In 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, Illinois schoolteacher Jane Elliot proposed an experiment to her third grade class. The children were separated into blue- and brown-eyed groups and were told that brown eyes were superior to blue eyes. The rate at which the children learned to discriminate was alarming; taunting and arrogance were quickly and unabashedly adopted by the brown-eyed students. What we can glean from this experiment is that hate is easily learned--particularly if there are benefits to be gained from discrimination.
Gobineau ends The Inequality of the Human Races by admitting the considerable consequences of his radical hypothesis and examination. Although his theory alone might not have impacted humanity to the extent in which he had hoped, the consequences of his forceful assertions of racial superiority were relatively immediate and long-lasting. This essay is shocking, but it is a logical jump from Hegel's philosophy of race. While Hegel is mainly concerned with categorizing, Gobineau's goal is to explain how and why certain races are superior. Hegel made it easy to exploit his philosophy by laying out all the different races and subtly constructing a hierarchical blueprint. Neither Hegel nor Gobineau explicitly admit to the existence of a racial hierarchy, but Gobineau is seemingly determined to prove the legitimacy of his own race. It's rather obvious that one would attempt to justify his own race and downplay the historical and social importance of others; white Europeans took advantage of the fact that they were the first to acknowledge the distinction of races, constantly putting themselves on top and claiming their superiority--it is an instinctual effort to ensure survival.
Looking back we can generally agree that they really have no solid proof for their assumptions, but regardless, they were making "rational," philosophical arguments and putting them out in publications which allowed their propaganda to spread. Consequentially, all the other white Europeans who read this literature were able to easily relate and saw that they were being deemed the superior race. To me there seems to be a very prominent chain of events: race is "discovered;" race is explored; race is categorized; race is exploited; The blue-eye/brown-eye experiment proves just how easy it is to learn and internalize the hatred of those who are different. I question whether or not racism was inevitable, or if there was some possibility that humanity could have seen race as a positive thing.