Supremacism is the belief that a certain group of people is superior to all others. The supposed superior people can be defined by age,
gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Althoug ...

, race,
ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancest ...

religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

sexual orientation Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of Romance (love), romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions a ...
language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to inscribe the original soun ...

social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, genera ...
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes abo ...
nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ethnic group; it has been described as "a fully ...

culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in ...

, or belong to any other part of a particular population.


feminist Feminism is a range of social movements and ideology, ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social gender equality, equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that societies priori ...

theorists have argued that in
patriarchy Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that proper ...

, a standard of male supremacism is enforced through a variety of cultural, political, and interpersonal strategies. Since the 19th century there have been a number of feminist movements opposed to male supremacism, usually aimed at achieving equal legal rights and protections for women in all cultural, political and interpersonal relations.


Centuries of European colonialism in the Americas,
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...
, Australia, Oceania, and Asia were justified by White supremacy, white supremacist attitudes. During the 19th century, the phrase "The White Man's Burden", referring to the thought that whites have the obligation to make the societies of the other peoples more 'civilized', was widely used to justify imperialist policy as a noble enterprise. Thomas Carlyle, known for his historical account of the French Revolution, ''The French Revolution: A History,'' which inspired Charles Dickens' novel ''A Tale of Two Cities'', argued that European supremacist policies were justified on the grounds that they provided the greatest benefit to "inferior" native peoples. However, even at the time of its publication in 1849, Carlyle's main work on the subject, the ''Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question,'' was received poorly by his contemporaries. Before the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America was founded with a constitution that contained clauses which restricted the government's ability to limit or interfere with the institution of "negro" slavery. In the Cornerstone Speech, Confederate vice president Alexander H. Stephens, Alexander Stephens declared that one of the Confederacy's foundational tenets was white supremacy over black slaves. Following the war, a secret society, the Ku Klux Klan, was formed in the South. Its purpose was to "restore" white supremacy after the Reconstruction era of the United States, Reconstruction period, even though there still was white, Protestant supremacy in the United States, at the time. The group preached supremacy over all other races, as well as supremacy over Jews, Catholics, and other minorities. According to William Nichols, religious antisemitism can be distinguished from Racial antisemitism, modern antisemitism which is based on Race (classification of human beings), racial or ethnicity, ethnic grounds. "The dividing line was the possibility of effective conversion ... a Jew ceased to be a Jew upon baptism." However, with racial antisemitism, "Now the assimilated Jew was still a Jew, even after baptism ... . From the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment onward, it is no longer possible to draw clear lines of distinction between religious and racial forms of hostility towards Jews... Once Jews have been emancipated and secular thinking makes its appearance, without leaving behind the old Christian hostility towards Jews, the new term antisemitism becomes almost unavoidable, even before explicitly racist doctrines appear." One of the first typology (anthropology), typologies which was used to classify various human races was invented by Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854–1936), a theoretician of eugenics, who published in 1899 ''L'Aryen et son rôle social'' (1899 – "The Aryan and his social role"). In this book, he classifies humanity into various, hierarchized races, spanning from the "Aryan white race, dolichocephalic", to the "brachycephalic", "mediocre and inert" race, best represented by Southern European, Catholic peasants". Between these, Vacher de Lapouge identified the "''Nordic theory, Homo europaeus''" (Teutonic, Protestant, etc.), the "''Homo alpinus''" (Auvergne (province), Auvergnat, Turkish people, Turkish, etc.), and finally the "''Homo mediterraneus''" (Naples, Neapolitan, Andalusia, Andalus, etc.) Jews were brachycephalic like the Aryans, according to Lapouge; but exactly for this reason he considered them dangerous; they were the only group, he thought, which was threatening to displace the Aryan aristocracy. Vacher de Lapouge became one of the leading inspirations of Nazi antisemitism and Nazi racial policies, Nazi racist ideology. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Southern Poverty Law Center condemn writings about "Jewish Supremacism" by Holocaust denial, Holocaust-denier, former Grand Wizard of the KKK, and conspiracy theory, conspiracy theorist David Duke as antisemitic – in particular, his book ''Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening to the Jewish Question.'' Kevin B. MacDonald, known for his Kevin B. MacDonald#Theory of Judaism as a "Group Evolutionary Strategy", theory of Judaism as a "group evolutionary strategy", has also been accused by the ADL and his own university psychology department of being "antisemitic" and white supremacist in his writings on the subject. Cornel West, an African-American philosopher, writes that black supremacist religious views arose in America as part of Nation of Islam, black Muslim theology in response to white supremacism. In Africa, black Southern Sudanese allege that they are subjected to a racist form of Arab supremacy, which they equate with the historic white supremacism of South African apartheid. The alleged genocide and ethnic cleansing in the ongoing War in Darfur has been described as an example of Arab racism. For example, in their analysis of the sources of the conflict, Julie Flint and Alex de Waal say that Muammar Gaddafi, Colonel Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, sponsored "Arab supremacism" across the Sahara during the 1970s. Gaddafi supported the "Islamic Legion" and the Sudanese opposition "National Islamic Front, National Front, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Brothers and the Ansar, the National Umma Party, Umma Party's military wing." Gaddafi tried to use such forces to annex Chad from 1979-81. Gaddafi supported the Sudanese government's Second Sudanese Civil War, war in the South during the early 1980s, and in return he was allowed to use the Darfur region as a "Chadian–Libyan conflict, back door to Chad". As a result, the first signs of an "Arab racist political platform" appeared in Darfur in the early 1980s. In Asia, ancient Indians considered all foreigners barbarians. The Muslim scholar Al-Biruni wrote that the Indians called foreigners impure.''The First Spring: The Golden Age of India'' by Abraham Eraly p. 313 A few centuries later, Dubois observes that "Hindus look upon Europeans as barbarians totally ignorant of all principles of honour and good breeding... In the eyes of a Hindu, a Pariah (Dalit, outcaste) and a European are on the same level." The Chinese viewed the Europeans as repulsive, ghost-like creatures, and even as devils. Chinese writers also referred to the Europeans as barbarians.

