenazim (the so-called "German Jews"). Thus, for example, the Montefiores of the present generation have all without exception married German Jewesses. But every one who has travelled in the East of Europe. where the genuine Sephardim still as far as possible avoid all intercourse with German Jews, for whom they have an almost comical repugnance, will agree with me when I say that it is only when one sees these men and has intercourse with them that one begins to comprehend the significance of Judaism in the history of the word. This is nobility in the fullest sense of the word, genuine nobility of race! Beautiful figures, noble heads, dignity in speech and bearing. The type is Semitic in the same sense as that of certain noble Syrians and Arabs. That out of the midst of such people Prophets and Psalmists could arise -- that I understood at the first glance, which I honestly confess that I had never succeeded in doing when I gazed, however carefully, on the many hundred young Jews -- "Bochers " -- of the Friedrichstrasse in Berlin. When we study the Sacred Books of the Jews we see further that the conversion of this monopolytheistic people to the ever sublime (though according to our Ideas mechanical and materialistic) conception of a true cosmic monotheism was not the work of the community, but of a mere fraction of the people; indeed this minority had to wage a continuous warfare against the majority, and was compelled to enforce the acceptance of its more exalted view of life by means of the highest Power to which man is heir, the might of personality. As for the rest of the people, unless the Prophets were guilty of gross exaggeration, they convey the impression of a singularly vulgar crowd, devoid of every higher aim, the rich hard and unbelieving, the poor fickle and ever possessed by the longing to throw themselves into the arms of the wretchedest and filthiest idolatry. The course of Jewish history has provided for a peculiar artificial selection of the morally higher section: by banishments, by continual withdrawals to the Diaspora -- a result of the poverty and oppressed condition of the land -- only the most faithful (of the better classes) remained behind, and these abhorred every marriage contract -- even with Jews! -- in which both parties could not show an absolutely pure descent from one of the tribes of Israel and prove their strict orthodoxy beyond all doubt. [16] There remained then no great choice; for the nearest neighbours, the Samaritans, were heterodox, and in the remoter parts of the land, except in the case of the Levites who kept apart, the population was to a large extent much mixed. In this way race was here produced. And when at last the final dispersion of the Jews came, all or almost all of these sole genuine Jews were taken to Spain. The shrewd Romans in fact knew well how to draw distinctions, and so they removed these dangerous fanatics, these proud men, whose very glance made the masses obey, from their Eastern home to the farthest West, [17] while, on the other hand, they did not disturb the Jewish people outside of the narrower Judea more than the Jews of the Diaspora. [18] -- Here, again, we have a most interesting object-lesson on the origin and worth of "race"! For of all the men whom we are wont to characterise as Jews, relatively few are descended from these great genuine Hebrews, they are rather the descendants of the Jews of the Diaspora, Jews who did not take part in the last great struggles; who, indeed, to some extent did not even live through the Maccabean age; these and the poor country people who were left behind in Palestine, and who later in Christian ages were banished or fled, are the ancestors of "our Jews" of to-day. Now whoever wishes to see with his own eyes what noble race is, and what it is not, should send for the poorest of the Sephardim from Salonici or Sarajevo (great wealth is very rare among them, for they are men of stainless honour) and put him side by side with any Ashkenazim financier; then will he perceive the difference between the nobility which race bestows and that conferred by a monarch. [19]


It would be easy to multiply examples. But I think that we now have all the material that is necessary for a systematic analysis of our knowledge regarding race, from which we may then derive the cardinal principles of a conscious and appropriate judgment. We are not reasoning from hypothetical conditions in the remote past to possible results, but arguing from sure facts back to their direct causes. The inequality of gifts even in what are manifestly related races is evident; it is, moreover, equally evident to everyone who observes more closely that here and there, for a shorter or a longer time, one tribe does not only distinguish itself from the others, but is easily pre-eminent among them because there is something beyond the common in its gifts and capabilities. That this is due to racial breeding I have tried to illustrate graphically by the preceding examples. The results deducible from these examples (and they can be multiplied to any extent) enable us to affirm that the origin of such noble races is dependent upon five natural laws.

(1) The first and fundamental condition is undoubtedly the presence of excellent material. Where there is nothing, the king has no rights. But if I am asked, Whence comes this material? I must answer, I know not, I am as ignorant in this matter as if I were the greatest of all scholars and I refer the questioner to the words of the great world-seer of the nineteenth century, Goethe, "What no longer originates, we cannot conceive as originating. What has originated we do not comprehend." As far back as our glance can reach, we see human beings, we see that they differ essentially in their gifts and that some show more vigorous powers of growth than others. Only one thing can be asserted without leaving the basis of historical observation: a high state of excellence is only attained gradually and under particular circumstances, it is only forced activity that can bring it about; under other circumstances it may completely degenerate. The struggle which means destruction for the fundamentally weak race steels the strong; the same struggle, moreover, by eliminating the weaker elements, tends still further to strengthen the strong. Around the childhood of great races, as we observe, even in the case of the metaphysical Indians, the storm of war always rages.

(2) But the presence of excellent human material is not enough to give birth to the "extravagant"; such races as the Greeks, the Romans, the Franks, the Swabians, the Italians and Spaniards in the period of their splendour, the Moors, the English, such abnormal phenomena as the Aryan Indians and the Jews only spring from continued inbreeding. They arise and they pass away before our eyes. Inbreeding means the producing of descendants exclusively in the circle of the related tribesmen, with the avoidance of all foreign mixture of blood. Of this I have already given striking examples.

(3) But inbreeding pur et simple does not suffice: along with it there must be selection, or, as the specialists say, "artificial selection." We understand this law best when we study the principles of artificial breeding in the animal and vegetable worlds; I should recommend every one to do so, for there are few things which so enrich our conceptions of the plastic possibilities of life. [20] When one has come to understand what miracles are performed by selection, how a racehorse or a Dachshund or a choice chrysanthemum is gradually produced by the careful elimination of everything that is of indifferent quality, one will recognise that the same phenomenon is found in the human race, although of course it can never be seen with the same clearness and definiteness as in the other spheres. I have already advanced the example of the Jews; the exposure of weak infants is another point and was in any case one of the most beneficial laws of the Greeks, Romans and Teutonic peoples; hard times, which only the strong man and the hardy woman can survive, have a similar effect. [21]

(4) There is another fundamental law hitherto little heeded, which seems to me quite clear from history, just as it is a fact of experience in the breeding of animals: the origin of extraordinary races is, without exception, preceded by a mixture of blood. As that acute thinker, Emerson, says: "we are piqued with pure descent, but nature loves inoculation." Of the Aryan Indians of course we can say nothing as regards this, their previous history being hidden in the misty distance of time; on the other hand, with regard to the Jews, Hellenes and Romans the facts are perfectly clear, and they are no less so in regard to all the nations of Europe which have distinguished themselves by their national achievements and by the production of a great number of individuals of "extravagant" endowments. With regard to the Jews I refer the reader to the following chapter, as regards the Hellenes, Romans and English I have often pointed to this fact; [22] nevertheless, I would urge the reader not to grudge the labour of carefully reading in Curtius and Mommsen those chapters at the beginning which, on account of the many names and the confusion of detail, are usually rather glanced through than studied. There has never been so thorough and successful a mixture as in Greece: with the old common stock as basis there have gradually sprung up in the valleys, separated by mountains or seas, characteristically different tribes, composed here of huntsmen, there of peaceful farmers, in other parts of seafarers, &c.; among these differentiated elements we find a mixing and crossing, so fine that a human brain selecting artificially could not have reasoned the matter out more perfectly. In the first place we have migrations from East to West, later from West to East over the AEgean Sea; in the meantime, however, the tribes of the extreme North (in the first place the Dorians) advanced to the extreme South, forcing many of the noblest who would not submit to bondage from the South to that North from which they themselves had just come, or over the sea to the islands and the Hellenic coast of Asia. But everyone of these shiftings meant mixture of blood. Thus, for example, the Dorians did not all move to the Peloponnese, portions of them remained at every stopping-place in their slow wanderings and there fused with the former population. Indeed, these same original Dorians, whose special unity is such an apparent characteristic, knew in the old times that they were composed of three different stems, one of which moreover was called "Pamphyle," that is, "the stem of people of various descent." The most exuberant talent showed itself where the crossing had been happiest -- in New Ionia and in Attica. In New Ionia "Greeks came to Greeks, Ionians returned to their old home, but they came so transformed that from the new union of what was originally related, a thoroughly national development, much improved, rich, and in its results absolutely new, began in the old Ionian land." But most instructive is the history of the development of the Attic and particularly of the Athenian people. In Attica (just as in Arcadia, but nowhere else) the original Pelasgic population remained; it "was never driven out by the power of the stranger." But the coastland that belonged to the Archipelago invited immigration; and this came from every side; and while the alien Phoenicians only founded commercial stations on the neighbouring islands, the related Greeks pressed on into the interior from this side and that side of the sea, and gradually mingled with the former inhabitants. Now came the time of the already mentioned Dorian migrations and the great and lasting changes; Attica alone was spared; and thither fled many from all directions, from Boeotia, Achaea, Messenia, Argos and Egina, &c.; but these new immigrants did not represent whole populations; in the great majority of cases they were chosen men, men of illustrious, often of royal birth. By their influx the one small land became exceptionally rich in genuine, pure nobility. Then and then only, that is, after a varied crossing, arose that Athens to which humanity owes a greater debt than could ever be reckoned up. [23] -- The least reflection will show that the same law holds good in the case of Germans, French, Italians and Spaniards. The individual Teutonic tribes, for example, are like purely brutal forces of nature, till they begin to mingle with one another; consider how Burgundy, which is rich in great men, owes its peculiar population to a thorough crossing of the Teutonic and the Romance elements, and develops its characteristic individuality by long-continued political isolation; [24] the Franks grow to their full strength and give the world a new type of humanity where they mingle with the Teutonic tribes who preceded them and with Gallo- Romans, or where they, as in Franconia, form the exact point of union of the most diverse German and Slavonic elements; Swabia, the home of Mozart and Schiller, is inhabited by a half-Celtic race; Saxony, which has given Germany so many of its greatest men, contains a population quickened almost throughout by a mixture of Slavonic blood; and has not Europe seen within the last three centuries how a nation of recent origin -- Prussia -- in which the mixture of blood was still more thorough, has raised itself by its pre-eminent power to become the leader of the whole German Empire? -- It cannot of course be my task to give a detailed proof of what is here simply pointed out; but as I am advocating especially the great importance of purely-bred races, I desire particularly to emphasise the necessity, or at least the advantage, of mixture of blood and that not merely to meet the objection of one-sidedness and bias a priori, but because it is my conviction that the advocates of this theory have injured it very much by disregarding the important law of crossing. They get then to the mystical conception of a race pure in itself, which is an airy abstraction that retards instead of furthering. Neither history nor experimental biology has anything to say for such a view. The race of English thoroughbreds has been produced by the crossing of Arabian stallions with ordinary, but of course specially chosen, English mares, followed by inbreeding, yet in such a way that later crossing between varieties not far removed, or even with Arabians, is advisable from time to time; one of the noblest creatures that nature possesses, the so-called "genuine" Newfoundland dog, originated from the crossing of the Eskimo dog and a French hound; in consequence of the isolated position of Newfoundland, it became by constant inbreeding fixed and "pure," it was then brought to Europe by fanciers and raised to the highest perfection by artificial selection. -- Many of my readers may be amused at my constant references to the breeding of animals. But it is certain that the laws of life are great simple laws, embracing and moulding everything that lives; we have no reason to look upon the human race as an exception; and as we are unfortunately not in a position to make experiments in this matter with human beings, we must seek counsel from the experiments made with plants and animals -- But I cannot close my discussion of the fourth law without emphasising another side of this law of crossing; continued inbreeding within a narrow circle, what one might call "close breeding," leads in time to degeneration and particularly to sterility. Countless experiences in animal breeding prove that. Sometimes in such a case a single crossing, applied, for example, only to single members of a pack of hounds, will suffice to strengthen the weakened race and restore its productivity. In the case of men the at traction of Passion provides sufficiently for this quickening, so that it is only in the highest circles of the nobility and in some royal houses [25] that we observe increasing mental and physical degeneration in consequence of "close breeding." [26]

The slightest increase of remoteness in the degree of relationship of those marrying (even within the strict limits of the same type) suffices to give all the great advantages of inbreeding and to prevent its disadvantages. Surely it is manifest that here we have the revelation of a mysterious Law of Life, a Law of Life so urgent that in the vegetable kingdom -- where fructification within one and the same blossom seems at the first glance the natural and unavoidable thing -- there are in most cases the most complicated arrangements to hinder this and at the same time to see that the pollen, when not borne by the wind, is carried by insects from the one individual flower to the other. [27] When we perceive what is so evidently a fundamental law of nature, we are led to suppose that it is not by mere chance that pre-eminent races have sprung from an original fusing of different stems, such as we have observed in history; the historical facts rather provide still further proof for the view that mixture of blood supplies particularly favourable physiological conditions for the origin of noble races. [28]

(5) A fifth law must also be mentioned, although it is restrictive and explanatory rather than contributive of any new element to the question of race. Only quite definite, limited mixtures of blood contribute towards the ennoblement of a race, or, it may be, the origin of a new one. Here again the clearest and least ambiguous examples are furnished by animal breeding. The mixture of blood must be strictly limited as regards time, and it must, in addition, be appropriate; not all and any crossings, but only definite ones can form the basis of ennoblement. By time-limitation I mean that the influx of new blood must take place as quickly as possible and then cease; continual crossing ruins the strongest race. To take an extreme example, the most famous pack of greyhounds in England was crossed once only with bulldogs, whereby it gained in courage and endurance, but further experiments prove that when such a crossing is continued, the characters of both races disappear and quite characterless mongrels remain behind. [29] Crossing obliterates characters. The limitation to definitely appropriate crossings means that only certain crossings, not all, ennoble. There are crossings which, far from having an ennobling influence, ruin both races, and moreover, it frequently happens that the definite, valuable characters of two different types cannot fuse at all; in the latter case some of the descendants take after the one parent, others after the other, but naturally with mingled characteristics, or again, genuine real mongrels may appear, creatures whose bodies give the impression of being screwed together from parts that do not fit, and whose intellectual qualities correspond exactly to the physical. [30] Here too it should be remarked that the union of mongrel with mongrel brings about with startling rapidity the total destruction of all and every pre-eminent quality of race. It is therefore an entirely mistaken idea that mixture of blood between different stems invariably ennobles the race, and adds new qualities to the old. It does so only with the strictest limitations and under rare and definite conditions; as a rule mixture of blood leads to degeneration. One thing is perfectly clear: that the crossing of two very different types contributes to the formation of a noble race only when it takes place very seldom and is followed by strict inbreeding (as in the case of the English thoroughbred and the Newfoundland dog); in all other cases crossing is a success only when it takes place between those closely related, i.e., between those that belong to the same fundamental type. -- Here too no one who knows the detailed results of animal breeding can doubt that the history of mankind before us and around us obeys the same law. Naturally, it does not appear with the same clearness in the one case as in the other; we are not in a position to shut in a number of human beings and make experiments with them for several generations; moreover, while the horse excels in swiftness, the dog in remarkable and plastic flexibility of body, man excels in mind, here all his vigour is concentrated, here too, therefore, is concentrated all his variability, and it is just these differences in character and intelligence that are not visible to the eye. [31] But history has carried out experiments on a large scale, and everyone whose eye is not blinded by details, but has learned to survey great complexes, everyone who studies the soul-life of nations, will discover any amount of proofs of the law here mentioned. While, for example, the "extravagantly" gifted Attics and the uniquely shrewd and strong Roman race are produced by the fusion of several stems, they are nevertheless nearly related and noble, pure stems, and these elements are then, by the formation of States, isolated for centuries, so that they have time to amalgamate into a new solid unity; when, on the other hand, these States are thrown open to every stranger, the race is ruined, in Athens slowly, because owing to the political situation there was not much to get there, and the mixing in consequence only took place gradually and then for the most part with Indo-European peoples, [32] in Rome with frightful rapidity, after Marius and Sulla had, by murdering the flower of the genuine Roman youth, dammed the source of noble blood and at the same time, by the freeing of slaves, brought into the nation perfect floods of African and Asiatic blood, thus transforming Rome into the cloaca gentium, the trysting-place of all the mongrels of the world. [33] We observe the same on all sides. We see the English race arising out of a mutual fusion of separated but closely related Teutonic tribes; the Norman invasion provides in this case the last brilliant touch; on the other hand, geographical and historical conditions have so wrought that the somewhat more distantly related Celts remained by themselves, and even to-day only gradually mingle with the ruling race. How manifestly stimulating and refreshing, even to the present day, is the influence of the immigration of French Huguenots into Berlin! They were alien enough to enrich the life there with new elements and related enough to produce with their Prussian hosts not "mongrels that seem screwed together" but men of strong character and rare gifts. To see the opposite, we need only look over to South America. Where is there a more pitiful sight than that of the mestizo States there? The so-called savages of Central Australia lead a much more harmonious, dignified and, let us say, more" holy" life than these unhappy Peruvians, Paraguayans, &c., mongrels from two and often more than two incongruous races, from two cultures with nothing in common, from two stages of development, too different in age and form to be able to form a marriage union -- children of an unnatural incest. Anyone who earnestly desires to know what race signifies can learn much from the example of these States; let him but consult the statistics, he will find the most different relations between the pure European or pure Indian population and the half-caste, and he will see that relative degeneration goes exactly hand in hand with the mixture of blood. I take the two extreme examples, Chile and Peru. In Chile, the only one of these States [34] that can make a modest claim to true culture and that can also point to comparatively well- ordered political conditions, about 30 per cent. of the inhabitants are still of pure Spanish origin, and this third is sufficient to check moral disintegration. [35] On the other hand, in Peru, which, as is well known, gave the first example to the other republics of a total moral and material bankruptcy, there are almost no Europeans of pure race left; with the exception of the still uncivilised Indians in the interior the whole population consists of Cholos, Musties, Fusties, Tercerones, Quarterones, &c., crossings between Indians and Spaniards, between Indians and Negroes, Spaniards and Negroes, further between the different races and those mestizos or crosses of the mestizo species among each other; in recent years many thousands of Chinese have been added ... here we see the promiscuity longed for by Ratzel and Virchow in progress, and we observe what the result is! Of course it is an extreme example, but all the more instructive. If the enormous force of surrounding civilisation did not artificially support such a State on all sides, if by any chance it were isolated and left to itself, it would in a short time fall a prey to total barbarism -- not human, but bestial barbarism. All these States are moving towards a similar fate. [36] -- Here too I leave it to the reader to think over the matter and to collect evidence with regard to this fifth law, which shows us that every crossing is a dangerous matter and can only help to ennoble the race when definite conditions are observed, as also that many possible crossings are absolutely detrimental and destructive; once the eyes of the reader are opened, he will find everywhere both in the past and in the present proofs of this law as well as of the other four. [37]

These then are the five principles which seem to me to be fundamental: the quality of the material. inbreeding, artificial selection, the necessity of crossings, the necessity of strictly limiting these crossings both in respect of choice and of time. From these principles we further deduce the conclusion that the origin of a very noble human race depends among other things upon definite historical and geographical conditions; it is these that unconsciously bring about the ennobling of the original material, the in-breeding and the artificial selection, it is these too -- when a happy star shines over the birthplace of a new people -- that produce happy tribal marriages and prevent the prostitution of the noble in the arms of the ignoble. The fact that there was a time in the nineteenth century when learned investigators, with Buckle at their head, could assert that geographical conditions produced the races, we may now appropriately mention with the scant honour of a paraleipsis; for that doctrine is a blow in the face of all history and all observation. On the other hand, every single one of the laws enumerated, and in addition the examples of Rome, Greece, England, Judea and South America in particular, let us see so clearly in how far the historical and geo• graphical conditions not only contribute to the origin and the decline of a race but are actually decisive factors therein, that I can refrain from further discussion of the matter. [38]
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:28 am

Part 2 of 3


Is the question of race now exhausted? Far from it! These biological problems are remarkably complex. They embrace, for example, the still so mysterious subject of heredity, in regard to the fundamental principles of which the most important specialists are more at variance every day. [39] Besides, many other circumstances which profounder study reveals would have to be taken into account. Nature is in fact inexhaustible; however deep we sink the plummet, we never reach the bottom. Whoever would make a study of these matters must not, for example, overlook the fact that small numbers of foreign elements are wont in a short time to be entirely absorbed by a strong race, but that there is, as the chemists say, a definite capacity, a definite power of absorption, beyond which a loss of the purity of the blood, revealed by the diminution of the characteristic qualities, is involved. We have an instance of this in Italy, where the proudly passionate and brilliant families of strong Teutons, who had kept their blood pure till the fourteenth century, later gradually mingled with absolutely mongrel Italians and Italiots and so entirely disappeared (see chaps. vi. and ix.): crossing obliterates characters. The careful observer will further notice that in crossings between human stems, which are not closely related, the relative generative power is a factor which can prevail after centuries and gradually bring about the decline of the nobler portion of a mixed people, because in fact this generative power often stands in inverse relation to the nobility of the race. [40] In Europe at the present day we have an example of this: the short round skulls are constantly increasing in numbers and so gradually superseding the narrow "dolichocephali," of which, according to the unanimous testimony of excavated tombs, almost the whole of the genuine old Teutonic, Slavonic and Celtic races consisted; in this we see the growing predominance of an alien race which had been conquered by the Indo-Teutonic (to-day it is mostly called "Turanic"), and which by animal force gradually overpowers the mentally superior race. [41] In this connection too perhaps should be mentioned the peculiar fact that dark eyes are becoming so much more prevalent than grey and blue, because in marriages between people with differently coloured eyes the dark are almost without exception much more frequently represented in the descendants than the light. [42]

If I were minded to follow up this argument it would land us in one of the thorniest branches of modern science. This, however, is absolutely unnecessary for my purpose. Without troubling myself about any definition, I have given a picture of Race as it is exhibited in the individual character, in the mighty achievements of genius, in the most brilliant pages of the history of man: in the next place I have called attention to the most important conditions which scientific observation has pointed out as laying the foundation for the origin of noble races. That the introduction of contrary conditions must be followed by degeneration, or at any rate by the retarding of the development of noble qualities, seems to be in the highest degree probable, and might be proved in many ways by reference both to the past and the present. I have purposely exercised caution and self-restraint. In such labyrinthine tangles the narrowest path is the safest. The only task which I have proposed to myself has been to call into being a really vivid representation of what Race is, of what it has meant for mankind in the past and still means in the present.


There is one point which I have not expressly formulated, but it is self-evident from all that I have said; the conception of Race has nothing in it unless we take it in the narrowest and not in the widest sense: if we follow the usual custom and use the word to denote far remote hypothetical races, it ends by becoming little more than a colourless synonym for "mankind" -- possibly including the long-tailed and short-tailed apes: Race only has a meaning when it relates to the experiences of the past and the events of the present.

Here we begin to understand what nation signifies for race. It is almost always the nation, as a political structure, that creates the conditions for the formation of race or at least leads to the highest and most individual activities of race. Wherever, as in India, nations are not formed, the stock of strength that has been gathered by race decays. But the confusion which prevails with regard to the idea of race hinders even the most learned from understanding this great significance of nations, whereby they are at the same time prevented from understanding the fundamental facts of history. For, in fact, what is it that our historians to-day teach us concerning the relation of race to nation?

I take up any book by chance -- Renan's discourse, What is a Nation? In hundreds of others we find the same doctrines. The thesis is clearly formulated by Renan: "The fact of race," he writes, "originally of decisive importance, loses significance every day." [43] On what does he base this assertion? By pointing to the fact that the most capable nations of Europe are of mixed blood. What a mass of delusive conclusions this one sentence contains, what incapacity to be taught by what is evident to the eye! Nature and history do not furnish a single example of pre-eminently noble races with individual physiognomies, which were not produced by crossing: and now we are to believe that a nation of such distinct individuality as the English does not represent a race, because it originated from a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Danish and Norman blood (stems moreover that were closely related)! I am to deny the clearest evidence which shows me that the Englishman is at least as markedly unique a being as the Greek and the Roman of the most brilliant epochs, and that in favour of an arbitrary, eternally indemonstrable abstraction, in favour of the presupposed, original "pure race." Two pages before, Renan himself had stated on the basis of anthropological discoveries that among the oldest Aryans, Semites, Turanians (les groupes aryen primitif, semitique primitif, touranien primitif) one finds men of very different build of body, some with long, others with short skulls, so that they too had possessed no common "physiological unity." What delusions will not arise, as soon as man seeks for supposed "origins"! Again and again I must quote Goethe's great remark: "Animated inquiry into cause does infinite harm." Instead of taking the given fact, the discoverable as it is, and contenting ourselves with the knowledge of the nearest, demonstrable conditions, we ever and again fancy we must start from absolutely hypothetical causes and suppositions lying as far back as possible, and to these we sacrifice without hesitation that which is present and beyond doubt. That is what our "empiricists" are like. That they do not see further than their own noses, we gladly believe from their own confession, but unfortunately they do not see even so far, but run up against solid facts and complain then about the said facts, not about their own shortsightedness. What kind of thing is this originally "physiologically uniform race" of which Renan speaks? Probably a near relation of Haeckel's human apes. And in favour of this hypothetical beast I am to deny that the English people, the Prussians, the Spaniards have a definite and absolutely individual character I Renan misses physiological unity: does he not comprehend that physiological unity is brought about by marriage? Who then tells him that the hypothetical aboriginal Aryans were not also the result of gradual development? We know nothing about it: but what we do know entitles us to suppose it from analogy. There were among them narrow heads and broad ones: who knows but this crossing was necessary to produce one very noble race? The common English horse and the Arabian horse (which doubtless was produced originally by some crossing) were also "physiologically" very different, and yet from their union was produced in the course of time the most physiologically uniform and noblest race of animals in the world, the English thoroughbred. Now the great scholar Renan sees the English human thoroughbred, so to speak, arising before his eyes: the ages of history are before him. What does he deduce therefrom? He says: since the English- man of to-day is neither the Celt of Caesar's time nor the Anglo-Saxon of Hengist, nor the Dane of Knut, nor the Norman of the Conqueror, but the outcome of a crossing of all four, one cannot speak of an English race at all. That is to say because the English race, like every other race of which we have any knowledge, has grown historically, because it is something peculiar and absolutely new, therefore it does not exist! In truth, nothing beats the logic of the scholar!

Was ihr nicht rechnet
Glaubt ihr, sei nicht wahr. [44]

Our opinion concerning the importance of nationality in the formation of race must be quite different. The Roman Empire in the imperial period was the materialisation of the anti-national principle; this principle led to racelessness and simultaneously to intellectual and moral chaos; mankind was only rescued from this chaos by the more and more decisive development of the opposite or national principle. [45] Political nationality has not always played the same role in the production of individual races as it has in our modern culture; I need only refer to India, Greece and the Israelites; but the problem was nowhere solved so beautifully, successfully and as it appears so lastingly, as by the Teutonic peoples. As though conjured up out of the soil there arose in this small corner of Europe a number of absolutely new, differentiated national organisms. Renan is of opinion' that race existed only in the old "polis," because it was only there that the numerical limitation had permitted community of blood; this is absolutely false; one need only reckon back a few centuries, and everyone has a hundred thousand ancestors; what, therefore, in the narrow circle of Athens took place in a comparatively short time, namely, the physiological union, took place in our case in the course of several centuries and is still continued. Race formation, far from decreasing in our nations, must daily increase. The longer a definite group of countries remains politically united, the closer does the "physiological unity" which is demanded become, and the more quickly and thoroughly does it assimilate strange elements. Our anthropologists and historians simply presuppose that in their hypothetical primitive races the specific distinguishing characteristics were highly developed, but that they are now progressively decreasing; there is consequently, they aver, a movement from original complexity to increasing simplicity. This supposition is contrary to all experience, which rather teaches us that individualisation is a result of growing differentiation and separation. The whole science of biology contradicts the supposition that an organic creature first appears with clearly marked characteristics, which then gradually disappear; it actually forces us to the very opposite hypothesis that the early human race was a variable, comparatively colourless aggregate, from which the individual types have developed with increasing divergence and increasingly distinct individuality; a hypothesis which all history confirms. The sound and normal evolution of man is therefore not from race to racelessness but on the contrary from racelessness to ever clearer distinctness of race. The enrichment of life by new individualities seems everywhere to be one of the highest laws of inscrutable nature. Now here in the case of man the nation plays a most important part, because it almost always brings about crossing, followed by inbreeding. All Europe proves this. Renan shows how many Slavs have united with the Teutonic peoples, and asks somewhat sneeringly whether we have any right to call the Germans of to-day "Teutonic": well, we need not quarrel about names in such a case -- what the Germans are to-day Renan has been able to learn in the year 1870; he has been taught it too by the German specialists, to whose industry he owes nine-tenths of his knowledge. That is the valuable result of the creation of race by nation-building. And since race is not a mere word, but an organic living thing, it follows as a matter of course that it never remains stationary; it is ennobled or it degenerates, it develops in this or that direction and lets this or that quality decay. This is a law of all individual life. But the firm national union is the surest protection against going astray: it signifies common memory, common hope, common intellectual nourishment; it fixes firmly the existing bond of blood and impels us to make it ever closer.


Just as important as the clear comprehension of the organic relation of race to nation is that of the organic relation of race to its quintessence, the hero or genius. We are apt to fancy we must choose between hero-worship and the opposite. But the one as well as the other testifies to poverty of insight. What I have said in the general introduction need not be repeated; but here, where the question of race is in the forefront, this problem takes a particularly clear form, and with some power of intuition we must surely perceive that the influence of intellectually pre-eminent units in a race, like the human, the individuality of which depends upon the development of its intellectual faculties, is immeasurable, for good and for evil; these units are the feet that carry and the hands that mould, they are the countenance on which we others gaze, they are the eye which beholds the rest of the world in a definite way and then communicates what it has seen to the rest of the organism. But they are produced by the whole corporation; they can arise only from its vital action, only in it and from it do they gain importance. What is the use of the hand if it does not grow out of a strong arm as part and parcel of it? What is the use of the eye if the radiant forms which it has seen are not reflected in a dark, almost amorphous brain mass lying behind it? Phenomena only gain significance when they are united to other phenomena. The richer the blood that courses invisibly through the veins, the more luxuriant will be the blossoms of life that spring forth. The assertion that Homer created Greece is indeed literally true, but remains onesided and misleading as long as we do not add: only an incomparable people, only a quite definite, ennobled race could produce this man, only a race in which the seeing and shaping eye had been "extravagantly" developed. [46] Without Homer Greece would not have become Greece, without the Hellenes Homer would never have been born. It was the same race which gave birth to the great seer of forms that produced the inventive seer of figures, Euclid, the lynx-eyed arranger of ideas, Aristotle, the man who first perceived the system of the cosmos, Aristarchus, and so on ad infinitum. Nature is not so simple as scholastic wisdom fancies: if great personality is our "most precious gift," communal greatness is the only soil on which it can grow. It is the whole race, for instance, that creates the language, and therewith at the same time definite artistic, philosophical, religious, in fact even practical possibilities, but also insuperable limitations. No philosopher could ever arise on Hebrew soil, because the spirit of the Hebrew language makes the interpretation of metaphysical thoughts absolutely impossible; for the same reason no Semitic people could possess a mythology in the same sense as the Indians and the Teutonic peoples. One Sees what definite paths are marked out even for the greatest men by the common achievements of the whole race. [47] But it is not a question of language alone. Homer had to find the myths in existence in order to be able to mould them into shape; Shakespeare put upon the stage the history which the English people had made; Bach and Beethoven spring from races which had attracted the attention of the ancients by their singing. And Mohammed? Could he have made the Arabs a world-power, had they not as one of the purest bred races in the world possessed definite "extravagant" qualities? But for the new Prussian race, could the Great Elector have begun, the Great Frederick have extended, and the Great William have completed the structure which is now United Germany?


The first task set us in this chapter is now fulfilled: we have got a clear concrete idea of what race is and what it signifies for mankind; we have seen too, from some examples of the present time, how fatal the absence of race, that is, the chaos of unindividualised, speciesless human agglomerates, is. Anyone who perceives this and ponders over it will gradually realise what it signifies for our Teutonic culture that the inherited culture of antiquity, which at important points still not only forms the foundations but also the walls of the structure, was not transmitted to us by a definite people but by a nationless mixture without physiognomy, in which mongrels held the whip-hand, namely, by the racial chaos of the decaying Roman Empire. Our whole intellectual development is still under the curse of this unfortunate intermediate stage; it is this that supplied weapons to the anti-national, anti-racial powers even in the nineteenth century.

Even before Julius Caesar, the Chaos begins to appear; through Caracalla it is elevated to the official principle of the Roman Empire. [48] Throughout the whole extent of the Empire there was thorough mixing of blood, but in such a way that real bastardising, that is, the crossing of unrelated or of noble and ignoble races occurred almost wholly in the most southern and eastern parts, where the Semites met the Indo-Europeans -- that is to say, in the capitals Rome and Constantinople, along the whole north coast of Africa (as well as on the coasts of Spain and Gaul), above all in Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor.

It is as easy as it is important to form an idea of the area of this complicated geographical condition. The Danube and the Rhine almost meet at their source. The two river-districts fit so closely into each other that there is, it is said, in the neighbourhood of the Albula Pass a small lake, which when there is high water flows on the one side into the Albula and the Rhine, on the other into the Inn and the Danube. Now if we follow the courses of these rivers, up the Rhine from the mouth of the old Rhine near Leyden and down the Danube till it falls into the Black Sea, we get an unbroken line crossing the Continent from north- est to south-east; this, roughly speaking, forms the northern boundary of the Roman Empire for a long period of time; except in parts of Dacia (the Roumania of to-day) the Romans never asserted themselves for long north and east of this line. [49] This line divides Europe (if We include the African and Asian possessions of Rome) into two almost equal parts. In the south the great transfusion of blood (as the doctors call the injecting of strange blood into an organism) took place. If Maspero in his history of the peoples of the Classical East entitles one volume "The First Chaos of Races," then we may well speak here of a second chaos. In Britain, in Rhetia, in the extreme north of Gaul, &c., it seems indeed that in spite of the Roman sway there was no thorough fusion; in the rest of Gaul too, as well as in Spain, the newly imported elements from Rome had at least several centuries of comparative isolation to mingle with the former inhabitants before other elements came, a circumstance which rendered possible the formation of a new and very characteristic race, the Gallo-Roman. In the south-east, on the other hand, and especially in all centres of culture (which, as already pointed out, all lay in the south and the east), there was a medley all the more fundamentally pernicious in that those who came in streams from the Levant were themselves nothing but half-castes. For example, we must not imagine that the Syrians of that time were a definite nation, a people, a race: they were rather a motley agglomeration of pseudo-Hittite, pseudo-Semitic, pseudo-Hellenic, pseudo- ersian, pseudo-Scythian mongrels. What the French call un charme troublant -- superficial cleverness combined with a peculiar sort of beauty-is often the characteristic of the half- aste; one can observe this daily at the present day in cities like Vienna, where people of all nations meet; but the peculiar unsteadiness, the small power of resistance, the want of character, in short, the moral degeneracy of these people is equally marked. I name the Syrian because I prefer examples to wordy enumerations; he was the very pattern of the bastard sundered from all national relationship, and for that very reason, up to the time of the Teutonic invasion, and even later, he played a leading part. We find Syrians upon the imperial throne; Caracalla belongs to them, and Heliogabalus, that monster robed in silk and gold, tricked out like a dancing girl, was imported direct from Syria; we find them in all administrative offices and prefectures; they, like their counterpart, the African mongrels, have great influence in the codification of the Law and an absolute casting-vote in the constitution of the universal Roman Church. Let us look more closely at one of these men; we shall in that way gain a lively picture of the civilised fraction of the Empire of that day with its pushing culture-mongers, and at the same time obtain an insight into the soul of the Chaos of Peoples.


Everyone, I fancy, knows the author Lucian, at least by name; his exceptional talents force him upon our notice. Born on the banks of the Euphrates, not far from the first spurs of the Tauric mountain range (in which energetic races of Indo-European descent still lived), in addition to the Syrian patois, the boy begins to learn to murder Greek. Having shown a talent for drawing and sculpture he is apprenticed to a sculptor, but only after a family council has been held to decide how the boy may as speedily as possible make a fortune. During his whole life, in spite of the amount of his subsequent wealth, this desire for money remains the guiding star -- no, that is too fine an expression -- the driving impulse of this gifted Syrian; in his Nigrinus he admits with enviable frankness that money and fame are the things dearest to him in the world, and even as an old man he writes expressly, that he accepts the high official position offered by the Gladiator-Emperor Commodus for the sake of the money. But in art he makes no progress. In a famous book The Dream, [50] which, however, as far as I know, is not appreciated according to its true purport by any historian, Lucian tells us why he gave up art and preferred to become a jurist and belles-lettrist. In a dream two women had appeared to him: the one" looked like work," had hard hands, her dress covered over and over with plaster; the other was elegantly dressed and stood calmly there; the one was Art, the other-he who does not know will never guess, the other was-Culture. [51] Poor Art tries to inspire her new disciple with zeal by the example of Phidias and Polycletus, of Myron and Praxiteles, but in vain; for Culture proves convincingly that Art is an "ignoble occupation"; that the artist remains the whole day bent over his work in a dirty smockfrock, like a slave; even Phidias was only "a common workman," who "lived from the toil of his hands"; whoever, on the other hand, chooses Culture instead of Art, has the prospect of riches and high offices, and when he goes for a walk in the street, the people will nudge each other and say, "See, there goes that famous man!" [52] Quickly making up his mind Lucian sprang to his feet: "I left the ugly toilsome life and went over to Culture." To-day sculptor, to-morrow advocate; he who is born without a definite calling can choose any; [53] whoever seeks gold and fame does not need to look aloft and runs no risk of falling into the well, like the hero of the German fairy tale. Do not imagine that The Dream is a satire; Lucian gave it as a lecture in his native town, when he visited it later, honoured and wealthy; he himself tells us that he set up his life as an example to the youth of Samosata. Such men, otherwise so clever, never understand what a bitter satire their fate is on the life of the really great; how otherwise could a Heine have placed himself on the same plane as a Goethe? Lucian had chosen Culture, and to acquire it he went to Antioch. Athens was indeed still the great high school of knowledge and taste, but was considered old-fashioned; Syrian Antioch and the so-called "Hellenic" Ephesus, which nevertheless was even in the second century thoroughly saturated with alien elements, offered much greater attractions to the cosmopolitan youth of the Roman Empire. There Lucian studied law and eloquence. But to him as an intelligent man the abuse of the Greek language by his teachers was painful; he guessed the value of a pure style and moved to Athens. It is characteristic that he ventured after a short spell of study to appear there as advocate and orator; in the meantime he had learned everything, except propriety; the Athenians taught him this, they laughed at the "barbarian" with his pedantic tags of strange culture and thereby gave him a valuable hint; he disappeared to a place where taste was not so indispensable, to Marseilles. This seaport of the Phoenician Diaspora had just received by the arrival of thousands of Jews from Palestine such a clearly marked character that it was simply called "the city of the Jews"; but Gauls, Romans, Spaniards, Ligurians, all conceivable races met there. Here, in New Athens, as the inhabitants, with a delicate recognition of their own intellectual worth, called it, Lucian lived for many years and became a rich man; he gave up the profession of advocate, for which he would have needed to learn Latin thoroughly; besides, there was great competition, and even in Antioch he had not had great success as a pleader; what these mushroom plutocrats chiefly wanted was Culture, modern Culture and rules of etiquette. Had not "Culture" been Lucian's ideal, his dream? Had he not studied in Antioch and "spoken openly" even in Athens? Accordingly he gave lectures; but the listeners did not laugh at him, as in Athens, but paid any entrance fee that he cared to ask. Besides, he travelled over all Gaul as professional orator, at that time a very profitable business: to-day commemorating the virtues of a dead person, whom he had never seen in life, to-morrow taking part in the celebration of a religious festival that was given in honour of some local Gallo-Roman divinity, whose name a Syrian could not even pronounce. Anyone who wishes to get an idea of this oratory should look at the Florida of Apuleius, a contemporary but African mestizo; [54] this is a collection of shorter and longer oratorical passages written for effect, to be put into any speech whatever, in order that the audience might think it a sudden inspiration, and be startled and carried away by the great knowledge, wit and pathos of the orator; there it is all in stock: the profound, the pointed, the clever anecdote, the devoutly submissive, the proud claims of freedom, even the excuse for being unprepared and the thanks for the statues that might be offered to the orator as a surprise I Just such things are pictures of a man and not of a man only, but of a whole Culture or, to use Lucian's word, of a whole [x] . Anyone who has seen Prince Bismarck in one of his great speeches struggling to express himself will understand what I mean. -- When forty years of age Lucian turned his back on Gaul; to settle in a definite place, to link his life perpetually with that of any country never occurs to him; besides there were no nations; if Lucian returns for a short visit to his native place it is not from heart-longing but, as he himself honestly confesses, to show his rich garments to those who knew him when poor. [55] Then he settles in Athens for a considerable period, but keeps silent this time and industriously studies philosophy and science in the honest endeavour to find at last what lies concealed behind this lauded Hellenic culture. That this man, who for twenty years had taught "Hellenic culture" and gained riches and honour from it, suddenly notices that he never understood even the elements of this culture, is an almost pathetic trait and a proof of exceptional gifts. For that reason I have chosen him in particular. In his writings one finds, alongside of puns and many good jokes and in addition to fine narrative, many a sharp and sometimes pathetic remark. But what could be the result of this study? Little or nothing. We men are not pieces in a game of draughts; there was just as little possibility of becoming a different person by learned instruction in Athens as there is to-day of becoming a "beautiful personality" in Berlin, as Professor Virchow hopes from the influence of the University there -- if one is not already such at matriculation. With nothing is a man's knowledge so intimately bound up as with his Being, in other words, with his definite individuality, his definite organisation. Plato expressed the opinion that knowledge was remembrance; modern biology gives the word a slightly different interpretation but agrees with the philosopher. In a perfectly significant sense we can say that each man can only know, what he is. Lucian himself felt that all that he had learned and taught hitherto was mere tinsel -- matters of fact, not the soul from which these facts grow: the covering but without the body, the shell but without the kernel. And when at last he understood this and broke the shell, what did he find? Nothing. Of course nothing Nature has first to produce the kernel, the shell is a later accrescence; the body must be born before it can be clothed; the hero's heart must beat before heroic deeds can be achieved. The only kernel Lucian could find was himself; as soon as he tore from his body the rags of Roman Law and Hellenic poetry, he revealed a clever Syrian mestizo, a bastard born of fifty unrecorded crossings, the man who, with the unerring instinct of youth, had despised Phidias as a workman, and had chosen the career that with the least possible trouble would earn for him most money and the applause of the vulgar herd. All the philologists in the world may assure me that Lucian's remarks about religion and philosophy are profound, that he was a daring opponent of superstition, &c., I shall never believe it. Lucian was utterly incapable of knowing what religion and philosophy are. In many of his writings he enumerates all possible "systems" one after another; for example, in Icaromenippus, in the Selling of Philosophical Characters, &c.; it is always only the most superficial element that he comprehends, the formal motive power, without which the utterance of a thought is not possible, but which in truth must not be confused with the thought itself. So, too, in regard to religion. Aristophanes had scoffed as Voltaire did in later days; but the satire of both these men had its origin in a positive, constructive thought, and everywhere one sees the flash of fanatical love for the people of the homeland, for the firm, definite, related community, which embraced and supported each one of them with its traditions, its faith and its great men; Lucian, on the other hand, scoffs like Heine, [56] he has no noble aim, no profound conviction, no thorough understanding; he drifts about aimlessly like a wreck on the ocean, nowhere at home, not without noble impulses, but without any definite object to which he might devote himself, learned, but yet one of those monsters of learning who, Calderon says,

know everything and understand nothing.

