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The Racial Worldview of H. P. Lovecraft, Part 1

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Edited by A. Trumbo

Editor’s Note:

The purpose of these writings is to provide a genuine look into the racial Weltanschauung of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (18901937). I have drawn my data from the five volumes of The Selected Letters 0f H. P. Lovecraft, published by Arkham House in 1965. The authors who compiled this great collection–August Derleth, and Donald Wandrei–were friends and correspondents of Lovecraft’s. The preface (Selected Letters, vol. 1) states: “We have made no alteration or changes in the text reproduced. We present them as he (H. P. L.) wrote them.” Here I present the racial intellect of Mr. Lovecraft in his own words, written by his own hand.

Nov. 25, 1915

I can sympathize with Morton in many ways. I am not an orthodox disciple of religion, but I deem it dangerous to tamper with any system so manifestly beneficial to morality. Whatever may be the faults of the church, it has never yet been surpassed or nearly equalled as an agent for the promotion of virtue. And the same thing applies to our present social system. It has its defects, but is evidently a natural growth, and better fitted to preserve an approximate civilization than any Utopian scheme conjured up over night by some artificially thinking radical. As to races, I deem it most proper to recognise the divisions into which nature has grouped mankind. Science shows us the infinite superiority of the Teutonic Aryan over all others, and it therefore becomes us to see that his ascendancy shall remain undisputed. Any racial mixture can but lower the result. The Teutonic race, whether in Scandinavia, other parts of the continent, England, or America, the cream of humanity, and its wanton and deliberate adulteration with baser material is even more repulsive to consider than the elaborately staged racial suicide now being conducted, wherein Germanic and Britannic Teutons are striving to annihilate each other instead of uniting against the Mongol-tainted Slav or menacing Oriental.

Sometimes I think of racial combinations as chemical reactions; for instance, I believe that certain stocks have greater assimilative powers than others. The Gallo-Basque stock with Latin [Roman] infusion, which constitutes the bulk of the French population, is much more receptive to alien blood than is our colder and more Teutonic stock.

Dec. 6, 1915

And the more I study the question, the more firmly am I convinced that the one supreme race is the Teuton. Observe the condition in the British Isles. The English are wholly Teutonic, and therefore dominant. The southern Scotch and eastern Irish are also of that blood–they certainly surpass their fellows to the north and west. The Welsh, who have no Teutonic blood, are of little account. Had it not been for the Teutonic infusion at the beginning of the Dark Ages, southern Europe would have been lost. Who were these early French kings and heroes that founded French civilization? Teutons, to a man! . . . Who were the Normans? Teutons of the North. It is pitiful to me to hear apostles of equity pipe out that other races can equal this foremost of all–this successor to the Roman race in power and virility.

June 4, 1916

The Providence Journal has virtually declared war on Germany, and has well-nigh exhausted Roget’s Thesaurus in looking for adjectives wherewith to denounce th’ embattled Goth; but the editor scarce dares breathe a word against the slippery sons of Saint Patrick who violate American neutrality just as flagrantly as any German ever did, and who have been consistently doing so for many century. These migrated Micks have not scrupled to use the United States so far as they can as a weapon against their lawful King and Empire, and the “Sinn Fein,” revolt is not the only one financed largely with American-gathered capital.

Dec. 23, 1917

As the general situation, it seems very encouraging just now. It may take a second war to adjust things properly. I tremble to think of the possibilities of the Russian collapse which may open resources of a vast country to the enemy. If the predicted Western drive of the Huns succeeds, the war is virtually lost. There is something the matter with the morale of the more polished nations–they need a little more brutality of the old Teutonic sort. No army can win without a certain savage lust of combat, and this spirit is being undermined with the current cant about democracy, idealism, and all that sort of rot. The issues should be made clearer–the first fight is not in the interests of a coming millenium of social reform; it is for the hearth and home-for existing institutions against a perilous invasion of an unnatural culture. Racial factors are also united against us. For all our Roman civilization, the enemy has a preponderance of superior blood. If all the Allied nations were as thoroughly Teutonic as Prussia, the end would be nearer and happier. Nothing can withstand the might of the Teuton–he is the logical successor of the Roman in power. Teutonic blood snatched Britain from the Celt and made England the greatest force in all civilization. Teutonic blood conquered the Western wilderness and gave America an instant place amongst the great nations of the globe. But this blood has become so extensively and tragically diluted, that the non-German Teutons may well look with concern to their future. The grotesque fallacy of the “Great American Melting Pot” may yet be brought home to the people in one of the most tear-stained pages of their history. Germany herself has set a truer valuation on the importance of unmixed blood, but may yet come to grief through the absorption of Slavic elements. The course of Germany during the last half-century has been one of curiously mixed merit. Certain scientific and philosophical developments have been marvellous, yet they have been conjoined to a brutality and narrowness of vision which threaten the development of civilization. The pan-Teutonic ideal, attainable only by a complete and amicable co-operation between Anglo-Saxon and Germanic races, has been fallaciously subordinated to a petty pan-Germanic ideal which is bringing about the virtual suicide of the Teutonic race, and driving the Anglo-Saxons and Germans into equally unnatural alliances with alien races. The Saxon has his Hindoos and Moors, and the German his Turks. Progress is at a standstill, and everything human is lost in a mad scramble for a material victory. Even a recurrence of the Dark Ages is not possible–a recurrence which will leave the Teutonic race so depleted numerically that the world’s future is seriously threatened. Wilhelm, Wilhelm! What has thou wrought?

VNN, June 29, 2002 [2]