Here pure greed, as represented by Sotillo, is portrayed as "clear-minded," while an idealistic crusade (one invariably thinks of Holroyd's) is "misty." But at the same time Sotillo's greed is "childlike." One is left with the message that, since all human motives amount to the desire for conquest in the war of all against all, the simple desire for plunder is both uneducated and closer to the truth.
With Sotillo's comment above about "Jewish cunning," and now the narrator's own about Northern vs. Southern "races," I think it's an opportune moment to admit that racism is an unfortunate but pervasive sentiment in Nostromo. And it's not surprising. Racism is actually a logical consequence of the subjectivist philosophy Conrad argues in this novel. If the objective world provides no common ground, then reality itself is defined subjectively by the group. The language one learns, the way one looks at the world, the kind of dream-ideals one develops, all contribute to the formation of groups that would have nothing objectively in common, that would be literally alien to each other.
The only thing missing from Nostromo's racism is the typical conclusion:
that one race is superior to the others and therefore fit to rule. Nostromo
is saved from this conclusion by its pessimism; to Conrad the various races,
though different in outlook, are all equally lost and equally doomed.