But one thing he understood and therein lies for us his whole importance as a writer; he understood the spirit that he resembled, namely, the totally bastardised, depraved and degenerate world around him; he pictures it and scourges it, as only one who himself belonged to it could, one who knew its motives and methods from his own experience. Here the kernel was not lacking. Hence his delightful satires on the Homeric critics, on the learned professions which were rotten to the core, on religious swindlers, on puffed-up, rude and ignorant millionaires, on medical quacks, &c. Here his talent and his knowledge of the world together contributed to the accomplishment of great things. -- And in order that my description may not be incomplete, I may add that the second stay in Athens, if it did not teach Lucian the meaning of mythology, or of metaphysics, or of the heroic character, yet became for him a new source of money-making. Here he turned his attention industriously to authorship, wrote his Conversations of the Gods, his Conversations of the Dead, in all probability most of his best things. He invented a light form of dialogue (for which he gave himself the title of "Prometheus the author"!); at bottom they are good feuilletons, of the kind which the philistine to this day likes to read in the morning with his coffee. They brought him in considerable sums of money, when he began to travel again and delivered them in public as lectures. But this fashion also passed, or perhaps with age he had tired of a vagabond life. He discarded the one legacy, Hellenic art and philosophy, and turned to the other -- Roman Law; he became State Advocate (as some say) or President of the Court (as others say) in Egypt and died in this office.

I think that a single career such as this shows us, more clearly than many a learned exposition, what the mental chaos was, which at that time lay sheltered beneath the uniform mantle of the tyrannical Roman Empire. We cannot say of a man like Lucian that he was immoral; no, what we learn from such an example is that morality and arbitrariness are two contradictory ideas. Men who do not inherit definite ideals with their blood are neither moral nor immoral, they are simply "without morals." If I may be allowed to use a current phrase to explain my meaning, I should say they are neither good nor bad, equally they are neither beautiful nor ugly, deep nor shallow. The individual in fact cannot make for himself an ideal of life and a moral law; these very things can only exist as a gradual growth. For this reason it was very wise of Lucian, in spite of his talent, to give up in time his idea of emulating Phidias. He could become an orator for the Massillians, and a President of Court for the Egyptians, even, if you will, a feuilletonist for all time, but an artist or a thinker never.


We may be met by the objection that out of the old Chaos of Peoples there arose men of great importance, whose influence has made itself felt upon succeeding generations, until this day, in a far more penetrating sense. This presents no difficulty for the irrefutable acceptance of the importance of race to humanity. In the midst of a chaos single individuals may still be of perfectly pure race, or they may at least belong principally to one. definite race. Such a man, for example; as Ambrosius must surely be of genuine, noble descent, of that strong race which had made Rome great; I cannot indeed prove it, for in the confusion of those times history is unable to furnish exact information as to the pedigree of any man of importance. At the same time no One can prove the contrary, so the personality of the individual must decide the question. Moreover, it must not be overlooked that, unless crossing without plan or method goes on with wild recklessness, the qualities of a dominant race will remain conspicuous for generations, though maybe in a much weakened condition, and that they are capable of flashing up again as atavism in single individuals. The breeding of animals furnishes numerous examples of this. Take a piece of paper and sketch a genealogical tree; we shall see that, as soon as we go back only four generations, an individual bas already thirty ancestors, whose blood flows in his veins. If we now suppose two races A and B, such a table will clearly show how very different the hybridisation in the case of a crossing of peoples must be, from the full hybrid directly composed of A and B to the individual of whose sixteen ancestors only one was a hybrid. Besides, experience daily teaches us that exceptionally gifted and beautiful human beings are frequently produced by crossing; it is, however, as I have said, not a question of the individual only, but of his relation to other individuals, to a uniform complex; if this single mongrel enters into a definite race-centre, he may have a very quickening effect upon it; if he falls among a mere heap of beings, he is, like Lucian, only a stick among slicks, not a branch on a living tree. The immeasurable power of ideas must also be reckoned with. They are indeed misconstrued, mishandled and abused by illegitimate successors -- as we saw in the case of pseudo-Roman law and Platonic philosophy -- but they continue to have a formative influence. What was it if not the death-agony of the old genuine imperial idea that held together this agglomeration of peoples till the strong Dietrich of Berne came to set them free? Whence did those men of the chaos derive their thoughts and their religion? Not from themselves, but only from Jews and Hellenes. And so all that held them together, all upon which their very existence depended, was drawn from the inheritance of noble races. Take any of the greatest men of the chaotic period, for example the venerable Augustine, distinguished alike by temperament and ability. To be unbiased, let us leave our own purely religious standpoint and ask ourselves whether there was not a hopeless chaos in the brain of this eminent man? In the world of his imagination we find the Jewish belief in Jehovah, the mythology of Greece, Alexandrine Neoplatonism, Romish priestcraft, the Pauline conception of God, and the contemplation of the Crucified Lord, all jumbled together in heterogeneous confusion. Augustine has to reject, in deference to Hebraic materialism, many incomparably loftier religious thoughts -- loftier because pure and genuinely racial thoughts -- which Origenes held, but at the same time he introduces into theology as predestination the ancient Aryan conception of necessity, whereby the old dogma of all Judaism, the unconditional arbitrariness of will, goes to the wall. [57] He spends twelve years writing a book against the heathen gods, but himself believes in their existence in so tangible and fetichist a sense as no cultured Greek for a thousand years before him; he looks upon them in fact as daemons and therefore creations of God; but one must not, he thinks, regard them as creators ("immundos spiritus esse et perniciosa daemonia, vel certe creaturas non Creatorem, veritas Christiana convincit"). In his chief work, De Civitate Dei, Augustine disputes in chapter after chapter with his countryman Apuleius regarding the nature of the daemons and other good and bad spirits, endeavouring, if not to deny their existence, at least to reduce them to an unimportant and uninfluential element and thus to replace crass superstition by genuine religion; nevertheless, he inclines in all earnest to the belief that Apuleius himself was changed by the unguent of the Thessalian witch into an ass, and this is all the more comical to us, because Apuleius, although he wrote a great deal about daemons, never thought of representing this transformation as an actual occurrence when he wrote his novel, The Metamorphoses or the Golden Ass. [58] I cannot of course enter more fully into this matter here, that would take me too far; it would deserve a whole book to itself; and yet the detailed characterisation of the intellectual condition of the noble among these sons of the chaos would be the right complement to the sketch of the frivolous Lucian. [59] We should see that everywhere the equilibrium is disturbed. In Lucian the unfettered intellect is uppermost and Jack of moral strength ruins the finest qualities; in Augustine, character wrestles with intellect in a tussle of doubtful issue, and does not rest until intellect is thrown and put in fetters.

Such were the men who handed down to us the legacy of antiquity. "We are like shipwrecked sailors thrown on the shore by the wild breakers," Ambrosius exclaims in pain. Philosophy and law, ideas of State, freedom, human dignity passed through their hands; it was they who raised to the dignity of acknowledged dogmas the superstition (belief in daemons, witchcraft, &c.) which formerly was found only among the most ignorant scum of the population; it was they who forged a new religion out of the most incompatible elements, who gave to the world the gift of the Roman Church, a kind of changeling born of the Roman imperial idea; at the same time it was they who with the fanaticism of the weak destroyed everything beautiful belonging to the past on which they could lay their hands, every memory of great generations. Hatred and disdain of every great achievement of the pure races were taught; a Lucian scoffs at the great thinkers, an Augustine reviles the heroes of Rome's heroic age, a Tertullian calls Homer "a liar." As soon as the orthodox emperors -- Constantius, Theodosius, and others-ascend the throne (without exceptions mongrels in race, the great Diocletian being the last Emperor of pure blood [60]) the systematic destruction of all the monuments of antiquity begins. At the same time is introduced the deliberate lie that is supposed to further truth: such eminent Church fathers as Hieronymus and Chrysostomus encourage the pia fraus, the pious deception; immediately upon this follows the foundation of the might and right of the Roman see, not by courage and conquest, but by the colossal forgery of documents. Even so respectable an historian as Eusebius has the simplicity worthy of a better cause to confess that he remodels history wherever he sees the opportunity of furthering "the good cause." In very truth this chaos which arose out of race fusion and the universal craze for anti-nationalism is an appalling spectacle!


Perhaps the fact has never yet been pointed out -- I at least know of no book where it is -- that the epidemic of asceticism which broke out at that time was directly connected with the feeling of disgust for that frightful condition of the world; Some would fain see in it an unexampled religious awakening, others a religious disease; but that is interpreting the facts allegorically, for religion and asceticism are not necessarily connected. Nothing in the example of Christ could encourage asceticism; the early Christians knew it not; two hundred years after Christ Tertullian still wrote: "We Christians are not like the Brahmans and Gymnosophists of India, we do not live in forests or in banishment from the society of men: we feel that we owe God the Lord and Creator thanks for everything and we forbid the enjoyment of none of his works; we only practise moderation in order that we may not enjoy these things more than is good for us or make a bad use of them" (Apologeticus, chap. xlii.). Why now did un-Christian asceticism all at once enter into Christianity 1 I for my part believe that we have here to deal with physical reasons. Even before the birth of Christ asceticism had taken its rise in the altogether bastardised Syria and Egypt; wherever blood was most mixed, it had taken a firm hold. Pachomius, the founder of the first Christian cloister, the author of the first monkish rule, is a servant of Scrap;s from Upper Egypt, who transferred to Christianity what he had learned in the societies of the fasting and self-chastising ascetics of Serapis. [61] Anyone who still possessed a spark of noble impulse in that world of the unnational chaos was bound in fact to be disgusted with himself. Nowhere, where, sound conditions prevailed, has unconditional asceticism been preached; on the contrary, the ancient peoples -- Aryans, Semites, Mongolians -- led by a marvellous instinct, are at one in regarding the begetting of children as one of the most sacred duties; whoever died without a son was laden with a curse. In Ancient India, of course, there were ascetics; but they might not disappear into the solitude of the forest till the son of their son was born; here the intention and fundamental idea are almost diametrically opposed to the asceticism of the Syrian Christians. To-day we understand this; for we see that only one thing contributes to the ennobling of man: the begetting of pure races, the founding of definite nations. To beget sons, sons of the right kind, is without question the most sacred duty of the individual towards society; whatever else he may achieve, nothing will have such a lasting and indelible influence as the contribution to the increasing ennoblement of the race. From the limited, false standpoint of Gobineau it certainly does not much matter, for we can only decline and fall sooner or later; still less correct are they who appear to contradict him, but adopt the same hypothetical acceptation of aboriginal pure nations; but anyone who understands how noble races are in reality produced, knows that they can arise again at any moment; that depends on us; here nature has clearly pointed out to us a great duty. Those men of the chaos therefore, who considered begetting a sin, and complete abstinence therefrom the highest of all virtues, committed a crime against the most sacred law of nature, they tried to prevent all good, noble men and women from leaving descendants, thus promoting the increase of the evil only, which meant of course that they did their best to bring about the deterioration of the human race. A Schopenhauer may joyfully collect from the Church fathers their pronouncements against marriage and see therein a confirmation of his pessimism; for me the connection is quite different: this sudden horror of the most natural impulses of man, their transformation from the most sacred duty to the most disgraceful sin, has a deeper foundation in those incomprehensible sources of our existence, where the physical and the metaphysical are not yet separated. After wars and pestilences, statistics tell us, births increase to an abnormal degree -- nature helps herself; in that chaos which threatened all culture with eternal destruction, the births had to be retarded as much as possible; with horror the noble turned away from that world of sin, buried themselves in the deserts or in the caves of the hills, perched themselves on high pillars, chastised themselves and did penance. Childless they passed away. [62] Even where human society is in a state of disintegration, we see in fact a great connection; what each man by himself thinks and does always admits of a double interpretation -- the subjective or individual, and the objective interpretation in relation to the world at large.


Here we touch upon a deep scientific fact; we are touching upon the revelation of the most important secret of all human history. Everyone comprehends that man can in the true sense of the word only become "man" in connection with others. Many, too, have grasped the meaning of Jean Paul's profound remark, which I prefixed as motto to a former chapter, that "only through man does man enter into the light of day"; few, however, have realised the fact that this attainment of manhood -- this entry into the light of life -- depends in degree upon definite organic conditions, conditions which in old days were observed instinctively and unconsciously, but which, now that owing to the increase of knowledge and the development of thought the impulses of instinct have lost their power, it becomes our duty consciously to recognise and respect. This study of the Roman Chaos of Peoples teaches us that race, and nationality which renders possible the formation of race, possess a significance which is not only physical and intellectual but also moral. Here there is before us something which we can characterise as a sacred law, the sacred law in accordance with which we enter upon the rights and duties of manhood: a "law," since it is found everywhere in nature, "sacred," in so far as it is left to our free will to ennoble ourselves or to degenerate as we please. This law teaches us to look upon the physical constitution as the basis of all that ennobles. For what is the moral apart from the physical? What would a soul be without body? I do not know. If our breast conceals something that is immortal, if we men reach with our thoughts to something transcendent, which we, like the blind, touch with longing hands without ever being able to see it, if our heart is the battlefield between the finite and the infinite, then the constitution of this body -- breast, brain, heart -- must be of immeasurable consequence. "However the great dark background of things may in truth be constituted, the entrance to it is open to us only in this poor life of ours, and so even our ephemeral actions contain this earnest, deep, and inevitable significance," says Solon in the beautiful dialogue of Heinrich von Stein. [63] "Only in this life!" But wherewith do we live if not with our body? Indeed, we do not need to look forth into any world beyond (which will appear problematic to many people), as Solon does in the passage quoted; the entrance even to this earthly life is solely and only open to us through our body and this life will be for us poor or rich, ugly or beautiful, insipid or precious, according to the constitution of this our one, all-embracing organ of life. I have already shown from examples taken from methodical animal breeding and from human history how race arises and is gradually ennobled, also how it degenerates; what then is this race if not a collective term for a number of individual bodies? It is no arbitrary idea, no abstraction; these individualities are linked with one another by an invisible but absolutely real power resting upon material facts. Of course the race consists of individuals; but the individual himself can only attain to the full and noblest development of his qualities within definite conditions which are embraced in the word "race." This is based upon a simple law, but it points simultaneously in two directions. All organic nature, vegetable as well as animal, proves that the choice of the two parents is of decisive influence upon the individual that is born; but besides this it proves that the principle prevailing here is a collective and progressive one, because in the first place a common parent-stock must gradually be formed, from which then, similarly step by step, are produced individuals who are on an average superior to those outside such a union, and among these again numerous individuals with really transcendent qualities. That is a fact of nature, just in the same sense as any other, but here, as in all phenomena of life, we are far from being able to analyse and explain it. Now what must not be lost sight of in the case of the human race is the circumstance that the moral and intellectual qualities are of preponderating importance. That is why in men any want of organic racial consistency, or fitness in the parent stock, means above all things a lack of all moral and intellectual coherence. The man who starts from nowhence reaches nowhither. The individual life is too short to be able to fix the eye on a goal and to reach it. The life of a whole people, too, would be too short if unity of race did not stamp it with a definite, limited character, if the transcendent splendour of many-sided and varying gifts were not concentrated by unity of stem, which permits a gradual ripening, a gradual development in definite directions, and finally enables the most gifted individual to live for a super-individual purpose.

Race, as it arises and maintains itself in space and time, might be compared to the so-called range of power of a magnet. If a magnet be brought near to a heap of iron filings, they assume definite directions, so that a figure is formed with a clearly marked centre, from which lines radiate in all directions; the nearer we bring the magnet the more distinct and more mathematical does the figure become; very few pieces have placed themselves in exactly the same direction, but all have united into a practical and at the same time ideal unity by the possession of a common centre, and by the fact that the relative position of each individual to all the others is not arbitrary but obedient to a fixed law. It has ceased to be a heap, it has become a form. In the same way a human race, a genuine nation, is distinguished from a mere congeries of men. The character of the race becoming more and more pronounced by pure breeding is like the approach of the magnet. The individual members of the nation may have even so different qualities, the direction of their activities may be utterly divergent, yet together they form a moulded unity, and the power -- or let us say rather the importance -- of every individual is multiplied a thousandfold by his organic connection with countless others.

I have shown above how Lucian with all his gifts absolutely squandered his life; I have shown Augustine helplessly swaying to and fro like a pendulum between the loftiest thoughts and the crassest and silliest superstition: such men as these, cut off from all racial belongings, mongrels among mongrels, are in a position almost as unnatural as a hapless ant, carried and set down ten miles from its own nest. The ant, however, would suffer at least only through outward circumstances, but these men are by their own inner constitution barred from all genuine community of life.

The consideration of these facts teaches us that whatever may be our opinion as to the causa finalis of existence, man cannot fulfil his highest destiny as an isolated individual, as a mere exchangeable pawn, but only as a portion of an organic whole, as a member of a specific race. [64]
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:28 am

Part 3 of 3


There is no doubt about it! The raceless and nationless chaos of the late Roman Empire was a pernicious and fatal condition, a sin against nature. Only one ray of light shone over that degenerate world. It came from the north. Ex septentrione Lux! If we take up a map, the Europe of the fourth century certainly seems at the first glance to be more or less in a state of chaos even north of the Imperial boundary; we see quite a number of races established side by side, incessantly forcing their way in different directions: the Alemanni, the Marcomanni, the Saxons, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Goths, the Vandals, the Slavs, the Huns and many others. But it is only the political relations that are chaotic there; the nations are genuine, pure-bred races, men who carry with them their nobility as their only possession wherever destiny drives them. In one of the next chapters I shall have to speak of them. In the meantime I should like merely to warn those whose reading is less wide, against the idea that the "barbarians" suddenly "broke into" the highly civilised Roman Empire. This view, which is widespread among the superficially educated, is just as little in accordance with the facts as the further view that the" night of the Middle Ages" carne down upon men because of this inroad of the barbarians.

It is this historical lie which veils the annihilating influence of that nationless time, and which turns into a destroyer the deliverer, the slayer of the laidly worm. For centuries the Teutons had been forcing their way into the Roman Empire, and though they often carne as foes, they ended by becoming the sole principle of life and of might. Their gradual penetration into the Imperium, their gradual rise to a decisive power had taken place little by little just as their gradual civilisation had done; [65] already in the fourth century one could count numerous colonies of soldiers from entirely different Teutonic tribes (Batavians, Franks, Suevians, &c.) in the whole European extent of the Roman Empire; [66] in Spain, in Gaul, in Italy, in Thrace, indeed often even in Asia Minor, it is Teutons in the main that finally fight against Teutons. It was Teutonic peoples that so often heroically warded off the Asiatic peril from the Eastern Empire; it was Teutonic peoples that on the Catalaunian fields saved the Western Empire from being laid waste by the Huns. Early in the third century a bold Gothic shepherd had been already proclaimed Emperor. One need only look at the map of the end of the fifth century to see at once what a uniquely beneficent moulding power had here begun to assert itself. Very noteworthy too is the difference which reveals itself here in a hundred ways, between the innate decency, taste and intuition of rough but pure, noble races and the mental barbarism of civilised mestizos. Theodosius, his tools (the Christian fanatics) and his successors had done their best to destroy the monuments of art; on the other hand, the first care of Theodoric, the Eastern Goth, was to take strong measures for the protection and restoration of the Roman monuments. This man could not write, to sign his name he had to use a metal stencil, but the Beautiful, which the bastard souls in their "Culture," in their hunting after offices and distinctions, in their greed of gold had passed by unheeded, the Beautiful, which to the nobler souls among the Chaos of Peoples was a hateful work of the devil, the Goth at once knew how to appreciate; the sculptures of Rome excited his admiration to such a degree that he appointed a special official to protect them. Religious toleration; too, appeared for a time wherever the still unspoiled Teuton became master. Soon also there came upon the scene the great Christian missionaries from the highlands of the north, men who convinced not by means of "pious lies" but by the purity of their hearts.

It is nothing but a false conception of the Middle Ages, in conjunction with ignorance as to the significance of race, which is responsible for the regrettable delusion that the entry upon the scene of the rough Teutons meant the falling of a pall of night over Europe. It is inconceivable that such hallucinations should be so long-lived. If we wish to know to what lengths the bastard culture of the Empire might have led, we must study the history, the science and the literature of the later Byzantium, a study to which our historians are devoting themselves to-day with a patience worthy of a better subject. It is a sorry spectacle. The capture of the Western Roman Empire by the Barbarians, on the contrary, works like the command of the Bible, "Let there be Light." It is admitted that its influence was mainly in the direction of politics rather than of civilisation; and a difficult task it was -- one that is even now not wholly accomplished. But was it a small matter? Whence does Europe draw its physiognomy and its significance-whence its intellectual and moral preponderance, if not from the foundation and development of Nations? This work was in very truth the redemption from chaos. If we are something to-day -- if we may hope perhaps some day to become something more -- we owe it in the first instance to that political upheaval which, after long preparation, began in the fifth century, and from which were born in the fulness of time new noble races, new beautiful languages, and a new culture entitling us to nourish the keenest hopes for the future. Dietrich of Berne, the strong wise man, the unlearned friend of art and science, the tolerant representative of Freedom of Conscience in the midst of a world in which Christians were tearing one another to pieces like hyenas, was as it were a pledge that Day might once more break upon this poor earth. In the time of wild struggle that followed, during that fever by means of which alone European humanity could recover and awaken from the hideous dream of the degenerate curse-laden centuries of a chaos with a veneer of order to a fresh, healthy, stormily pulsing national life -- in such a time learning and art and the tinsel of a so-called civilisation might well be almost forgotten, but this, we may swear, did not mean Night, but the breaking of a new Day. It is hard to say what authority the scribblers have for honouring only their own weapons. Our European world is first and foremost the work not of philosophers and book-writers and painters, but of the great Teuton Princes, the work of warriors and statesmen. The progress of development -- obviously the political development out of which our modern nations have sprung -- is the one fundamental and decisive matter. We must not, however, overlook the fact that to these true and noble men we equally owe everything else that is worth possessing. Everyone of those centuries, the seventh, the eighth, the ninth, produced great scholars; but the men who protected and encouraged them were the Princes. It is the fashion to say that it was the Church that was the saviour of science and of culture; that is only true in a restricted sense. As I shall show in the next division of the first part of this book, we must not look upon the Early Christian Church as a simple, uniform organism, not even within the limits of the Roman union in Western Europe; the centralisation and obedience to Rome which we have lived to see to-day, were in earlier centuries absolutely unknown. We must admit that almost all learning and art were the property of the Church; her cloisters and schools were the retreats and nurseries in which in those rough times peaceful intellectual work sought refuge; but the entry into the Church as monk or secular priest meant little more than being accepted into a privileged and specially protected class, which imposed upon the favoured individual hardly any return in the way of special duties. Until the thirteenth century every educated man, every teacher and student, every physician and professor of jurisprudence belonged to the clergy: but this was a matter of pure formality, founded exclusively upon certain legal conditions; and it was out of this very class, that is, out of the men who best knew the Church, that every revolution against her arose -- it was the Universities that became the high-schools of national emancipation. The Princes protected the Church, the learned clerics on the contrary attacked her. That is the reason why the Church waged unceasing war against the great intellects which, that they might work in peace, had sought refuge with her; had she had her way, science and culture would never again have been fledged. But the same Princes who protected the Church also protected the scholars whom she persecuted. No later than the ninth century there arose in the far north (out of the schools of England, which even in those early days were rich in important men) the great Scotus Erigena: the Church did all that she could to extinguish this brilliant light, but Charles the Bald, the same man who was supposed to have sent great tribute to the Pope of Rome, stretched his princely hand over Scotus; when this became insufficient, Alfred bade him to England where he raised the school of Oxford to a pinnacle of success, till he was stabbed to death by monks at the bidding of the central government of the Church. From the ninth century to the nineteenth, from the murder of Scotus to the issue of the Syllabus, it has been the same story. A final judgment shows the intellectual renaissance to be the work of Race in opposition to the universal Church which knows no Race, the work of the Teuton's thirst for knowledge, of the Teuton's national struggle for freedom. Great men in uninterrupted succession have arisen from the bosom of the Catholic Church; men to whom, as we must acknowledge, the peculiar catholic order of thought with its all- embracing greatness, its harmonious structure, its symbolical wealth and beauty has given birth, making them greater than they could have become without it; but the Church of Rome, purely as such, that is to say, as an organised secular theocracy, has always behaved as the daughter of the fallen Empire, as the last representative of the universal, anti-national Principle. Charlemagne by himself did more for the diffusion of education and knowledge than all the monks in the world. He caused a complete collection to be made of the national poetry of the Teutons. The Church destroyed it. I spoke a little while ago of Alfred. What Prince of the Church, what schoolman, ever did so much for the awakening of new intellectual powers, for the clearing up of living idioms, for the encouragement of national consciousness (so necessary at that time), as this one Prince? The most important recent historian of England has summed up the personality of this great Teuton in the one sentence: "Alfred was in truth an artist." [67] Where, in the Chaos of Peoples, was the man of whom the same could be said? In those so-called dark centuries the farther we travel northward, that is to say, the farther from the focus of a baleful "culture," and the purer the races with which we meet, the more activity do we find in the intellectual life. A literature of the noblest character, side by side with a freedom and order worthy of the dignity of man, develops itself from the ninth to the thirteenth century in the far-away republic of Iceland; in the same way, in remote England, during the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries we find a true popular poetry flourishing as it seldom has done since. [68] The passionate love of music which then came to light touches us as though we heard the beating of the wings of a guardian angel sent down from heaven, an angel heralding the future. When we hear King Alfred taking part in the songs of his chosen choir -- when a century later we see the passionate scholar and statesman Dunstan never. whether on horseback or in the Council Chamber, parted from his harp: then we call to mind the old Grecian legend that Harmonia was the daughter of Ares the God of War. Fighting, in lieu of a sham order. was what our wild ancestors brought with them, but at the same time they brought creative power instead of dreary barrenness. And as a matter of fact in all the more important Princes of that time we find a specially developed power of imagination: they were essentially fashioners. We should be perfectly justified were we to compare what Charlemagne was and did at the end of the eighth and beginning of the ninth centuries, with what Goethe did at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. Both rode a tilt against the Powers of Chaos. both were artists; both" avowed themselves as belonging to the race which out of darkness is striving to reach the light."

No I and a thousand times no! The annihilation of that monstrosity, a State without a nation, of that empty form, of that soulless congeries of humanity, that union of mongrels bound together only by a community of taxes and superstitions, not by a common origin and a common heart-beat, of that crime against the race of mankind which we have summed up in the definition "Chaos of Peoples" -- that does not mean the falling darkness of night, but the salvation of a great inheritance from unworthy hands, the dawn of a new day.

Yet even to this hour we have not succeeded in purging our blood of all the poisons of that Chaos. In wide domains the Chaos ended by retaining the upper hand. Wherever the Teuton had not a sufficient majority physically to dominate the rest of the inhabitants by assimilation. as, for instance, in the south, there the chaotic element asserted itself more and more. We have but to look at our present position to see where power exists and where it is wanting, and how this depends upon the composition of races. I am not aware whether anyone has already observed with what peculiar exactitude the modern boundary of the universal Church of Rome corresponds with what I have pointed out as the general boundary of the Roman Imperium, and consequently of the chaotic mongreldom. To the east I admit that the line does not hold good, because here in Servia, Bosnia, &c., the Slavonic invaders of the eighth century and the Bulgarians annihilated everything foreign; in few districts of modern Europe is Race so uncontaminated, and the pure Slavs have never accepted the Church of Rome. In other places too there have been encroachments on both sides of the old boundary-line, but these have been unimportant, and moreover easily explained by political relations. On the whole the agreement is sufficiently striking to give rise to serious thought: Spain, Italy, Gaul, the Rhenish provinces, and the countries south of the Danube! It is still morning, and the powers of darkness are ever stretching out their polypus arms, clinging to us with their powers of suction in a hundred places, and trying to drag us back into the Night out of which we were striving to escape. We can arrive at a judgment upon these apparently confused, but really transparent, conditions, not so much by poring over the details of chronicles, as by obtaining a clear insight into the fundamental historical facts which I have set out in this chapter.



1. Der Ubergang aus dem philosophischen in das naturwissenschaftliche Zeitalter, Rektoratsrede, 1893, p. 30. I choose this example from hundreds, since Virchow, being one of the most ardent anthropologists and ethnographers of the nineteenth century, and in addition, a man of great learning and experience, ought to have been well informed on the subject.

2. See especially Darwin's Plants and Animals under Domestication, chaps. xv. xix. "Free crossing obliterates characters." For the "superstitious care with which the Arabs keep their horses pure bred" see interesting details in Gibbon's Roman Empire, chap. 50. See also Burton's Mecca, chap. xxix.

3. Even with this very qualified statement, derived from the best books I know, I seem to have presupposed more than science can with certainty assert: for I read in a specialised treatise, Les Aryens au nord et au sud de l'Hindou-Kousch, by Charles de Ujfalvi (Paris, 1896, p. 15), "Le terme d'aryen est de pure convention; les peuples eraniens au nord et les tribus hindoues au sud du Caucase indien, different absolument comme type et descendent, sans aucun doute, de deux races differentes."

4. G. Schrader (Sprachvergleichung und Urgeschichte), who has studied the question more from the linguistic standpoint, comes to the conclusion, "It is proved that the Indo-Teutonic peoples were settled in Europe at a very ancient period"; Johannes Ranke (Der Mensch) is of opinion that it is now an established fact that at least a great part of the population of Europe were Aryans as early as the stone age; and Virchow, whose authority is all the greater in the sphere of anthropology because he shows unconditional respect for facts and, unlike Huxley and many others, builds no Darwinian castles in the air, says that from anatomical discoveries one may assert that "the oldest troglodytes of Europe were of Aryan descent!" (quoted from Ranke, Der Mensch, ii. 578).

5. Ehrenreich: Anthropologische Studien uber die Urbewohner Brasiliens, 1897.

6. When I use the word Aryan in this book, I take it in the sense of the original Sanscrit "arya," which means "belonging to the friends," without binding myself to any hypothesis. The relationship in thought and feeling signifies in any case an homogeneousness. Cf. the note on p. 93.

7. R. Hartmann: Die Negritier (1876), p. 185. Similarly Luschan and many investigators. Salomon Reinach, for instance, writes in L'Origine des Aryens, 1892, p. 90: "Parler d'une race aryenne d'il y a trois mille ans, c'est emettre une hypothese gratuite: en parler comme si elle existait aujourd'hui, c'est dire tout simplement une absurdite."

8. Friedrich Ratzel, Johannes Ranke, Paul Ehrenreich, &c., in fact the more modern, widely travelled ethnographers. But they hold the view with many variations, since the relationship does not neces sarily rest upon common origin, but might have been produced by crossing. Ratzel, for instance, who in one place positively asserts the uniformity of the whole Indo- European race (Litterarisches Centralblatt, 1897, p. 1295), says in another (Volkerkunde, 1895, ii. 751), "the supposition that all these peoples have a uniform origin is not necessary or probable." -- It is worth remarking that even those who deny the fact of an Aryan race still constantly speak of it; they cannot do without it as a "working hypothesis." Even Reinach, after proving that there never was an Aryan race, speaks in an unguarded moment (loc. cit. p. 98) of the "common origin of the Semites and the Aryans." Ujfalvi, quoted above, has after profound study arrived at the opposite conclusion and believes in a "grande famille aryenne." In fact anthropologists, ethnographers and even historians, theologians, philologists and legal authorities find the idea "Aryan" more and more indispensable every year. And yet if one of us makes even the most cautious and strictly limited use of the conception, he is scorned and slandered by academic scribes and nameless newspaper reviewers. May the reader of this book trust science more than the official simplifiers and levellers and the professional anti-Aryan confusion-makers. Though it were proved that there never was an Aryan race in the past, yet we desire that in the future there may be one. That is the decisive stand point men for action.

9. The physical scientist Lichtenberg makes a similar remark: "The teaching of nature is, for me at least, a kind of sinking fund for religion, when overbold reason falls into debt" (Fragmentarische Bemerkungen uber physikalisch Gegenstande, 15).

10. Materialien zur Geschichte der Farbenlehre, the part dealing with Newton's personality.

11. It is well known that it was but gradually extinguished, and that in spite of a political situation, which must assuredly have brought speedy destruction on everything Hellenic, had not race qualities here had a decisive influence. Till late in the Christian era Athens remained the centre of intellectual life for mankind; Alexandria was more talked of, the strong Semitic contingent saw to that; but anyone who wished to study in earnest travelled to Athens, till Christian narrow-mindedness for ever closed the schools there in the year 529, and we learn that as late as this even the man of the people was distinguished in Athens "by the liveliness of his intellect, the correctness of his language and the sureness of his taste" (Gibbon, chap. xl.). There is in George Finlay's book, Medieval Greece, chap. i., a complete and very interesting and clear account of the gradual destruction of the Hellenic race by foreign immigration. One after the other colonies of Roman soldiers from all parts of the Empire, then Celts, Teutonic peoples, Slavonians, Bulgarians, Wallachians, Albanesians, &c., had moved into the country and mixed with the original population. The Zaconians, who were numerous even in the fifteenth century, but have now almost died out, are said to be the only pure Hellenes.

12. Cf. p. 109, note.

13. See the novels Tancred and Coningsby. In the latter Sidonia says: "Race is everything; there is no other truth. And every race must fall which carelessly suffers its blood to become mixed."

14. Das Bestandige in den Menschenrassen und die Spielweite ihrer Veranderlichkeit, 1868, p. 26.

15. Mention should also be made of Japan, where likewise a felicitous crossing and afterwards insular isolation have contributed to the production of a very remarkable race, much stronger and (within the Mongoloid sphere of possibility) much more profoundly endowed than most Europeans imagine. Perhaps the only books in which one gets to know the Japanese soul are those of Lafcadio Hearn: Kokoro, Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life; Gleanings in Buddha Fields. and others.

16. Natural children are not at all taken into the community by orthodox Jews. Among the Sephardim of East Europe to-day, a girl who is known to have gone wrong is immediately taken by the pleni-potentiaxies of the community to a strange land and provided for there; neither she nor her child can venture ever to let anything be heard of them, they are regarded as dead. Thus they provide against blind love introducing strange blood into the tribe.

17. See Graetz. as above, chap. ix., on The Period of the Diaspora.

18. In Tiberias, for example, there was a Rabbi's school which for centuries set the fashion. (Regarding the ennobling of the Sephardim by Gothic blood, see below.)

19. The Goths, who in a later age went over to Mohammedanism in great crowds, and became its noblest and most fanatical protagonists. are said to have at an earlier period adopted Judaism in great numbers, and a learned specialist of Vienna University assures me that the moral and intellectual as well as the physical superiority of the so- called "Spanish" and "Portuguese" Jews is to be explained rather by this rich influx of Teutonic blood than by that breeding which 1 have singled out to emphasise, and the importance of which he too would not incline to underestimate. Whether this view is justifiable or not may remain an open question.

20. The literature is very great: for simplicity, comprehensibility and many-sidedness I recommend to every layman especially Darwin's Animals and Plants under Domestication. In the Origin of Species the same subject is treated rather briefly and with too much bias.

21. Jhering demonstrates with particular clearness that the epoch of the migrations, which lasted for many centuries, necessarily had upon the Teutonic peoples the effect of an ever more and more ennobling artificial selection (Vorgeschichte. p. 462 f.).

22. See especially pp. 109, 272, 286 and 293.

23. See Curtius: Griechische Geschichte, i. 4, and ii. 1 and 2. Count Gobineau asserts that the extraordinary intellectual and above all artistic talent of the Greeks is to be explained by an infiltration of Semitic blood: this shows to what senseless views one is forced by fundamental hypotheses which are false, artificial and contrary to history and natural observation.

24. This thorough crossing was caused by the fact that the Burgundians settled individually over the whole land and each of them became the "hospes" of a former inhabitant, of whose cultivated land he received two-thirds, and of his buildings and garden a half, while woods and pastures remained common property. Now though there might not be much sympathy between the new-comer and the old possessor, yet they lived side by side and were solidly united in disputes about boundaries and such-like questions of property; thus crossing could not be long deferred. (Cf. especially Savigny, Geschichte des romischen Rechts im Mittelalter. chap. v. div. 1.)

25. See the facts in Haeckel: Naturliche Schopjungsgeschichte (lect. 8). Still more detail in a book by P. Jacoby, which I have unfortunately not before me, his Etudes sur la selection dans ses rapports avec l'heredite chez l'homme.

26. In this connection too we have the well-known evil results of marriage between near relatives: the organs of sense (in fact the whole nervous system) and the sexual organs suffer most frequently from this. (See George H. Darwin's lectures, Die Ehen zwischen Geschwisterkindern und ihre Folgen, Leipzig, 1876.)

27. I should recommend the large number of people who unfortunately still keep aloof from natural science, to read carefully Christian Konrad Sprengel's Das entdeckte Geheimnis der Natur im Bau und in der Befrucht ung der Blumen, 1793. The whole German nation ought to be proud of this work: since 1893 there has been a facsimile reprint of it (Mayer and Muller, Berlin) and it can be read by any layman. Of more recent publications Hermann Muller's Alpenblumen, ihre Befruchtung durch Insekten und ihre Anpassungen an dieselben (Engelmann, 1881) is specially stimulating, clear by reason of the many illustrations, and complete. A summary account, which includes plants other than European, is found in the same author's Blumen und Insekten in Trewendt's Encyklopadie der Naturwissenschaften. There are certainly few speculations that introduce us so directly to the most mysterious wonders of nature as this revelation of the mutual relations of the plant and animal worlds. What are all our knowledge and hypotheses in comparison with such phenomena? They teach us to observe faithfully and to be satisfied with the circle of things attainable. (During the printing of this book Knuth's Handbuch der Blutenbiologie, published by Engelmann, began to appear.)

28. For this question of the mixture of blood indispensable to the origin of pre-eminently gifted races Reibmayr's book, Inzucht und Vermischung beim Menschen, 1897, should be consulted.

29. Darwin, Animals and Plants, chap. xv.

30. For this too there are numerous examples in Darwin. As regards dogs in particular, examples will occur to everyone.

31. We must, however, not overlook the fact that, if we could make experiments in breeding with men, very great differences in physique also could certainly be achieved in regard to size, hair, proportions, &c. Place a dwarf from the primeval forest of the Middle Congo, little more than 3 feet high, the whole body covered with hair, beside a Prussian Grenadier of the Guards: one will see what plastic possibilities slumber in the human body. -- As far as the dog is concerned, we must remember also that the various breeds certainly originate from more than one wild species" (Claus, Zoologie, 4th edit. ii. 458); hence its almost alarming polymorphism.

32. It is very instructive to observe, on the other hand, that the Hellenes in Ionia, who were subject to every kind of mongrel crossing, disappeared much more quickly.

33. Long before me Gibbon had recognised the physical degeneration of the Roman race as the cause of the decline of the Roman Empire; now that is more fully demonstrated by O. Seeck in his Geschicht, der Unterganges der antiken Welt. It was only the immigration of the vigorous Teutonic peoples that kept the chaotic empire artificially alive for a few centuries longer.

