Did The Evil White Man Invent The Concept Of Race?

Comments at Steve Sailer:

* Ancient peoples, and most people outside western civ till quite recently, did not actually have a concept of race as developed in Europe during the early modern period.

All peoples knew who they were, and who “the other” was. “The other” was anybody who wasn’t us.

What they didn’t have, generally speaking, was the idea that all of humanity was broken down into three or four or five huge groups, with each of those groups having much in common with each other and much less with those in the other groups.

IOW, the Crow Indians knew perfectly well that their enemies the Sioux and Blackfeet were not Crow, and that they were enemies. What they didn’t think of was that they were part of the same “race” as the Sioux and Blackfeet, as opposed to the white man.

They saw Blackfeet and white men and Sioux as pretty much the same thing, non-Crows. Same is true of most peoples. The Chinese used to, maybe still do, think of non-Chinese as an undifferentiated mass, with their most salient characteristic being that they were not Chinese.

Another way to look at this is that historically most people viewed the most important characteristic of a person is whether he was “us” or “them,” kind of the Jewish view of Jew or Gentile. What other characteristics the Gentile might have were comparatively unimportant. The important part was that he was not a Jew.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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