Georges Vacher de Lapouge

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Lapouge, Georges Vacher de


Born Dec. 12, 1854, in Neuville, Vienne Department; died Feb. 20, 1936, in Poitiers. French sociologist; adherent of the theory of social Darwinism and one of the ideologists of racism.

Lapouge divided humanity into higher races (the dolichocephalics, or long-heads; the Aryan, or Nordic, race) and lower races (the brachycephalics, or short-heads). He maintained that race is the primary factor of history. According to Lapouge, the development of civilization for each people begins when Aryans come to power as the ruling class; the disappearance of the Aryan elements leads to the civilization’s decline. Along with J. A. de Gobineau, Lapouge exerted considerable influence on the formation of the “racial theory” of fascism.