34. In Portugese Brazil the conditions are essentially different.

35. According to Albrecht Wirth, Volkstum und Weltmacht in der Geschichte, 1901, p. 159, the Chilians also derive advantage from the fact that their Indians -- the Araucani -- are of particularly noble race.

36. As is well known, very similar conditions prevail in the Spanish colonies. The island of Porto Rico forms the sole exception: here the native Caribbees were exterminated. and the result is a pure Indo-European population, distinguished for industry, shrewdness and love of order; a striking example of the significance of race!

37. In his book Altersklassen und Mannerb nde (po 23), Heinrich Schurtz comes to the conclusion that, "Successful crossings are possible and advantageous only within a certain sphere of relationship. If the relationship is too close, really near blood-relationship, sickly tendencies are not counterbalanced but increased; if it is too remote, no felicitous mixing of the qualities is possible."

38. If, for example. the climate of Attica had been the decisive thing, as is often asserted, it would be impossible to understand why the genius of its inhabitants was produced only under certain racial conditions and disappeared for ever with the removal of these conditions; on the other hand, the importance of the geographical and historical conditions becomes quite clear, when we observe that they isolated Attica for centuries from the ceaseless changes brought about by the migrations, but at the same time contributed to the influx of a select, noble population from different but related tribes, which mingled to form a new race.

39. The reader will find an interesting summary of the different opinions of modern times in Friedrich Rohde's Entstehung und Vererbung individueller Eigenschaften. 1895.

40. Professor August Forel, the well-known psychiatrist, has made interesting studies in the United States and the West Indian islands, on the victory of intellectually inferior races over higher ones because of their greater virility. "Though the brain of the negro is weaker than that of the white, yet his generative power and the predominance of his qualities in the descendants are all greater than those of the whites. The white race isolates itself (therefore) from them more and more strictly, not only in sexual but in all relations, because it has at last recognised that crossing means its own destruction." Forel shows by numerous examples how impossible it is for the negro to assimilate our civilisation more than skin-deep, and how so soon as he is left to himself he everywhere degenerates into the "most absolute primitive African savagery." (For more detail on this subject, see the interesting book of Hesketh Pritchard, Where Black rules White, Hayti, 1900; anyone who has been reared on phrases of the equality of mankind, &c., will shudder when he learns how matters really stand so soon as the blacks in a State get the upper hand.) And Forel, who as scientist is educated in the dogma of the one, everywhere equal, humanity, comes to the conclusion: "Even for their own good the blacks must be treated as what they are, an absolutely subordinate, inferior, lower type of men, incapable themselves of culture. That must once for all be clearly and openly stated." (See the account of his journey in Harden's Zukunft, February 17, 1900.) -- For this question of race-crossings and the constant victory of the inferior race over the superior, see also the work of Ferdinand Hueppe, which is equally rich in facts and perceptions, Uber die modernen Kolonisations bestrebungen und die Anpassungsmoglichkeit der Europaer an die Tropen (Berlincr klinische Wochenschrijt, 1901). In Australia, for example, a process of sifting is quietly but very quickly going on, whereby the tall fair Teuton -- so strongly represented in the English blood -- is disappearing, while the added element of the homo alpinus is gaining the upper hand.

41. There is a clear and simple summary in Johannes Ranke, Der Mensch. ii; 296 ff. The discussion of all these questions in Topinard's L'Anthropologie, Part II., is more thorough, but for that reason much more difficult to follow. It is remarkable that the latter only uses the word "race" to denote a hypothetical entity, the actual existence of which at any time cannot be proved. Il n'y a plus de races pures. Who seeks to prove that there ever were any in this a priori sense of anthropological presuppositions? Pure animal races are obtained only by breeding and on the fundamental basis of crossing; why should the opposite hold of men? -- Besides. this whole "Turanic" hypothesis is, like all these things, still very much of an airy abstraction. See further details in chap. vi.

42. Alphonse de Candolle: Histoire des Sciences et des Savants depuis deux Siecles, 2e ed., p, 576.

43. Renan: Discours et Conferences, 3e ed., p. 297. "Le fait de la race, capital a l'origine, va donc toujours perdant de son importance."

44. What you do not reckon,
You fancy, is not true.

45. This forms the subject of the eighth chapter (vol. ii.).

46. Anyone who wants to gain a vivid conception of the extraordinary strength of these races, capable of serving as basis for a Homer, should read the description of the strongholds of Tiryns and Mycenae from the Atridean time, as they still stand to-day after tens of centuries.

47. According to Renan (Israel, i. 102) the Hebrew language is utterly incapable of expressing a philosophical thought, a mythological conception, the feeling of the Infinite, the emotions of the human soul or even pure observation of nature.

48. See p. 124.

49. The Roman fortified boundary did indeed include a considerable portion north of the Danube and east of the Rhine, because the limes branched off westwards above Regensberg, came near Stuttgart, then north again till it met the Maine west of Wurzburg. But this tithe-land. as it was called, was not colonised by Italians, but, as Tacitus tells us. by "the most fickle of the Gauls" (Cf. Wietersheim, Volkerwanderune, i. 161 ff.).

50. Not to be confused with the Dream of the Shoemaker Micyllus.

51. Greek word [x] German Bildung: so the best translators. It is not a question of the education of children, and "Science" would imply too much. The possible objection that the first woman does not introduce herself as "Art" simply, but as the "Art of cutting Hermae" may be met by the rejoinder that later she is described as [x] and that the appeal to Phidias and other artists admits no doubt about the intention.

52. The faint echo we have heard in the nineteenth century: "When the best names are named, mine too will be mentioned" (Heine).

53. Cf. p. 242.

54. Apuleius boasts expressly of his mixed origin. He too studied in Syria and Egypt and travelled in Greece, hence had practically the same educational course as Lucian.

55. The Fliegende Blatter of 1896 has a picture which shows a Counsellor of Commerce and his wife just entering their carriage:

"She: Where shall we drive to to-day?
"He: Of course through the town; to make the people envy us!"
That is exactly the same stage of culture.

56. The one fault in this second comparison is that Heine did belong to a definite people and in consequence possessed a more definite physiognomy.

57. Augustine is indeed extremely cautious; he says, for example, of the prescience of God and the contradictory view, the free will of man: "We embrace both convictions, we confess to both, truly and honestly; to the one that we may believe rightly, to the other that we may live rightly" (illud, ut bene credamus: hoc, ut bene vivamus); cf; De Civ. Dei, v. 10. With this is closely connected that further question, whether God himself is free or stands under the law; the intellect inclines clearly in the case of Augustine to the latter view, his dogmatic creed to the former. Is an action bad because God has forbidden it, or had he to forbid it because it is bad? In his Contra Mendaium, chap. xv., Augustine takes the second alternative; in other writings the former.

58. This story seems to have been in vogue at the time; for Lucian too has a Lucius or the Enchanted Ass, which looks indeed as if it were translated from fragments of the Apuleian one. Augustine says of the transformation "aut finxit, aut indicavit," but he clearly inclines to the latter view.

59. The irreconcilable contradictions in the religious thought and feeling of Augustine are fully discussed in the seventh chapter (vol. ii.) and the gap here left is thus to some extent filled.

60. Cf. also what is said on p. 129 f.

61. Cf. Otto Zockler: Askese und Monchlum, 1897, i. 193 ff.

62. In the fourth century the Roman Empire numbered hundreds of thousands of monks and nuns. It was not unusual for an abbot to have 10,000 monks in one cloister and in the year 373 the one single Egyptian town Oxyrynchus had 20,000 nuns and 10,000 monks! Now consider the total numbers of the population of that time, and it will be clear what a great influence this ascetic epidemic must have had upon the non-multiplication of the bastard races. (See further details in Lecky's History of European Morals, 11th ed. ii. 105 ff.)

63. Helden und Welt: dramatische Bilder (Chemnitz, 1883).

64. "The individuals and the whole are identical," the Indian thinkers had taught (see Garbe's Samkhya-Philosophie, p. 158).

65. Hermann is a Roman cavalier, speaks Latin fluently and has thoroughly studied the Roman art of administration. So, too, most of the Teutonic princes. Their troops, too, were at home in the whole Roman empire and so acquainted with the customs of so-called civilised men, long before they immigrated with all their goods and chattels into these lands.

66. See Gobineau: Inequality of the Human Races, Bk. VI. chap. iv.

67. Green: History of the English People, Bk. I, c. iii.

68. Olive F. Emerson; History of the Engish Language, p. 54
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:53 am

Part 1 of 8


"Let us forget whence we spring. No more talk of 'German,' or of 'Portuguese' Jews. Though scattered over the earth we are nevertheless a single people."
-- RABBI SALOMON LIPMANN-CERFBERR in the opening speech delivered on July 26, 1806, at the meeting preparatory to the Synedrium of 1807 which Napoleon called together.


HAD I been writing a hundred years ago, I should hardly have felt compelled at this point to devote a special chapter to the entrance of the Jews into Western history. Of course the share they had in the rise of Christianity, on account of the peculiar and absolutely un-Aryan spirit which they instilled into it, would have deserved our full attention, as well as also the economic part which they played in all Christian countries; but an occasional mention of these things would have sufficed; anything more would have been superfluous. Herder wrote at that time: "Jewish history takes up more room in our history and more attention than it probably deserves in itself." [1] In the meantime, however, a great change has taken place: the Jews play in Europe, and wherever European influence extends, a different part to-day from that which they played a hundred years ago; as Viktor Hehn expresses it, we live to day in a "Jewish age"; [2] we may think what we like about the past history of the Jews, their present history actually takes up so much room in our own history that we cannot possibly refuse to notice them. Herder in spite of his outspoken humanism had expressed the opinion that" the Jewish people is and remains in Europe an Asiatic people alien to our part of the world, bound to that old law which it received in a distant climate, and which according to its own confession it cannot do away with." [3] Quite correct. But this alien people, everlastingly alien, because -- as Herder well remarks -- it is indissolubly bound to an alien law that is hostile to all other peoples -- this alien people has become precisely in the course of the nineteenth century a disproportionately important and in many spheres actually dominant constituent of our life. Even a hundred years ago that same witness had sadly to confess that the "ruder nations of Europe" were "willing slaves of Jewish usury"; to-day he could say the same of by far the greatest part of the civilised world. The possession of money in itself is, however, of least account; our governments, our law, our science, our commerce, our literature. our art ... practically all branches of our life have become more or less willing slaves of the Jews, and drag the feudal fetter if not yet on two, at least on one leg. In the meantime the "alien" element emphasised by Herder has become more and more prominent; a hundred years ago it was rather indistinctly and vaguely felt; now it has asserted and proved itself, and so forced itself on the attention of even the most inattentive. The Indo-European, moved by ideal motives, opened the gates in friendship: the Jew rushed in like an enemy, stormed all positions and planted the flag of his, to us, alien nature -- I will not say on the ruins, but on the breaches of our genuine individuality.

Are we for that reason to revile the Jews? That would be as ignoble as it is unworthy and senseless. The Jews deserve admiration, for they have acted with absolute consistency according to the logic and truth of their own individuality, and never for a moment have they allowed themselves to forget the sacredness of physical laws because of foolish humanitarian day-dreams which they shared only when such a policy was to their advantage. Consider with what mastery they use the law of blood to extend their power: the principal stem remains spotless, not a drop of strange blood comes in; as it stands in the Thora, "A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord" (Deuteronomy xxiii. 2); in the meantime, however, thousands of side branches are cut off and employed to infect the Indo-Europeans with Jewish blood. If that were to go on for a few centuries, there would be in Europe only one single people of pure race, that of the Jews, all the rest would be a herd of pseudo-Hebraic mestizos, a people beyond all doubt degenerate physically, mentally and morally. For even the great friend of the Jews, Ernest Renan, admits, "Je suis le premier a reconnaitre que la race semitique, comparee a la race indo-europeenne, represente reellement une combinaison inferieure de la nature humaine." [4] And in one of his best but unfortunately little-known writings he says again, "L'epouvantable simplicite de l'esprit semitique retrecit le cerveau humain, le ferme a toute idee delicate, a tout sentiment fin, a toute recherche rationelle, pour le mettre en face d'une eternelle tautologie: Dieu est Dieu."; [5] and he demonstrates that culture could have no future unless Christian religion should move farther away from the spirit of Judaism and the "Indo-European genius" assert itself more and more in every domain. That mixture then undoubtedly signifies a degeneration: degeneration of the Jew, whose character is much too alien, firm and strong to be quickened and ennobled by Teutonic blood, degeneration of the European who can naturally only lose by crossing with an "inferior type" -- or, as I should prefer to say, with so different a type. While the mixture is taking place, the great chief stem of the pure unmixed Jews remains unimpaired. When Napoleon, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, dissatisfied that the Jews, in spite of their emancipation, should remain in proud isolation, angry with them for continuing to devour with their shameful usury the whole of his Alsace, although every career was now open to them, sent an ultimatum to the council of their elders demanding the unreserved fusion of the Jews with the rest of the nation -- the delegates of the French Jews adopted all the articles prescribed but one, namely, that which aimed at absolute freedom of marriage with Christians. Their daughters might marry outside the Israelite people, but not their sons; the dictator of Europe had to yield. [6] This is the admirable law by which real Judaism was founded. Indeed, the law in its strictest form forbids marriage altogether between Jews and non-Jews; in Deuteronomy vii. 3, we read, "Thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son"; but, as a rule, emphasis is laid only on the last clause; for example, in Exodus xxxiv. 16, the sons alone are forbidden to take strange daughters, not the daughters to take strange sons, and in Nehemiah xiii., after both sides have been forbidden to marry outside the race, only the marriage of a son with a foreign wife is described as a "sin against God." That is also a perfectly correct view. By the marriage of a daughter with a Goy, the purity of the Jewish stem is in no way altered, while this stem thereby gets a footing in the strange camp; on the other hand, the marriage of a son with a Goya "makes the holy seed common" as the book of Ezra ix. 2, drastically expresses it. [7] The possible conversion of the Goya to Judaism would not help matters: the idea of such a conversion was rightly quite strange to the older law -- for the question is one of physical conditions of descent -- but the newer law says, with enviable discernment: "Proselytes are as injurious to Judaism as ulcers to a sound body." [8] Thus was the Jewish race kept pure in the past and it is still kept so: daughters of the house of Rothschild have married barons, counts, dukes, princes, they submit to baptism without demur; no son has ever married a European; if he did so he would have to leave the house of his fathers and the community of his people. [9]

These details are somewhat premature; they really belong to a later portion of the book; but my object has been at once and by the shortest way to meet the objection -- which unfortunately is still to be expected from many sides -- that there is no "Jewish question," from which would follow that the entrance of the Jews into our history had no significance. Others, again, talk of religion: it is a question, they say, of religious differences only. Whoever says this overlooks the fact that there would be no Jewish religion if there were no Jewish nation. But there is one. The Jewish nomocracy (that is, rule of the law) unites the Jews, no matter how scattered they may be over all the lands of the world, into a firm, uniform and absolutely political organism, in which community of blood testifies to a common past and gives a guarantee for a common future. Though it has many elements not purely Jewish in the narrower sense of the word, yet the power of this blood, united with the incomparable power of the Jewish idea, is so great that these alien elements have long ago been assimilated; for nearly two thousand years have passed since the time when the Jews gave up their temporary inclination to proselytising. Of course, I must, as I showed in the preceding chapter, distinguish between Jews of noble and of less noble birth; but what binds together the incompatible parts is (apart from gradual fusing) the tenacity of life which their national idea possesses. This national idea culminates in the unshakable confidence in the universal empire of the Jews, which Jehovah promised. "Simple people who have been born Christians" (as Auerbach expresses it in his sketch of Spinoza's life) fancy that the Jews have given up that hope, but they are very wrong; for" the existence of Judaism depends upon the clinging to the Messianic hope," as one of the very moderate and liberal Jews lately wrote. [10] The whole Jewish religion is in fact founded on this hope. The Jewish faith in God, that which can and may be called "religion" in their case, for it has become since the source of a fine morality, is a part of this national idea, not vice versa. To assert that there is a Jewish religion but no Jewish nation is simply nonsense. [11]

The entry of the Jews into the history of the West signifies therefore beyond doubt the entrance of a definite element, quite different from and in a way opposed to all European races, an element which remained essentially the same, while the nations of Europe went through the most various phases; in the course of a hard and often cruel history it never had the weakness to entertain proposals of fraternity, but, possessed as it was of its national idea, its national past, and its national future, felt and still feels all contact with others as a pollution; thanks also to the certainty of its instinct, which springs from strict uniformity of national feeling, it has always been able to exercise a powerful influence upon others, while the Jews themselves have been influenced but skin-deep by our intellectual and cultural development. To characterise this most peculiar situation from the standpoint of the European, we must repeat the words of Herder: the Jewish people is and remains alien to our part of the world; from the standpoint of the Jew the same fact is formulated somewhat differently; we know from a former chapter how the great free-thinking philosopher Philo put it: "only the Israelites are men in the true sense of the word," [12] What the Jew here says in the intolerant tone of racial pride was more politely expressed by Goethe, when he disputed the community of descent of Jews and Indo-Europeans, no matter how far back the origin was put: "We will not dispute with the chosen people the honour of its descent from Adam. We others, however, have certainly had other ancestors as well." [13]


These considerations make it our right and our duty to look upon the Jew in our midst as a peculiar and, in fact, alien element. Outwardly his inheritance was the same as ours; inwardly it was not so: he inherited quite a different spirit. One single trait is all that is necessary to reveal in an almost alarming manner to our consciousness the yawning gulf which here separates soul from soul: the revelation of Christ has no significance for the Jew! I do not here speak of pious orthodoxy at all. But read, for example, in Diderot, the notorious free-thinker, the wonderful words on the Crucified One, see how Diderot represents man in his greatest sorrow turning to the Divine One, and makes us feel that the Christian religion is the only religion in the world. "Quelle profonde sagesse il y a dans ce que l'aveugle Philosophie appelle la folie de la croix! Dans l'etat ou j'etais, de quoi m'aurait servi l'image d'un Iegislateur heureux et comble de gloire? Je voyais l'innocent, le flanc perce, le front couronne d'epines, les mains et les pieds perces de clous, et expirant dans les souffrances; et je me disais: Voila mon Dieu, et j'ose me plaindre!" I have searched through a whole library of Jewish books in the expectation of finding similar words -- naturally not belief in the divinity of Christ, nor the idea of redemption, but the purely human feeling for the greatness of a suffering saviour -- but in vain. A Jew who feels that is in fact no longer a Jew, but a denier of Judaism. And while we find even in Mohammed's Koran at least a vague conception of the importance of Christ and profound reverence for His personality, a cultured, leading Jew of the nineteenth century calls Christ "the new birth with the death-mask," which inflicted new and painful wounds upon the Jewish people; he cannot see anything else in Him. [14] In view of the cross he assures us that "the Jews do not require this convulsive emotion for their spiritual improvement," and adds, "particularly not among the middle classes of the inhabitants of the cities." His comprehension goes no further. In a book, republished in 1880 (!), by a Spanish Jew (Mose de Leon) Jesus Christ is called a "dead dog" that lies "buried in a dunghill." Besides, the Jews have taken care to issue in the latter part of the nineteenth century several editions (naturally in Hebrew) of the so-called" censured passages" from the Talmud, those passages usually omitted in which Christ is exposed to our scorn and hatred as a "fool" "sorcerer," "profane person," "idolater," "dog," "bastard," "child of lust," &c.; so, too, his sublime mother. [15] We certainly do the Jews no injustice when we say that the revelation of Christ is simply something incomprehensible and hateful to them. Although he apparently sprang from their midst, he embodies nevertheless the negation of their whole nature -- a matter in which the Jews are far more sensitive than we. This clear demonstration of the deep cleft that separates us Europeans from the Jew is by no means given in order to let religious prejudice with its dangerous bias settle the matter, but because I think that the perception of two so fundamentally different natures reveals a real gulf; it is well to look once into this gulf, so that on other occasions, where the two sides seem likely to unite each other, we may not be blind to the deep abyss which separates them.

When we understand what a chasm there is between us we are forced to a further conclusion. The Jew does not understand us, that is certain; can we hope to understand him, to do him justice? Perhaps, if we are really intellectually and morally superior to him, as Renan insisted in the passage quoted above, and as other perhaps more reliable scholars have likewise said. [16] But we should then have to judge him from the lofty heights of our superiority, not from the low depths of hatred and superstition, and still less from the swampy shallows of misunderstanding in which our religious teachers have been wading for the last two thousand years. It is surely an evident injustice to ascribe to the Jew thoughts which he never had, to glorify him as the possessor of the most sublime religious intuitions, which were perhaps more alien to him than to anyone else in the world, and at best are to be found only in the hearts of a few scattered individuals as a cry of revolt against the special hardness of heart of this people -- and then to condemn him for being to-day quite different from what he should be according to such fictitious conceptions. It is not only unfair, but as regards public feeling: regrettably misleading; for through his connection with our religious life -- a connection which is entirely fictitious -- his head seems enveloped in a kind of nimbus, and then we are greatly incensed when we find no holy person under this sham halo. We expect more of the Jews than of ourselves, who are merely the children of the heathen. But the Jewish testimony is very different and more correct; it leads us to expect so little that every noble trait discovered later and every explanation found for Jewish failings gives us genuine pleasure. Jehovah, for instance, is never tired of explaining, "I have seen this people and behold it is a stiff-necked people," [17] and Jeremiah gives such a characterisation of the moral constitution of the Jews that Monsieur Edouard Drumont could not wish it to be more richly coloured, "And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity." [18] Little wonder, after this description, that Jeremiah calls the Jews "an assembly of treacherous men," and knows only one desire, "Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people and go from them." For our incredible ignorance of the Jewish nature we are ourselves solely to blame; never did a people give so comprehensive and honest a picture of its own personality as the Hebrew has done in his Bible, a picture which (so far as I can judge from fragments) is made more complete by the Talmud, though in faded colours. Without, therefore, denying that it must be very difficult for us who are "descended from other ancestors" to form a correct judgment of the "alien Asiatic people," we must clearly see that the Jews from time immemorial have. done their best to inform the unprejudiced about themselves, a circumstance which entitles us to hope that we may gain a thorough knowledge of their nature. As a matter of fact, the events which take place before our eyes should be sufficient for that. Is it possible to read the daily papers without becoming acquainted with Jewish ways of thinking, Jewish taste, Jewish morals, Jewish aims? A few annual volumes of the Archives israelites teach us in fact more than a whole anti-Semitic library, and indeed not only about the less admirable, but also about the excellent qualities of the Jewish character. But here, in this chapter, I shall leave the present out of account. If we are to form a practical and true judgment concerning the significance of the Jew as joint-heir and fellow-worker in the nineteenth century, we must above all become clear as to what he is. From what a man is by nature follows of strict necessity what he will do under certain conditions; the philosopher says: operari sequitur esse; an old German proverb expresses the same thing in a more homely way, "Only what a man is, can one get out of him."


Pure history in this case does not bring us either quickly or surely to our goal, and besides it is not my task to furnish a history of the Jews. As in other chapters, so here too I have a horror of copying what has been written before. Everyone, of course, knows how and when the Jews entered into Western history: first by the Diaspora, then by being scattered. Their changing fortunes in various lands and times are likewise no secret to us, although, indeed, much that we know is absolutely untrue, and of much that we ought to know we are entirely ignorant. But I do not need to tell anyone that throughout the Christian centuries the Jews played an important though at times circumscribed role. Even in the earliest Western Gothic times they understood how to acquire influence and power as slave-dealers and financial agents. Though they were not everywhere, as they were among the Spanish Moors, powerful Ministers of State, who, following the example of Mordochai, filled the most lucrative posts with "their many brothers," though they did not attain everywhere, as they did in Catholic Spain, to the rank of Bishop and Archbishop, [19] yet their influence was always and everywhere great. The Babenberg princes as early as the thirteenth century set their successors the example of letting Jews manage the finances of their States and honouring these administrators with titles of distinction; [20] the great Pope Innocent III. gave important posts at his Court to Jews; [21] the knights of France had to pledge their goods with the Jews, in order to be able to take part in the Crusades; [22] Rudolf von Habsburg favoured the Jews in every way; he vindicated them "as servants of his imperial exchequer," and by freeing them from being subject to ordinary justice he made it very difficult indeed for any action brought against them to be carried through; [23] in short, what I call the entrance of the Jews into Western history has never ceased to make itself felt at all times and places. If anyone were qualified to study history for the sole purpose of disentangling the question of Jewish influence, he would, I think, bring to light some unexpected facts. Without this detailed study the fact of this influence can only be established clearly and beyond doubt where the Jews were in considerable numbers. In the second century, for example, the Jews on the island of Cyprus are more numerous than the other inhabitants; they resolve to found a national State and with this intent follow the procedure known from the Old Testament: they slay in one day all the other inhabitants, 240,000 in number; and in order that this island State may not be without support on the mainland, they at the same time slay the 220,000 non-Jewish inhabitants of Cyrene. [24] In Spain they pursue the same policy with greater caution and astonishing perseverance. Under the rule of that thoroughly Western Gothic king, who had showered benefits on them, they invite their kinsmen, the Arabs, to come over from Africa, and, not out of any ill-feeling, but simply because they hope to profit thereby, they betray their noble protector; under the Kalifs they then acquire gradually an even larger share in the government; "they concentrated," their great supporter the historian Heman writes, "the intellectual and the material powers al- together in their own hands"; the prosperous Moorish State was, it is true, thereby intellectually and materially ruined: but this was a matter of indifference to the Jews, as they had already obtained as firm a footing in the Christian State of the Spaniards which was destined to take the place of the Moorish one. "The movable wealth of the land was here absolutely in their power; the heritable property they made gradually theirs by usury and the purchase of mortgaged estates of nobles. From the offices of Secretary of State and Minister of Finance downwards all the offices which had to do with taxes and money were in Jewish hands. Through usury almost all Aragon was mortgaged to them. In the cities they formed the majority of the wealthy population." [25] But here, as elsewhere, they were not always shrewd; they had employed their power to obtain all kinds of privileges; for example, the oath of a single Jew sufficed to prove debt claims against Christians (the game was the case in the Archduchy of Austria and in many places), while the testimony of a Christian against a Jew had no weight before a tribunal, and so on; these privileges they abused so outrageously that the people finally revolted. The same would probably have happened in Germany if the Church and intelligent statesmen had not put a stop to the evil in time. Charlemagne had written to Italy for Jews to manage his finances; soon, as farmers of taxes, they secured for themselves wealth and influence in every direction, and used these to get important concessions for their people, such as commercial privileges, less severe punishment for crime and the like; the whole population was even forced to make Sunday their market day, as Saturday, the customary market day, did not suit the Jews because it was their Sabbath; it was at that time fashionable for courtiers to visit the synagogues! But the reaction set in soon and strongly, and not only, as the historians are wont to represent it, as the result of priestly agitation -- such things belong to the shell, not to the kernel of history -- but in the first place because the Teuton is in fact just as much a born merchant and industrialist as he is a born warrior, and because, as soon as the growth of cities awakened these instincts in him, he saw the game of his unfair rival, and, full of violent indignation, demanded his removal. And so, if such were the purpose of this chapter, we could trace the ebb and flow of Jewish influence to the present day, when all the wars of the nineteenth century are so peculiarly connected with Jewish financial operations, from Napoleon's Russian campaign and Nathan Rothschild's role of spectator at the Battle of Waterloo to the consulting of the Bleichroders on the German side and of Alphonse Rothschild on the French side at the peace transactions of the year 1871, and to the "Commune," which from the beginning was looked upon by all intelligent people as a Jewish-Napoleonic machination.


Now this political and social influence of the Jews has been very variously judged, but the greatest politicians of all times have regarded it as pernicious. Cicero, for example (no great politician but an experienced statesman), displays a genuine fear of the Jews; where a legal transaction encroaches on their interest, he speaks so low that only the judges hear him, for he is well aware, as he says, that all the Jews hold together and that they know how to ruin the one who opposes them; while he thunders the most vehement charges against Greeks, against Romans, against the most powerful men of his time, he advises caution in dealing with the Jews; they are to him an uncanny power and he passes with the greatest haste over that city of "suspicion and slander," Jerusalem: such was the opinion of a Cicero during the consulate of a Julius Caesar! [26] Even before the destruction of Jerusalem the Emperor Tiberius, who was, according to many historians, the best ruler that the Roman Imperium ever possessed, recognised a national danger in the immigration of the Jews. Even Frederick the Second, the Hohenstauffen, certainly one of the most brilliant men that ever wore a crown or carried a sword, a more freethinking man than any monarch of the nineteenth century, an enthusiastic admirer of the East and a generous supporter of Hebrew scholars, nevertheless held it to be his duty, contrary to the custom of his contemporaries, to debar the Jews from all public offices, and pointed warningly to the fact that wherever the Jews are admitted to power, they abuse it; the very same doctrine was taught by the other great Frederick the Second, the Hohenzollern, who gave universal freedom, but not to the Jews; similar were the words of Bismarck, while he still could speak openly, in the Landtag (1847) and the great historian Mommsen speaks of Judaism as of a "State inside the State." -- As regards the social influence in particular, I will only quote two wise and fair authorities, whose judgment cannot be suspected even by the Jews, namely, Herder and Goethe. The former says, "A ministry, in which the Jew is supreme, a household, in which a Jew has the key of the wardrobe and the management of the finances, a department or commissariat, in which Jews do the principal business ... are Pontine marshes that cannot be drained"; and he expresses the opinion that the presence of an indefinite number of Jews is so pernicious to the welfare of a European State, that we "dare not be influenced by general humane principles"; it is a national question, and it is the duty of every State to decide "how many of this alien people can be tolerated without injury to the true citizens?" [27] Goethe goes still deeper: "How should we let the Jews share in our highest culture, when they deny its origin and source?" And he be. came" violently enraged" when the law of 1823 permitted marriage between Jews and Germans, prophesying the "worst and most frightful consequences," particularly the "undermining of all moral feelings" and declaring that the bribery of the "all- powerful Rothschild" must be the cause of this" folly." [28] Goethe and Herder have exactly the same opinion as the great Hohenstauffen, the great Hohenzollern, and all great men before and after them: without superstitiously reproaching the Jews with their peculiar individuality, they consider them an actual danger to our civilisation and our culture; they would not give them an active part in our life. We cannot proceed with our discussion and simply pass over such a consensus ingeniorum. For to these well-weighed, serious judgments derived from the fulness of experience and the insight of the greatest intellects we have nothing to oppose but the empty phrases of the adroits de l'homme -- a parliamentary clap-trap. [29]


On the other hand, it is certain and must be carefully observed that, if the Jews are responsible for many a shocking historical development, for the fall of many heroic, powerful peoples, still greater is the responsibility of those Europeans who have always from the most base motives encouraged, protected and fostered the disintegrating activity of the Jews, and these are primarily the Princes and the nobility -- and that too from the first century of our era to the present day. Open the history of any European nation you like wherever the Jews are numerous and begin to realise their strength, you will always hear bitter complaints against them from the people, from the commercial classes, from the circles of the learned and the poets; everywhere and at all times it is the Princes and the nobility that protect them: the Princes because they need money for their wars, the nobility because they live extravagantly, Edmund Burke [30] tells us, for example, of William the Conqueror that, as the income from "talliage" and all kinds of other oppressive taxes did not satisfy him, he from time to time either confiscated the notes of hand of the Jews or forced them to hand them over for next to nothing, and, as almost the whole Anglo-Norman nobility of the eleventh century was under the thumb of Jewish usury, the King himself became the pitiless creditor of his most illustrious subjects. In the meantime he protected the Jews and gave them privileges of various kinds. This one example may stand for thousands and thousands. [31] If then the Jews have exercised a great and historically baneful influence, it is to no small degree due to the complicity of these Princes and nobles who so shamefully persecuted and at the same time utilised the Jews. And in fact this lasts until the nineteenth century: Count Mirabeau was in closest touch with the Jews even before the Revolution, [32] Count Talleyrand, in opposition to the delegates from the middle classes, supported in the Constituante their unconditional emancipation; Napoleon protected them, when after such a short time bitter complaints and entreaties for protection against them were sent in to the Government from all France, and he did so although he himself had exclaimed in the Council of State, "These Jews are locusts and caterpillars, they devour my France!" -- he needed their money. Prince Dalberg sold to the Frankfort Jews, in defiance of the united citizens, the full civic rights for half a million Gulden (1811). the Hardenbergs and Metternichs at the Vienna Congress fell into the snare of the Rothschild bank, and, in opposition to the votes of all the representatives of the Bund, they supported the interests of the Jews to the disadvantage of the Germans and finally gained their point, in fact, the two most conservative States which they represented were the first to raise to hereditary nobility -- an honour which was never conferred on honest and deserving Jews -- those members of the "alien Asiatic people" who, in the years of general suffering and misery, had by the vilest means acquired immense wealth. [33] If then the Jews were for us pernicious neighbours, justice requires us to admit that they acted according to the nature of their instincts and gifts, and showed at the same time a really admirable example of loyalty to self, to their own nation and to the faith of their fathers; the tempters and the traitors were not the Jews but we ourselves. We were the criminal abettors of the Jews, and it is so to-day, as it was in the past; and we were false to that which the lowest inhabitant of the Ghetto considered sacred, the purity of inherited blood; that, too, was formerly the case, and to-day it is more so than ever. The Christian Church alone of all the great powers seems to have acted on the whole justly and wisely (of course we must discount the Bishops who were really secular Princes, as well as some of the Popes). The Church has kept the Jews in check, treated them as aliens, but at the same time protected them from persecution. Every seemingly "ecclesiastical" persecution has its source really in economic conditions that have become unbearable; we see that nowhere more clearly than in Spain. To-day, when public opinion is so fearfully misled by the active, irreconcilable antagonism of the Jews, especially to every manifestation of the Christian faith, it may be well to remind the reader that the last act of the preparatory meeting to the first Synedrium summoned in our times, that of 1807, was a spontaneous utterance of thanks to the ministers of the various Christian Churches for the protection extended to them throughout the centuries. [34]


Here we must end these hastily sketched historical fragments. They show that "the entrance of the Jews" has exercised a large. and in many ways an undoubtedly fatal, influence upon the course of European history since the first century. But that tells us little about the Jew himself; the fact that the North American Indian dies out from contact with the Indo- European does not prove that the latter is evil and pernicious: that the Jew injures or benefits us is a judgment which is conditional in too many ways to permit of our forming a true estimate of his nature. In fact, for nineteen centuries the Jew has had not merely an outer relationship with our culture as a more or less welcome guest, but also an inner contact. As Kant rightly says, the preservation of Judaism is primarily the work of Christianity. [35] From its midst -- if not from its stem and its spirit -- Jesus Christ and the earliest members of the Christian Church arose. Jewish history, Jewish conceptions, Jewish thought and poetry became important elements in our mental life. It cannot be right to separate the outward friction entirely from the inner penetration. If we had not ceremoniously adopted the Jew into our family circle, he would no more have found a home among us than the Saracen or the other wrecks of half-Semitic peoples who saved their existence -- but not their individuality -- by unconditional amalgamation with the nations of South Europe. The Jew, however, was proof against this; though now and then one of them might be dragged to the stake, the very fact that they had crucified Jesus Christ surrounded them with a solemn, awe-inspiring nimbus. And while the people were thus fascinated, the scholars and holy men spent their days and nights in studying the books of the Hebrews: struck down by the commands of Jewish shepherds like Amos and Micah, the monuments of an art, whose like the world has never since seen, fell to the ground; through the scorn of Jewish priests science sank into contempt; Olympus and Walhalla became depopulated, because the Jews so wished it; Jehovah, who had said to the Israelites, "Ye are my people and I am your God," now became the God of the Indo-Europeans; from the Jews we adopted the fatal doctrine of unconditional religious intolerance. But at the same time we adopted very great and sublime spiritual impulses; we were taught by prophets, who preached such strict and pure morals as could have been found nowhere else save on the distant shores of India; we became acquainted with such a living and life-moulding faith in a higher divine power that it inevitably changed our spirit and gave it a new direction. Though Christ was the masterbuilder, we got the architecture from the Jews. Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Psalmists became, and still are, living powers in our spiritual life.


And now, when this inner contact is beginning to grow weaker, while the outer friction referred to above is being daily more felt, now, when we cannot any longer rid ourselves of the presence of Jews, it is not sufficient for us to know that almost all pre-eminent and free men, from Tiberius to Bismarck, have looked upon the presence of the Jew in our midst as a social and political danger, we must be in a position to form definite judgments on the basis of adequate knowledge of facts and to act accordingly. There have been published Anti-Semitic catechisms, in which opinions of well-known men have been collected in hundreds; but apart from the fact that many a remark when taken apart from the context does not give quite fairly the intention of the writer, and that out of many others it is merely ignorant blind prejudice that speaks, a single opinion of our own is manifestly worth more than two hundred quotations. Moreover I do not know how we can form a competent judgment, if we do not learn to take a higher standpoint than that of political considerations, and I do not know how we can arrive at this standpoint except through history, not, however, modern history -- for there we should be judge and suitor at the same time -- but through the history of the growth of the Jewish people. There is no lack of documents; in the nineteenth century especially they have been tested, critically sifted and historically classified by the devoted work of learned men, mostly Germans, but also distinguished Frenchmen, Dutchmen and Englishmen; much remains to be done, but enough has already been accomplished to enable us to survey clearly and surely in its general features one of the most remarkable pages of human history. This Jew, who appears so eternally unchangeable, so constant, as Goethe says, really grew into what he is, grew slowly, even artificially. And of a surety he will pass away like all that has grown. This fact already brings him nearer to us as a human being. What a "Semite" is, no one can tell. A hundred years ago science thought it knew what it meant; Semites were the sons of Shem; now the answer becomes more and more vague; it was thought that the criterion of language was decisive: a very great error! The idea "Semite" indeed remains indispensable because it embraces collectively a many-sided complex of historical phenomena; but there is absolutely no sure boundary-line; at the periphery this ethnographical conception merges into others. Finally "Semite" remains as the name of an original race, like "Aryan," one of those counters without which one could not make oneself understood, but which one must beware of accepting as good coin. The real genuine coins are those empirically given, historically developed national individualities, of which I have spoken in the former chapter, such individualities as the Jews for example. Race is not an original phenomenon, it is produced; physiologically by characteristic mixture of blood, followed by inbreeding; psychically by the influence which long-lasting historical and geographical conditions exercise upon that special, specific, physiological foundation. [36] If we wish then (and I think that must be the principal task of this chapter) to ask the Jew: Who art thou? we must first by to discover whether there was not a definite mixture of blood underlying the fact of this so clearly marked race, and then -- if the answer is in the affirmative -- trace how the peculiar soul, which thus was produced, differentiated itself more and more. Nowhere can we trace this process as we can in the Jew: for the whole national history of the Jews is like a continuous process of elimination; the character of the Jewish people ever becomes more individual, more outspoken, more simple; finally there remains in a way nothing of the whole being but the central skeleton; the slowly ripened fruit is robbed of its downy, fresh-coloured covering and of its juicy flesh, for these might become spotted and worm-eaten; the stony kernel alone remains, shrivelled and dry, it is true, but defying time. However, as I have pointed out, this was not always the case. That which has been transferred from the sacred books of the Hebrews to the Christian religion does not come down from the senility of real Judaism, but partly from the youth of the much wider and more imaginative "Israelite" people, partly from the mature years of the Judean, just after he had separated from Israel and when he had not yet proudly isolated himself from the other nations of the earth. The Jew whom we now know and see at work has become Jew gradually; not, however, as pseudo-history would have us believe, in the course of the Christian Middle Ages, but on his national soil, in the course of his independent history; the Jew moulded his own destiny; in Jerusalem stood the first Ghetto, the high wall which separated the orthodox and the pure-born from the Goyim, and prevented the latter from entering the real city. Neither Jacob, nor Solomon, nor Isaiah would recognise his posterity in Rabbi Akiba (the great scribe of the Talmud) much less in Baron Hirsch or the diamond king Barnato. [37]

Let us therefore try by the shortest way, i.e., by the greatest possible simplification, to make plain the essential features of this peculiar national soul, as it gradually became more clearly and one-sidedly developed. This needs no great learning; for to the question: Who art thou? the Jew himself, as I have said, and his ancestor the Israelite have given from the first the clearest of answers: then we have the mass of scientific work, from Ewald to Wellhausen and Ramsay, from De Wette and Reuss to Duhm and Cheyne; we have only to make out the sum total, as the practical man needs it, who, in the midst of the stormy bustle of the world, wishes to be able to base his judgment upon definite ascertained facts.

I have only two more remarks to make, about method pure and simple. Having already, particularly in the chapter on the Revelation of Christ, discussed the Jew in detail and as this theme will probably come up again. I may here confine myself to the central question and refer the reader for mach information on other points to what has been said or will be said elsewhere in my book. As regards the authors consulted, I could not help using, in addition to the Bible and some thoroughly competent modern Jewish writers, also some scholars who are not Jews; this was quite necessary for our knowledge of the prophets and the correct interpretation of historical events; but these scholars, even the most free- thinking of them, are all men who display great -- perhaps exaggerated -- admiration of the Jewish nation, at least in its earlier form, and who are all inclined to look upon this people as in some sense a "chosen" one, so far as religion is concerned. I have, however, in the interests of the exposition entirely disregarded those writers who are avowedly Anti- Semitic.


