La Raza Cósmica
Published in 1925, La Raza Cósmica (The Cosmic Race) is an essay written by late Mexican philosopher, secretary of education, and 1929 presidential candidate, José Vasconcelos to express the ideology of a future "fifth race" in the Americas; an agglomeration of all the races in the world with no respect to colour or number to erect a new civilisation: Universópolis.
As he explains in his literary work, armies of people would then go forth around the world professing their knowledge. Vasconcelos continues to say that the people of the Iberian regions of the Americas (that is to say, the parts of the continent colonised by Portugal and Spain) have the territorial, racial, and spiritual factors necessary to initiate the "universal era of humanity".
Claiming that the Darwinist ideologies are "scientific" theories only created to validate, explain, and justify ethnic superiority and to repress others, Vasconcelos attempts to refute these theories and goes on to recognize his words as being an ideological effort to improve the cultural morale of a "depressed race" by offering his optimistic theory of the future development of a cosmic race.
Usage of phrase
The phrase, "La raza cósmica", in English "the cosmic race", embodies the notion that traditional, exclusive concepts of so-called “race” and nationality can be transcended in the name of humanity's common destiny. It originally referred to a movement by Mexican intellectuals during the 1920s who pointed out that so-called “Latin” Americans have the blood of all the world's so-called “races”: European, Asian-descended native Americans and Africans, thereby transcending the peoples of the "old world".
Vasconcelos also used the term when he coined the National Autonomous University of Mexico's motto: "Por mi raza hablará el espíritu" (For my race the spirit will speak).
It has come, often in its shortened version "La Raza", to refer to the mixed race people of Latin America, i.e., primarily mestizos, mulattos, and zambos or all three combined. Vasconcelos also used the expression, "la raza de bronce" ("the Bronze race"), in this same sense.
- Mexican American
- Race and ethnicity in Brazil
- Race (United States Census)
- Race of the Future
José Vasconcelos, La Raza Cósmica (Mexico D.F., Espasa Calpe, S.A., 1948), 47-51