Francisco Bulnes

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Francisco Bulnes (1847 – 1924) was an influential intellectual during the regime of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz who served as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. As a científico, the prevailing intellectual movement of the period, he believed in the positivist approach to science and to history.

Author of El verdadero Díaz y la Revolución, (Editorial Gomez de la Puente, 1920) and The Whole Truth About Mexico: President Wilson's Responsibility. (New York: M. Bulnes Book Co., 1916) and El porvenir de las naciones hispano americanas ante las conquistas recientes de Europa y los Estados Unidos. (México, Impr. de M. Nava, 1899)

In El porvenir de las nations Hispano-Americanas (The Future of the Hispanic-American Nations), published in 1899 in the wake of the Spanish—American War, Bulnes attributed Mexico's backwardness to a combination of Iberian conservatism and Indian debility. He explained the natives' weakness, using the recently developed science of nutrition, by dividing mankind into three races: the people of corn, wheat, and rice. After some dubious calculations of the nutritional value of staple grains, he concluded that “the race of wheat is the only truly progressive one,” and that “maize has been the eternal pacifier of America's indigenous races and the foundation of their refusal to become civilized.”

Manuel Gamio, the archaeologist who excavated the pyramids of Teotihuacán, denounced Bulnes as a racist, while Daniel Cosio Villegas, a leading historian, described him as “one of the most evasive, designing, and deceitful writers that Mexico has ever produced.”