There is one point -- in my opinion a very important one -- upon which the science of the last years has shed a good deal of light, namely, the anthropogeny of the Israelites, that is, the history of the physical development of this special national race. Of course here, as everywhere, there is a past which is closed to Our knowledge, and beyond doubt much that daring archaeologists have felt and guessed with the feelers of their wonderfully trained instinct rather than seen with their own eyes, will yet be essentially corrected by newer investigations and discoveries, But that makes no difference to us here. The important thing -- the great, solid achievement of history -- is, first, the fact that the Israelite people represents the product of manifold mixing, and that, too, not between related races (as the ancient Greeks, or the English of to-day) but between types that morally and physically are absolutely distinct; and secondly, the fact that genuine Semitic blood (if this makeshift word is to have a sense at all) makes up, I suppose, hardly the half of this mixture. These are certain results of exact anatomical anthropology and of historical investigation, two branches of knowledge which here extend to each other a helping hand. A third point completes those just named; for it we are indebted to the critical endeavours of Biblical archaeology, which has at last thrown light upon the very complicated chronology of the books of the Old Testament, which belong to entirely different centuries and were put together quite arbitrarily, though not without a plan: these teach us that the real Jew is not to be identified with the Israelite in the wider sense of the word, that the house of Judah, even at the time of its settling in Palestine, was through blood-mixture and character distinct in several points from the house of Joseph (which embraced the other tribes): the Judean stood in fact in a kind of intellectual dependence upon the Josephite, and only at a relatively late time, after the violent separation from his brothers, did he begin to go his own way, the way that led to Judaism, and which very soon afterwards by the elevation of inbreeding to a religious principle isolated him from the whole world. The Jew can be called an Israelite in so far as he is an offshoot of that family; the Israelites, on the other hand, even those of the tribe of Judah, were not Jews; the Jew began to develop only after the more powerful tribes of the North had been destroyed by the Assyrians. In order to ascertain who the Jew is, we have therefore first of all to establish who the Israelite was and then to ask how the Israelite of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin became a Jew. And here we must be careful how we use our sources of information. For it was only after the Babylonian captivity that the specifically Jewish character was artificially brought into the Bible, by whole books being invented and ascribed to Moses and frequently by the introduction in verse after verse of interpolations and corrections which obliterated the wider views of old Israel and replaced them by the narrow Jerusalemic cult of Jehovah, giving the impression that this cult had existed from time immemorial and had been directly ordained by God. This has long prevented us from clearly understanding the gradual and perfectly human historical development of the Jewish national character. Now at last light has been thrown on this sphere too. Here also we can say: we hold in our hand a sure and lasting result of scientific investigation. Whether later investigations prove this or that sentence of the Hexateuch, which to-day is ascribed to the "jahvistic" text, to belong to the "elohistic," or to have been inserted by the later "editor," whether a definite utterance was made by Isaiah himself or by the so-called second Isaiah -- all these are certainly important questions, but their solution will never in any way alter the established fact that real Judaism, with the special Jehovah faith and the exclusive predominance of priestly law, is due to a demonstrable and very peculiar historical sequence of events and to the active intervention of certain far-sighted and clearheaded men.

These three facts form the essential basis of all knowledge of the Jewish character; they must not remain the possession of a learned minority but must be incorporated in the consciousness of all educated people. I repeat them in preciser form:

(1) The Israelite people has arisen from the crossing of quite different human types;

(2) The Semitic element may well have been the stronger morally, but physically it contributed scarcely one-half to the composition of the new ethnological individuality; it is therefore wrong shortly to call the Israelites" Semites," for the part played by the various human types in the formation of the Israelite race demands a quantitative and qualitative analysis;

(3) The real Jew only developed in the course of centuries by gradual physical separation from the rest of the Israelite family, as also by progressive development of certain mental qualities and systematic starving of others; he is not the result of a normal national life, but in a way an artificial product, produced by a priestly caste, which forced, with the help of alien rulers, a priestly legislation and a priestly faith upon a people that did not want them.

This furnishes us with the arrangement of the following discussion. I shall first of all consult history and anthropology, in order that we may learn from what races the new Israelite race (as the foundation of the Jewish) was descended; then the part played by these various human types must be analysed with regard to their physical and particularly their moral significance, and here our attention must be directed especially to their religious views: for the basis of Judaism is the faith which it teaches and we cannot judge the Jew correctly either in history or in our midst, if we are not quite clear about his religion; last of all I shall try to show how under the Influence of remarkable historical events specific Judaism was established and stamped for ever with its peculiar and incomparable individuality. In this way we shall perhaps attain the object of this chapter, as I have defined it; for the Jewish race -- though later at certain times it adopted not a few alien elements -- remained on the whole purer than any other, and the Jewish nation has been from the first an essentially "ideal" one, that is, one resting on faith in a definite national idea, not on the possession of a free State of its own, nor on communal life and work on the soil of that State: and this idea is the same to-day as it was two thousand years ago. Now race and ideal make up the personality of the human being; they answer the question: Who art thou?
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

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Part 2 of 8


The Israelites [38] sprang from the crossing of three (perhaps even four) different human types: the Semitic, the Syrian (or, more correctly, Hittite) and the Indo-European. Possibly Turanian blood, or, as it is more frequently called in Germany, Sumero-Accadian blood, also flowed in the veins of the original ancestors.

In order that the reader may clearly understand how this crossing took place, I must first give a brief historical sketch. It will freshen the memory in regard to familiar facts and help to make the history of the origin of the Jewish race comprehensible.

Although the term "Semite," as applied to a pure autonomous race existing since the beginning of time, a special creation of God, so to speak, is certainly a mere abstraction, yet it is not so hazardous as the word "Aryan": for there still exists to-day a people which is supposed to represent the pure, untarnished type of the primeval Semite, viz., the Bedouin of the Arabian desert. [39] Let us discard the hazy Semite and confine ourselves to the Bedouin of flesh and blood. It is supposed, and there are good grounds for the supposition, that some thousands of years before Christ, human beings, very closely resembling the Bedouins of to-day, migrated from Arabia in an almost unbroken stream to east and north into the land of the two rivers. Arabia is healthy, so its population increases; its soil is extremely poor, so a portion of its inhabitants must seek sustenance elsewhere. It seems that sometimes great migratory hordes composed of armed men had thus wandered forth; in such cases the surplus population had been cast out with irresistible force from their home, and left as conquerors upon the neighbouring countries; in other cases single families with their herds wandered peacefully over the indefinitely marked boundary from one grazing-place to another: if they did not at once turn off to the west, as many of them did, it might happen that they advanced as far as the Euphrates and so, following the stream, worked their way into the north. In historical times (under the Romans and subsequent to Mohammed) we have memorable instances of this summary manner of getting rid of superfluous population; [40] in the great civilised States between the Tigris and the Euphrates, Semitisation was also the work of great, though more peaceful, masses. Wherever, in fact, as in Babylonian Accadia, the Semites came into contact with a ripe, strong, self-reliant culture, they prevailed over it by fusion with the people -- a process which in the case of the Babylonians we can now trace almost step by step. [41] The Beni Israel, on the other hand, emigrated as simple shepherds in small groups and had, in order to secure the safety of their cattle, to avoid all warlike operations, of which their small number would have rendered them incapable in any case. [42] The Bible narrative naturally gives us only the faint reflection of primeval oral traditions concerning the earliest wanderings of this Bedouin family; they are in addition much falsified by the misconceptions, theories and purposes of late-born scribes; still there is no reason to doubt the correctness of the general details given, all the less so as they contain nothing that is improbable. Everything is indeed much abbreviated: whole families have dwindled into a single person (a universal Semitic custom, "such as we find only in the case of the Semites," says Wellhausen); other pretended ancestors are simply the names of the places in the neighbourhood of which the Israelites had long stayed; movements which required several generations to accomplish are accredited to a single individual. This need of simplifying the complex, of pressing together what lies far apart, is just as natural to this people as it is to the poet who consciously creates. Thus, for example, the Bible represents Abraham, when already a married man, as emigrating from the district of Ur, on the lower course of the Euphrates, to northern Mesopotamia, at the foot of the Armenian mountain range, to that Paddan-Aram, of which the book of Genesis so often speaks and which lies beyond the Euphrates, between it and the tributary Khabur, in a straight line about 375 miles, but following the valley and the line of grazing- racts at least 937 miles from Ur (cf. the map on p. 365); but more than that, this same Abraham is said to have moved later from Paddan-Aram towards the south-west, to the land of Canaan, from there to Egypt and finally (for I leave his shorter journeys out of account) from Egypt to Canaan again and all this accompanied by so numerous herds of cattle that he was forced, in order to find sufficient grazing land for them, to separate from his nearest relatives (Genesis xiii.). In spite of this compression the old Hebrew tradition contains all we require to know, particularly in places where the oldest tradition is before us in almost unfalsified form, and Biblical criticism already gives us full information with regard to it. [43] From this tradition we learn that the Bedouin family in question first of all wandered into the valley of the southern Euphrates and stayed a considerable time in the neighbourhood of the city of Ur. This city lay to the south of the great river and formed the farthest outpost of Chaldea. Here for the first time the nomads carne into touch with civilisation. The shepherds could not indeed enter into this district itself, since magnificent cities and a highly developed agriculture required every inch of ground available, but here they received imperishable impressions and instruction (to which I shall refer later); it was here too that they first became acquainted with such names as Abraham and Sarah, which their love of punning make them translate later into Hebrew (Genesis xvii. 1-6). They could not stay long in the vicinity of such high culture, or perhaps they were pushed forward by sons of the desert who were pressing on behind. And thus we see them moving ever farther and farther towards the north, [44] to the then sparsely populated Paddan- Aram, [45] where they must have stayed for a long time -- at the very least for several centuries. When, however, the pasture of Mesopotamia was no longer sufficient for the increased number of human beings and cattle, a portion of them moved from that north-eastern corner of Syria, Paddan-Aram, to the south-western corner nearest Egypt, to Canaan, where they were hospitably received by a settled agricultural people and received permission to pasture their herds on the mountains. But Paddan-Aram lived long in the memory of the descendants of Abraham as their genuine home. Jehovah himself cans Paddan-Aram Abraham's" country" (Genesis xii. 1), and the mythical Abraham still speaks, long after he has settled in Canaan, with longing of his distant" country" and sends messengers to his "land" (Genesis xxiv. 4 and 7). in order to get in touch again with the relatives who had remained there. And thus the sons of Abraham, although already settled in Canaan, remained half Mesopotamians during all the long years which have been compressed and represented under the pseudo-mythical names Isaac and Jacob; it is a perpetual coming and going; the southern branch feeling that it belongs to one principal northern stem. [46] But the moment came when they had to move farther towards the south; in dry years the pastures of Canaan were no longer sufficient, and perhaps too the Canaanites felt the burden of their increasing numbers; so at the time when the friendly half-Semitic Hyksos were in power, they wandered away to the land of Goshen, belonging to Egypt. It was this long stay in Egypt [47] that first broke off all connection between them and their kinsmen, so that, when the Israelites once more returned to Palestine, they still recognised the Moabites, Edomites and the other Hebrews as distant blood-relations, but felt for them no longer love but hatred and contempt, a state of feeling which received a refreshingly artless expression in the genealogies of the Bible, according to which some of these races owe their origin to incest, while others are descended from harlots.


We can only speak of Israelites in the historical sense of the word from the moment when, as a not very numerous, but yet firmly united people, they forcibly took possession of Canaan on their flight from Egypt, and founded there a State that experienced many different but mostly very sad strokes of fortune, but which, in spite of the fact that it lay (like the rest of Syria) between hammer and anvil, that is, between warring "great Powers," continued to stand as an independent kingdom for almost seven hundred years. We must emphasise the fact that these Israelites were not very numerous; it is important from an historical as well as from an anthropological point of view; for to this circumstance we must ascribe the fact that the former and really domiciled inhabitants of Canaan (a mixture of Hittites and Indo-European Amorites) were never destroyed and always formed and even still form the stock of the population.[48] The mingling of races, of which I shall immediately speak, and which had begun as soon as the Israelites entered Syrian territory, continued in the autonomous State of Israel, that is, in Palestine, and came to a sudden stop only after the Babylonian exile, and that in Judea alone, by the introduction of a new law. The fact that the Jews at a later time separated as an ethnological unity from the rest of the Israelites is purely and simply due to this, that the inhabitants of Judea by energetic enactments at last put a stop to the continual fusion (see Ezra ix. and x.).

The reader who would like further information on this matter may supplement the knowledge he has derived from this hasty sketch by consulting Wellhausen's concise Israelitische und judische Geschichte, Stade's Geschichte des Volkes Israel, Renan's detailed and yet lightly written Histoire du peuple d'Israel, and Maspero's comprehensive and luminous Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient classique; [49] in the meantime my sketch may suffice to show the origin of the Israelites in broad outline and to impress upon the memory in the simplest form the seemingly complicated facts of the case. I shall now attempt to show how the original, purely Semitic emigrant became by crossing first of all a Hebrew and then an Israelite.


The preceding historical sketch shows us a Bedouin family as the starting-point. [50] Let us first of all establish the one fact: this pure Semite, the original emigrant from the deserts of Arabia, is and remains the impelling power, the principle of life, the soul of the new ethnical unity of the Israelites which arose out of manifold crossing. No matter how much, in consequence not only of their destiny but above all of crossing with absolutely different human types, his descendants might differ in course of time morally and physically from the original Bedouin, yet in many points, good as well as bad, he remained their spiritus rector. Of the two or three souls which had their home in the breast of the later Israelites, this was the most obtrusive and long-lived. However, we can only congratulate this Bedouin family on their crossing, for any change in the manner of living is said to have a very bad effect on the high qualities of the genuine and purely Semitic nomads. The learned Sayce, one of the greatest advocates of the Jews at the present day, writes: "If the Bedouin of the desert chooses a settled life, he, as a rule, unites in himself all the vices of the nomad and of the peasant. Lazy, deceitful, cruel, greedy, cowardly, he is rightly regarded by all nations as the scum of mankind." [51] But long before they settled down, this Bedouin family, the Beni Israel, had fortunately escaped such a cruel fate by manifold crossing with non- Semites.

We saw that the original Bedouin family first stayed for a considerable time on the Southern Euphrates in the neighbourhood of the city of Dr: did crossing take place at this stage? It has been asserted that it did. And since fairly genuine Sumero-Accadians presumably formed the basis of the population of the Babylonian Empire at that time -- for the Semites had merely annexed this State and its high civilisation without performing either the mental work or the manual [52] -- it is assumed that the stock of Abraham was quickened by Sumero-Accadian blood. The occurrence of such strange names as Abraham (this was the name of the first legendary founder and king of Dr among the Sumerians) has given weight to this view, as also the fragments of half-understood Turanian [53] wisdom and mythology, of which the first chapters of Genesis are composed. But such assumptions are purely hypothetical and hence, to begin with, hardly merit serious consideration. Not even probability speaks for this view. The poor shepherds had hardly touched the hem of civilisation, what people then would have entered into family relations with them? And as regards the adoption of such meagre cosmogonic conceptions as we find in the Bible, intercourse with other Hebrews is sufficient to explain that; for the mythology, the science and the culture of the Sumerians (in which we still share, thanks to the idea of creation and of the fall of man, the division of the week and the year, the foundation of geometry, and the invention of writing) had spread far and wide; Egypt was their pupil, [54] and the Semite, incapable of such deep intuition as the Egyptian, had long ago, before the Beni Israel began their wanderings, adopted as much of Egyptian culture as seemed advantageous and practical and had, as active mediators, spread it wherever they went. The crossing with Sumero-Accadians is therefore just as improbable as it is unproved.

We are, however, on sure ground, as soon as the emigrants move to north and west. For now they are in the heart of Syria and they never again leave it (except at the time of their short stay on the borders of Egypt). Here, in Syria, our purely Semitic Bedouin family has been changed by crossing, here its members became Hebrews by mingling with an absolutely different type, the Syrian-as so many a Bedouin colony before and after them. At a later period part of the family was forced to emigrate from Mesopotamia, which lay in the northeast corner, to Canaan, in the extreme south- west, where similar race-moulding influences, to which quite new ones were also added, asserted themselves in a still more definite way. It was only here, in Canaan, that the Abrahamide Hebrews changed gradually into genuine Israelites. To this very Canaan the Israelites, now increased in numbers, returned as conquerors, after their sojourn in Egypt; and here they received, in addition to alien blood, a new culture, which transformed them from nomads into settled farmers and city-dwellers. We can, therefore, without making any mistake, distinguish two anthropogenetic spheres of influence, which successively came into prominence, a more general one, provided by the entrance into Syria and in particular by the long stay in Mesopotamia, in regard to which we have no very definite historical dates, but which we may and must deduce from the known ethnological facts; in the second place, a more particular Canaanite influence, which we can prove from the detailed testimony of the Bible. Let us discuss first the more general sphere of influence and then the more particular one.


If we turn up a text-book of geography or an encyclopaedia, we shall find it stated that the present population of Syria is "to the greatest extent Semitic." This is false; just as false as the statement we find in the same sources, that the Armenians are "Aryans." Here again we see the widespread confusion of language and race; we should, on the same footing, logically have to maintain that the negroes of the United States were Anglo-Saxons. Scientific anthropology has in recent years, by thorough investigation of an enormous amount of material, irrefutably proved that from the most remote times to which prehistoric discoveries reach back, the main population of Syria has been formed from a type which is absolutely different, physically and morally, from the Semitic, as it is from everything which we are wont to comprise under the term "Aryan"; and this applies not to the population of Syria alone, but also to that of all Asia Minor and the extensive region which we call Armenia at the present day. There are races which have an inborn tendency to restless wandering (e.g., the Bedouin, the Laplander, &c.), others which possess a rare power of expansion (e.g., the Teutonic races); but this inhabitant of Syria and Asia Minor seems to have been distinguished and still to be distinguished by his obstinate attachment to his native soil and the invincible power of his physical constancy. His original home was the trysting-place of nations, he himself almost always being vanquished, and the great battles of the world being fought over him -- yet he survived them all and his blood asserted itself to such an extent that the Syrian Semite of to-day should be called Semite in language rather than in race, and the so-called Aryan Armenian, of Phrygian origin, has perhaps not 10 per cent of Indo-European blood in his veins. On the other hand, the so-called" Syrian" of to-day, the Jew and the Armenian can hardly be distinguished from one another, and this is easily explained, since the primal race which unites all three makes them daily more and more like each other. We may most appropriately apply a quotation from Schiller's Braut von Messina to this Syrian stem:

Die fremden Eroberer kommen und gehen;
Wir gehorchen, aber wir bleiben stehen.

Now the people which enters history at a later time under the name of Israelites was subject to this powerful ethnical influence for many centuries, at least for over ten centuries. That is what I called the general sphere of influence by which our genuine Semitic Bedouin family became a group of the so-called "Hebrews." Hebrews are, in fact, a cross between Semite and Syrian. It must not be thought that the nomad shepherds immediately crossed with the strange race, the process was rather as follows: on the one hand they found a considerable number of half and quarter Hebrews, who formed the point of connection; on the other hand they doubtless subdued the original inhabitants (as the predominance of the Semitic languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, &c., proves) and begot sons and daughters with their Syrian slaves; later] (in half-historical times) we see them voluntarily intermarrying with the independent families of the alien people, and this had beyond doubt been for centuries the custom. However, no matter what theories we may hold about the process of fusion, certain it is that it did take place.

To be able to speak of that other Syrian type it would be convenient to have a name for him. Hommel, the well-known Munich scholar, calls him the Alarodian; [55] he thinks he may ascribe to him considerable expansion even over Southern Europe and finds him in the Iberians and Basques of to-day. But the layman must be very discreet in his use of such hypotheses; before this book is printed, the Alarodians may have been thrown among the scrap-iron of science. The example of the French zoologist and anthropologist, G. de Lapouge, is worthy of imitation; he does not trouble himself about history and origin, but gives names to the various physical types according to the Linnean method, such as Homo europoeus, HomoAfer, Homo contractus, &c. So far as formation of skull is concerned, this type from Asia Minor would correspond pretty exactly to Lapouge's Homo alpinus; [56] but here we may safely and simply call him Homo syriacus, the primeval inhabitant of Syria. And just as we found a point of support for the Semitic type in the Bedouin, so we find in the Hittite tribe a peculiarly characteristic representative of the Syrian type, and moreover the one with which the Israelites in Palestine were closely connected; it no longer, of course, exists among us as a national individuality, but it is daily becoming better known from history and from manifold surviving representations. [57] This Syrian type is distinguished by the prevalence of a particular anatomical characteristic he is round-headed, or, as the natural scientists say, "brachycephalous," that is, with a short skull, the breadth of which is nearly equal to the length. [58] The Bedouin, on the other hand, and also every Semite whose blood is not strongly mixed with foreign elements, is decidedly "dolichocephalic." "Long, narrow heads," writes von Luschan, "are a striking characteristic of the Bedouin to-day, and we should have to claim the same for the oldest Arabs were it not proved from numerous illustrations on the old Egyptian monuments fortunately preserved." [59] Naturally there is more than this one anatomical criterion; corresponding to the round head there is the thick-set body; it is the expression of a complete and peculiar physiological character. But the skull is the most convenient part of the skeleton for making comparative studies regarding extinct races, and it is also the most expressive, and no matter how endless the variation in the individuals, it maintains the typical forms with great constancy. But the Hittite had another and much more striking anatomical distinguishing feature, a very ephemeral one, it is true, since cartilage and not bone went to form it, but it has been splendidly preserved in pictures and so is well known to us to-day -- the nose. The so-called "Jewish nose" is a Hittite legacy. The genuine Arab, the pure Bedouin, has usually "a short, small nose little bent" (I quote von Luschan and refer to the illustrations given) and even when the nose is more of the eagle type, it never possesses an "extinguisher" (as Philip von Zesen, the language-reformer, called it) of the specific, unmistakable Jewish and Armenian form. Now by continuous crossing with the round-headed type of the alien people the Israelite has gradually lost his narrow, long Bedouin head, receiving as compensation the so-called Jewish nose. Certainly the long head still occurred, maintaining itself especially among the nobler families; even among the Jews of to-day we find a small percentage of genuine long heads; but the long head disappeared more and more. The nose alone is no reliable proof of Jewish descent; the reason is clear; this Syrian legacy is common to all peoples who have Syrian blood in their veins. In the case of this anthropological discovery we have to do with no hypothetical assertions, such as too frequently occur in theological and critical or historical works; it is the sure result of thorough scientific investigation of a sufficiently large material; [60] this material extends from a very ancient time down to the present, and is excellently supported by the numerous representations found in Egypt and Syria, and gradually assigned to their proper period. We can in a way trace the process by which the Israelite "became Jew" by the Egyptian monuments, although, in fact, even in the oldest of them (which do not go far back into Israelite history, since it was only in Solomon's time that the Jewish people became known beyond their borders) there is little of the genuine Semitic type revealed. Genuine Hittites and half-Hittites are here represented as Israelite soldiers; only the leaders (see, for instance, the so-called portrait of King Rehoboam, Solomon's son) remind us of Bedouin types, but even they sometimes rather resemble good European countenances.

SHORT SKULL (brachycephalous) LONG SKULL (dolichocephalous)
(After de Mortillet)



AMORITISH ISRAELITE (portrait of a son of Solomon)

With these last remarks we pass from the general prehistoric sphere of influence to that of Canaan, which likewise continued for over a thousand years and provides us with plenty of sure facts to go upon. For before the Hebrew Israelites had the honour of being immortalised by the art of Egyptian painters, they had moved from Mesopotamia to Canaan. We must distinguish between their first appearance in Canaan and their second, in the former case they remained there as nomadic shepherds on the best terms with the rightful inhabitants of the cities and the owners of the tracts under cultivation; in the second case they entered the country as conquerors. In the former case, in fact, they were not numerous, in the second they were a whole nation, However uncertain and disputed many historical details still may be, one fact is certain, when they entered the land first the Israelites found the Hittites living there, those Hittites who formed a most important stem of the Homo syriacus. Abraham says to the inhabitants of Hebron, to the "children of Heth," as he expressly calls them: "I am a stranger and a sojourner with you" (Genesis xxiii. 4), and he begs, as only a stranger on suffrance could beg, a "burying-place" for his wife Sarah. Isaac's eldest son, Esau, has only daughters of Heth as his wives (Genesis xxvi. 34); the younger son, Jacob, is sent to distant Mesopotamia, that he may take a Hebrew woman as his wife, and from this we must conclude that there was none in Palestine, no Hebrew girl at least, who would as regards wealth have been a suitable match for him. Isaac would not have insisted upon it, a well-to-do Hittite would have pleased him, but Rebecca, his Mesopotamian wife, had no love for her Hittite daughters-in-law, the wives of Esau, and said she would rather die than let any more such come into the house (Genesis xxvii. 46). Among the sons of Jacob it is again specially mentioned of Judah that he married Hittite wives (I Chronicles ii. 3). These popular tales are a source of historical information; we see that the Israelites had a clear recollection of having, as a very limited number of shepherds, lived among a strange, cultured and friendly people that. dwelt in cities; the rich elders of the race could indulge in the luxury of sending for wives for their sons from their former home; but these sons themselves like to follow their direct inclination rather than the principle of exclusiveness: they married the maidens whom they saw around them -- unless they were such heartless mercenary match-makers as Jacob; the poorer classes, of course, selected wives where they found them. In addition there was the begetting of children with slave girls. Of Jacob's twelve sons, for instance, four are the sons of slave girls and they enjoy the same rights as the others. -- All this refers to the earliest contact with the Hittites of Canaan which the Bible mentions. Now there followed, according to legend, the long stay on the borders of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. But here, too, the Israelites were surrounded by Hittites. For the Hittites extended to the borders of Egypt, where at that time their kinsmen, the Hyksos, held the sceptre; the city of Tanis, which was the rallying-point for the Israelites in Goshen, was essentially a Hittite city; from the earliest times it had been in the closest contact with Hebron; when the Israelites moved with their flocks from Hebron to the district of Tanis, they accordingly remained in the same ethnical surroundings. [62] And when they afterwards returned to Canaan as conquerors, they, indeed, gradually overthrew the Canaanites, who consisted mostly of Hittites, but they also, for the first time, entered into close intercourse with them. For, as I insisted above, the Canaanite did not disappear. We need only read the first chapter of the Book of Judges to see what Wellhausen too attests; "The Israelites did not conquer the former population systematically, but made their way among them ... it is impossible to speak of a complete conquest of the land of Palestine." And with regard to the manner in which this alien non• Semitic blood permeated the Hebrew blood more and more, the same author says, "The most important event in the period of Judges took place fairly quietly, namely, the fusion of the new Israelite population of the land with the old population. The Israelites of the time of the Kings had a strong Canaanite admixture in their blood; they were by no means pure descendants of those who once had immigrated from Egypt.... If the Israelites had destroyed the old settled inhabitants, they would have made a desert of the land and robbed themselves of the prize of victory. By sparing them and, as it were, grafting themselves upon them, they grew into their culture. They made themselves at home in houses which they had not built, in fields and gardens which they had not laid out and cultivated. Everywhere, like lucky heirs, they reaped the fruits of the labour of their predecessors. Thus they themselves underwent an inner transformation fraught with many consequences; they grew quickly into a cultured people." [63] At an earlier time, in Hebron or Tanis, the Israelites had learned from the Hittites the art of writing; [64] now they learned from them how to cultivate crops and vines, how to build and to manage cities -- in short, through them they became a civilised people; and through them also they became for the first time a State. Never could the various tribes, living as they did in constant jealousy, in suspicious isolation, have formed themselves into a unity but for the Canaanite element, the cement of the State. And what is more, their religious conceptions, too, received their special colouring and organisation from the Canaanites: Baal, the God of agriculture and of peaceful work, coalesced with Jehovah, the God of armies and of raids. We see how much Baal was honoured among the Israelites (in spite of later corrections on the part of the Jews) from facts such as this, that the first Israelite hero on the soil of Palestine is called Jerubbaal, [65] and, moreover, takes to wife a Hittite: that the first King, Saul, calls one of his sons Ishbaal, David one of his Baaliada, Jonathan his only son Meribbaal, &c. The Israelite borrowed from the Canaanite the whole tradition of Prophets, as also the whole outward cult and the tradition of the sacred places. [66] I need not discuss in detail what everyone can find in the Bible (sometimes certainly obscured by so many strange-sounding names that one needs an expert guide), namely, the great part played by the Hittites and by their relatives the Philistines in the history of Israel. Till the fusion was far advanced and the difference in names had disappeared, we find them everywhere, particularly among the best soldiers; and how many details in this connection must have disappeared after the later editing of the Bible by the Jews, who endeavoured to cut out all that was alien to them and to introduce the fiction of a pure descent from Abraham! David's bodyguard is composed if not wholly yet to a great extent of men who do not belong to Israel; Hittites and Gittites hold important posts as officers; the bulk of the soldiers were Cerethites and Pelethites, Philistines and all other kinds of aliens, partly Syrian, partly almost purely European, some of Hellenic race. [67] David, in fact, won the throne only by the help of the Philistines -- and probably as their vassal; [68] he even did everything in his power to encourage the fusion of the Israelites with their neighbours, and himself set the example by marrying women of Syrian and Indo-European descent.


Since the word "Indo-European" has slipped from my pen I must here dwell upon a fact which I have as yet scarcely mentioned. The Canaanites consisted principally, but not solely, of Hittites; the Amorites lived in close connection with them, but they were often settled in separate districts, and thus kept their race relatively pure. These Amorites were tall, fair, blue-eyed men of ruddy complexion; they were "from the north," that is, from Europe; the Egyptians, therefore, called them Tamehu, the "North men," and moreover they seem, though this is of course problematic, not to have reached Palestine very long before the return of the Israelites from Egypt. [69] To the east of the Jordan they had founded mighty kingdoms with which the Israelites later had to wage many wars; another portion had entered Palestine and lived there in the closest friendship with the Hittites: [70] others had joined the Philistines, and that in such large numbers, increased perhaps by direct immigration from the purely Hellenic West, that many historians have regarded the Philistines as predominantly Aryan-European. [71] These, our own kinsfolk, are those children of Anak, the "men of great stature" who inspired the Israelites with such terror, when the latter first secretly entered Southern Palestine on a scouting expedition (Numbers xiii.); to them belonged the brave Goliath, who challenges the Israelites to a knightly combat but is killed by the treacherously slung stone; [72] to them belong those "Rephaims" who carry gigantic spears and heavy mail of iron (I Samuel xvii. 5 ff., 2 Samuel xxi. 16 ff.). And while the Bible relates in great detail the heroic deeds of the Israelites against these tall fair men, it could not, on the other hand, conceal the fact that it was from them (the still very savage pure Indo-European tribe of the Gittites) that David drew his best and most reliable soldiers. It was only by the Philistines that the Philistines were conquered, only by the Amorites the Amorites. The Gittites, for example, were not conquered by David, but followed him of their own accord (2 Samuel xv. 19 ff.) from their love of war; their leader, Ittai, was appointed commander of a third of the Israelite army (2 Samuel xviii. 2). Of this "Aryan corps," as he calls it, Renan says: "It was as brave as the Arabian but excelled it in reliability; to establish anything permanently its support was necessary.... It was this that frustrated the treacherous plans of Absalom, of Sebah, of Adonijah; it was this that saved the threatened throne of Solomon ... it supplied the cement of the Israelite kingdom." [73] But these men were not only brave and faithful soldiers, but also builders of cities; their cities were the best built and the strongest (Deuteronomy i. 28) ; [74] one of them in particular became world-famous: not far from Hebron, the chief city of their Hittite friends, the Amorites founded a new city, Jerusalem. The King of Jerusalem who marches against Joshua is an Amorite (Joshua x. 5), and even though the narrative says that he was defeated and slain with all the other kings, one must take that and the whole book of Joshua cum grana salis; for the conquest of Palestine in reality cost the Israelites a great deal of trouble, and was accomplished only very slowly and by the help of foreigners; [75] at any rate the city of Jerusalem was till David's time an Amorite city, mixed with much Hittite blood, a mixed population which the Bible calls Jebusites, but it remained free from Israelites; it was only in the eighth year of his reign that David with his alien mercenaries won this fortress and, because of its strength, chose it as his residence. But the Amorite-Hittite population continued to be of importance by reason of their numbers and position; [76] David has to buy ground from a well-to-do Amorite, to erect an altar thereon (2 Samuel xxiv. 18 ff.), and it is with a Gittite, one of his most trusted leaders, that he deposits the sacred ark of the covenant, after he has transferred it to Jerusalem (2 Samuel iv. 10). [77] Thus, too, the prophet Ezekiel represents God as calling to the city of Jerusalem: "Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite!" (Ezekiel xvi. 3). And then he reproaches the Israelite inhabitants with mixing with these alien elements: "Thou playedst the harlot and pouredst out thy fornications on everyone that passed by" (Ezekiel xvi. 15) -- a piece of simplicity on the part of the pious Jew, since the great men of his race had not beer sparing with the example, and he himself, as a Jerusalemite, was the child of this threefold crossing; Ezekiel, the real inventor of specific Judaism, had already before his mind that paradoxical idea of a Jew of pure race, which is a contradictio in adjecto. The Judean, in fact, had adopted more Amorite blood than any other Israelite, and that for the simple reason that the Amorites were pretty numerous in the south of Palestine, the districts of Simeon, Judah and Benjamin, whereas they were less numerous in the north. The Egyptian monuments, on which the various peoples are most characteristically represented, prove incontestably that at the time of Solomon and his successors the inhabitants of Southern Israel, especially the leaders of the army, were distinguished by the predominance of the clearly marked Amorite, that is Indo-European, type.


Indeed it has been sometimes questioned whether David himself was not half or three-quarters Amorite. The Bible emphasises in several places his fairness, and, as Virchow has proved by countless statistics, "the skin with all that belongs to it is even more constant than the skull"; now fair complexion and light hair never occurred among the Hebrews and the members of the Syrian group, these characteristics of the European being first brought into the land by the Amorites and the Hellenes; that is why David's fairness was so striking.[78] In these circumstances it is probably not too daring to suppose that a shepherd born in Bethlehem (that is, in the district most thickly populated by Amorites) may have had an Amorite mother. His character, its great faults as well as its fascinating qualities, his daring, his spirit of adventure, his carelessness, his fanciful nature, distinguish David, it seems to me, from all the heroes of Israel; equally so his endeavour to organise the kingdom and to unite the scattered tribes into one whole, which drew upon him the hatred of the Israelites. His outspoken predilection for the Philistines, too, among whom he had gladly served as a soldier (see, for example, 2 Samuel xxi. 3), is a striking feature, as also the remarkable fact, pointed out by Renan (Israel, Ii. 35), that he treated the Philistines generously in war, but the Hebrew peoples with frightful cruelty, as though they were repugnant to him. Should there be any truth in this supposition, Solomon could hardly be called an Israelite; for it is very unlikely that his mother Bathsheba, the wife of the Hittite Uriah, was an Israelite. [79] Thus we should have an explanation of the peculiar incompatibility between Solomon's nature and aims and the character of Israel and Judah. Renan says it openly: "Salomon n'entendait rien a la vraie vocation de sa race"; [80] he was a stranger with all a stranger's wishes and a stranger's aims in the midst of the people he thought to make great. And thus this short period of splendour in the history of the Israelite people -- David, Solomon -- would in reality be nothing else but an "episode" brought about by the exultant strength of an entirely different blood, but soon crushed by the unbending will of the Syro-Semite, who was not inclined to follow in those paths, nor indeed capable of doing so.
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:58 am

Part 3 of 8


Concerning that which I previously termed the special sphere of influence, we possess, as can be seen, sufficient historical material. If my purpose were not limited to describing the origin of the Jews I might add a great deal more -- for example, that the tribe of Joseph, the most gifted and energetic of all Israelites from whom are descended Joshua, Samuel, Jerubbaal, &c., and the great dynasty of the Omrides, were half-Egyptians, as Genesis xli. 45 tells us with the brevity of such folklore, in that Joseph marries the daughter of a priest from Heliopolis, who bears him Ephraim and Manasseh ... but this fact is of little or no importance in fixing the Jewish line of descent; for marriages between the different tribes of Israel were made almost impossible by law, and were particularly improbable owing to the persistent antipathy of the children of Joseph to those of Judah. It is just as unnecessary to speak of their contact with many other Hebrew families. The later admixture of negro blood with the Jewish in the Diaspora of Alexandria -- of which many a man of Jewish persuasion at this day offers living proof -- is also a matter of little importance. What I have said is detailed enough to enable everyone to picture to himself the anthropogeny of the Jew in its •broad outlines. We have seen that there cannot be the least doubt that the historical Israelite, from whom the real "Jew" later separated himself, is the product of a mixture. He even enters history as a half-caste, namely, as a Hebrew; this Hebrew then contracts marriages with alien non-Semitic women: first of all with the Hittites, a special stem of the widespread and clearly marked homo syriacus; in the second place with the tall, fair, blue-eyed Amorites from the Indo-European group. Now this historical testimony is confirmed in an irrefutable manner by that of science. F. von Luschan thus summarises the evidence in the paper already quoted: "The Jews are descended, first from real Semites, secondly from Aryan Amorites, thirdly and chiefly from the descendants of the old Hittites. These are the three most important elements in the Jew, and in comparison other mixtures are of very little account." This diagnosis -- let it be noted -- refers to the Jews at the time when they were separated from Israel, and it is equally applicable to-day; the measurements have been made on old material and on the very newest, and that with the result that the various adoptions of aliens (Spaniards, Southern French, &c.) into Judaism, on which feuilletonists and unctuous moralists are wont to lay much emphasis, have remained absolutely without influence; a race so characteristically composed and then kept so strictly pure immediately absorbs such drops of water.

The first point is thus settled: the Israelite people is descended from the crossing of absolutely different human types. The second point, in which the relation of the different races to each other has to be discussed, will require only one paragraph as far as pure statistics are concerned; but what would be the use of figures if they did not give us distinct conceptions? That would be purely and simply the x, y, z of elementary algebra; the problem is correctly solved, but does not mean anything, as all the figures are unknown; the quality of the different races will therefore detain our attention longer than the quantity.

Now as far as the quantitative composition of the Israelite blood is concerned, we must not forget that even 60,000 measurements are little in comparison with the millions that have lived in the course of centuries; it would be wrong to apply them to the single individual; statistics of masses cannot lift even the hem of the veil which envelops the personality. Nevertheless, we should also remember that beyond the individuality of the person there is the individuality of the whole people; and numbers can be much better applied to this more abstract personality. I cannot tell simply from the race of an individual what he will do in a definite case; but I can, for example, with great certainty prophesy how a large number of Italians, as a collective body, or an equal number of Norwegians will act in a definite case. For Our knowledge of the character of a people anthropological figures are therefore of real value. Now these figures give the following results with regard to the Jews (of former times and to-day, in east and in west); 50 per cent. show clear evidence of belonging to the type homo syriacus (short heads, characteristic, so-called "Jewish" noses, inclination to stoutness, &c.); only 5 per cent, have the features and the anatomical structure of the genuine Semite (the Bedouin of the desert); in the case of 10 per cent, we find a colour of skin and hair, often too of complexion, which points to the Amorite of Indo-European descent; 35 per cent represent indefinable mixed forms, something of the nature of Lombroso's "combined photographs," where countenances occur in which the one feature contradicts the other: skulls which are neither long like those of the genuine Semite, nor half-long like those of the Amorite, nor round like those of the Syrian, noses which are neither Hittite, nor Aryan, nor Semitic, or, again, the Syrian nose, but without the head that belongs to it, and so on ad infinitum. The chief result of this anatomical survey is that the Jewish race is in truth a permanent but at the same time a mongrel race which always retains this mongrel character. In the former chapter I have tried to make clear the difference between mixed and mongrel races. 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. And to this was added later the ferment of a European-Aryan element!


It is very proper to lay strong emphasis on this; for such a process, however unconsciously it may go on, is an incestuous crime against nature; it can only be followed by a miserable or a tragical fate. The rest of the Hebrews, and with them the Josephites, had a wretched end; like the families of the more important pseudo. Semitic mestizos (the Phoenicians, Babylonians, &c.) they disappeared and left no trace behind; the Jew, on the other hand, chose the tragic fate; that proves his greatness, and that is his greatness. I shall soon return to this theme, since this resolve on his part means the founding of Judaism; I shall only add one remark, for it is appropriate here and has never yet, so far as I know, been made, namely, that this deep consciousness of sin, which weighed upon [81] the Jewish nation in its heroic days, and which has found pathetic expression in the words of its chosen men, is rooted in these physical relations. Naturally the intelligence, and the vanity which is common to us all, explained it quite differently, but the instinct went deeper than the understanding, and as soon as the destruction of the Israelites and their own captivity had awakened the conscience of the Jew, his first act was to put an end to that incest (as I called it above, using the very word of Ezekiel) by the strict prohibition of every crossing, even with nearly related tribes. An inexplicable contradiction has been found in the fact that it was the Jews who brought into our bright world the ever-threatening conception of sin, and that they nevertheless understand by sin something quite different from us. Sin is for them a national thing, whereas the individual is " just" when he does not transgress the "law"; [82] redemption is not the moral redemption of the individual, but the redemption of the State; [83] that is difficult for us to understand. But there is something more: the sin unconsciously committed is the same to the Jew as a conscious sin; [84] "the notion of sin has for the Jew no necessary reference to the conscience of the sinner, it does not necessarily involve the conception of a moral badness, but points to a legal responsibility." [85] Montefiore also expressly declares that according to the view of the postexilic legislators "sin was looked upon not as a contamination of the individual soul, but as a pollution of the physical purity, a disturbance of that untroubled purity of the land and its inhabitants which is the one condition under which God can continue to dwell among His people and in His sanctuary" (p. 326). Wellhausen expresses himself thus: "In the case of the Jews ... there is no inner connection between the good man and that which is good; the action of the hands and the desire of the heart are severed." [86] I am, as I said, convinced that the key to this remarkable and contradictory conception is to be found in the history of the physical growth of this people: their existence is sin, their existence is a crime against the holy laws of life; this, at any rate, is felt by the Jew himself in the moments when destiny knocks heavily at his door. Not the individual but the whole people had to be washed clean, and not of a conscious but of an unconscious crime; and that is impossible, "though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap," as Jeremiah (ii. 22) says to his people. And in order to wipe out the irretrievable past, in order to fuse that past with the present, in which wisdom and the power of will should set a limit to sin and make a place for purity -- the whole Jewish history from the beginning had to be falsified, and the Jews represented as a people chosen above all other peoples by God and of stainlessly pure race, protected by Draconian laws against every crossing. Those who brought that about were not liars, as has probably been supposed, but men who acted under the pressure of that necessity which alone raises us above ourselves and makes us ignorant instruments of mighty dispensations of fate. [87] If anything is calculated to free us from the blindness of our times and the phrase-making of our authorities [88] and to open our eyes to the law of nature, that great peoples result only from the ennoblement of the race and that this can only take place under definite conditions, the neglect of which brings in its train degeneration and sterility, it is the sight of this sublimely planned and desperate struggle of the Jews who had become conscious of their racial sin.


