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.

References in periodicals archive ?
The best way of misinterpreting Spencer's political thinking is, for example, to understand it in the same context as the racist theories of his French contemporary, Georges Vacher de Lapouge (3).
In contrast, more than nine pages are devoted to an obscure French librarian, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, who tried to use a Darwinian framework as a ground for his virulent racism.