Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Something from G.K.'s Weekly

From the Combox came a request for this quote, which I thought more people would like to read, since it's so "right on!"
I checked the original essay in GK's Weekly, April 25, 1925. This seems to be what you are looking for:

About all those arguments affecting human equality, I myself always have one
feeling; which finds expression in a little test of my own. I shall begin to
take seriously those classifications of superiority and inferiority, when I
find a man classifying himself as inferior. It will be noted that Mr. Ford
does not say that he is only fitted to mind machines; he confesses frankly
that he is too fine and free and fastidious a being for such tasks. I shall
believe the doctrine when I hear somebody say: " I have only got the wits to
turn a wheel." That would be real, that would be realistic, that would be
scientific. That would be independent testimony that could not easily be
disputed. It is exactly the same, of course, with all the other
superiorities and denials of human equality, that are so specially
characteristic of a scientific age. It is so with the men who talk about
superior and inferior races; I never heard a man say:" Anthropology shows
that I belong to an inferior race." If he did, he might be talking like an
anthropologist; as it is, he is talking like a man, and not infrequently
like a fool. I have long hoped that I might some day hear a man explaining
on scientific principles his own unfitness for any important post or
privilege, say: " The world should belong to the free and fighting races,
and not to persons of that servile disposition that you will notice in
myself; the intelligent will know how to form opinions, but the weakness of
intellect from which I so obviously suffer renders my opinion manifestly
absurd on the face of them: there are indeed stately and god-like races- but
look at me! Observe my shapeless and fourth-rate features! Gaze, if you can
bear it, on my commonplace and repulsive face! "If I heard a man making a
scientific demonstration in that style, I might admit that he was really
scientific. But as it invariably happens, by a curious coincidence, that the
superior race is his own race, the superior type is his own type, and the
superior preference for work the sort of work he happens to prefer.


  1. Great, not the least as it was based on one of my questions, I blogged about it at at http://b-a-d-blog.blogspot.com/2008/07/rigid-anti-semitarian.html a few hours ago.

    I even managed to format it properly;-)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Or perhaps it works better here ?


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