If we now return to racial statistics, we find ourselves face to face with a difficult theme; we may measure skulls and count noses, but how do these results reveal themselves in the inner nature of the Jew? We hold the bone of the skull in the hand, it is what Carlyle calls "a hard fact." This skull, indeed, symbolises a whole world; anyone with the skill to weigh the mass of it rightly, and to interpret its lines in their mutual relations, could tell us much about the individual; he would see possibilities of which the race in question becomes conscious only after generations, and recognise limitations which separate one man from the other from the very first. On looking at the two skulls on p. 374, the long one and the round one, we seem to see two microcosms. But the power of interpretation is denied us; we judge men by their deeds, that is really indirectly and according to a fragmentary method, for these deeds are determined only by definite circumstances. Everything remains piecework here. Now the protoplasm of a one-celled alga is such an extremely complicated structure that the chemists do not yet know how many atoms they must suppose in the molecule, and how they can unite them under a symbolical formula that is at all acceptable; who would presume to find the formula for a human being or a whole people? The following characterisation of the Hittites, the Amorites and the Semites can only serve to give a very general conception.

On the Egyptian pictures the Hittites look anything but intelligent. The exaggerated "Jewish" nose is continued upwards by a retreating brow and downwards by a still more retreating chin. [89] Perhaps the homo syriacus was not really distinguished by the possession of great and brilliant gifts; I cannot say that he has given any signs of it in modern times in places where he is supposed to predominate. But he unquestionably possessed good qualities. That his race predominated and still predominates in the various crossings shows great physical power. Moreover, he possessed corresponding endurance and diligence. To judge from the few pictures he must also have been shrewd, in fact extremely cunning (which of course has nothing to do with brilliant intellect, on the contrary). His history, too, shows him to be shrewd: he has known how to rule and how to submit to an alien power where the conditions were favourable. He put barren districts under cultivation, and when the population increased, he built cities and was such a capable merchant that in the Bible the same word served to denote merchant and Canaanite. That he could face death bravely is proved by the long struggle with Egypt [90] and the occurrence of such characters as Uriah. [91] A feature of kindliness is evident in all the otherwise very different portraits. We can form a vivid mental picture of how these men -- equally remote from symbolical mythology and from fanatical Bedouin delusion -- could introduce that simple cult, which the Israelites found in Palestine and adopted -- the festival of the vintage (it was New Year also to them, and the Jews later called it the Feast of the Tabernacle), the festival of spring (Easter, transformed later by the Jews into Passover) with the offering of the first-born of cattle and sheep, the festival of the finished harvest (Pentecost, called by the Jews "Festival of the Weeks"), nothing but joyful festivals of a long-settled agricultural people, not those of a nomadic race, festivals without any deeper connection with the spiritual life of man, a simple nature-religion such as may have suited and still certainly would suit simple, industrious and "tolerably honest" people. [92] As we find human sacrifice only where (as in Phoenicia) the Semitic element strongly predominated, [93] we may assume that a Semitic and not a Hittite custom reveals itself in the cases where the Canaanite service of Baal permits such horrors at the festival: they are, however, exceptional and probably occur only when alien princesses have come by marriage into the land. [94] On the whole the Hittites give us the impression of a respectable mediocrity with great vitality rather than of any special capacity for extraordinary achievements, they possess more endurance than power. Goethe says somewhere that there is no greatness without something extravagant; according to this definition of Goethe the Hittites can hardly lay claim to greatness.


On the other hand, in the Amorites -- "tall as cedars and strong as oaks" (Amos ii. 9), with their bold challenges, their unbridled love of adventure, their insane loyalty even to death towards alien, self-imposed masters, their thick city walls, from which they loved to make forays in the mountains, -- the element of extravagance seems to me to be peculiarly characteristic. It was a wild, cruel extravagance, but capable of the very highest things. We seem to catch a glimpse of quite another being when on the Egyptian monuments among the countless number of physiognomies we suddenly see before us this free, frank, open countenance so full of character and intelligence. Like the eye of genius amid the common throng of men, so these features appear to us amid the mass of cunning and bad, stupid and evil countenances, amid this whole riffraff of Babylonians, Hebrews, Hittites, Nubians and all the rest of them. o homo europaeus! how couldst thou stray among such company? Yes, thou seemst to me like an eye that looks into a divine transcendental world. And fain would I call to thee: follow not the advice of the learned' anthropologists, do not amalgamate with that crowd, mingle not with the Asiatic rabble, obey the great poet of thy race, remain true to thyself ... but I am 3000 years too late. The Hittite remained, the Amorite disappeared. This is one among the many differences between noble and ignoble: nobility is more difficult to maintain. Though giants in form these men are nevertheless very delicate in their inner organisation. No people degenerates so quickly as Lapouge's homo europaeus; how rapidly, for instance, the Greeks became barbarians, in Syros, Parthos, AEgyptos degenerarunt, as Livy himself testifies (38, 17, II). He completely loses his peculiar qualities, that which is his alone he seems incapable of giving to others, the others do not• possess the vessel to hold it; he, on the other hand, possesses a fatal capacity of assimilating all that is alien. People, it is true, talk to-day of the fair-haired Syrians, we hear too that 10 per cent of the Jews are fair; but Virchow has told us that skin and hair endure longer than the skull, and it is probable that the skull would last longer than the brain; I do not know, but I really believe that the Indo-European left in Asia, as elsewhere, beyond the memory of his deeds, little more than skin and hair. I have looked for him in the Talmud, but in vain. [95]


It seems to me very difficult to say anything about the third of this group, the genuine Semite; for it is characteristic of this homo arabicus not to enter into or influence human history until he has ceased to be a genuine Semite. So long as he remains in his wilderness (and for his peace and greatness of soul he should always remain there), he really does not belong to history at all; it is also very difficult, indeed wellnigh impossible, to get definite particulars concerning him there; we merely hear that he is brave, hospitable, pious, also revengeful and cruel -- these are mere elements of character, there is nothing to give us a clue to his intellectual gifts. Burckhardt, who travelled for years in Arabia, represents the Bedouin as absolutely dormant intellectually, so long as love or war does not stretch the slack bow -- and then he at once goes to extremes [96] But if he breaks into the civilised world, it is to murder and burn, as under Abu Bekr and Omar, or to-day in Central Africa. [97] As soon as he has laid waste everything far and wide, the genuine Semite disappears, we hear nothing more of him; wherever he appears in the history of civilisation crossing has in the meantime taken place -- for no type seems to mix more quickly and more successfully than that which has sprung from a compulsory inbreeding of thousands of years' duration. 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. That is why Harun-al-Raschid's reign is such a bright moment in a dark, sad history, because the pure Persian family of the Barmecides, which remained true to the Iranian religion of Zarathustra, [98] stands by the side of the Khalif as a civilising and refining influence. Not a single one of the so-called "Semitic" civilised States of antiquity is purely Semitic, -- no, not one: neither the Babylonian nor the Assyrian nor the Phoenician. History tells us so and anthropology supports the statement. We still hear "wonders and fairy tales" about the rich blessing poured upon us by this civilising work of the so-called Semites: but when we look more closely we always find that the genuine Semitic is simply "grafted" upon the really creative element (as Wellhausen said of the Israelites), and so it is very difficult to decide how much and what in particular is to be ascribed to the Semite as such, and what, on the other hand, to his host.. We know to-day, for example, that the Semites did not invent writing with letters any more than they did the so-called "Arabian ciphers"; it is from the Hittites that the pretended "Phoenician" or "Semitic" writing [100] is derived, and "the legend of the handing down of the alphabet to the Aryans by the Phoenicians is now discarded for good," since much older letters have been found than the oldest pseudo-Semitic ones -- letters which prove the existence of a "primitive Aryan-European script, which only at a later period was somewhat influenced, in the east, by the Asiatic writings. [101] -- We see, on the other hand, that where the Semitic will prevailed in the pure sphere of religion (not of property) it forced and commanded mental sterility: we see it in the Jews after the Babylonian captivity (for the victory of the religious party is unquestionably a victory of the Semitic element) and we see it in Mohammedanism. "Jewish life was, after the exile, devoid of all intellectual and mental interests except the religious ... the typical Jew interested himself neither in politics, literature, philosophy nor art.... The Bible really formed his whole literature, and its study was his only mental and intellectual interest"; this is written by an unprejudiced critic, the Jewish scholar C. G. Montefiore (pp. 419 and 543). An equally reliable witness, Hirsch Graetz, quotes a remark of Rabbi Akiba: "Whoever devotes himself to reading exoteric writings (that is, to any study but the sacred Jewish Thora) has lost his right to future life." [102] The Mishna teaches, "to have one's son taught Greek science is as accursed as to engage in the breeding of swine." [103] That the Hittites, who form, as we have seen, the half of the Jewish blood, always protested against such doctrines and devoted their attention by preference to everything" exoteric," is a different matter; I am here trying to define the "Semite" only. As regards the sterilising influence of the most genuine Semitic religion, the Mohammedan, it is too obvious to require proof. We stand here then, to begin with, before a mass of negative and very few positive facts; anyone who is not content with phrases will find it difficult to get a clear conception of the personality of the genuine Semite, and yet for our purpose the answering of the question, Who is the Jew? is so important that we must strive to get that conception. Let us call the learned to our aid!

If I consult the work of the most eminent and consequently most reliable of all ethnographists in Germany, Oskar Peschel, I shall find no answer to this question; he was a prudent man. Ratzel writes as follows: The Semite has greater intensity, or, so to say, one-sidedness of religious feeling than either the Hamite or the Indo-Teuton; violence, exclusiveness, in short fanaticism, is his distinguishing-mark; religious extravagances, including human sacrifices, are nowhere so widespread as in his midst; the general of the Mahdi even in 1883 had prisoners roasted alive in ovens; the Semite is individualistic, he clings more to family and religion than to the State; since he is not a good soldier, foreign mercenaries had to win his victories for him; in the oldest times the Semite may have done great things for science, but it is possible that these achievements are of foreign origin -- later at any rate he does not accomplish much in this sphere, his best work being in religion. [104] This characterisation seems to me to be very unsatisfactory and scrappy; it says very little, and besides is in certain respects false. It is all very fine to roast one's enemies in ovens -- from China to the artistic Netherlands of the sixteenth century where do we not find cruelty? -- but to see in that a "higher intensity of religious feeling" is silly, especially when one places the Semite in this respect above the profoundly religious and wonderfully creative Egyptian, and also above the Indo-Teuton, whose religious literature is by far the greatest in the world, and whose "religious feeling" has from time immemorial revealed itself in the fact that thousands and millions of human existences were dedicated and sacrificed to religion alone. When the Brahman, in one of the oldest Upanishads (at least 800 or 1000 years before Christ [105]) teaches that man should regard every inhalation and exhalation by day and by night as a continual sacrifice to God, [106] does that not represent "the greatest intensity of religious feeling" that the world has ever known? And what is the meaning of the phrase, the Semite is individualistic? As far as we can judge, wherever religion came under Semitic influence, it differed from the Indo-Teutonic (and East-Asiatic) creed in becoming national. The individual, except as member of the community, shrunk almost to a negligible quantity (cf. p. 245); and the pseudo-Semitic States have, without exception, deprived the individual of all freedom. It seems to me that there is more individualism among Teutonic than among Semitic peoples; at any rate the assertion that the Semite is individualistic could only be made with many qualifications. Much more profound are the remarks of that thorough scholar Christian Lassen, who knew more of souls than of skulls. Although his characterisation of the Semite dates from the fourth decade of last century, when the half-Semites Were not yet clearly distinguished from the genuine stem, he seizes upon points which reveal the intellectual kernel of the Semitic personality. He writes: "The Semitic way of looking at things is subjective and egoistical. His poetry is lyrical, hence subjective, his soul pours out its joys and sorrows, its love and hatred, its admiration and its contempt; ... the epic, in which the Ego of the poet steps into the background, he cannot success fully treat, still less the drama, which demands from the poet a still greater abandonment of the personal standpoint." [107] Nor does philosophy belong to the Semites; they have adopted, or rather, only the Arabs have, the philosophy of the Indo-Teutons. Their views and conceptions occupy their minds too much to allow them to rise sufficiently out of themselves to grasp pure thought, and to separate the more general and the necessary from their own individuality and its contingencies. [108] "In his religion the Semite is selfish and exclusive; Jehovah is merely the God of the Hebrews, and they acknowledge no other than him: all other Gods are absolutely false and have neither share nor part in the truth; Allah wishes to be not only the God of the Arabs, but to conquer the whole world, and his nature is as egoistic as that of Jehovah; he, too, denies every iota of truth to all other Gods, but it is of no use to acknowledge Allah, unless you serve him under the exclusive form which proclaims Mohammed his prophet. According to their doctrine the Semites were bound to be intolerant and inclined to fanaticism, as also to stubborn clinging to their religious law. Tolerance appears most pronounced in the case of the Indo-Teutonic peoples; this tolerance is the result of greater freedom of thought, which does not bind itself exclusively to mere form.... The qualities of the Semitic spirit, the passionate temperament, the stubborn will, the firm belief in exclusive justification, their whole egoistical nature-were bound to make their possessors in the highest degree capable of great and daring deeds." [109] Lassen then proceeds to discuss the pseudo-Semitic States, with regard to which he says that these magnificently planned structures all went to ruin because "here, too, the intractable arbitrariness of the stubborn selfish will interfered as a hindering Power." [110] From this characterisation We have really learned some. thing, almost everything indeed, but the facts must be polished and pointed before a clear and transparent conception enters Our consciousness. I shall try to do this. Lassen shows us that the will is the predominant power in the soul of the Semite; it is at the root of all his actions. This will impels, but it also retards. It makes its possessor capable of great and daring deeds: it stands in his way wherever the spirit soars to a loftier activity. The result is a character that is passionate and eager for great deeds, coupled with an intellect which is by no means adequate to this impulse, since it can never unfold itself by reason of the impetuousness of the Will. In this being the will is at the head, the mind stands next, and lowest of all the understanding. Lassen especially emphasises the egoism of the Semite, he repeatedly refers to it. In his poetry, his philosophy, his religion, his politics, everywhere he sees an "egoistical nature" at Work. That is an unavoidable consequence of that hierarchy of qualities. Selfishness is rooted in will; the only things that can keep it from excess are the gifts of feeling and understanding -- a warm heart, profound knowledge of the system of the universe, artistic. creative work, the noble thirst after knowledge. But, as Lassen hints, as soon as the stormy will with its selfishness predominates, even beautiful qualities remain undeveloped: religion degenerates into fanaticism, thinking becomes magic or caprice, art expresses only the love and the hatred of the moment, it is expression but not creation, science becomes industry.

This Semite would seem, then, to be the right counterpart to the Hittite; in the case of the one we have the beautiful harmony of a nature developed on all sides with moderation, tenacious constancy of will united with prudence and a genial view of life; in the other we find a leaning towards the Immoderate and the Arbitrary, a character in which the balance is disturbed, one in which the most necessary and at the same time the most dangerous gift of man -- the will -- has been abnormally developed. Those who do not believe that the so- called "races" fell ready-made from heaven, who refuse, like me, to pay heed to the delusion of supposed primeval beginnings (since growth is only a phase of existence, not vice versa), will probably surmise that this unexampled development of the one quality with the corresponding neglect of the others is the result of a life in the desert for thousands of years, during which the intellect was starved and the feelings confined to a narrow circle, while the will -- the will of this individual who had to stand entirely on his own feet, who though in the midst of the unbroken silence of nature was surrounded day and night by foes and danger -- was bound to demand all the sap of the body for its service, and constantly to strain to the utmost the powers of the intellect. Be that as it may, such a character has assuredly in it the possibility of true greatness. The extravagance which we missed in the Hittite is here present. And as a matter of fact now that we have carried the analysis to the inner being of the Semite, we are able to lay our finger on the only point where greatness can be expected: clearly only in the sphere of will and in all those achievements which result from the predominance of will over other qualities. That Ibn Khaldun who asserts that "the Semite is utterly incapable of establishing anything permanent," praises as incomparable the simplicity of his needs (lack of imagination), the instinct which makes him cling to his family and separates him from others (impoverished feelings), the ease with which he can be exalted by a prophet to the delirium of ecstasy, obeying the divine command in deep humility (bad judgment in consequence of the non- development of the reasoning faculty). In this sentence I have commented on each assertion of Ibn Khaldun, but my motive has been in no way to undervalue the merits of contentedness, loyalty to family, and obedience to God, but merely to show how each one of the qualities named means the triumph of the power of will. The important thing, however, is to distinguish -- this is, in fact, altogether the most important task of the thinker; and to understand rightly what a genuine Semite is, we must comprehend that the contentedness of an Omar, for whom nothing in the world has any interest, is not the same thing as that of an Immanuel Kant, who desires no outward gifts simply because his all- embracing mind possesses the whole world; that loyalty to one's own blood is something quite different from the loyalty of the Amorites, for example, to their self-imposed master -- the one is simply an instinctive expansion of the egoistical circle of the Will, the other a free, personal decision of the individual, a kind of lived poetry; above all we must, or rather we ought to, learn (I dare not hope to live to see it) to distinguish between true religion and an insane belief in some God, and also not to confuse monolatry with monotheism. That does not at all prevent us from acknowledging the specifically Semitic greatness. 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? And this power of the Semitic will is so great that it forces itself, as in the case mentioned, upon peoples who have not a drop of Arab blood in their veins. By contact with this will man becomes transformed; there is in it such a power of suggestion that it fascinates us as the eye of the serpent does the bird, and at its command we seem to lose the power of song and flight. And thus it was that the Semite became a power of the first moment in the history of the world. Like a blind power of nature -- for the will is blind -- he hurled himself upon other races; he disappeared in them, they took him in; it was obvious what these races had given him, not what he had given them; for what he gave possessed no physiognomy, no form, it was only will: an increased energy which often impelled to great achievements, an excitability difficult to control, and an unquenchable thirst after possession which often led to destruction, in short, a definite direction of will; wherever he settled, the Semite had, to begin with, only adopted and assimilated what he found, but he had changed the character of the people.


Cursory as may have been this attempt to illustrate clearly some distinguishing characteristics of the Hittites, the Amorites and the Semites, I believe that it will contribute to a sensible and true discernment of the Israelite and Jewish character. We must in any case approach such a task with modesty and self-effacement. At any rate clear pictures of living men and their deeds will give a more vivid conception than figures, though figures are better than phrases. But with every step we must become more cautious, and if we look back at those figures, we shall not be inclined to "construct" the Israelite from percentages of Semites, Amorites and Hittites, somewhat as the cook makes a pudding from a recipe; that would be childish folly. But that discussion of the matter brings many points more humanly home to us. Whatever, for instance, in a national character is inexplicable contradiction -- and the Jewish people is fuller of contradictions than any other -- confuses us to begin with, often indeed distresses us; but this impression passes away when we know the organic cause of the contradiction. Thus it is at once apparent that from the crossing of Hebrews and Hittites contradictory tendencies must result; for while the Hebrews physically grafted themselves upon the Hittites, they were inoculated with a culture which morally and intellectually did not belong to them, which had not sprung naturally from their own need, from an inventive richness of their own mind; it was taking possession in contrast to original possession. As a matter of fact the Hebrews obtained a real title to this culture by adopting the blood of the creative Hittites and becoming Israelites; but by this very act contrast and inner discord were henceforth assured. The two types were fundamentally too different to amalgamate completely, and this became evident especially in the contrast between Judah and Israel which soon manifested itself; for in the north the Syrian was predominant and the crossing had been much more rapid and thorough; [111] in the south, on the other hand, the Amorites were more numerous, and an almost constant infiltration of genuine Semitic blood from Arabia continued. What here took place between tribe and tribe repeated itself inside the narrower unity: so long as Jerusalem stood, those of weak faith and the worldly-minded continually withdrew; they fled from the home of strict law and unadorned life. The same phenomenon is seen to-day, but not so clearly. I think that without straining a point we may fairly say that we can trace here the lasting influence of the homo syriacus on the one hand, and of the homo arabicus on the other.

I leave it to the reader to make further observations of this kind on the contributions of the various types to the formation of this particular human race, and turn my attention at once to the most vital point -- the influence of the Semitic spirit upon religion. That is clearly the essential question, if we are to understand the origin and character of Judaism; and while the special business talent is perhaps rather a Hittite than a Semitic legacy, in the sphere of religion the Semitic element probably strongly predominates. [112] I prefer to discuss this matter at once, and from the general standpoint, rather than later, When the Jewish religion as a particular phenomenon will occupy our attention; for the wider horizon will give us a broader view, and if we ask ourselves how the special Semitic spirit, the predominant feature of which we now know to be Will, everywhere and of necessity affects the religious sentiment of peoples, the answer to that question will enlighten us regarding the case in hand, and will in addition considerably facilitate the task we have set ourselves in the further course of this work. For it is a question of a power which is still at work in our midst, and which presumably will make itself felt in future, distant centuries -- a power which we cannot fathom by the exclusive consideration of limited, specific Judaism.
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:00 am

Part 4 of 8


I have said that the Semite changed the character of nations. The change of character is most evident in the sphere of religion. While in other spheres it is difficult to define the share of the specifically Semitic spirit in mixed races, here we clearly and unmistakably see its influence; for here its tyrannical will extends to Cosmic dimensions and changes the whole view of "religion." Schopenhauer says in one place: "Religion is the metaphysics of the people." Now consider what kind of religion men can have whose most outstanding characteristic is the absolute lack of every metaphysical emotion, every philosophical capacity! [113] This one sentence expresses the profound contrast between Semite and Indo-European. It would be inexplicable how one could see in the Semite the religious man [x] , if we were not still living in the dense mist of inherited historical prejudices and Superstition; it is certain at any rate that wherever Semitic influence penetrated, the conception of religion underwent a great change. [114] For everywhere else in the whole world, even among savage peoples, religion is interwoven with the mysterious. Plato says that in the other world the soul "will be initiated into a mystery, which one may name the perfect bliss." [115] Jesus Christ says of the doctrine which is the essence of His religion, that it is a "mystery." [116] What here has been most sublimely expressed, we find in all stages of the human hierarchy except among the Semites. Schopenhauer calls this, from his standpoint as a philosopher, "metaphysics"; we may, I think, simply say that in the world of feeling as of thought man everywhere meets inexplicable contradictions; this attracts his attention, and he begins to have a feeling that his understanding is only adequate to a portion of existence, that What his five senses convey to him and What his combinative logic constructs therefrom neither exhaust the essence of the world outside himself nor his own being; he conjectures that besides the perceptible cosmos there is an imperceptible, besides the thinkable an unthinkable; the simple world extends and becomes a "double kingdom." [117] The sight of death itself points to an unknown world, and birth seems to him like a message from the same realm. At every step we see only "miracles"; the greatest wonders for us are ourselves. How simply the savage wonders and everywhere suspects the existence of another world is from travellers' accounts well known to us; of Goethe, on the other hand, perhaps the most finely organised brain that humanity has produced, Carlyle says: "Before his eye lies the whole world extended and transparent, as though melted to glass, but on every side surrounded by wonders, every thing Natural being in truth a Supernatural"; [118] and Voltaire, the so-called scoffer, closes his scientific researches with the words: "Pour peu qu'on creuse, on trouve un abime infini." [For do dig it is an infinite abyss.] And so all mankind from the highest to the lowest are agreed: the living feeling of a great world-secret, the vague realisation that the natural is "supernatural," is common to all; it unites the Australian negro to a Goethe and a Newton. The Semite alone stands apart. Of the Arab of the desert Renan says: .. No one in the world has so little inclination to mysticism, no one is more averse to contemplation and devotion. God is the creator of the world, he has made it, that is sufficient to him as an explanation. [119] This is pure materialism in contrast to what other men call religion, by which they all understand "something unthinkable and inexpressible." Thus Montefiore can proudly say of the religion of his fathers, in which the Semitic impulse has found its highest and most perfect form, that it contains nothing esoteric, not the least inner incomprehensibility; and that hence this religion, which knows neither superstition nor secret, has become the teacher of nations. [120] The same Jewish author is never tired of pointing out with admiration that the Semites never knew anything of the Fall, of justification by faith, of redemption, of grace; [121] by this he merely shows that they have scarcely any idea of what the rest of the world calls religion. In Dr. Ludwig Philippson's Israelitische Religionslehre (Leipzig, 1861), an orthodox Jewish work dedicated to the "future of the Israelite religion," we find, as one of the three "distinguishing features" of this religion, the sentence, "The Israelite religion has and knows no secrets, no mysteries" (i. 34). Renan, too, in a moment of reckless honesty, admits that "the Semitic faith (monotheism) is in reality the product of a human race whose religious needs are very few. It signifies a minimum of religion." [122] An important and true remark which has only failed to have effect because Renan did not show in how far and for what compelling reasons the Semite, who is famed for the glow of his faith, yet possesses a minimum of true religion. The explanation is easy for us: where understanding and imagination are under the yoke of blind Will, there cannot and must not be any miracle, anything unreachable, any" path into the untrodden, and the not-to-be-trodden," [123] nothing which the hand cannot grasp and the moment (even if it be but as a clearly conceivable hope) cannot possess. Even such a great mind as the second Isaiah looks upon religious faith as something which is based on empiric foundation and which can be tested, as it were, by a legal process: "Let the people bring forth their witnesses that they may be justified; or let them hear and say, It is truth" (xliii. 9). We read exactly the same in the second Sura of the Koran: "Call your witnesses if you speak the truth." The Jewish teacher Philippson, mentioned above, tells in detail how the Jew" believes solely what he has seen with his eyes," a "blind faith" being unknown to him; and in a long note he quotes all the passages in the Bible where" faith in God" is mentioned, and asserts that this expression occurs without exception only where "visible proofs have gone before." [124] It is always, therefore, a question of outward experience, not of inner; the conceptions are always thoroughly concrete, material; as Montefiore assures us, even in the advanced Jewish religion there is nothing which the dullest might not immediately understand and fathom to its uttermost depth; as soon as a man has a feeling of a mystery, as soon as he, for instance, supposes that there can be anything symbolical in the history of the creation, he is a heretic and a gallows-bird. [125] Even the utterly materialised history of creation given in the book of Genesis is so manifestly alien and borrowed that it remains totally isolated amid the Israelitish tradition and without actual connection with it. [126] The will in fact gives little rope to the understanding and the imagination. So it is that the Semite who has begun to doubt at once becomes an atheist; there is in any case no secret, no mystery: if Allah is not the creator, then must matter be; as an explanation of the world there is scarcely the shadow of a difference between the two views, for in the case of neither does the Semite feel himself in the presence of an inexplicable riddle, a superhuman mystery.

But if we wish to appreciate the influence of Semiticism upon religion, it will not suffice to speak of understanding and non-understanding, of feeling and non-feeling of the mystery; we must remember also the creative influence of the imagination, that "all-uniting heavenly companion," as Novalis calls it. Imagination is the handmaid of religion, she is the great mediator; born, as Shakespeare says, of the wedlock of head and heart, she moves on the frontier of the "double kingdom" of Goethe and so unites the one half to the other: her forms signify more than what the eye alone can see in them, her words proclaim more than the ear alone can hear. She has not the power to open up that which is closed, but she raises before us the mystery of mysteries and convinces our eyes that its veil cannot be raised. Symbolism, as the necessary language of the unspeakable mystery of the world, is her work. Plato calls this language a swimming-board that bears us down the stream of life; it is as widespread as the feeling of this mystery, its vocabulary as varied as the stages of culture and the climates. Thus the inhabitants of the Samoan Islands have represented symbolically to themselves the inexplicable and yet directly felt mystery of the omnipresence of God in the following manner. They represent the body of their God Saveasiuleo as composed of two separable parts; the upper, humanly shaped part (the real God) dwells in "the home of spirits" among the dead, the under part is an immensely long structure like a sea-serpent that winds itself round all the islands of the great sea, and pays attention to the doings of men. [127] It is indeed a long way from such a comparatively crude conception to the idea of the omnipresence of God held by Christian theology; and it is still further removed from the transcendental idealism which is a Sankara's conception of the same mystery, yet I can find no fundamental difference. Moreover we see from many examples how this occupation of the imagination with religious conceptions everywhere gradually leads to very clear ideas. Tylor, the cautious and reliable scholar, asserts that there is probably on the whole African continent, from the Hottentots to the Berbers, not a single tribe which does not believe in a supreme deity, and he shows how this faith gradually arises out of simple animism. But most of them, as, for example, the negroes of the Gold Coast, think it beneath the dignity of the great spirit of the world to busy himself with the trifling affairs of the world; it is seldom, according to them, that he intervenes. Another tribe, that of the Yorubas (negroes of the Slave coast, at a perceptibly higher stage of civilisation), teaches that" no one can directly approach God, but God has appointed intercessors and mediators between himself and the human race. Sacrifice is not offered to God, because he needs nothing; on the other hand, the mediators, who are very like men, delight in presents of sheep, pigeons and other things." [128] That seems to me a very high kind of "popular metaphysics," a religion which deserves all respect. On the other hand, we know how the richest mythology in the world, that of the Indian Aryans, in the very oldest hymns (before the immigration to India) teaches that" the many Gods are a single being that is worshipped under different names," [129] and how this mythology afterwards led to the sublimest conception of the one God in Brahman, in fact to a wonderfully sublime though at the same time one-sided and consequently inferior religion; we further know how from the same root sprang the ever-blossoming garden of the Hellenic Olympus and the admirable ethical teach ing of the Avesta and of Zoroaster; we know, finally, how all these things, together with the metaphysical speculations pertaining thereto and the ever-active necessity of our inborn creative impulse, saved Christianity from the fate of becoming a mere annex of Judaism, how they give it mythical (i.e., inexhaustible) significance and charm, how they quickened it with the deepest symbols of the Indo-European mind, and made it a sacred vessel for the secrets of the human heart and the human brain, a pathway into "the untrodden and the not-to-be-trodden," a "pathway of the universe." [130] There can therefore be no doubt of the importance of the part which imagination plays in religion. Can we say that the Semite possesses no imagination? All such unqualified statements are false; although the necessary brevity of the written thought often forces us to adopt this form, we may well presuppose that the reader automatically supplies the necessary correction. The Semite is a human being like others; it is merely a question of degrees of difference, which, however, in this case, thanks to the extreme character of this human type, come very near to the borderland of Affirmation and Negation, of the To be or the Not to be. All who have any claim at all to speak, testify unanimously that lack -- or let us say poverty -- of imagination is a fundamental trait of the Semite. I have already given weighty proofs, e.g., the evidence of Lassen, and I could add many more, but the question is not worth further discussion: Mohammedanism and Judaism are sufficient proofs; what we hear of the Bedouins [131] shows us only the beginning of this poverty. As Renan happily remarks: "le semite a l'imagination comprimante," that is, his imagination narrows, limits, confines; a great thought, a deeply symbolical image returns from his brain small and thin, "flattened," robbed of its far-reaching significance. "In the hands of the Semites the mythologies which they borrowed from strange peoples became flat historical narratives." [132] Wellhausen says: "The fading of the myths is synonymous with their Hebraising." [133] And not only did the Semites possess little creative imagination, but they also systematically checked every tendency in that direction. Just as man must not wonder and think, so, too, he must not form any conception of things invisible. Every attempt to conceive the superhuman is idolatry; the Saveasiuleo of the Samoans is an idol, the Sistine Madonna of Raphael is an idol, the symbol of the Cross is an idol. [134] I shall not repeat what I have said in a former chapter on this subject, but ask the reader to look at it again (p. 224 f.), I have there tried to make it dear why the Semite had to hold this view. how his zeal and the particular nature of his faith, springing as it did from the Will, forced it upon him; I pointed also to the fad that the Semite, wherever he defied this law of his nature, as in Phoenicia, became himself the most horrible, and perhaps the only genuine idolater humanity has ever known. For while the Indian taught the negation of will, and Christ its "conversion," religion is for the Semite the idolisation of his will, its most glowing, immoderate and fanatical assertion. If he had not this faith, which makes him the protagonist of fanatical intolerance and at the same time a paragon among sufferers, he would have no religion, or hardly any; hence the ever-repeated warning of his legislators against" molten gods."

From these details the following conclusions, to begin with, may be drawn: the Semite banishes from religion contemplative wonder, every feeling of a superhuman mystery, and he banishes likewise creative fancy; of these he admits only the indispensable minimum, that "minimum of religion" of which Renan spoke. Where-ever, therefore; Semitic influence makes itself felt, whether by physical crossing (as in the case of the Jews) or by the mere force of ideas (as in Christianity) we shall meet with these two characteristic endeavours. We can express both by one single word -- materialism. Schopenhauer, one of the greatest thinkers that ever lived, whose thought, moreover, possessed unexampled symbolical plasticity -- unequalled even by Plato -- so that his philosophy seems in many ways related to religion, has as metaphysician given this definition: "matter is the mere visibility of will ... what in appearance, that is, for the conception, is matter, is in itself will." [135] I shall not enter into metaphysics here, nor shall I champion Schopenhauer's speculative symbolism; but it is striking that in the sphere of purely empiric psychology an analogous relation unavoidably asserts itself. Where the will has enslaved the questioning understanding and the imagination, there can be no other view of life and no other philosophy than the materialistic. I do not use me word in a depreciatory sense. I do not deny the advantages of materialism, I do not dispute that it can be harmonised with morals; I simply state a fact. Pure materialism is the religious doctrine of the Arab Mohammed, as are also the transitory processes of his revelations from God, and his paradise with eating and drinking and beautiful houris; pure materialism is the bargain which Jacob enters into with Jehovah (Genesis xxviii. 20-22), in which he makes five conditions, or, as the Jurist would say, stipulations, and then concludes: as thou doest this, so thou shalt be my God. The whole history of creation in Genesis -- which, it appears, all Hebrews, all Syrian and Babylonian Semites possessed in similar form [136] -- is pure materialism; it was not so originally; it was the mythical and symbolical conception of an imaginative people (probably the Sumero-Accadians), but, as Renan has taught us, the myth becomes in the hands of the Semite an historical chronicle. [137] Of all the deep ideas which thoughtful and reflective minds had breathed into this story in their own wonderful way, the Semites perceived nothing, so absolutely nothing that the Jews, for example, first acquired the conception of an evil spirit, opposed to the good, through Zoroaster during the Babylonian captivity; till then they had regarded the serpent of their bible just as a serpent! [138] Why talk of their ignorance of an evil principle, when in spite of their book of Genesis, chaps. i. and ii., the idea even of a God, creator of heaven and earth, was quite unknown to the Israelites till the Babylonian captivity? The thought appears for the first time in the so-called second Isaiah (see chaps. xl. to lvi. of the book of Isaiah). The conception was still strange to the real Isaiah, as also to Jeremiah. [139] The fantastically scientific ideas in Genesis concerning the origin of the organic world, the profound myth of the fall of man, the theory of the development of man up to the first organisation of society ... all that became" history," and thereby it at the same time lost all significance as religious myth; for the. myth is elastic, inexhaustible, whereas here a simple chronicle of facts, an enumeration of events, lies before us. [140] That is materialism. Wherever the Semitic spirit has breathed, we shall meet with this materialism. Elsewhere in the whole world religion is an idealistic impulse; Schopenhauer called it "popular metaphysics"; I should rather call it popular idealism; in the case of the Semites, too, we observe this wistful awakening of a feeling of the superhuman (read the life of Mohammed), but the imperious will immediately lays hold of every symbol, every profound divination of reflective thought, and transforms them into hard empirical facts. And thus it is that with this view of religion only practical ends are pursued, no ideal ones. It is to provide for prosperity in this world, and aims particularly at power and wealth, it is moreover to provide for happiness in the future world (where the idea of immortality is present -- an idea introduced into the Israelite faith from the Persian and into the Arabian from Christianity). Downright materialism! as the comparison with the Saveasiuleo of the Samoans and the great world-spirit of the Yorubas has shown.

This then would be a negative influence of Judaism upon all religion: infection with fundamental views of a materialistic kind. Now we must consider the positive influence, which usually is the only one to be taken into account. I think we may assert without qualification that nowhere in the whole world is there to be found a faith like that of the Semites, so glowing, so unreserved, so unshakeable. Without them we might perhaps not have possessed the idea of religious faith, of fides, at all. The German word Glaube is very ambiguous; fundamentally it is almost as near doubt as conviction, the original meaning is merely to approve (gutheissen). [141] When we go to the Latin we are no better off, for in truth fides means trust and nothing more; [142] the bona fides of legal agreements shows the word in its original significance, the latter fides salvifica is a makeshift. Characteristically, in Sanscrit also the word craddha, faith, is distinguished from the Semitic "faith" by the colourlessness and uncertainty of its significance; we get the impression, which is strengthened when we carefully survey the events of history, that we have here to deal with two different things. [143] It may frequently happen that an increase of the quantity altogether alters the quality [144]; that seems to be the case here too. The genuinely Semitic faith can be destroyed by nothing, can be injured by nothing; it resists every experience, every evidence. Here Will triumphs, and in fact -- this should be noted, for here we have the psychological explanation of this remarkable phenomenon -- it triumphs not merely because of its uncommon strength, but at the same time in consequence of the impoverishment of the understanding and the imagination: opposed to a minimum of religion we find a maximum of unconditional, unshakeable capacity of faith, of need of faith that stretches out like an avaricious hand -- a faith that will and must give to the believer the whole world as his own, but to him personally and alone, to the exclusion of all others. It is characteristic of the absolutism of this "faith-will" (if I may coin the phrase) that originally every tribe, every little group of the Semites has its own God. The Semite would never wish to share with another; his will is unconditional, he alone must possess all; and his faith is as boundless as his will: these two expressions are for him almost synonymous. Religion does not appear to be present, so to speak, for its own sake, but as a means to an end, as an instrument, to widen as much as possible the sphere of what can be attained by Will. [145] The view that the Semite from the first was monotheist, to which Renan's famous phrase "le desert est monotheiste" [146] had contributed a good deal, has long ago been proved erroneous; [147] we see each little tribe of the Hebrews in possession of its own God, who exercises power only over this tribe and inside this stretch of land. If anyone leaves the circle of the family and enters a new region, he comes under the jurisdiction of another God; that is surely not monotheism. [148] I consider the idea of divine unity to be altogether un-Semitic -- to be, in fact, anti-Semitic, for this reason, that it can only arise from speculation: in the over-plentiful material which the imagination has heaped out, thought brings about order, and thus arrives at the conception of unity; here, on the other hand, there is neither imagination nor speculation but only history and will: from these the one cosmic world-spirit of the Indians, Persians, Hellenes and Christians could never originate, any more than the "one only" God of the Egyptians. [149] It can be proved that the idea of the one God of the world only entered Judaism at a very late postexilic period, and beyond all doubt under foreign and especially Persian influence; if we wished to be very exact, we should have to say: this idea never really obtained, for to this day, as three thousand years ago, Jehovah is not the God of the cosmic universe but the God of the Jews; he has only destroyed the other Gods, consumed them, as he will one day consume other nations, with the exception of those who shall serve the Jews as slaves. [150] That is really not monotheism but, as I have already remarked, unvarnished monolatry.

