Racism is a set of theories, which are based on the position of the physical and mental inequality of human races, based on objective anthropological differences, and the decisive influence of racial differences in the history and culture. Racism involves the idea of the original division of people into superior and inferior races, where the former are the creators of civilization and intended to dominate the latter. Implementation of the racist theories into practice sometimes finds expression in the policy of racial discrimination.
The word ‘racism’ was first recorded by the French Larousse dictionary in 1932, and was treated as a system, which asserts the superiority of one racial group over any other. Its present meaning is the same, but in the political discourse it can be sometimes expanded, adding ethnic or religious criteria to the racial superiority.
Ideas about the original inequality of different races have appeared a long time ago. Back in 16-17 centuries there was a hypothesis that exalted the origin of blacks to the biblical Ham, cursed by his father Noah. That was used as a justification for the treatment of blacks in slavery.
But the founder of scientific racism was French historian Joseph de Gobineau, who proposed in his Essay on the Inequality of Human Races a thesis on the impact of the racial composition of certain societies on the specialties of the cultures, social systems, economic models, and ultimately – the success of their civilization. Nordic race, according to Gobineau, throughout history showed superiority over the others in the organization of society and cultural progress. Gobineau explained the greatness of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations by the fact that at the time of rise of civilization ruling elites in these countries were Nordics.
The problem of racism is more complex than biological and anthropological problems, and goes beyond the political or economic factors.
Despite the fact that the scientific attempt to justify racism showed its complete failure, racism has not ceased to exist. The reason for this lies in social and psychological properties of both the individual and the group, which can be influenced by the mechanisms that promote competition, and then the enmity between different groups.
The emergence of racism in a society is based on a number of reasons, one of which is the mentality of the ethnic group, as well as economic factors and the standard of living in the state. Social factors of the low level of culture and consciousness of citizens also play an important role, which are additional catalysts of racism.
Racism is a set of theories, which are based on the position of the physical and mental inequality of human races, based on objective anthropological differences, and the decisive influence of racial differences in the history and culture.