On the other hand, this consideration teaches us what peculiar and important truth lay in the over-generalised remarks of Renan; as so often, he had seen rightly, but analysed most superficially. He wrote: "The desert is monotheistic; the sublimity of its immeasurable monotony first revealed to man the conception of the Infinite." How false everything is that follows the semicolon in this sentence is proved by Renan's own remarks in another passage, where he shows that the Semitic languages are .. incapable of expressing the feeling of the Infinite" (see p. 299). In the dark primeval woods of India the feeling of the Infinite had attained such an intensity that man felt his own Ego merge into the All, whereas the inhabitant of the sun-parched desert, blinded by the excess of light, lost the power of his eyes and saw nothing but himself; far from feeling the Infinite that reveals itself to us only in the night or in the million voices of thronging life, he felt lonely -- lonely and yet endangered, lonely yet hardly capable of finding the barest subsistence, utterly incapable of doing so if a second family should desire to join his own. This life was a struggle, a struggle in which only unfeeling egoism could exist. While the Indian, quite lost in thought, had only to stretch out his hand to the trees to still his hunger, the Bedouin was day and night on the alert, and had something else to do than to think of the Infinite -- for which he was, moreover, so absolutely devoid of capacity and gifts that his language did not offer him the least help in that direction. On the other hand, we can understand perfectly well how the monotonous poverty of the surroundings could lead to unexampled poverty of mythological conceptions; for man is quite incapable of feeding his imagination from his own resources; it is, as Shakespeare says, "born in the eye"; where the eye is offered nothing but monotony, the imagination fades and withers. [151] And we can also easily understand how such surroundings would tend to develop that absolutely egoistic monotheism, where the one God is not the great spirit that presides over the world, as in the case of the poor negroes of the slave-coast, but a hard task-master, who is there only for me the one -- that is, for me and my children -- who, when I blindly devote myself to him, gives me lands which I have not planted, full of oil and wine, houses which I have not built, and wells which I have not sunk -- all those glorious things which I have seen only occasionally from a distance, when, impelled by hunger, I have left the desert and gone on a foray; and all these men who revel there in work and wealth -- and with joyful song and dance and fat offerings worship Gods who give them all these riches, I will sacrifice to my God of the desert and overturn their altars; only my God shall henceforth be God, I alone will be master in the world! This is the monotheism of the desert; it arises not from the idea of the Infinite but from the poverty of ideas of a poor, hungry, greedy man whose range for thought hardly rises above the conception that possession and power would be the highest bliss.

To make quite clear the very profound change of sentiment that is wrought in the human mind by this Semitic view of faith, I cannot do better than quote Goethe. His words are cited everywhere: "The real and only and most profound theme in the history of the world and of men, to which all other themes are subordinate, is the conflict between belief and unbelief." [152] But more important is the following passage in the fourth book of Wahrheit und Dichtung: "The universal, natural religion really requires no faith; for the conviction that a great, creative, ordering and guiding Being is, as it were, concealed behind nature, in order to make itself comprehensible to us, forces itself upon every one, and even should a man occasionally let go the thread of this faith which guides him through life, he will nevertheless be able to pick it up again at any time and place. It is quite a different matter with the particular religion which tells us that this great Being takes under his care, by preference and choice, a single individual, a tribe, a people, a country. This religion is founded on faith, which must be unshakeable if it is not to be destroyed altogether. Every doubt about such a religion is fatal to it. We may return to conviction but not to faith." This process of reasoning brings us on to the right track; it enables us to say exactly what the Semite has in this case given to the world, or, if we will, forced upon it. An important question, for in this is contained his world-affecting significance as an influence upon others, and in this, too, lies at the present day the particular strength of Judaism, which Herder and so many other great minds felt as "alien." Goethe has clearly recognised the essential point and also hinted, but unfortunately not in such detail that every one may see it as he does; for he distinguishes between a natural religion and another which is therefore unnatural. Now according to Goethe's way of thinking, the contrast to the natural is the arbitrary, that in which Will is the "arbiter," that in which Will -- not pure understanding, and not the undimmed natural instinct-has decisive influence. And hereby he not only points out to us that there are essential differences between religions, so essential that the same word can mean two different things, but he tells us at the same time how this difference is fundamentally explicable -- that the religion which he contrasts with the natural is, in fact, the religion of Will. On the other hand, the use of the word Glaube (faith) by him is vague and confusing; he has tried to simplify too much. Goethe says, " The natural religion really needs no faith," but in the non-Semitic religions there is really more of that which is believed than in the Semitic; the material of faith is richer; and Glaube is expressly demanded by them. What is the truth in this matter? The nature of faith is in the two cases just as different as the nature of religion; to the word "religion" Goethe in the passage quoted gives two significations, to the word Glaube only one, hence the misunderstanding. In reality we nowhere find religion without faith; certainly without faith in the specifically Semitic sense, but not without faith of some kind. Faith is everywhere the invisible soul, religion the visible body. We must therefore proceed further if we wish to develop Goethe's utterance until it becomes quite clear. I shall take an illustration.

So far as I know, dogmatism and the idea of revelation are nowhere so developed as among the Aryan Brahmans; yet the result in their case is quite other than in that at the Semites. The sacred Vedas of the Indians were looked upon as divine revelation; every word of theirs was for all matters of faith authoritative and indisputable -- and in spite of this, from this one complex of scripts, everywhere recognised as infallible, there sprang no fewer than six entirely different systems of philosophy, [153] -- systems in which (as is characteristic of the Indian spirit) philosophy and religion grow up inseparably connected, so that the view of the nature of the Godhead, of the relation of the individual to it, of the importance of redemption, &c., is very different in the different systems; whereby, of course, not only the philosophy, but above all the religion of the believer is influenced. And all these doctrines, which frequently contradict each other in important points, were, nevertheless, regarded as orthodox, the one as much as the other. They all were based on the same scripts, originated in other words from the same fundamental mythological images of the hymns, and all gave evidence of the same reverence for the deep speculations in the precepts of the cult and in the Upanishads, That was sufficient. There were no historical dates, no chronicle of the creation and of generations, in which men should blindly believe; for anything of that kind was meant from the first merely as an image, a symbol. Thus, for example, the strictly orthodox commentator of the sacred writings, Sankara, says in regard to various images and speculations applied to the Creation: "The script has no intention to instruct us in regard to the extension of the world which began with Creation, because it is neither visible, nor anywhere said, or even thinkable, that anything that is of importance for man depends upon this." [154] In the same way, each one was free to think as he pleased of the relation between spirit and matter. The monist was just as orthodox as the dualist, the idealist as the materialist. One comprehends how, with such a conception of religion and faith, "in India at all times the most absolute freedom of thought has prevailed" [155] -- I mean, how it was possible to let orthodoxy and unhampered metaphysical speculation exist side by side. But no! we who to-day live under the influence of the Semitic view of faith, find it very difficult to harmonise these conceptions -- the acknowledged infallibility of sacred books of religion and at the same time the most absolute freedom of thought! But we should also note the following carefully, for hereby alone will this illustration be instructive in regard to the nature of faith. Life was much more religious in India that it ever was among us, even in the ecclesiastical age, and the Indian religion as such has borne quite different fruits from Judaism, for example, where religion (as a Jewish author assured us) banished from life science, art, literature, in fact, everything but faith and obedience. [156] For the enormous intellectual activity of the Indian people, whose poetical literature alone surpasses in extent the whole classical literature of Greece and Italy together, [157] is rooted in their faith; their most important achievements, even in remote spheres, radiate from their profound religious feeling. An example. Panini's Grammar of the Sanscrit Language, written two thousand five hundred years ago, and as the culmination of a long, scientific development reaching back for centuries, is recognised as the greatest philological achievement of mankind. Regarding it Benfey writes: "No language of the world can show such a complete grammar; not even the German, in spite of the remarkable works of the Grimms." Georg von der Gabelentz says in his Sprachwissenschaft (2nd ed., 1901, p. 22), "Panini's wonderful work is the only really complete grammar which any language possesses"; Panini still forms the corner-stone of his science. What, we may ask, was it that spurred on the Indian thinkers to these high scientific achievements? The longing to awaken to new life the sacred songs of the Rigveda, which in the course of centuries had almost ceased to be understood. It was, as Benfey testifies, no simple aimless enthusiasm for science as science, but deep religious sentiment which gave them strength for the undertaking. [158] Their eminent achievements in the sphere of mathematics -- we know that the Indian Aryans are the inventors of the so-called "Arabian ciphers" -- have their origin in religion. The solution of the well-known geometrical problem which gives Pythagoras his title to fame, the Indians had in long past ages discovered, automatically, as a necessary consequence of the measurements prescribed for sacrificial ceremonies; here, in these religious calculations, we have the genus of a clear knowledge of irrational quantities, and later of the higher algebra, the theory of numbers, &c. [159] In what sense, therefore, can Goethe say of a religion which informed the whole public life, and at the same time had such an influence upon mind and imagination, that it really needed no faith? Am I not right in asserting that in that passage from Goethe the word "Faith" refers to two different things -- two things as different as the beings whose souls they reflect? Goethe, in fact, holds the Semitic view, and according to this view (in contrast to the Indian) religious belief refers solely to historical dates and material facts. Here God is known from historically certified manifestations, not postulated from inner experience, not found out from the contemplation of nature, and not created by the power of the imagination; here everything is even simpler than Ernst Haeckel's history of creation. The one thing that is necessary is blind faith, and in this faith is concentrated the whole power of great leading spirits and of the responsible shepherds of the people: punish ments on the one hand, promises on the other; in addition, historical proofs and preternatural miracles. As a contrast to every unadulterated Semitic creed take the so-called apostolic confession of the Christian Church! Half of the clauses refer to mysteries that cannot be represented, and of which the theologians themselves say, "The layman cannot understand them"; but in reality it is so little a question of understanding in the logical and comprehensible meaning of the word, that from this one short creed there have been derived the most diverse and most contradictory doctrines. [160] And now take the Athanasian symbolism! Here the material of religious faith consists of the most abstract speculations of the human brain. How could faith in the Semitic sense comprehend ideas to which not one man in a million can attach the faintest conception? Jesus Christ Himself said, when children were brought to Him, "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven," but He nevertheless added in the same passage: "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it " (Matthew xix. II, 12). [161] The Semite is quite different, and hence also his form of faith is different. Even the simple sentence, "I believe in God, Creator of Heaven and Earth," forms no part of his creed; this circumstance is only casually mentioned in the Koran, and scarcely thrice mentioned in the whole sacred writings of the Jews. On the other hand, the first commandment of Moses is, "I am the Lord, who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt!" The faith at once attaches itself, as one sees, to historical facts, which the people regard as authenticated, and never does it rise above the level of the ordinary eye. As Montefiore has taught us, there are no mysteries in the Jewish religion (see p. 413 f.). When we, therefore, speak of the incomparable power of the Semitic faith, we must not overlook the fact that this faith refers to an extremely scanty and limited material, that it intentionally leaves out of account the great wonder of the world, and that by the imposition of a law (in the juristical sense of the word), it also reduces the inner life of the heart to a minimum -- whoever obeys the law is without sin, he need trouble his head no further; regeneration, grace, redemption, &c., do not exist. Thus we begin to see that this strong faith presupposes as counter-condition a minimum of the first condition of faith, a minimum of religion. Moses Mendelssohn has expressed this truth intelligently and honestly: "Judaism is not revealed religion, but revealed legislation." [162]

"The Semite has really little religion," Robertson Smith, the greatest authority on the Semitic religion, says with a sigh. "Yes, but much faith," answers Goethe. And Renan supplies the commentary: "The mind of the Semite can embrace extremely little, but this little it embraces with great power." [163] I think, however, that we are beginning to distinguish better between faith and faith, between religion and religion, than did Smith, Goethe and Renan; we shall soon get to the root of the matter. To make the matter thoroughly clear, I must once more contrast the Semite and the Indian.

The Aryan Indian can stand as an example of the extreme contrast to the Semite -- a contrast, however, which clearly reveals itself in all peoples that are devoid of Semite blood, even in the Australian negroes, and which slumbers in the hearts of all of us. The mind of the Hindoo embraces an extraordinary amount -- too much for his earthly happiness; his feelings are tender and full of sympathy, his sense pious, his thought metaphysically the deepest in the world, his imagination as luxuriant as his primeval forests, as bold as the world's loftiest mountain peak, to which his eye is ever drawn upwards. But two things he entirely lacks; he has no historical sense at all. This people has produced everything, but no history of its own career -- not the trace of a chronicle. That is the first want. The second is the capacity to regulate his imagination, for want of which the Indian, as hyper-idealist, loses the right sense of proportion for the things of this world, and -- although there is no one who fears death less -- loses at the same time his position as energetic moulder of the world's history. He is not materialist enough. Far from considering himself, with Semitic pride, the "one man in the real sense of the word," he looks upon humanity as a phase of life like other phases, and teaches as the basis of all wisdom and religion the tat tvam asi: that thou too art, i.e., man shall recognise his own self in everything living. Here we certainly are far removed from the little chosen people, in whose favour the creation of the cosmos was undertaken, for whose advantage alone the rest of humanity lives and suffers; and it is at once clear that the divinity, or divinities, as it may be, of these Indians will not be such as one can carry about in an ark of the covenant, or can imagine as present in a stone. Even the tat tvam asi itself points to a cosmic religion, and a cosmic religion again implies -- in contrast to a national faith -- a direct relation between the individual and the divinely superhuman. What a difference there must have been in the meaning which religion and faith had for this Aryan Indian and for the Semite. "In reality no faith," says the German sage, and the Frenchman echoes with the superficiality of parody: "The Indo-European peoples have never regarded their faith as the absolute truth." [164] Ah no! this is surely not possible, and it is splendidly contradicted by the life of the Brahmins. For the Indo-Aryans, too, "bring forward their witnesses," though not quite in the same sense as the second Isaiah and Mohammed meant. When the Aryan bids farewell to wife, child and children's children, in order to devote the last years of his life -- void of all possessions, living on herbs, naked, in the loneliness of his forests -- to pious contemplation and the redemption of his soul; when he digs his grave with his own hands and on the approach of death lays himself down in it to die, with folded hands, resigned and happy; [165] -- can one say then that "in reality he has no faith"? that he "does not look upon his faith as the truth"? It boots not to dispute over words, but at any rate this man possesses religion, and, as it seems to me, a maximum of religion. In his youth he became acquainted with the most luxuriant mythology; all nature was to his childlike eye alive, inspired; in it there dwelt great friendly forms [166] which constantly gave fresh scope to his fancy, even being urged to further flights by the new hymns which ceaselessly broke upon his ear. As Carlyle said of Goethe, this Hindoo youth saw himself "surrounded by wonders, everything natural in truth supernatural." The first years of manhood brought something new; his mind was exercised and strengthened by the most difficult problems, and an all-embracing symbolism was taught him by the contemplation that attached to the sacrificial ceremonies -- a symbolism which almost goes beyond our modern powers of conception, [167] the chief features of which we can, however, clearly deduce from their wonderful effect. As his mind ripened he began more and more to realise, not merely that those mythological forms possessed existence in his brain only, had a meaning only for his special, limited human spirit -- in other words, were symbols of a something which the reason could not reach -- but also that his whole life, the world that served him as a stage, the actors that moved upon this stage, the thoughts that he thought, the love that intoxicated him, the duties he fulfilled, were to be regarded as mere symbols; he did not deny the reality of these things, but he denied that their significance was exhausted by the empirically perceptible: "On the standpoint of the highest reality, all empirical activity has no existence," say the sacred writings of the Hindoos [168] -- a fact to which Goethe has given immortal expression when he says:

Alles Vergangliche
Ist nur ein Gleichnis.

And the more deeply this conviction settled in his consciousness, the higher rose the conception of the significance of his individual life; this life at once received a cosmic importance. For the script had taught him that "only unity is in the highest sense real, complexity is but a cleft gaping out of false perception." The good works, which formerly appeared to him as part of the divine command had lost all value; henceforth only the inmost purpose, that is to say the inner life, every movement of the mental faculties, every throb of the heart, was regarded as important. If the Semitic law looked to results, not to intention, here we have the other extreme: all idea of result was excluded and moreover a matter of indifference. The important thing was to bring to perfection the highest act of creation in the reformation of man's own soul; not to chastise -- that would be petty -- but to transform the slightest stirrings of foolish personal longing, till the One was merged in the All. This was "redemption." But do not fancy that we have to see in this only a philosophical process; it was a deeply religious one, for the strength of the individual was not sufficient. The Sanscrit word for the highest and only God is Brahma, i.e., "prayer"; only by grace could man have a share in redemption, and before he could attain such grace by fervent prayer a man must have proved himself worthy of it by a pious life. This point once reached, then the individual no longer believed that he lived and died for himself alone but for the whole world; hence the feeling of all- embracing responsibility. The one stood for all: his actions, which the delusion of the past seemed to leave to the almost insignificant decision of his own Will, were now of everlasting importance; for just as the natural is in truth supernatural, so the moment includes eternity and is but its symbol. This was looked upon by the Aryan Indians as religion, this is what they understood by faith.

By this contrast I hope to have made clear the peculiar and distinctive nature of the Semitic view of religion and faith; I think I have shown wherein lay that great power which inspired so many daring deeds, so many self-sacrificing thoughts; also what were its limitations. Nothing more is necessary here; the historical importance which this power and these limitations attained is well known. One would almost be inclined to risk the paradox; religion and faith mutually exclude each other, or at least, when the one increases the other decreases. But that would be playing with words, since religion and faith manifestly have for the Semite a different meaning from that which they have for other men. The matter becomes especially intricate where we meet not the pure Semite or, as in the case of the Jews, the strong one-sided predominance of the Semitic will, but merely an infiltration of the Semitic spirit as in our own European history since the beginning of the Christian era. That gives rise to an almost inextricable confusion of ideas, and for that reason I have had to discuss the theme in considerable detail; for the entrance of the Jews into Western history derived its chief significance from the fact that the Christian Church was founded on a Semitic basis, and that the ideas of "faith" and "religion" were introduced in their Semitic sense into a religion which was fundamentally and also through the life of Christ the direct unconditional negation of the Semitic view, and which besides by its further mythological and philosophical development became altogether Indo-European and un-Semitic. It is impossible to calculate the influence of Judaism upon our whole history from its beginnings to the present day unless we are quite clear in regard to these fundamental ideas "religion" and "faith." I confess that I have not seen a work, no matter of what kind, which has succeeded in making this even approximately plain; in most cases the problem is not even felt as such. An abstract definition of religion is of little use, it does not clear our judgment; nor are the learned and extremely interesting researches on the origin of religion and its evolution of any value for our present purpose. It is of more importance to see with our eyes what Semitic, especially Jewish, religion is, and what are its distinguishing marks; we shall then realise how much of the Semitic has entered our own thought. For the character of this religion at once reveals to us the nature of its influence; and as, on the other hand, force of will is peculiarly characteristic of the Semite, we may expect that this influence will be great. Materialism in philosophy, prominence given to the historical motive power as opposed to the ideal, strong emphasis laid upon "justice" in the secular sense of the word, that is, of legal and moral conduct and justification by works, in contrast to every attempt at spiritual conversion and to redemption by metaphysical perception or divine grace, [169] the limitation of the imagination, the forbidding of freedom of thought, deep-rooted intolerance towards other religions, red-hot fanaticism -- these are things that we must expect to meet everywhere to a greater or less extent where Semitic blood or Semitic ideas have gained a footing. We shall meet them frequently in the course of this book, even in the most modern and advanced views of the nineteenth century; for instance, in the teaching of Socialism. As far as intolerance in particular is concerned -- this absolutely new element in the life of the Indo-European peoples -- I shall postpone what I have to say about the "entrance of the Jews" in this connection to the next chapter but one, where we shall see that the earliest Christians in eloquent language demanded unconditional religious freedom, while those of a later period took from the Old Testament the divine commandment of intolerance.
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:01 am

Part 5 of 8


And now I again take up the thread where we left off our discussion of the relation of the various types in the blood of the Israelites and the possible influence of these mixtures upon their character (omitting the religious question just discussed). After all that I have said, it is clear that so far as religion was concerned the Semitic element was bound in time to prevail over the Hittite; but this victory was gained slowly and with difficulty, and, in fact, only in the south, i.e., in Judea (Judah and Benjamin), where a frequent influx of fresh Arabian (i.e., pure Semitic) blood may also have been of some influence. [170] In Israel (i.e., in the north of the land) the old Syrian cult remained in honour till the last -- the feasts on the heights, the pilgrimages to sacred places, the images of Baal, &c.; [171] even Elijah, who as a prophet was so strict in regard to "strange Gods," had not the slightest objection to the worship of the golden calves; he defended only the "God in Israel" against the strange Gods imported by the daughters of Phoenician kings. From Israel itself Judaism would never have sprung. AU the more necessary is it that we should now become acquainted with the Jewish idea -- the specifically Jewish in contrast to that of the people of Israel. And so I now pass to the third point, namely, that the real Jew only developed in the course of centuries by gradual physical separation from the rest of the Israelite family, as also by progressive development of some mental qualities and systematic starving of others; he is not the result of a normal national life, but, so to speak, an artificial product -- the product of a priestly caste which, with the help of alien priests, forced upon the people against its will a priestly legislation and a priestly faith as having been given by God (359).

Hurried as my sketch has been, and although for the sake of simplification I have passed over many facts in silence, I think that the reader has received a fairly vivid, and in its essential elements accurate conception of the mixtum compositum from which the Israelite people sprang; he has also noticed that the mixed blood in the south of the country, where Judah and Benjamin lay, [172] was, from the very first moment of the arrival in Palestine, partly subject to exceptional modifying influences, that is to say, the Semitic element in the south was constantly reinforced by new arrivals. Probably this difference was of older standing. From the beginning we see the great strong tribes of the Josephites, Ephraim and Manasseh, round which most of the other tribes grouped themselves like a family, looking upon Judah [173] with a certain contempt, or even with distrust. The emigration to Egypt and the conquest of Palestine take place under the leadership of the Josephites; Moses belongs to them, not to Judah (if he was not altogether an un-Semitic Egyptian); [174] Joshua belongs to them, also Jerubbaal; in fact, all the men of importance, including Samuel. Judah plays in former times so modest a part that this tribe is not mentioned in the triumphal song of Deborah. Like Simeon and Levi, Judah was almost destroyed when it entered Palestine, so that it was hardly taken into account; of the three branches of which it consisted one only remained, and it was only by amalgamation with the settled Hittites and Amorites that Judah gradually received a new lease of life and strength. [175] With David it steps into the forefront, but only for a time, and that after the Benjaminite Saul, from the closely related tribe of Ephraim, had shifted the centre of influence somewhat towards the south. Immediately after Solomon's death the Kings of Judah fell into a kind of vassal relationship to those of Israel -- at least they were their forced and subordinate allies. But here it is a question not merely of political jealousy -- that would not deserve our attention -- but of a profound difference in talent and in moral nature, a difference which is emphasised in all historical works and which forms the foundation, and a most important one, for the later so peculiar and anti-Israelite development of Judaism. In after times, seven centuries before Christ, Judah was practically isolated and separated from Israel for ever by the carrying off of the latter into captivity; Judah, however, retained from its brother an intellectual legacy -- the history of the people, the bases of its political organisation, of its religion, of its cult, of its law, of its poetry. All this, that is to say, every creative element, is essentially Israelite work, not the work of Judah. Now, however, Judah alone remained behind and worked up this material in its own way. From this -- this activity of the sons of Judah, hitherto like minors under the care of guardians and now suddenly left to themselves -- grew Judaism; and as a natural process from Judaism grew the Jew.

All authors are unanimous in laying stress upon the intellectual superiority of the house of Joseph; I will quote only one. Robertson Smith writes: "It was the northern kingdom that upheld the standard of Israel. Its whole history is more interesting and richer in heroic elements; its struggles, its calamities, and its glories were cast into a larger mould ... if the life of the north was more troubled, it was also larger and more intense. Ephraim took the lead in literature and religion as well as in politics. It was in Ephraim far more than in Judah that the traditions of the past were held sacred, and at the same time it was there that the religious development took place which led the way to new problems and so to the arising of the Prophets. So long as the northern kingdom endured, Judah was content to learn from it for good or for evil. It would be easy to show in detail that every great wave of life and thought in Ephraim awakened an enfeebled echo in the southern kingdom." [176] All the history that the old Testament contains prior to the exile, up to David's time, and much that is later, comes from Israel, not from Judah. In order to prove that, I should have to analyse in some detail the results of Biblical criticism, and this would take me too far; the layman will find the clearest and briefest Summary in Renan's Israel, Book IV., chaps. ii. and iii.; the critical works of Dillmann, Wellhausen, &c., offer much more detail and therefore profounder insight, if he will take the trouble to read them. The "Book of the Wars of the Lord," as it is called in Numbers xxi. 14, and other lost sources, from which not only the historical parts of the Hexateuch, but also the books of Samuel, of the Kings, &c., were later composed, originated in the house of Joseph and celebrate its glory. Wherever the tribe of Judah is mentioned, it is manifestly done with the intention to disparage it; for instance, in Genesis xxxvii., where Judah alone hits upon the base idea of selling Joseph for money, and still more in the following chapter, where this tribe from the first is represented as devoid of morality and as the children of incest, the history of the chaste Joseph following as a contrast. This I give merely as an example. The religious law, too, in its great and fundamental features is derived from Israel, not from Judah. There has been much discussion with regard to the Ten Commandments, especially since Goethe's discovery -- which Wellhausen has rescued from oblivion and scientifically perfected -- that the original Ten Commandments (Exodus xxxiv.) had quite a different purport from those which were interpolated at a later time and which referred merely to matters of the cult. [177] It is sufficient for us to know that the later decalogue in Exodus xx., which has found a place in the Christian catechism, is, in the opinion of so learned and orthodox a Rabbi as Solomon Schechter, the work of a priest from the northern kingdom, and not from Judea, a man who may have lived in the ninth century -- that is, at least a hundred or a hundred and fifty years after Solomon, at the time of the great dynasty of the Omrides. [178] This fact is not merely interesting but even amusing; for the later purely Jewish editors of the sacred books have given themselves all imaginable trouble to represent the Israelite kingdom as apostate and heathen, whereas it now appears that the foundations of the religious law originate from this tabooed kingdom and not from pious Judah. For the accurate definition of what is specifically Jewish it is important to know this: the Jew has never distinguished himself by creative power, even in the limited sphere of religious legislation; indeed, what is most his own is borrowed. For even the great prophetic movement, which, well considered, is the only manifestation of the Hebrew intellect which possesses enduring worth, originated in the north. Elijah, in many respects the most remarkable and most imaginative personality in the whole Israelite history, exercised his influence there only. The accounts of Elijah are so scanty that many look upon him as a mythological personage, [179] but I agree with Wellhausen in thinking that this is historically impossible, for Elijah is the man who sets the stone rolling, the inventor in a way of the true religion of Jehovah, the great mind which has a vague feeling, though not a clear idea, of the monotheistic essence of that worship. Here a great personality is at work, and to work it must have lived. Of special interest is the one exact piece of information which we possess regarding him; according to it he was not an Israelite, but a "settler with half rights" from the other side of the Jordan, from the farthest boundaries of the land -- a man, therefore, in whose veins in all probability almost pure Arabian blood must have flowed. [180] This is interesting, for it shows the genuine Semitic element at work, trying to save its religious ideal, which in the south by the eclecticism of such half-Amorites as David and Amorite-Hittites as Solomon, and in the north by the secular tolerance of the predominantly Canaanite population, had been seriously threatened. In the north alone, which was favoured by its situation, and the inhabitants of which probably were distinguished by greater industry and talent for commerce, there was already prosperity, and with it luxury and the taste for art had developed; one of the sins with which Amos reproaches the Israelites is that "they make songs like David." Against this the anti-civilising spirit of the more genuine Semite rebelled. The noble-minded man felt instinctively and powerfully the incompatibility between the alien culture and the mental qualities of his people; he saw before his feet the pit open, into which in truth all mongrel Semitic kingdoms had quickly sunk and left no trace behind, and, fearless as the Bedouin, he prepared for the struggle. From Elijah onwards this prophetic movement is like a healthy, dry desert wind, which, coming from afar, withers up the blossoms of idleness -- but at the same time the buds of beauty and of art. Elisha, too, the successor of Elijah, has his home in Ephraim. Now, however, appears the first great prophet, whose words we still possess. I say "great," though because of the fewness of his writings he is reckoned among the minor prophets; for Amos is, in point of depth of religious thought and acuteness of political insight, equal to the greatest. This prophet is said to have been born in Judea, but this is doubted by many (e.g., by Graetz); [181] at any rate, he knows the country of Joseph as well as if it were his home, and his warnings are directed solely to this tribe. The next great "lesser" prophet, Hosea, likewise a unique personality, is an Ephraimite; he, too, is bound up with the destiny of the one house of Joseph; with all his heart he devotes himself to his beloved people, and, as is the manner of prophets, he prophesies many things which did not take place -- the saving of Israel by almighty Jehovah and the everlasting rule of this people. Here the series closes, here ends the influence of Israel upon Judah; for presumably in the lifetime of Hosea -- at any rate soon after his death -- the whole northern people was carried off into captivity by the Assyrians and nevermore returned.


It was only now -- that is, from the year 721 before Christ -- that the true Jew could begin to develop; up till then, as we have just seen, Judah had politically, socially, and religiously been forced to follow the lead of the much more talented Israel; now this tribe stood alone, on its own feet. The situation was alarming. With horror and trembling the Jews witnessed the fate of their brothers, who robbed themselves of their only protection; now the circle of enemies closed in around this small land; how could it exist in opposition to world-empires? First it existed as the willing vassal of the Assyrians and enjoyed their protection against its nearest oppressors the inhabitants of Damascus; then it took advantage of the death-struggle of its mighty protector, in order to make itself free from him; it intrigued with Egypt, but became again reconciled with the Chaldeans, the new lords of Asia Minor, by the payment of heavy indemnity and the ceding of certain lands ... in short, the kingdom dragged on its somewhat miserable existence for a hundred and twenty years more, till, at last, on the occasion of a new revolt, Nebuchadnezzar lost all patience and bore off the king and 10,000 of the most distinguished personages in captivity to Babylon. Eleven years later, when they persisted in their intrigues, he destroyed Jerusalem and the temple and had the rest of the freemen of Judea with their families carried off to Babylonia; some of them, among whom was Jeremiah, fled to Egypt and founded the Diaspora there. After sixty more years a portion of the exiles returned, but only a portion; the majority of the wealthier preferred to remain in Babylon. It was more than a century before the small colony that returned home -- which included a comparatively large number of priests and Levites -- organised itself in Jerusalem and the neighbouring very much shrunken Jewish district, and once more built up the temple and the walls of their city; but for the gracious protection of the Persian monarchs and the gifts of those Jews who had quickly grown rich in exile they would never have succeeded in their task. There were thus once more a Jerusalem and a Judea, but from this time onwards there was never again an independent Jewish state. [182]

Thus the development of the Judean into the real Jew took place under the influence of definite historical conditions. One is wont to say that history repeats itself; it never does. [183] The Jew is a unique phenomenon, to which no parallel can be offered. Without definite historical conditions he would, however, not have become what he did become; the particular ethnological mixture out of which he arose, and his further history to the isolation from Israel, would not have produced the abnormal phenomenon of Judaism had not a series of remarkable circumstances favoured this special development. These circumstances are easy to enumerate; they are five in number, and, like the wheels of a well-made watch, fit into each other -- the sudden isolation, the hundred years in which they might develop their individuality, the breaking off of all historical local tradition owing to the exile, the renewing of old associations by a generation born abroad, the condition of political dependence in which the Judeans thenceforth lived. A few remarks on these five influences, which followed each other successively, will make the growth of Judaism absolutely clear to us.

(1) The men of Judah had as in statu pupillari been wont to receive all inspiration from the older, stronger and cleverer brother; now all at once they stood alone, in possession of a tradition which was probably only fragmentary, and compelled henceforth to order their intellectual development themselves. It was a sudden powerful movement, which could have but one kind of reaction, a violent and by no means harmonious one.

(2) If the Assyrians had immediately invaded Judah and scattered the inhabitants, these would unquestionably have vanished as completely as the Israelites. But the Judeans were spared for more than a century, and that in a position which actually compelled them to use to the utmost the last suggestion which they had received from Israel, namely, that which their prophets Amos and Hosea had given them -- moral conversion, humility before God, confidence in His almighty power. That was in truth their last anchor of hope; victory by force over the world-power that was drawing near was out of the question. But the Judeans took a purely materialistic view of the sublime doctrine of Amos. In their need they even went so far as madly to think that Jerusalem, as the dwelling-place of 1ehovah, was impregnable. [184] Sensible people of course shook their heads sceptically, but when the army of Sennacherib, after laying waste the surrounding land and beginning the siege of Jerusalem, suddenly had to retire, then the Prophets were in the right; a pestilence had broken out in the camp, said the one; inner dissension, said the other, caused the retreat; [185] it did not matter, on that morning of the year 702 B.C. upon which the inhabitants of Jerusalem no longer saw the host of Sennacherib underneath their walls, the Jew was born, and with him the Jehovah whom we know from the Bible. That day was the turning-point in the history of Judah. Even the foreign peoples saw in the saving of Jerusalem a divine miracle. All at once the Prophets who had hitherto been despised and persecuted -- Isaiah and Micah -- became the heroes of the day; the king had to join their party and begin to purify the land from strange gods. The faith in the providence of Jehovah, the confident belief that all prosperity depended upon passive obedience to his commands, that every national calamity came as a trial or punishment, the unshakeable conviction that Judah was the chosen people of God, while the other nations stood far below it -- in fact, the whole complex of conceptions which was to form the soul of Judaism -- now came into existence, developed rapidly from germs which under normal circumstances would never have produced such results, giving great power of resistance but on the other hand choking much that was sensible, sound and natural until it became a fixed idea. Now for the first time were written the momentous words: "Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day" (Deut. x. 15). From the year 701 to the year 586, when Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jews had more than a hundred years to develop this idea. The Prophets and Priests, who now had their opportunity, made good use of their time. In spite of the liberal reaction of Manasseh, they succeeded first in banishing the other gods and then in introducing by a stroke of genius the mad idea that Jehovah could be worshipped in Jerusalem alone, for which reason Josiah destroyed the "high places" and all the other most holy altars of the people, killed most of the Levites of these sanctuaries which were said to have been founded by the Patriarchs and consecrated by divine manifestations, while the rest he made into subordinate servants of the house of God in Jerusalem; now there was but one God, one altar, one High Priest; the world was richer by the idea (though not yet by the word) Church; the foundation of the present Roman church, with its infallible head, was laid. In order to bring this about, they had to have recourse to a clever fraud, the pattern of many later ones. In the year 622, when the Temple was being repaired, a "book of law" was said to be "found"; [186] that it was only then written, there can to-day be not the slightest doubt. Deuteronomy or the fifth book of Moses ("a quite superfluous expansion of the Ten Commandments," as Luther called it) was meant to introduce a rule of the priesthood, such as had never existed in Israel or Judah, and to form the legal (and at the same time, as always with the Hebrews, the historical) foundation of the justification of Jerusalem alone -- an idea which, as long as the northern kingdom, Israel, stood, never could have been entertained, and which had been quite strange even to Isaiah, in spite of all his fanatical patriotism and love for Jerusalem. [187] This was all done, not with an evil intention to deceive, but in order henceforth to keep pure the cult of the Saviour God Jehovah, and at the same time as the beginning of a moral regeneration. There, for example, appears for the first time, shyly and guardedly, the commandment that we should love God the Lord; at the same time this book contained the fanatically dogmatic assertion that the Jews alone were the people of God, and along with this came for the first time the prohibition of mixed marriages, as also the commandment to "destroy" all "heathens" wherever Jews dwell, and to stone to death every Jew, man or woman, who is not orthodox (xvii. 5); two witnesses were to be sufficient to justify the death sentence: the world was richer by the idea of religious intolerance. How new this course of thought was to the people, and under what particular circumstance alone it could obtain a hold -- namely, amidst hourly danger and after the wonderful saving of Jerusalem from the hands of Sennacherib -- is shown by the ever- repeated formula: "The Lord hath commanded that we should fear him, that it may be well with us all the days of our life, as it is to-day." Frightful punishments on the one hand, boundless promises on the other and, in addition, the constant enumeration of the wonders which Jehovah had done on behalf of Israel -- these are the methods of conviction employed by the book of Deuteronomy, the first independent work of the Judeans in the sphere of religion. [188] Sublime this religious motive is not; this I must assert in spite of all Jewish and Christian commentators; yet when grasped by a fanatical faith it is an incomparably powerful one. And henceforth all efforts are directed towards strengthening this faith, and once more the circumstances are favourable to those efforts.

(3) One would have thought that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Captivity would have shaken their trust in Jehovah: but the finishing blow did not come all at once, and the inspiring strength of such a faith as Jeremiah's had ample time to attune itself to new conditions. In the meantime, among the great ones of the kingdom, moral regeneration had quickly turned into the opposite; they did evil without fear. But Jeremiah saw the future otherwise; in the Babylonian this prophet saw the scourge of God, sent to punish Judah for its sins; just as salvation had proceeded from the love of Jehovah to his chosen people, so was the present chastisement love; and so Jeremiah, in contradiction to Isaiah, prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, and for this he was persecuted as a traitor and hireling of the Babylonians. But the Prophet was once more right, the shrewd men of the world wrong; for the latter relied this time upon Jehovah; had they not been taught for a century that Jerusalem was impregnable? And when now destruction came, they said: "Behold the prophet has spoken true; that is the hand of Jehovah." It is easy to understand the great importance of the Captivity for the further development and strengthening of this delusive conception. Without the banishment the true yet so wonderfully artificial Judaism would never have survived. The kings Hezekiah, Josiah and Zedekiah had been able to overturn the altars and cut down the sacred trees, but the people clung to its old sanctuaries; now all at once it was torn away from every tradition. The sixty years' sojourn in the Babylonian kingdom cut, so to speak, the thread of history in two. Not a man who had left the land of his fathers at an age when he could form his own judgment, ever came back. When a single individual leaves his fatherland for fifty years -- aye, even for twenty -- he returns home to relations and friends as a stranger among strangers; he is unable to accommodate himself once more to the special organic law of the individual growth of this particular people, especially if he has left his fatherland in early youth. In this case a whole nation left its historical home; those who returned later had been born and brought up, almost without exception, in the foreign land; there was, perhaps, not one who consciously remembered Judea. And meanwhile, in Babylon, while the blessed connection with the past (the relation of child to mother) was broken off, the embittered zealots among the exiled were brooding over their fate and making resolves which they could never have thought of in the land of their home. [189] It was in the captivity that specific Judaism had its foundation, and this was brought about by Ezekiel, a priest of the family of the High Priest; hence it is that Judaism has from the very beginning borne the stamp of the Captivity. Its faith is not the faith of a healthy, free people that is fighting for its existence in honest rivalry; it breathes impotence and thirst for vengeance, and seeks to blind men to the misery of the moment by forecasting an impossible future. The book of Ezekiel is the most frightful in the Bible; by its employment of extreme means -- horrible threats and the most atrocious promises -- this narrow-minded, abstractly formalistic, but noble and patriotic spirit [190] wished to save the much-shaken faith of his brothers, and with it the nation. Up to his time in Israel religion had been, as in Rome, Greece, Egypt, a fact among other facts of the national life, and a priesthood a part of the national organisation. Ezekiel said: "No, Israel is not in the world, to toil and wage war like other peoples, to do work and to think, but to be the sanctuary of Jehovah; let it observe Jehovah's law, and all will be given to it." The State was now to be replaced by the rule of the religious law, the so-called nomocracy. Even Deuteronomy had admitted that other peoples had other gods; Amos, as an isolated great mind, had had a vague feeling of the existence of a cosmic god, who was something more than the political deus ex machina of a special little nation: Ezekiel now united both views and invented therefrom the Jehovah of Judaism, monotheism in a frightful, distorted form. Of a surety Jehovah is the only and almighty God, but He lives merely for His own glory; sympathetically gracious towards the Jews (for through them He will proclaim His glory and show His power under the condition that they devote themselves solely to His service), but to all other peoples of the earth He is a cruel God, who will visit them with "pestilence and blood," in order that "He may become glorious, sacred and known"! All these other peoples are to be destroyed, and Jehovah commands His prophets to call together the birds and the animals of the world "that they may eat the flesh of the strong and drink the blood of princes." Besides this, the book contains the sketch of the organisation of a hierarchy and of a new straightjacket of worship -- just the things in regard to which a prophet living in exile could indulge his imagination, as he could not have done had he stood in the midst of a national life, where every new statute would have had to contend with custom and tradition. But not long after Ezekiel's death the noble Persian king Cyrus conquered the Babylonian Empire. With the simplicity of the inexperienced Indo-European he permitted the return of the Jews and gave them a subsidy for the rebuilding of the temple. Under the protection of Aryan tolerance the hearth was erected from which, for tens of centuries a curse to all that is noblest and an everlasting disgrace to Christianity, Semitic intolerance was to spread like a poison over the whole earth. Whoever wishes to give a clear answer to the question, Who is the Jew? must never forget the one fact, 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 to-day and will forbid it to-morrow.

(4) Ezekiel had dreamt, but by the return from captivity his dream became a reality; his book -- not the history of Israel, not the voices of the great prophets -- was henceforth the ideal according to which Judaism was organised. And this again could only take place thanks to the circumstance that the historical process began with a new generation, in which even the language of the fathers was forgotten and only the Priests still understood it. [191] It was simply due to the coincidence of such unusual circumstances that something became now possible of which the history of the world gives no second example; that a few clever and determined men could force an absolutely fictitious, artificially thought out, and exceedingly complicated history of religion and culture upon a whole people under the guise of time-hallowed tradition. The process is quite different from that of the Christian councils, where it was decided that man must believe this and that, on the ground that it was eternal truth. Dogma in our sense of the word is foreign to the Jew; for the materialistic view which prevails wherever the Semitic spirit rules even if only, as here, as spiritus rector, every conviction must rest on an historical basis. And thus the new Jehovah-faith, the new rules for the temple-cult, the many new religious laws, [192] were introduced as historical things which had been ordained by God of old and had since then been constantly observed except by apostate sinners. The beginning was made by Deuteronomy before the Captivity; but that had only been a timid attempt, and, in fact, not a very successful one in presence of the still vigorous popular consciousness. Now the situation was quite changed. In the first place the Captivity had, as I have already said, cut the historical thread, and secondly, the exiles who returned consisted chiefly of two classes: on the one hand of the poorest, most ignorant and dependent of the people, on the other of Priests and Levites. [193] The richer more worldly inclined Jews had preferred to remain in the foreign land; they felt themselves more comfortable there than in their own community, but they remained (at least the majority remained) Jews -- partly, doubtless, because this faith suited them; partly because of the privileges which they knew how to assure to themselves everywhere, among the first of which was exemption from military service. [194] It is easy to see how the priesthood now had both these elements in its hand -- the ignorant colonists who were bound by no tradition, and the educated members of the Diaspora, who were, however, far removed from the one centre of the cult. And thus the priesthood set up the artificial structure: Deuteronomy was completed (especially by the first eleven so effective historical chapters), then the so-called "priestly code" was made (the whole book of Leviticus, three-fourths of Numbers, the half of Exodus and about eleven chapters of Genesis); [195] besides, the historical books of the Old Testament were collected from various sources and put together in the form in which they have come down to us, naturally only after those sources had been revised, expunged and interpolated in order to push the new hierocracy and the new faith in Jehovah together with the new "law," under which the poor Jews were henceforth to groan. This, however, was a work which was beyond the standard of education at the time, so that contradictions burst forth at all corners and we can see pious caprice at work through the gaps that are left. [196] This Thora (i.e., "Law") was then gradually completed by selections from the partly very old didactic literature and by carefully worked up collections of the prophetic books, enriched by as many vaticinia ex eventibus as possible, but so stupidly edited that it is only with the most unspeakable difficulty that we can find out the intention of the Prophets; still later some freely invented didactic poems were added, as Esther, Job, Daniel, also the Psalms, &c. Still, long after the time of Ezra, according to Jewish tradition, a collegium of a hundred and twenty scribes, the "great synagogue," worked at the completion and revision of the canon; the two books of Chronicles, for instance. were written two-hundred years later, "after the fall of the Persian Empire, out of the midst of Judaism." [197] I shall have to return immediately to this religion of Ezekiel; but first I shall discuss the fifth and last historical condition, without which it would never have been able, in spite of all that had gone before, to obtain a footing.

(5) After the Babylonian captivity the Jews never again formed an independent nation. Herder has rightly dwelt upon one profound influence that this fact must have exercised upon the character of the people: "The Jewish people was spoiled in its education because it never attained to the ripeness of political culture on its own soil, and consequently never to the real feeling of honour and freedom." [198] It is impossible to assert that at first the Jew was organically wanting in the sense of honour and freedom; his fate, too, would perhaps not have sufficed to produce such a complete atrophy of these precious qualities had not that faith been added which robbed the individual of every freedom and also completely rooted out the "true feeling of honour" by refusing to concede honour to other and higher nations. But the people of the tribe of Judah would never have allowed this faith to be forced upon them if its political impotence, as a small vassal State endured on sufferance, had not delivered it over bound hand and foot to its religious teachers. Such short episodes of half independence as that under Simon Maccabaeus only suffice to show that on entering into the sphere of practical life this faith, as genuine popular faith, must needs have undergone profound modifications; for the Maccabees originally sprang into prosperity because they (the children of distant Modin, in what was formerly the Ephraimite mountains) broke one of the strictest laws, that of the Sabbath. [199] How impossible it would have been to enforce this priestly faith, this priestly cult, this priestly law upon an independent people, we see from the fact that it was difficult enough even under the given conditions, and would not have succeeded but for the vigorous support of the kings of Babylon. For though the Jews had been cut off from all traditions, yet neither their neighbours nor that original and genuinely Canaanite population which had been left behind in considerable numbers in Judea met with the same fate. And thus in the first period after the return they began to form connections again on all sides. The Hittite-Amorite peasants wished, as worshippers of Jehovah, to take part in the sacrifice as before; they did not feel, and would not admit, that Jehovah, the God of their own land, should henceforth be the monopoly of the Jews; on the other hand, the well-to-do among those Israelites who returned contracted marriages with the neighbouring peoples, not minding whether these worshipped Milkom, Moloch or Baal; just as in our days the nobility, however Anti-Semitic, like to marry Jewesses, so the members of the high priestly caste considered marriage with an Ammonite or an Edomite "conformable to their rank," provided the maiden had sufficient money. How under such conditions could the faith, as Ezekiel taught it, have been imparted and the new law with its countless prescriptions have become the rule of life? The unnatural product of an overheated priestly brain would within a generation have been consigned ad patres. But the Jews did not form an independent State. They had returned to Jerusalem under the leadership of a half-Persian agent, who undoubtedly had definite instructions to support the priests and on the other hand to put down every movement of political ambition. As soon as the religious party saw the work which had just begun endangered by the events just mentioned, they sent to Babylon for help. In the first place reinforcements consisting of priests and scribes were sent; those were chosen who, with Ezra -- "the clever scribe" -- at their head, wished to set up the Thora; they brought with them also kingly edicts and money. [200] But even this did not suffice; a man of action was needed, and so the cup-bearer of King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah, was despatched to Jerusalem, armed with dictatorial power. Energetic measures were at once taken. Those worshippers of Jehovah who did not belong officially to the Jewish people were rejected "with horror"; not faith but genealogy was henceforth to be the decisive thing; all Jews who had married non-Jewesses must get a divorce or emigrate; in the book of Leviticus the law was inserted: "I have severed you from other people that ye should be mine" (xx. 26). Henceforth no Jew was to marry outside his people, under penalty of death; every man who married a foreign woman committed a sin against God." [201] Nehemiah also built high walls round Jerusalem and put strong gates at the entrances; then he forbade the stranger to enter, that the people "might be purified from everything foreign." Wellhausen rightly says: "Ezra and Nehemiah became, by the grace of King Artaxerxes, the definite constructors of Judaism." [202] What Ezekiel founded they completed; they forced Judaism on the Jew.

These, then, are in my opinion the five historical motive powers by which Judaism was rendered possible and furthered. I shall summarise them once more, to impress them on the memory; the unexpected, sudden separation from the more gifted Israel; the continuance for a hundred years of the tiny State threatened on all sides, which could hope for help only from a superhuman power; the rending of the historical thread and of all local traditions by the carrying-off of the whole people from their home into a foreign land; the reviving of these associations under a generation which was born abroad and hardly understood the language of their fathers; the condition of political dependence which henceforth existed, and to which the priesthood owed its dominating power.

When Ezra for the first time read to the assembled people from the new law, which was to be the "law of Moses," then "all the people wept when they heard the words of the law" ; this is the account of Nehemiah, and we can believe it. But it did not help them, for great Jehovah, "powerful and fearful," had commanded it; [203] and now the so-called "Old Covenant" was renewed, but this time in writing, like a notary's contract. Every priest, Levite, and influential man in the country put his seal under it, also every scribe; they and all other men, "with their wives, sons and daughters," had to "bind themselves by oath to walk in the law of God that is given by Moses, the servant of God." [204] This was now the "New Covenant." It is probably the first and last time that in this way a religion originated in the world! Fortunately, religious instinct still lived among the people, from the midst of which a short time before a Jeremiah and a second Isaiah had arisen. Human nature does not permit itself to be stamped out and distorted without leaving a trace behind, but in this case all that was possible in that way had been done; and if in consequence the Jews became generally unpopular, the reason is solely to be sought in this artificially constructed and mechanically enforced faith, which gradually grew into an ineradicable national idea and destroyed in the Jewish heart the purely human legacy which is common to us all. In the Canaanite-Israelite nature-cult, quickened by Semitic seriousness and Amorite idealism, there must have been many germs promising the finest blossoms; how otherwise should we be able to trace such a development as that which, starting from the orgiastic dance around the image of the calf, still common in all Israel and Judah before the Captivity, leads up to the God of Amos, who "despises feast-days" and "has no pleasure in burnt-offerings" (v. 21, 22), and to the second Isaiah, who considered every temple building unworthy of God, to whom sacrifice and incense are "a horror," and who writes the almost Hindoo words: "He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man" (Isaiah lxvi. 1-3). But henceforth all development was broken off. And as I must a thousand times repeat -- for no one says it, and it is the only thing that has to be said -- the only thing that makes the position of the Jews among us children of the nineteenth century comprehensible -- this so-called reform of Ezra, which in reality signifies the foundation of Judaism, this reform which became only possible through the coincidence of the five historical conditions enumerated, does not betoken a stage in religious development, but is a violent reaction from every development; it leaves the tree standing, but cuts away all roots from below it; now it may stand and wither, supported by the 13,600 neatly cut stakes of the law, that it may not fall. When, therefore, so important a scholar as Delitzsch writes, "The Thora shows how the Mosaic law continued for a thousand years to develop in the consciousness and practice of Israel," we must offer the objection that the Thora on the contrary does everything which it can to mask the process of development which had hitherto taken place; that it does not hesitate to utter any lie in order to represent the law as absolutely stationary, and fixed since time immemorial, that it gives even such manifest absurdities as the story of the Tabernacle and its arrangement; and we must assert that the Thora is directed not only against the so-called "idolatry" (from which the whole Israelite cult proceeded), but just as much against the free spirit of genuine religion which had begun to stir in the Prophets. Not one of these great men -- neither Elijah nor Amos, nor Hosea, nor Micah, nor Isaiah, nor Jeremiah, nor the second Isaiah -- would have put his seal on that document of the New Covenant -- otherwise he would have had to deny his own words.


I must pause a moment to discuss the Prophets just mentioned. For it is particularly from the contrast between what they aimed at and sought and the teachings of the Jerusalemite hierocrats that it becomes clear to what an extent the Jew was made Jew, artificially made (so to speak) by the conscious, calculated religious politics of individual men and individual associations, and in opposition to all organic development. It is necessary to emphasise this in order to judge aright the Israelite character, which in a way was founded in Judaism. In the New Covenant the observances of the cult have the first place; the word "sanctity," which occurs so often, signifies in the first place absolutely nothing but the strict observance of all ordinances; [205] purity of heart is hardly considered, [206] "purity of skin and cleanness of vessels are more important," as Reuss says with some exaggeration, [207] and in the midst of these observances stands as the most sacred of all -- an extraordinarily complicated sacrificial ritual. [208] Amore flagrant departure from the prophetic teaching is scarcely thinkable. Let us see. Hosea had represented God as saying, "I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings" (vi. 6). Amos I have just quoted (p. 465). Micah writes: "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt- offerings, with calves of a year old? (vi. 6). He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?" (vi. 8). Isaiah expresses exactly the same thing, but in greater detail, and as if by a miracle we have a saying of his preserved, in which he says, "God wishes not for the Sabbath" and" your new moons and appointed feasts my soul hateth!" The people should rather occupy itself with other things, "learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow" (i. 13-17) Jeremiah, in the impetuous manner characteristic of him, goes still further; he places himself in the doorway of the temple of Jerusalem and cries out to those that enter: "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, Here is the temple of the Lord! Here is the temple of the Lord! But amend your ways and your doings; execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; oppress not the stranger, the fatherless and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place" (i.e., do not sacrifice) (vii. 4-6). Jeremiah even wishes to hear no more of the sacred old ark of the covenant, "neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more" (iii. 16). In the Psalms, too, we read: "For thou desirest not sacrifice; thou delightest not in burnt-offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit! A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (li. 18-19). [209] That all these utterances are followed by fanatical and national ones, as "Jeru salem is God's throne and all other gods are idols," &c., shows a narrowness appropriate to the time, [210] but does not annul the fact that all these men aimed at a progressive simplification of the cult and, like the Yoruba negroes on the Slave coast (see p. 417), declared the sacrifice of food to be senseless, and demanded the abolition, if possible, of every service in the temple, like that great unknown [211] who represents God as saying, "The Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; where is the house that ye build unto me? Or what is the place of my rest? ... but to this man will I look, even to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembleth at my word" (lxvi. I, 2). The contrast to the commandments of the Thora which were soon afterwards introduced could hardly be greater. The whole tendency of the Prophets, as we see, is directed to inculcating the piety of the heart; not he who sacrifices, but he who does good, not he who observes the Sabbath, but he who protects the oppressed, is in their opinion good. One must also notice that in the case of the Prophets nationalism nowhere (except in the later interpolations) has the dogmatic and inhuman character of the later official faith. Amos, a noble man whom the great synagogue has cruelly used. makes perhaps the only humorous remark which the whole literature of the Bible contains: "Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? said the Lord" (ix. 7). And he expresses the opinion that just as God led the Israelites out of Egypt, so He brought the Philistines out of Caphthor and the Syrians out of Kir. Micah writes with the same tolerance: "For all people will walk, everyone, in the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of our God" (iv. 5). The second Isaiah, the only real and conscious monotheist, simply says: "God of the whole earth He shall be called" (liv. 5). Here too, therefore, a direction is clearly marked out, which later was violently departed from. But at the same time that promising tendency, those longings and attempts to find a less historical and more genuine religion -- a religion of the individual soul in contrast to faith in national destinies -- were nipped in the bud; naturally this tendency sprang up anew again and again in many individual hearts, but it could not inspire with life the organism which the priestly code had paralysed, there was no longer room for development. And yet Jeremiah had made important steps in this direction; he (or some other in his name) had represented God as saying, "I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to every man according to his ways" (xvii. 10). Yes, in absolute contrast to the Judaic justification by works, which the Roman Catholic Church adopted from the Jews, we seem to see a faint glimmer of the conception of grace when Jeremiah fervently cries out, "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed! Save me, and I shall be saved! " (xvii. 14.) And with the second Isaiah's beautiful verse, in which God says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," we stand on the threshold of a transcendental mystery where the true religion of the Indian and of Jesus Christ begins. With what justice does the theologian Duhm say that the writers of Deuteronomy and Ezekiel, and with them Judaism, to the present day, stand" in point of religion and morals far beneath Jeremiah!" [212]

But it seems to me more than doubtful whether the common Semitic qualities, which reveal themselves in these pre-eminent men, would have produced much religion in our sense of the word; for as these quotations (with the exception of the two last) prove, it is always morals that the Prophets oppose to cult, not a new or reformed ideal of religion. [213] The Israelite prophets (in addition to whom we must reckon some Psalmists) are great by their moral greatness, not by creative power; in this they reveal themselves as essentially Semites -- in whom the will is always supreme -- and their influence in the purely religious sphere is to a great extent merely a reaction from the Canaanite cult ascribed to Moses, and introduced nothing in its place. But to believe that one can take from the people one cult without replacing it by another shows but little insight into the human character; just as little as it testifies to religious understanding, when the Prophets imagined that faith in a God who had never been conceived and never represented, who revealed himself only in political events, and who must be served with good deeds and humility alone, could satisfy even the most modest demands of the imagination. It was in fact through the sublimity of prophetic feeling, through the passionate glow of prophetic words, that one of those materialistic Syro-Semitic peoples, poor in religious conceptions, first received the revelation of the gulf between God and man, and now this gulf yawned threateningly, and not the slightest attempt was made to bridge it over. And yet what constitutes the essence of religion if not the bridging over of this gulf? All else is philosophy or morals. We are consequently justified in calling the mythology of Greece a religion, for by furnishing conceptions it brings us nearer the Divine. [214] Not the thought of a God, who has created heaven and earth, but the paraclete hovering between Him and me, represents the essential purport of all religion. Mohammed is scarcely less than Allah, and Christ is God himself, descended upon the earth. And here we must admit that Isaiah, who placarded his prophecies at the street corners; Jeremiah, the acutest politician of his time; the second Isaiah, the venerable, lovable figure from the Babylonian captivity; and Amos, the landed proprietor, who saw a national danger in the corruption of the leading grades of society; Hosea, who considered the priests even more dangerous; Micah, the Socialist Democratic peasant, who wishes to wipe out cities (except Jerusalem) from the face of the earth; -- these are splendid men, in whom we note with delight how strong in faith and at the same time generous, how noble. how vigorously the Israelite spirit moved before it was bound hand and foot, yet they are by no means religious geniuses. If they had had that power which they did not possess, their people would have been spared their bitter fate; the people would not have needed to weep" when it heard the words of the law."
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:04 am

Part 6 of 8


What the Prophets had failed to accomplish was achieved by the priests and scribes. They arranged the connection between God and man by fixing an invented but exact historical tradition, by the retention and further development of the sacrificial service and above all by the so-called "law," that is, by hundreds of directions which hedged in every step of a man the whole day long, and continually accompanied him through all seasons -- in the field, at home, asleep and awake, eating and drinking. According to the Talmud tradition, in the days of mourning for the death of Moses three thousand such ordinances were forgotten; [215] that marks the tendency. The manifest purpose was to keep the thought of God continually alive among the people, and at the same time the thought that they were the chosen of God and of faith in their own future. The object was noble enough, as every one who judges impartially must admit, and it may well be that this Draconian rule had a more moral life as its result, and that thousands of good souls lived contented and happy in the fulfilment of the law; and yet what happened here was a stroke of violence against nature. It is contrary to nature to hem in every step of a man; contrary to nature to plague a whole people with priestly subtleties, [216] and to forbid it all healthy, free, intellectual nourishment; contrary to nature to teach pride, hatred and isolation as the bases of our moral relations to our fellow-men; contrary to nature to transfer all our efforts from the present to the future. To establish Judaism, a religion was killed, and then mummified.

Ambrosius praises in the religious doctrine of the Jews especially "the victory of reason over feeling." [217] The word reason is perhaps not very happily chosen, Will would be nearer the point; but he is quite right in regard to the subjection of the feelings, and he here says in simple form something of so great significance that his words will spare me considerable discussion. But whoever wishes to know to what this subjugation of the feelings leads in the case of a religion should study the history of the Rabbis and attempt to read through some of the fragments of the Talmud. He will meet noble Rabbis and in the Talmud more praiseworthy rules for a man's daily walk and life (especially in the treatise Pirke Aboth, i.e., sayings of the fathers) than he perhaps expects, but the whole literature of the world has nothing to show that is so dreary, so childishly wearisome, so composed of the desert sand of absolute sterility, as this collection of the wisest discussions which were held among Jews for centuries concerning the Thora. [218] And this spiritless product was held more sacred by later Jews than the Bible! (Treatise Pea ii. 5). Indeed, they had the impertinence to say, "The words of the elders are more important than the words of the Prophets"! (Treatise Berachoth, i. 4). So surely had the new covenant led them on the downward religious path. In the "bottomless sea," as they themselves call the Babylonian Island, their nobler religious sentiments were drowned for ever. [219]


All this, however, represents as it were the negative element in the founding of Judaism: of the beautiful legacy -- simple and lively memories and popular tales of the Hebrews, impressive religious ordinances belonging to the Canaanites, as also many customs such as the Sabbath which rested on Sumero-Accadian influence and were all common to Western Asiatics -- of this legacy the priests had made a rigid law; by art of magic [220] they had transformed warm blood into cold metal, and of this they had forged a vice for the soul -- an instrument of torture like the iron maid at Nurnberg; they had tied the arteries of spontaneous feeling, or "of the feelings," as Ambrosius says -- the arteries of the instinctive creative activity of a people, by which its faith, its customs, its thoughts, adapt themselves to changing times and by new formations arouse to new life what is eternally true in the old; but their work would have had no permanence if it had halted half-way and been content with this negative element. If in physiological experiments we cut the connection between brain and heart, we have to arrange for artificial breathing or the functions of life cease; this the priestly founders of religion did by the introduction of the Messianic kingdom of the future.

I have frequently demonstrated, [221] and shall not do so again, that a materialistic philosophy is necessarily based on an historical view of things, and moreover, that history, wherever it serves as the basis of a religion, must necessarily embrace the future as well as the present and the past. It is therefore beyond all doubt that thoughts of the future formed a very old element of the Hebraic legacy. But how modest, how natural, how completely within the limits of the possible and actual! Canaan alone presented Jehovah to the Israelites, for he was the God of Canaan alone: apart from many unavoidable feuds, until the captivity, the tribe of Judah lived, just like the other tribes, on the best terms with its neighbours; there are immigrations and emigrations (see the book of Ruth); the God of the country where a man settles is adopted as a matter of course (Ruth i. 15, 16) ; the national pride is scarcely greater than in France or Germany to-day. Of course the future is more definite to the Prophets, in harmony with their other ideas and particularly in view of the extremely dangerous political situation (for Prophets arose only in times of political crisis, never in peace); [222] as a foil to the moral admonitions and threatened punishments, which form almost the whole purport of their proclamations, they required a bright picture of blessings which would fall to a pious, God-fearing people, but in the genuine writings of the Prophets before the exile there is never a word of universal empire. Even Isaiah does not go farther than the idea that Jerusalem is impregnable and that punishment will fall upon his enemies; then, in the "sure dwelling," "salvation, wisdom, prudence, and fear of the Lord will be the treasure of the inhabitants," and as an especial blessing the great man seems to foresee that" at that time there will be no scribes"! [223] I have the support of the greatest living authority when I assert that the conception of an especial sanctity of the Jewish people -- that conception which is the basis of Jewish faith -- was quite unknown to Isaiah. [224] All those passages -- as, for instance, chap. iv. 3, "He that is left in Zion shall be called holy"; chap. lxii. 12, "And they shall call them the holy people," &c. -- have been proved to be late interpolations, that is to say, the work of the great synagogues already named; the language of a much later century which no longer freely mastered the Hebrew has betrayed the pious forgers. Invented are also almost all those" consoling additions" which are found after most of the threats of Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, &c., [225] and absolutely forged, from the first to the last word, are such chapters as Isaiah Ix., that famous Messianic prophecy, according to which all the kings of the world will lie in the dust before the Jews, and the doors of Jerusalem be open day and night in order that the treasures [226] of all people may be carried in. The genuine Isaiah promised his people "wisdom and prudence" as their reward, the ideal of the still greater second Isaiah (the one who would have neither sacrifice nor temple) was that Judah should be the servant of God, called to bring consolation everywhere to the weary, the blind, the poor and the heavily laden. But now things had changed; the curse of God is henceforth to smite him who maintains that "the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen" (Ezekiel xxv. 8), for it shall be a "kingdom of priests" (Exodus xix. 6). [227] The Jews were now promised the possession of all treasures of the world, particularly of all gold and all silver. [228] "Thy people shall inherit the land for ever" (Isaiah Ix. 21); that is henceforth the future which is held out to the Jews. In humility he shall bow before God, but not in that inner humility, of which Christ speaks -- he bows the head before Jehovah, because of the promise that by the fulfilment of this condition he will put his foot upon the neck of all the nations of the world and be Lord and possessor of the whole earth. [229] This one basis of Jewish religion includes, therefore, a direct criminal attempt upon all the peoples of the earth, and the crime cannot be disavowed because hitherto the power has been lacking to carry it out; for it is the hope itself which is criminal and which poisons the heart of the Jew. [230] To the misunderstanding and intentional falsification of the Prophets were added other dreams of the future, which, however, were no better. From the Persians the Jews had during their captivity for the first time heard vague tales of an immortality and a future life; they had also heard of angels and devils, heaven and hell. [231] On this basis there was now produced an enormous apocalyptic literature of which the book of Daniel, in spite of its senseless mystery-mongering, would give a much too favourable idea, which dealt with the end of the world, the resurrection of the just, &c., without in any way idealising the Messianic hopes; at the best it is a case of a resurrection of the body, which shall give support to the dubious assurance "to-day you must obey the law and later you will receive your reward" (Talmud, Treatise Erubin, Div. 2), and this Jewish "Kingdom of God" will, as one of the most eminent of Israelite thinkers, Saadia (tenth century), assures us, "be a kingdom on earth." The quotation from the Apok. of Baruch, on p. 425, shows what was the Jewish idea of this future world; it differed from the world of to-day almost solely in the predominant position of the Jewish nation. An interesting trace of this view has by mistake found its way even into the New Testament. According to Matthew the twelve apostles, seated on twelve thrones, will judge the twelve tribes of Israel, which of course assumes that no others than Jews enter into heaven. [232]

Thus the invented and utterly falsified past is completed by an equally fictitious, Utopian future, and so the Jew, in spite of the materialism of his religion, hovers between dreams and delusions. The mirage of the desert of their fathers conjures up by magic for these half- Semites sweet consolation for their tragic destiny -- an airy, empty and delusive consolation; but by the strength of their will -- called faith -- it is a sufficiently vigorous living power, and indeed often a dangerous one for others. The power of the idea triumphs here in an alarming fashion; in a people with good capacities but not pre-eminent physically or mentally it produces the delusive idea of a particular selectness, of a special pleasantness in the sight of God, of an incomparable future; it isolates them in an insane pride from all the nations of the earth; forces upon them, as laid down by God, a law which is senseless, unreasonable, and impossible in practice; it nourishes them with lying memories and lulls them with criminal hopes; -- and, while it thus raises this people in its own conceit to giddy Babel-like heights, it in truth depresses their souls deeply, weighing so heavily upon their best qualities, isolating them from suffering, striving and creating humanity, confirming them hopelessly in the most unfortunate fixed ideas, and making them in every form (from the extremest orthodoxy to outspoken free-thinking) so inevitably the enemy, open or secret, of every other human being, and a danger to every culture, that at all times and places it has inspired the deepest mistrust in the most highly gifted, and horror in the unerring instincts of the common people. I said just now that orthodoxy and free-thinking could be regarded by us as equivalents here, in fact the question to-day is not so much what a Jew believes as what, to use a paradoxical antithesis, he can believe or is capable of believing. Intellectual endowments and morality are individual qualities. The Jew is, like other men, shrewd or stupid, good or bad; whoever denies that is not worth talking to; but there is something which is not individual, namely, les plis de la pensee, as the Frenchman says, the inborn tendencies of thought and action, the definite bent, which the mind takes from the habits of generations. [233] And thus we see to-day Jewish atheists of the most modern type who, by their tendency to regard senseless hypotheses or mere makeshift conceptions of science as material, actual facts, by their total incapacity to rise above the narrow historical standpoint, by their talent for planning impossible socialistic and economic Messianic empires without inquiring whether they thereby destroy the whole of the civilisation and culture which we have so slowly acquired, by their childish belief that with decrees and laws the souls of the people can be changed from to-day to to-morrow, by their lack of understanding for everything genuinely great outside the narrow limits of their own circle of thought, and by their ridiculous overestimation of every Lilliputian intellectual work which has a Jew for its author -- we see, I say, such so-called freethinkers who prove themselves to be genuine children of the religion of the Thora and the Talmud in a much more thorough and striking fashion than many a pious Rabbi who exercises the lofty virtues of humility and obedience to the law, united with love to neighbour, sympathy with the poor, tolerance towards the Gentiles and lives in such a way that he would be an honour to any nation and a glory to any religion.


Now in spite of all, there is greatness in the specifically Jewish theory of life, and I have already hinted in a former part of the chapter what makes this greatness (see p. 390 f.). Even if, as Robertson Smith assures us, the purely pecuniary interests of the priestly noble caste and their political ambition may have weighed in the momentous decision to centralise the cult in the one city Jerusalem, [234] yet I am convinced that barren, critical minds always attach far too much importance to such considerations. We cannot, by purely egoistic consideration of interests, found a nation which survives being scattered; such a belief is an error of judgment. [235] Neither can we see that Ezekiel, Ezra and Nehemiah, who bore the burden and the danger, had any personal advantage in the matter. In fact idealism was required to leave Babylon for Jerusalem; the more luxurious, worldly- minded men remained in the metropolis on the Euphrates. In aftertimes too the Jew was always better off abroad than at home, and the Rabbi who earned his scanty livelihood by tailoring and cobbling and then devoted all his leisure hours to the study of the script, to teaching and discussion, was anything but a pursuer of pecuniary interests. An egoist certainly, a fanatical egoist, but only for his nation, not for himself personally. Here, therefore, as everywhere the ideal sentiment is the only one which has power to create and to maintain, and even the religion of materialism rests upon it. These men forged; that is beyond question. And forging history is in a sense worse than forging cheques; its consequences may be immeasurable; the many millions who were massacred by or for Christianity, [236] as well as the many Jews who died for their faith, are all victims of the forgeries of Ezra and the great synagogue. But we cannot suspect the motives of these men. They acted in the greatest despair; they wished to accomplish the impossible -- to save their nation from downfall. Certainly a noble goal! They could conquer only by the employment of the most extreme means. It was a delusive but not an ignoble aim, for above all they wished to serve their God. "I shall be sanctified in the sight of the heathen" (Ezekiel xxviii. 25); "this people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise" (Isaiah xliii. 21, postexilic interpolation). If the Jewish people disappeared, Jehovah remained behind unhonoured. That the founders of Judaism thought so purely and unselfishly, that they raised their eyes to a God, was the source of their strength. The idea of isolating the nation by forbidding mixed marriages, and of rearing a noble race from the hopelessly mongrel Israelite, is nothing if not brilliant; equally so the idea of representing the purity of the race as an historical legacy, as the special, characteristic feature of the Jew. In this connection the whole law should be mentioned; for it was by this law that they succeeded in banishing every thought but the thought of Jehovah in making the people really "sacred" in the Semitic sense. A Jewish writer informs us that "for the Sabbath alone there are thirty-nine chapters of forbidden occupations, and every chapter had sub- divisions ad infinitum." [237] Moses is said to have been taught three hundred and sixty- five prohibitions and two hundred and sixty-four commands on Mount Sinai, [238] and this only provides the preliminary scaffolding for the detailed "law." Montefiore asserts also that the obeying of the law had soon become with the Jew the ruling thought to such an extent that it was for him the summum bonum, the best, noblest and sweetest occupation in the world. [239] While memory and taste were thus paralysed, the faculty of judgment was simply broken by the law; a poor woman who on the Sabbath gathered dry wood for her fire committed, by this transgression of the law, as great a crime as if she had broken her marriage vow. [240] ... I say, therefore, that the men who founded Judaism were not impelled by evil, selfish motives, but goaded on by a demoniacal power, such as only honest fanatics can possess; for the terrible work which they completed is perfect in every point.


The everlasting monument of this perfection is their Thora, the books of the Old Testament. Here history again shapes history! What scientific work could ever hope to exercise such an influence upon the life of humanity? It has frequently been asserted that the Jew lacks imaginative power; the study of this remarkable book must teach us something different. At least they acquired this power in their direst need and created a true work of art, for in this history of the world, which begins with the creation of heaven and earth, to end with the future kingdom of God upon earth, all perspective relations serve to emphasise especially the one central thing -- the Jewish people. And wherein lies the strength of this people -- that vigour which so far has successfully defied every destiny -- wherein, if not in this book? We have learned that the Israelites in former times were in no way distinguished from the neighbouring Hebrew races; we saw in the Syrian-Hittites an exceedingly hardy but remarkably "anonymous" human type without physiognomy, the nose being more prominent than anything else. And the Judeans? They were so unwarlike, so unreliable as soldiers, that their king had to entrust the country and his person to the protection of mercenary troops; they had so little enterprise that the mere sight of the sea, on which their kinsmen, the Phoenicians, had attained such brilliant fortunes, frightened them; so little capacity for industry that for every undertaking artists and overseers, and for the finer pieces of work even artisans, had to be procured from the neighbouring lands; they were so little adapted to agriculture that in this (as is clear from many passages of the Bible and the Talmud) the Canaanites not only remained their teachers but also the labour element in the country. [241] Indeed, even in purely political matters they Were such opponents of all stable, ordered conditions that no sensible form of government could exist long among them, and from first to last they were always most comfortable under the yoke of a foreign Power, which did not, however, prevent them from trying to throw it off.... Such a people seems predestined to disappear quickly from the history of the world; and in fact of the other, much more vigorous, half-Semitic races of that time only the names are now known. What saved the small people of the Jews from the same destiny? What kept it together when it was scattered over the world? What made it possible for the new world- principle of Christianity to spring from its midst? This book alone. It would lead us too far if we were to analyse the distinctive features of this book which has played such a part in history. Goethe writes concerning it in one passage: "These writings are so happily grouped that from the most alien elements a delusive whole presents itself to us. They are complete enough to satisfy us, fragmentary enough to stimulate us, sufficiently barbaric to provoke us, sufficiently tender to soothe us." Herder explains the widespread influence of the Old Testament principally from the fact that "it satisfied the human craving for knowledge by furnishing for such questions as the age and the creation of the world, the origin of evil, &c., popular answers that every one understands and can easily grasp." Thus we see how this book meets the demands of the educated mind and of the man of the people -- of the one, because it admires the daring arbitrariness in the "delusive whole"; of the other, because the mystery of existence is, like Jehovah behind the temple curtain, concealed from his gaze, and he receives to every question" popular answers," This book marks the triumph of materialistic philosophy. In truth no small achievement! It signifies the victory of will over understanding and every further effort of creative imagination. Such a work could be created only by pious sentiment and demoniacal power.

We cannot understand Judaism and its power, as well as its ineradicable tenacity, we cannot form a just and proper estimate of the Jew among ourselves, his character and way of thinking, until we have recognised his demoniacal genius and can explain its growth. Here it is a struggle of one against all; this one has taken upon himself every sacrifice and every shame, in order at some time, no matter when, to enter into the Messianic empire of supreme power, to the eternal glory of Jehovah. The Talmud thus expresses it: "Just as thy oppression will follow from transgressing the law, so obedience to it will be rewarded by the fact that thou thyself wilt one day command" (Aboth iv. 5; after Montefiore).


One more word in conclusion. My reply to the question, Who is the Jew? has been, in the first place, to point out whence he came, what was his physical foundation, and secondly, to reveal the leading idea of Judaism in its origin and nature. I cannot do more; for the personality belongs to the single individual, and nothing is falser than the widespread procedure of judging a people by individuals. I have brought forward neither the "good" Jew nor the "bad" Jew; "no one is good," said Jesus Christ, and when is a man so utterly despicable that we would be inclined to call him unconditionally bad? Before me are lying several criminal statistics; the one set tries to prove that the Jews are the most pious and lamb-like citizens of Europe, the others assert the opposite. How both conclusions are juggled out of the same figures beats me, but I am still more surprised that people should imagine that this is the way to deal with the psychology of nations. No one steals for the pleasure of it, unless he is a kleptomaniac. Is the man who through need or in consequence of a bad example steals, necessarily a bad man, and he who has not the least occasion to do so a good one? Luther says: "Whoever steals bread from the baker without being forced by hunger is a thief; if he is forced by hunger he acts rightly, for people ought to give to him." Give me a statistic which shows how many people who live in direst need, oppression and abandonment, do not become criminals; from it one might eventually draw some conclusions -- yet no very far-reaching ones. Were not the ancestors of our feudal nobility highway robbers? and are their descendants not proud of it? Did the Popes not have kings assassinated by hired murderers? And in our present civilised society are not lying and misleading recognised in high diplomacy? Let us therefore leave morality alone, as also the almost equally slippery question of predisposition; that there are more Jewish than European lawyers in a country only proves that law pays there -- nothing more; special ability has nothing to do with it.... In all these things, especially if they are presented statistically, we can prove anything. On the other hand, the two facts of race and ideal are fundamental. There are no good and bad men, at least for us, but only before God, for the word "good" refers to a moral estimation, and this again depends on a knowledge of motive, which can never be revealed. "Who can know the heart?" was the cry of Jeremiah (xvii. 9). [242] On the other hand there are certainly good and bad races, for here we have to deal with physical relations, general laws of organic nature, which have been experimentally investigated -- relations in which, in contrast to those mentioned above figures provide irrefutable proofs -- relations concerning which the history of humanity offers us abundant information. And scarcely less manifest are the leading ideas. In reference to race these must in the first place be looked upon as a consequence; but one should not underestimate this inner, invisible anatomy, this purely spiritual dolichocephaly and brachycephaly, which as cause also has a wide range of influence. Hence it is that every strong nation has so much power of assimilation. The entrance into a new union in the first place changes not a fibre of the physical structure, and only very slowly, in the course of generations, affects the blood; but ideas have a more rapid effect, because they direct the whole personality almost at once into new channels. And the Jewish national idea seems to exercise a particularly strong influence, perhaps for the very reason that in this case the nation exists merely as an idea and never, from the beginning of Judaism, was it a "normal" nation, but above all, a thought, a hope. It is therefore quite wrong, in the case of the Jews especially, to lay much weight -- as Renan for example was fond of doing in his last years -- upon the adoption of alien blood which took place from time to time. Renan knew better than anybody else that the conversion of Greeks and Romans to Judaism was an absolutely unimportant phenomenon. What were those "Hellenes" from Antioch, of whom he tells us in his lecture "Judaisme, race au religion"? and who are said to have been converted in crowds to Judaism, a fact foe which we possess only the evidence of a very unreliable Jew, Josephus? They were Hebrew-Syrian mongrels, in whose veins probably not a drop of Greek blood flowed. And those "Romans," for whom Renan quotes the evidence of Juvenal (Sat. xvi. 95 f.)? The dregs of the people composed of the freed Asiatic and African slaves. Let him name one single Roman of importance who became a Jew! Such assertions are an intentional misleading of the unlearned public. But even if they were based on truth instead of arising out of bias and falsification, what would that signify? Are we to suppose that the Jewish national idea has not the force of other national ideas? On the contrary, it is more powerful, as I have shown, than any other, and transforms men to its own image. 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. "What a prospect it would be," cries Herder, "to see the Jews purely humanised in their way of thinking!" [243] But a purely humanised Jew is no longer a Jew because, by renouncing the idea of Judaism, he ipso facto has left that nationality, which is composed and held together by a complex of conceptions, by a "faith." With the apostle Paul we must learn that he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly" (Rom. ii. 28-29).

Now such national or religious ideals can exercise their revolutionising influence in two ways, positive or negative. I have shown in the case of the Jews how a handful of men forced a definite national idea upon a people not at all inclined to accept it, and so impressed the stamp of this idea upon it that it would seem impossible for that people to efface it; but consanguinity and congeniality were necessary for the accomplishment of this. In this case, then, the idea exercised a positively creative influence. Just as remarkable a case is the sudden conversion of the bloodthirsty, wild Mongolians by the adoption of the Buddhist faith to mild, pious men, a third of whom have become monks. [244] But an idea can also have a purely negative result; it can lead a man out of his own course without opening up another which is suited to his race. A well-known example is the way in which Mohammedanism has affected the Turkomans: by adopting the fatalistic view of the world this wildly energetic people has gradually sunk into complete passivity. If the Jewish influence were to gain the upper hand in Europe in the intellectual and cultural sphere, we should have one more example of negative, destructive power.

I have thus pointed out the method adopted by me and its chief results; I cannot otherwise summarise this chapter. Formulae are mere phrases in respect of organic phenomena. The anecdote Le voila, le chameau! [There he is, the camel!] is well known. Such a pretension is ridiculous even in respect of the camel, and it would never occur to me to close this sketch with generalisations and formulae, as if I should say, Le voila, le juif! [There he is, the Jew!] For the theme is inexhaustible and unfathomable; I have scarcely used the twentieth part of my illustrations and notes: But my belief is that every one who reads this chapter will feel qualified to form a sharper and clearer judgment of Judaism and its product, the Jew. From this judgment will follow of itself the answer to the question, What is the significance of the entrance of the Jew into the history of the West? It is not my task to trace this influence century by century. The indirect influence of Judaism on Christianity was and still is immense; its direct influence on the nineteenth century appears for the first time as a new influence in the history of culture: it thus becomes one of the burning subjects of the day, and I have 'felt bound therefore to lay a sound foundation for its appreciation. Towards this end neither the passionate assertions of the Anti-Semites, nor the dogmatic platitudes of the humanitarians, nor even the many learned books, theological or archaeological, from which I have gathered the materials for this chapter, give us any assistance. In the task imposed upon me by necessity, I hope I have not striven in vain to arrive at a clear understanding. We have to deal here with a question affecting not only the present, but also the future of the world.



1. Von den deutsch-orientalischen Dichtern, Div. 2.

2. Gedanken uber Goethe, 3rd ed. p. 40. The passage as it stands reads, "From the day of Goethe's death, the 22nd March, 1832 , Borne dated the freedom of Germany. In reality, however, one epoch was with that day closed and the Jewish age in which we live began."

3. Bekehrung der Juden. Abschnitt 7 of the Untersuchungen des vergangenen Jahrhunderts zur Beforderung eines geistigen Reiches.

4. Histoire generale et systeme compare des langues semitiques, 5th ed. p. 4. It will make little difference to this view when I show, as I shall do immediately, that the Jews are not pure Semites but half Syrians.

5. De la part des peuples semitiques dans l'histoire de la civilisation, p. 39.

6. In the second book I shall find it necessary to give more details concerning this famous synedrium and its casuistic distinction between religious and civil law -- a distinction which neither Talmud nor Thora recognises.

7. In the new literal translation of Professor Louis Segond the passage reads, "the sacred race defiled by mixture with strange peoples"; in the translation of De Wette it is, "they have mingled the holy seed with the peoples of the earth."

8. From the Talmud, according to Dollinger, Vortrage i. 237. In another place the Talmud calls the proselytes a "burden." (See the Jew Philippson: Israelitische Religionslehre, 1861, ii. 189.)

9. How pure the Jewish race still is, has been shown by Virchow's great anthropological examination of all the school children of Germany; Ranke gives details in his book, Der Mensch, 2nd ed. ii. 293: "The purer the race, the smaller is the number of mixed forms. In this connection it is certainly a very important fact that the smallest number of mixed forms was found among the Jews, whereby their decided isolation as a race from the Teutonic peoples, among which they live, is shown most clearly." -- Measurements in America have, according to the American Anthropologist, vol. iv., in the meantime led to the conviction that there too the Jewish race "has kept itself absolutely pure." (Quoted from the Politisch-anthropologische Revue, 1904, March, p. 1003.)

10. Skreinka: Entwickelungsgeschichte der judischen Dogmen, p. 75.

11. At the Jewish congress held in Basle in 1898, Dr. Mandelstam. Professor in the University of Kiev, said in the chief speech of the sitting of August 29, "The Jews energetically reject the idea of fusion with the other nationalities and cling firmly to their historical hope, i.e., of world empire" (from a report of one who took part in the congress in Le Temps, Sept. 2, 1898). The Vienna newspapers of July 30 and 31, 1901, report a speech on Zionism which the Vienna Rabbi, Dr. Leopold Kahn, delivered in a room of the orthodox Jewish school in Pressburg. In this speech Dr. Kahn made the following admission: "the Jew will never be able to assimilate himself; he will never adopt the customs and ways of other peoples. The Jew remains Jew under all circum stances. Every assimilation is purely exterior." Words well worth laying to heart! In the Festschrift zum 70: Geburtstage A. Berliner's, 1903, Dr. B. Felsenthal publishes a series of Jewish Theses in which he supports with all his energy the thesis that Jewry is a people, not a religion, "Judaism is a special stem, and every Jew is born into this stem." This stem is, according to him, "one of the ethnically purest peoples that exist." Felsenthal reckons that from Theodosius to the year 1800, "perhaps not quite 300 non-Semites were adopted into the Jewish race," and it is characteristic that he denies proselytes the right of looking upon themselves as full-blooded Jews. "The Jewish people, the Jewish stem is the given fact, the constant thing, the necessary substratum, the substantial kernel. The Jewish religion is something attached to this kernel, a quality -- an accident, as it is called in the language of the philosophical schools." I quote from the special impression, made by Itzkowski, Berlin.

12. See p. 217.

13. Conversations with Eckermann, October 7, 1828. Giordano Bruno made a similar assertion, viz., that only the Jews were descended from Adam and Eve, the rest of mankind were of much older origin. (See Lo spaccio della bestia trionfante.)

14. Graetz: Volkstumliche Geschichte der Juden, i. 591

15. See Laible: Jesus Christus im Talmud, p. 2 ff. (Schriften des Institutum Judaicum in Berlin, No. 10; in the supplement the original Hebrew texts are given.) This absolutely impartial scholar, who is, moreover, a friend of the Jews, says: "The hatred and scorn of the Jews was always directed in the first place against the person of Jesus" (p. 25). "The Jesus-hatred of the Jews is a firmly established fact, but they want to show it as little as possible" (p. 3). Hatred of Christ is described by the same scholar as the "most national trait of Judaism" (p. 86); he says, "at the approach of Christianity the Jews were seized ever and again with a fury and hatred that were akin to madness" (p. 72). Even to-day no orthodox Jew may use the name of Christ either in speech or in writing (pp. 3 and 32); the most common cryptonyms are "the bastard," "the hanged," often, too, "Bileam."

16. See especially the famous passage in Lassen's Indische Altertumskunde, where the great Orientalist proves in detail his view that the Indo-European race is "more highly and more fully gifted," that in it alone there is "perfect symmetry of all mental powers," (See i. 414, of the 1847 edition.

17. Exodus xxxii. 9. xxxiv. 9; Deuteronomy ix. 13. &c.

18. ix. 5.

19. See the book of the Jew, David Mocatta, The Jews in Spain and Portugal, where a detailed account is given of how there were in Spain "generations and generations of secret Jews who mingled with all classes of society and were in possession of every post in the State and especially in the Church!"

20. Graetz, ii. 503.

21. Israel Abrahams: Jewish Life in the Middle Ages.

21. Israel Abrahams: Jewish Life in the Middle Ages.

22. Andre Reville: Les payans au Moyen-Age, 1896, p. 3.

23. See among others Realis: Die Juden und die Judenstadt in Wien, 1846, p. 18. &c.

24. Mommsen: Rom. Gesch., v. 543.

25. Heman: Die historische Weltstellung der Juden, 1882, p. 24 ff. For a somewhat differently tinged account which, however, in actual facts is entirely at one with this, see Graetz: Volksth. Gesch. d. Juden, ii. 344 ff.

26. See the Defence of Lucius Flaccus, xxviii.

27. Adrastea: Bekehrung der Juden.

28. Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre, iii. 11, and the conversation with von Muller on September 23, 1823.

29. I have intentionally limited my quotations. But I cannot refrain from defending in a note the great Voltaire against the almost established myth that he was altogether favourable and as superficial in his humanitarian judgment of the influence of the Jews upon our culture, as is the modern fashion. Even Jews of such broad culture as James Darmesteter (Peuple Juif, 2d ed. p. 17) print the name Voltaire in thick type and represent him as one of the intellectual originators of their emancipation. The opposite is true; more than once Voltaire advises that the Jews be sent back to Palestine. Voltaire is one of the authors whom I know best, because I prefer interesting books to wearisome ones, and I think I could easily collect a hundred quotations of a most aggressive nature against the Jews. In the essay of the Dictionnaire Philosophique (end of Section 1) he says: "Vous ne trouverez dans les Juifs qu'un peuple ignorant et barbare, qui joint depuis longtemps la plus sordids avarice a la plus detestable superstition et a la plus invincible haine pou tous les peuples qui les tolrent et qui les enrichissent." [You will not find in the Jews an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long joined the most sordid avarice to the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred of all peoples power tolerant them and enrich them.] In Dieu et les hommes (chap. x.) he calls the Jews "La plus haissable et la plus honteuse des petites natons." [The most hateful and most shameful small Nation.] Enough has surely been said to make his attitude clear! But this opinion should have all the more force, since Voltaire himself in many long treatises has made a thorough study of Jewish history and the Jewish character (so thorough that he who has been decried as a "superficial dilettante" is occasionally quoted to-day by a scholar of the first rank like Wellhausen). And so it is noteworthy when he writes (Essai sur les Maeurs, chap. xlii.): "La nation juive ose etaler une haine irreconciliable contre toutes les nations, elle se revolte contra tous les maitres; toujours superstitieuse, toujours avide du bien d'autrui, toujours barbare -- rampante dans le malheur et insolente dans la prosperite." [The Jewish nation dares to spread a irreconcilable hatred against all nations, she revolts against all masters; always superstitious, always greedy for the goods of others, always barbarous -- creeping in misfortune and insolent in prosperity.] His judgment of their mental qualities is brief and apodeictic, "Les Juifs n'ont jamais rien invente" [The Jews have never invented anything.] (La defence de mon oncle, chap, vii.), and in the Essai sur les Maours he shows in several chapters that the Jews had always learned from other nations but had never taught others anything; even their music, which is generally praised, Voltaire cannot endure: "Retournez en Judee le plus tot que vouz pourrez ... vous y executeriez a plaisir dans votre detestable jargon votre detestable musique" [Back in Judea as soon as you will be able ... you execute a pleasure in your detestable detestable jargon your music] (6me lettre du Dictionnaire). He explains elsewhere this remarkable mental sterility of the Jews by their in ordinate lust for money: "L'argent fut l'objet de leur conduite dans tous les temps" (Dieu et les hommes, xxix.). Voltaire scoffs at the Jews in a hundred places; for instance, in Zadig (chap. x.), where the Jew utters a solemn prayer of thankfulness to God for a successful piece of fraud; the most biting satire against the Jews that exists is beyond doubt the treatise Un Chretien contre six Juifs. And yet in all these utterances there was a certain reserve, as they were destined for publication; on the other hand, in a letter to the Chevalier de Lisle on December 15, 1773 (that is, at the end of his life, not in the heat of youth), he could speak his opinion freely: "Que ces deprepuces d'Israel se disent de la tribu de Naphthali ou d'Issachar, cela est fort peu important; ils n'en sont pas moins les plus grands gueux qui aient jamais souille la face du globe." [Whether these deprepuces Israel are called the tribe of Naphtali or Issachar, this is very small; they are nonetheless the greatest scoundrels that ever soiled the face of the globe.] Evidently this fiery Frenchman had just the same to say of the Jews as any fanatical Bishop; he differs at most in the addition which he occasionally makes to his bitterest attacks, "Il ne faut pourtant pas les bruler." [But let us not burn.] There is a further difference in the fact that it is a humane, tolerant and learned man that utters this very sharp judgment. But how, in a man of such open mind, can we explain the existence of a view so pitilessly one- ided and so ruthlessly intolerant, a view which in its utter lack of moderation compares very unfavourably with the words of the German sages quoted above? Our age could learn much here, if it wished to! For we see that the Gallic love of equality and freedom is not based upon love of justice nor respect for the individual; and we may draw the further conclusion: understanding is not got from principles, and universal humanity does not ensure the possibility of living together in dignified peace, it is only the frank recognition of what separates our own kind and our own interests from those of others that can make us just towards an alien nature and alien interests.

30. An Abridgment of English History, iii. 2.

31. The famous economist Dr. W. Cunningham, in his book The Growth of English Industry and Commerce during the Early and Middle Ages (3rd ed., 1896, p. 201), compares the activity of the Jews in England from the tenth century onward to a sponge, which sucks up all the wealth of the land and thereby hinders all economic development. Interesting, too, is the proof that even at this early period the Government did everything in its power to make the Jews take up decent trades and honest work and thereby at the same time amalgamate with the rest of the population. but all to no purpose.

32. With regard to Mirabeau's being influenced by "the shrewd women of the Jews" (as Gentz says) and his connection with essentially Jewish secret societies, see besides Graetz, Volks, Geschichte der Juden (iii. 600, 610 ff.), particularly L'Abbe Lemann, L'entree des Israelites dans la societe francaise, iii. chap. 7; as converted Jew this author understands what others do not, and at the same time he tells what Jewish authors keep secret. The important thing in Mirabeau's case was probably that from youth he was deeply in debt to the Jews (Carlyle: Essay on Mirabeau).

33. This is, of course, an old custom of Princes, by which not only the Jews but others also profit: Martin Luther even had to write: "The Princes have thieves hanged, who have stolen a Gulden or half a one, and yet make transactions with those who rob everybody and steal more than all others" (Von Kaufhandlung und Wucher).

34. Diogene Tama: Collection des actes de l'Assemblee des Israelites de France et du royaume d'Italie (Paris, 1807, pp. 327, 328; the author is a Jew and was Secretary of the Jewish deputy of Bouches-du~Rhone. M. Constantini). After a detailed proof the document closes with the following: "Les deputes israelites arretent: Que l'expression de ces sentiments sera consignee dans le proces-verbal de ce jour pour qu'elle demeure a jamais comme un temoignage authentique de la gratitude des Israelites de cette Assemblee pour les bienfaits que les generations qui les ont precedes ont recus des ecclesiastiques des divers pays d' Europe." [The deputies arrested Israelites: That the expression of these feelings will be recorded in the record of this day for it remain forever as a genuine evidence of the appreciation of Israelites of the Assembly for the benefits that the generations have preceded them have received clergymen of various European countries.] The proposal was moved by Mr. Isaac Samuel Avigdor, representative of the Jews of the Alpes-Maritimes. Tama adds that the speech of Avigdor was received with applause and its insertion in the minutes in extenso adopted. -- The Jewish historians of to-day do not say a word concerning this important event. Not only Graetz passes it over in silence, but Bedarride also in his Les Juifs en France, 1859, although he seems as if he were reporting in full from the minutes.

35. Die Religion, general note to third chapter.

36. Cf. p. 288. For the Semites, see also p. 361.

37. For the Messianic period the dream of the later Jews (in contrast to the more free-thinking Israelites of former centuries) was to keep strangers out of Jerusalem altogether: read Joel iii. 2; and as this very late prophet -- from the Hellenic period -- says at the same time that God will always dwell in Jerusalem and only in Jerusalem, this command means the banishment of all peoples from God's presence. Such was the tolerance of the Jews! -- It is only logical that most of the Rabbis excluded all non-Jews from a future world, while others endured them there as a despised throng (see Tractate Gittin, fol. 57a of the Babylonian Talmud, and Weber, System der altsynagogalen palastinischen Theologie, p. 372, from Laible): the comical thing is the assertion of the Jews to-day that their religion is the "religion of humanity!"

38. And not they only but also their relatives, the Ammonites, the Moabites and the Edomites. These four make up the family of the "Hebrews," a name usually -- but wrongly -- applied to the Israelites alone or sometimes even to the Jews. See Wellhausen: Israelitische und judische Geschichte, 3rd ed. p. 7. To the same family belong likewise the Midianites and the Ishmaelites (Maspero: Histoire ancienne, 1895, ii. 65.)

39. This seems to be unanimously asserted by all writers. I have quoted Burckhardt in the course of this chapter. Here I shall only refer to a more modern, universally recognised authority -- W. Robertson Smith. In his Religion of the Semites (1894, p. 8) he says: "It can be taken for granted that the Arabs of the desert have from time immemorial been an unmixed race." The same author points out that it is inadmissible to put the Babylonians, Phoenicians. &c., down as "Semites": the only established fact is the relationship of the languages, and all these so-called" Semitic" nations have sprung from a decided mixture of blood.

40. The last example was in the end of the nineteenth century, when the Arabs, who from time immemorial had migrated not only to north and east, but also to west and south, completely devastated a great part of Central Africa. Immense kingdoms, which in the year 1880 were densely populated and entirely under cultivation, have since become a desert. Stanley tells us of a single Arab chieftain who laid 'waste a region of two thousand square miles! (See the books of Stanley, Wissman, Hinde, &c., and the short summary in Ratzel: Volkerkunde, 2nd ed. ii. 430.) Cf. also p. 115, note.

41. See Hummel, Sayce, Budge and Maspero with regard to the lost race of the Accadians or Sumerians, the creators of the magnificent Babylonian culture, and their gradual Semitisation.

42. To complete and correct what follows, see the interesting and excellent book of Carl Steuernagel: Die Einwanderung der israelitischen Stamme in Kanaan, Berlin, 1901.

43. Cf. especially Gunkel's Handkommentar zur Genesis, 1901 (now published in a second improved edition).

44. The direction was marked out for them; from Ur they could choose no other course; for the wilderness runs for several hundred miles parallel to the Euphrates, only a small stretch of watered land separating the two; but suddenly, exactly at the 35th degree, the wilderness ceases and the land of Syria opens up to west, south and north. Syria stretches southwards to Egypt, westwards to the Mediterranean Sea, northwards to the Taurus, in the east it is bounded to-day by the Euphrates, but according to former conditions and ideas it embraced Mesopotamia, which lies beyond the middle Euphrates, and here the children of Abraham had their home for centuries.

45. At a later time Mesopotamia was for long an artificially-watered and consequently richly-cultivated region; in former times, however, it was, as it is to-day, a poor land, where only nomadic shepherds could find a living (cf. Maspero: Histoire ancienne, i. 563).

46. This period, during which "Father Jacob developed into the people of Israel," Wellhausen describes as an interval of several centuries' duration (Israelitische und judische Geschichte, p. 11).

47. According to Genesis xv. four hundred years, which is naturally not to be taken literally but simply as an expression for an almost unthinkably long time. The number forty was among the Hebrews the expression for an indefinitely large number, four hundred a fortiori. Renan is of opinion that the stay of the Israelites in Egypt did not last more than one hundred years and that only the Josephites (probably only very distant relations with a strong mixture of Egyptian blood) were settled there for very long (Histoire du peuple d'Israel, 13 ed. i. pp. 112, 141, 142).
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Re: The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston St

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Part 7 of 8

48. Sayce: The Races of the Old Testament, 2nd ed. pp. 76, 113. "The Roman drove the Jew out of the land that his fathers had conquered; the Jews, on the other hand, had never succeeded in driving out the genuine possessors of Canaan.... The Jew held Jerusalem and Hebron, as well as the surrounding cities and villages, otherwise (even in Judea itself) he formed only a fraction of the population. As soon as the Jew was removed, for example, at the time of the Babylonian exile or after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the original population, freed from the pressure, increased ... and the Jewish colonies in Palestine are to-day just as much foreigners as the German colonies there."

49. I name only the latest, most important and most reliable books. written by real scholars but accessible to the unlearned. Of the older ones Duncker's Geschichte des Altertums also remains unsurpassed in many respects for the history of Israel.

50. As a matter of fact the current opinion is that the Semite and even that purest Bedouin type are the most absolute mongrels imaginable, the product of a cross between negro and white man! Gobineau preached this doctrine fifty years ago, and was laughed at; to-day his opinion is the orthodox one; Ranke defines it thus in his Volkerkunde (ii. 399): "The Semites belong to the mulatto class, a transition stage between black and white." But I think that caution is here necessary. What is taking place before our eyes is not warranted to strengthen the belief that from mulattoes there could spring a firm, unchangeable type that would survive the storms of time: quicksand is not more fickle and changeable than this half-caste: here, then, in defiance of all experience we should have to suppose that the unthinkable, the unexampled had taken place in the case of the Bedouins. (Cf., too, August Forel's remarks, 1900).

51. The Races of the Old Testament, p. 106.

52. See especially Sayce: Assyria, p. 24 ff., and Social Life among the Assyrians and Babylonians: also Winckler: Die Volker Vorderasiens (1900), p. 8.

53. The word "Turanian" has escaped my pen, because many authors regard the Sumero-Accadians as Turanians. See Hommel: Gesch, Babyloniens und Assyriens, pp. 125, 244 f.

54. See Hommel: Der babylonische Ursprung der agyptischen Kultur (1892).

55. He takes the name from a tribe mentioned by Herodotus as living at the foot of Mount Ararat.

56. Lapouge: La depopulation de la France, Revue d'Anthropologie, 1888, p. 79. F. von Luschan has definitely pointed out the resemblance of the Syrian to the Savoyard.

57. A summary of our knowledge of the Hittites will be found in Winckler's Die Volker Vorderasiens, 1900, p. 18 ff. The expression "Hittite" in this book signifies the same to me as the x to a mathematician in a properly stated but not yet numerically solved equation.

58. The skull is regarded as particularly long when the relation of breadth to length is not over 75 to 100, particularly short when it is 80 or more. When I studied anthropology with Carl Vogt, all the students were measured craniometrically; in the case of one the rare relation of 92 to 100 was established, that is, his head was almost quite round; he was an Armenian. a typical representative of the Syrian type of skull.

59. F. v. Luschan: Die anthropologische Steltung der Juden (Lecture delivered in the General Meeting of the German Anthropological Society of the year 1892). This lecture is to be found in the Correspondenzbiatl of the Society for 1892; Nos. 9 and 10. It summarises extensive researches and I shall often quote from it further on.
60. Von Luschan's Mitteilungen of the year 1892 have 60,000 measurements to support them.

61. From a photograph in Ratzel's Volkerkunde. The other typical pictures are from well-known reliefs on Egyptian monuments.

62. Cf. Renan: Israel i. chap. 10.

63. Israel. u. jud, Geschichte, 3rd ed. pp. 37, 46 and 48.

64. Renan: Israel i. 136.

65. A fact which the later edition of the Bible sought to conceal (Judges vi. 32) while the older editors thought nothing of it (I Samuel xii. II).

66. Cf. Wellhausen, as above, pp. 45 f., 102 f.; concerning the sacred places see his Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels, 4th ed. p. 18 f.

67. There were also Arabs, Hebrews from non-Israelite stems, Arameans and all kinds of pseudo-Semitic aliens. As there are said to have been 1,300,000 men in Israel and Judah capable of bearing arms according to the (certainly very false) popular account (2 Samuel xxiv.), we get the impression that the Israelites themselves were not very warlike. See especially Renan: Israel ii. livre 3, chap. i.

68. Wellhausen: Israelitische und judische Geschichte (3 Ausg.) p. 58.

69. The fact that the book of Genesis (xiv. 13) represents Abraham as already living in peaceful alliance with three Amorites in the plain of Hebron has naturally no claim to historical validity.

70. See especially Sayce: The Races of the Old Testament, p. 110 ff.

71. Cf. Renan: Israel ii. livre 3, chap. 3. For the Hellenic origin of a considerable proportion of the Philistines and the introduction of a number of Greek words through them into Hebrew, see Renan: Israel, i. p. 157 note. and Maspero, ii. p. 698. As a matter of fact the question of the origin of the Philistines and Amorites is still very hotly debated; we can calmly leave the dispute to historians and theologians; the anthropological results are results of exact science, and philology must follow them, not vice versa. Certain it is that the Amorites and at least a portion of the Philistines were tall, fair, blue-eyed dolichocephali: thus they belong to the type homo europaeus. That is sufficient for us laymen.

72. The legend which ascribes this cowardly act to David is a late interpretation; the original account is given in 2 Samuel xxi. 19 (cf. Stade: Geschichte des Volkes Israel i. 225 ff.). It is important to know this when forming an estimate of David's character. See p. 385.

73. Renan: Israel ii. 30-32.

74. Sayce (Races of the Old Testament, p. 112) gives an account of Flinders Petrie's recent excavations of Amorite cities with walls 2-1/2 metres thick.

75. See especially Wellhausen's Prolegomena, in many passages.

76. In Joshua xv. 63 we read: "As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day."

77. Wellhausen proves (Prolegomena, p. 43) that Obededom was really, as the passage quoted says, a Gittite and not a Levite, as the later version gives it (I Chronicles xvi. 18).

78. Luther had translated the passages in question (2 Samuel xvi. 12, xvii. 42) by the word "brownish"; Genesius, on the other hand, in his dictionary translates the Hebrew word by "red," and while admitting that it usually refers to the hair, he takes great pains to prove that David must have been black-haired and that "red" here refers to the Complexion (in the 1899 edition this apologetic attempt is dropped); the best scientific translators to-day look upon the word as meaning "fair-haired," and it seems pretty certain that David was distinctly fair-haired.

79. Renan: Israel ii. 97

80. Ibid. ii. 174.

81. "Since the exile the consciousness of sin was (in the case of the Jews), so to say, permanent," says Wellhausen in his Prolegomena, 4th ed p. 431.

82. See Matthew xix. 20. The Jew Graetz even to-day approves fully of the utterance of the rich man and shows that the demand "to repent of his sins" has no meaning for the Jew (Volkstumliche Geschichte der Juden i. 577).

83. W. Robertson Smith: The Prophets of Israel and their Place in History, 1895, p. 247.

84. Ibid. p. 102; Montefiore: Religion of the Ancient Hebrews, 2nd ed. p. 558 (supplement by Rabbi Schechter).

85. W. Robertson Smith: The Prophets of Israel and their Place in History, p. 103. In another place he writes: "Sin is to the Hebrew every action that puts a man in the wrong with one who has the power to punish him for it" (p. 246).

86. Israel, und judische Geschichte, 3rd ed. p. 380

87. The words of Jeremiah, "The pen of the Scribes is in vain" (viii. 8), have been applied to the then recent introduction of Deuteronomy and to the recasting and extension of the so-called Law of Moses (of the existence of which none of the Prophets had known anything). This is the view of the orthodox Jew Montefiore (Religion of the Ancient Hebrews, 201, 202), and is probably correct.

88. Herr von Luschan also, as one can perceive from the conclusion of his work on the ethnographical position of the Jews which is so valuable from a statistical point of view, sees our salvation in the complete amalgamation and fusion of the various human races. One cannot believe one's eyes and ears when these men of the school of Virchow pass from facts to thoughts. The whole history of mankind shows us that progress is conditioned by differentiation and individualisation; we find life and activity only where clearly marked national personalities stand side by side opposed to each other (as in Europe to-day), the best qualities degenerate under the influence of uniformity of race (as in China), the crossing of incompatible types leads, as we see in all organic spheres, to sterility and monstrosity ... and yet "amalgamation" is to be our ideal! Do they not see that uniformity and chaos are the same? "Ich liebte mir dafur das Ewigleere!"

89. See especially the figures on a Hittite monument near Aintab (Sayce: Hittites, p. 62), and the types from Egyptian monuments on p. 375.

90. The Hittites seem for a long time to have ruled all Syria and probably all Asia Minor; their power was as great as that of Egypt in its splendour (see Wright: Empire of the Hittites, 1886; and Sayce: The Hittites, 1892). But one should be cautious, for the Hittite script is not yet deciphered, and though Hittite physiognomy, dress, art and writing form a definite idea for science, the history of this people, of whom nothing was known a few years ago, is still to a large extent wrapt in mystery.

91. See (2 Samuel xi.) in what a noble, manly way Uriah acts. This stern undemonstrative devotion to duty presents an agreeable contrast to David's criminal levity.

92. Cf. the details in Wellhausen: Israel. und jud. Geschichte, chap. vi. In spite of the later careful expurgation we find still here and there in the Thora mention of this joyful nature-cult, as, for example, the festival of the vintage in the house of God at Sichem (Judges ix. 27). See, too, how the ark of the covenant is brought by David to Jerusalem "amid joy and exultation," with music, song and dance (2 Samuel vi. 12-15).

93. Von Luschan has, by numerous measurements, established the fact that the Phoenician type "was closely related to the Arabian."

94. Concerning the much more complicated cult in the former capital of the Hittite kingdom, Carchemish (Mabog), see Sayce: The Hittites, chap. vi. But I consider Lucian, whom he quotes, a very late and unreliable witness. On the other hand, it is interesting to see how far the lack of imagination went in the case of the Hebrews. Even in the laying out of the Jewish temple, of the outer and inner court, of the curtain before the Holy of Holies, as also the privilege of the High Priest to enter this place: all these (said to have been dictated by God to Moses on Mount Sinai) are exact imitations of the primeval Hittite cult.

95. Yet one Teuton actually occurs there (Tractate Schabbeth, vi. 8, fol. 23a of the Jerusalem Talmud). He is the slave of a Jew. Ordered to accompany home Rabbi Hila, a friend of his master, he saved him from death by inducing a mad dog that rushed at the latter to attack himself, and he was fatally bitten. But this loyalty does not induce the pious Jew to utter one word of admiration or thanks. He merely quotes Isaiah xliii. 4: "Since thou wast precious, O Israel, in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore I will give men for thee and people for thy life."

96. Beduinen und Wahaby, Weimar, 1831.

97. Note how the famous Moorish historian of the fourteenth century, Mohammed Ibn Khaldun, considered by many the founder of scientific history and himself half Arab, speaks: "Cast your eyes around, look at all lands, which have been conquered by the inhabitants of Arabia since the earliest times! The civilisation and population disappeared, the soil itself seemed to change and become unfruitful at their touch" (Prolegomena zur Weltgeschichte) 2nd Part; I quote from Robert Flint: History of the Philosophy of History, 1893, p. 166.

98. Renan: L'islamisme et la science (Discours et Conferences, 3d ed. p. 382).

99. See Jhering's suggestive but very fanciful Vorgeschichte der Indo-europaer, in which the author characterises the whole Babylonian culture as Semitic, although he admits that the Semites "took it over" and although he points out that the Sumero-Accadians were an influential and vigorous force even in late times (pp. 133, 243, &c.). So, too, von Luschan in the essay mentioned, where he takes the trouble at the end to blow the trumpet of the "Semites" although in the same lecture he has already proved that the most famous Semitic peoples had but little Semitic blood in their veins..... O logic of the scientists! And finally he dishes up the old story of how Arabian science flourished luxuriantly in Spain and what it meant for us -- a tale the foolishness of which no other than Renan had exposed years ago. "The Semitic spirit," he writes, "is fundamentally antiphilosophical and antiscientific ... there is much talk of an Arabian science and an Arabian philosophy, and certainly the Arabs were our teachers during one or two centuries; but that was the case simply because the original Hellenic writings were yet undiscovered. This whole Arabian science and philosophy was nothing but a wretched translation of Hellenic thought and knowledge. As soon as authentic Greece stepped forth from the shadow, these poor products fell into nothing, and it is not without reason that all the authorities on the Renaissance undertake a real crusade against them. Moreover we find on closer examination that this Arabian science was in no respect Arabian. Not only was its basis purely Hellenic, but among those who devoted their energies to the introduction and spread of knowledge, there was not a single genuine Semite; they were Spaniards and (in Bagdad) Persians, who made use of the prevailing Arabian tongue. It is exactly the same with the philosophical part ascribed to the Jews in the Middle Ages; they translated from foreign tongues, nothing more. Jewish philosophy is Arabian philosophy; not a single new thought is added. One page of Roger Bacon possesses more scientific value than the whole of this borrowed Jewish wisdom, which we must, of course, respect, but which is absolutely devoid of originality." (De la part des peuples semitiques dans l'histoire de la civilisation, ed. 1875, p. 22ff.). Renan treats the same subject in more detail in his lecture of the year 1883: L'islamisme et la science: "Not only are these thinkers and scholars not of Arabian descent," he says there, "but the tendency of their minds is altogether non-Arabian."

100. Renan: Israel, i. 134 ff.

101. Professor Hueppe: Zur Rassen- und Sozialhygiene der Griechen, 1897, p. 26. All authorities at the present day admit that the so-called "Phoenician" letters were not the invention of Semitic genius: Halevy supposes an Egyptian origin, Hommel (with more probability) a Babylonian, that is Sumarian, origin. Delitzsch thinks that the Syrian half- Semites had formed their alphabet by the fusion of two different ones, the Babylonian and the Egyptian; the last investigator of this matter, however, arrives at the conclusion that the alphabet is altogether an invention of the Europeans, and was first brought to Asia by the Hellenic Myceneans (see H. Kluge: Die Schrift der Mykenier, 1897). With regard to the Mycenean letters which have now become quite well known, a reliable authority, Salomon Reinach, writes (L'Anthropologie, 1902, xiii. 34): Une chose est certaine: c'est que l'ecriture lineaire des tablettes ne derive ni de l'Assyrie ni de l'Egypte, qu'elle presente un caractere nettement europeen, qu'elle offre comme une image anticipee de l'epigraphie hellenique. [One thing is certain: that the writing linear tablets do not drift from Assyria or Egypt, it presents clearly European in character, it offers as an image carry forward of the Hellenic epigraphy.]

102. Gnosticismus und Judentum (Krotoschin, 1846, p. 99). The meaning of the word "exoteric," which is not quite clear in this connection. is explained when we compare other passages, where, for example, the reading of Greek poets is called an "exoteric" occupation (p. 62).

103. Quoted from Renan: L'Origine du Christianisme, i. 35.

104. Volkerkunde, ii. 391; summarised from Ratzel's own words.

105. Cf. Leopold von Schroder: Indiens Litteratur und Kultur (1887), 20th Lecture.

106. Kaushitaki-Upanishad, ii. 5. Deussen, the greatest living authority, gives the following gloss to this passage: The Brahman means, "Religion shall not consist in outward worship but in devoting one's whole life with every breath to its service" (Sechzig Upanishad's des Veda, p. 31).

107. Is this individualism after all? Certainly, but in a quite different sense from the case of the Indo-Teuton. In the case of the Semite, as we see from Lassen's remarks, the individual stands, so to speak, in his own way, hence his achievement, are only collective. In the case of Greek and Teuton, each work bears the stamp of a definite personality, of an individual. Fr. von Schack holds exactly the same view as Lassen: "The whole creative activity of the Arabs bears a subjective character. Everywhere it is preferably their own "soul-life" that they express. They draw into it the things of the outer world, and show but little inclination to look straight at reality, and so to represent nature in sharp and definite outlines, or to study the individuality of others, thus representing men and conditions of life in a concrete manner. Accordingly those forms of poetry which demand abandonment of the Ego and imaginative power are least congenial to them" (Poesie und Kunst der Araber, i. 99).

108. Concerning science in particular, Grau writes in his well-known philo-Semitic work, Semiten und Indogermanen (2nd ed. p. 33): "The Hebrews, like all Semites, are much too subjective to allow the pure impulse of knowledge to become a power in them. Natural science, in the objective sense which it has among the Indo-Teutons, viz., that nature should retain her own essence and character, while man is merely her interpreter, is unknown to the Hebrew." On p. 50 Grau says: "Everything objective is strange to the Hebrew."

109. Indische Altertumskunde (ed. 1847), i. 414-416.

110. It is interesting and important to note how the organ of the mind -- language -- is suited to and expresses this special Semitic type. Renan writes: "A quiver full of steel arrows, a firmly wound cable, an iron trumpet, whose few strident notes rend the air: that is the Hebrew language. This language is incapable of expressing a philosophical thought, a scientific result, a doubt, or even the feeling of the In finite. It can say but little, but what it does sa
y is like the blow of the hammer on the anvil" (Israel i. 102). Is that not the language of stubborn will?
111. The Hittites were more numerous in the north. the Amorites in the south. (See Sayce: Hittites, pp. 13 and 17.)

112. In regard to business aptitude a proof is given us by the Armenians, in whose veins there is much more "alarodic," that is, Syrian blood (about 80 per cent according to a communication by letter from Professor Hueppe), but apart from that only Indo-European, Phrygian and not Semitic blood, and who -- without the characteristic "Jewish nose," the Hittite legacy -- show the same greed, the same business cunning and the same passionate fondness for usury as the Jews, but all to a much higher degree, so that there is a proverb in the Levant that an Armenian is a match for three Jews. In David Hogarth's book, A Wandering Scholar in the Levant (1896, p. 147 ff.), we find interesting details concerning the character of the Armenians, especially their genius for intrigue and incitement. It is true that Burckhardt in his famous book, Uber die Beduinen und Wahaby (Weimar, 1831, represents the genuine Semites, too, as evil, over-cunning business people. "In their private dealings the Arabs cheat each other as much as possible," he says, "they practise usury, too, whenever they have an opportunity" (p. 149, 154). But after Burckhardt had lived longer among the Bedouins he somewhat modified his judgment, and while admitting that "greed of gain" is one of their chief characteristics, declared that the inclination to cheating originated from their contact with the cities and the thieving population settled there (p. 292). Whoever lies has lost his honour among them (296) and Burckhardt can assert that "with all their faults the Bedouins are one of the noblest nations with which I ever had occasion to be acquainted" (288). -- In regard to this not unimportant question the recent experiences of the French in Algiers are of Interest: the Kabyles gladly return to civilization. Whereas the pure Arabian stems have little inclination thereto and demand from the world freedom and nothing more; they reveal them selves as an element absolutely hostile to culture. They prefer to give rather than to sell, to steal than to bargain, they prefer licence to any law. In all these points the contrast to the Hittites, as we see them in history, is very striking. The immoderate will of the Semites, their greed of gain, of which Burckhardt speaks, will have quickened very much the Syrian talent for business, nevertheless this capacity seems to be a Syrian, not a Semitic legacy.

113. Renan: Histoire des langues semitiques, p. 18, "L'abstraction est inconnue dans les langues semitiques, la metaphysique impossible."

114. See p. 213 ff.

115. Phaedrus, 250.

116. See p. 187.

117. Faust, Second Part, Act i., last words of Faust.

118. In the essay Goethe's Works, towards the end.

119. L'slamisme et la science, p. 380. Here there is evidently an intellectual want, as Renan elsewhere admits when he writes: "The Semitic people almost totally lack the questioning thirst after know ledge; nothing excites their wonder" (Langues semitiques, p. 10). According to Hume the lack of wonder is the characteristic token of inferior intellectual power.

120. Cf. Religion of the Ancient Hebrews, p. 160.

121. Pp. 514, 524, 544, and many other places.

122. Nouvelles considerations sur les peuples semitiques (journal asiatique, 1859, p. 254). Also Robertson Smith (The Prophets of Israel, p. 33) testifies that the genuine Semite has "little religion."

123. Or as the Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad renders the same conception, "the path of the universe, which one has to follow, to get from the part into the whole universe" (1, 4, 7).

124. Philippson: Israelitische Religionslehre, i. 35 ff.

125. See, for example, in Graetz, Gnosticismus und Judentum, the passage on Ben Soma.

126. Fully discussed by Renan: Langues semitiques, p. 482 ff. See, too, the note on p. 485 and my quotation from Darmesteter, p. 421, note. Cf., too, the introduction to the 4th ed. of this book.

127. E. B. Tylor: The Beginnings at Culture, Germ. ed., 1873. II. 309.

128. Tylor, pp. 348, 349.

129. Rigveda, i. 164, 46 (quoted from Barth, Religions de l'Inde, p. 23).

130. Concerning mythology in Christianity, see vol. ii. chap. vii.

131. See p. 427.

132. Renan: Israel, i. 49. 77, 78.

133. Prolegomena, 4th ed. p. 321.

134. That the Cross is to be regarded as the same thing as the idols of Heathendom is said expressly by Professor Graetz: Volkstumliche Geschichte der Juden, ii. 218.

135. Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, 2 vol., Book II. chap. xxiv. In no connection with this, but nevertheless interesting as a reflection of the same discernment is the doctrine of the Samkhya philosophy (the rationalistic system of the Brahman Indians), according to which willing is not a mental but a physical function. (Cf. Garbe: Die Samkhya-Philosophie, p. 251.)

136. Cf. Gunkel: Handkommentar zur Genesis, p. xli. ff.

137. The pre-eminent imagination of the Sumero-Accadians is obvious from their scientific achievements, moreover their language is said to testify to a special tendency to abstraction, for it is richer in abstract ideas than in nomina concreta (see Delitzsch: Die Entstehung des altesten Schrift-systems, 1898, p. 118). A more direct contrast to the Semitic nature cannot be imagined; we can easily fancy what a degradation the Sumerian theories of the creation may have suffered under Israelite hands. But it becomes ever more probable that this whole mythology is permeated with old Aryan conceptions, to which, for example, the tree of life, the flood, the Godhead in water (hence baptism), the stories of the temptation belong. Professor Otto Franke (Konigsberg) writes in the Deutsche Literaturzeitung, 1901, No. 44, col. 2763: "Such passages in the Semitic tradition always stand isolated and in strange surroundings, but form organic links in whole Aryan systems of thought: they are often bare and artificial in their Semitic setting, whereas in the Aryan they spring forth like foaming streams from full and sparkling springs."

138. Cf. Montefiore, p. 453. How deeply rooted in the organism of the Semite this incapacity is we see from the fact that a man like James Darmesteter, one of the most frequently named Orientalists of the nine teenth century, a man of universal knowledge, could in the year of grace 1882 write: "The biblical cosmogony, hastily borrowed from an alien source, and all its stories of apples and serpents, concerning which the generations of Christians have passed sleepless nights, have never caused our Israelite scholars the slightest uneasiness or occupied their thoughts." All his knowledge could not enable this absolutely free-thinking Jew -- "an honest Jew," as Shakespeare would have said -- to understand any more profoundly; and thus we may well smile when he tells us, after he has finished with the apples, that the cross is already "rotten" and Christianity an "abortive" religion. When we behold such utter want of intelligence the yawning gulf reveals itself to our eyes! (See Coup d'oeil sur l'histoire du peuple juif, p. 19 f.)

139. Even the Jewish scholar Montefiore explicitly admits this: Religion of the Ancient Hebrews, p. 269. Further detail on p. 425.

140. For further details concerning the Bible as an historical work and its significance as such for the Jewish people, see the chapter on "The Revelation of Christ," p. 228 f. and further on, p. 486.

141. Kluge: Etymologisches Worterbuch.

142. Similarly the Greek [x] .

143. Craddha denotes "trust, confidence, faith, also fidelity, honesty," the verb Crad-dha, "to trust, to consider true." But the idea has something vague and colourless about it, and above all we must carefully note the fact that the word Craddha plays a very unimportant part in the life of this pre-eminently religious people.

144. See p. 23.

145. Many authors testify that even to-day the genuine Bedouins do not in reality acknowledge the cosmopolitical God of the Koran. Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 71, hints that Mohammedanism is in a way a religion of the cities in contrast to the religion of the desert. Similarly Burckhardt: Beduinen, p. 156.

146. Langues semitiques, ed. 1878, p. 6. These words were originally uttered by Renan in 1855.

147. Cf. Robertson Smith: Religion of the Semites, ed. 1894. p. 75 f. It is well known what zealous polytheists many pseudo-Semitic nations were; of course, that does not justify one in drawing conclusions in regard to the pure Semites. In the introduction to the first edition of his Langues semitiques Renan has laid great stress on this reservation, which is scarcely ever observed.

148. David, when driven by Saul from Palestine, cannot do otherwise than serve strange gods on strange soil (I Samuel xxvi. 19); cf. with this particularly Robertson Smith, Prophets of Israel (ed. 1895, p. 44) and the list of characteristic passages, which reveal the same conception, in Wellhausen, Prolegomena, 4th ed. p. 22. The polytheism appears in a particularly simple fashion in Moses' song of praise, "Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the Gods?" (Exodus xv. II). In the much later Deuteronomy a distinction is drawn between Jehovah and the "strange gods" as quite homonymous beings (xxxii. 12) and it is only on very solemn occasions that the former is addressed as "God of all Gods" (x. 17). Even in the time of the Maccabees (more than five hundred years later) we meet the same expression "God of all Gods" in the book of Daniel, xi. 36, and find in Jesus Sirach the conception of "subordinate deities" who are appointed by Jehovah to rule over the different peoples (Jes. Sir. xvii. 17).

149. There is much needless dispute regarding Egyptian monotheism, for it cannot be doubted, when one reads in The Book of the Dead: "Thou art the one, the God from the very beginnings of time, the heir of immortality, self-produced and self-born; thou didst create the earth and make men...." (Introductory hymn to Ra; see the complete translation of the Book of the Dead from the Theban text by E. A. W. Budge, 1898.) Budge calls attention to the fact (p. xcviii.) that the formula in Deuteronomy iv. 4, "The Lord, our God, is one Lord" is a literal imitation of the Egyptian.
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