Nazi Germany

From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany, under the rule of Adolf Hitler, promoted the idea of a superior, Aryan race, Aryan ''Herrenvolk'', or master race. The Nazi propaganda, state's propaganda advocated the belief that Germanic peoples, whom they called "Aryans", were a master race or a ''Herrenvolk'' whose members were superior to the Jews, Slavs, and Romani people, so-called "gypsies". Arthur de Gobineau, a French racial theorist and aristocrat, blamed the fall of the Ancien Régime, ancien régime in France on Miscegenation, racial intermixing, which he believed had destroyed the purity of the Nordic race. Gobineau's theories, which attracted a large and strong following in Germany, emphasized the existence of an irreconcilable polarity between Aryan and Jewish cultures.



Academics Carol Lansing and Edward D. English argue that Christians, Christian supremacism was a motivation for the Crusades in the Holy Land, as well as crusades against Muslims and pagans throughout Europe. The blood libel is a widespread European conspiracy theory which led to centuries of pogroms and massacres of European Jewish minorities because it alleged that Jews required the pure blood of a Christian child in order to make matzah for Passover; Thomas of Cantimpré writes of the blood curse which the Jews put upon themselves and all of their generations at the court of Pontius Pilate where Jesus was handed a death sentence: "A very learned Jew, who in our day has been converted to the (Christian) faith, informs us that one enjoying the reputation of a prophet among them, toward the close of his life, made the following prediction: 'Be assured that relief from this secret ailment, to which you are exposed, can only be obtained through Christian blood ("solo sanguine Christiano")." The Atlantic slave trade has also been partially attributed to Christian supremacism. The Ku Klux Klan has been described as a white supremacist Christian organization, as are many other white supremacist groups, such as the Posse Comitatus (organization), Posse Comitatus and the Christian Identity and Positive Christianity movements.


Academics Khaled Abou El Fadl, Ian Lague, and Joshua Cone note that, while the Quran and other Islamic holy books, Islamic scriptures express tolerant, protective beliefs, which have been misused, misquoted, and misinterpreted by both Islamic extremism, Islamic extremists and Islamophobia, Islamophobes, there have also been instances of Muslim or Islamic supremacism. Examples of how supremacists have interpreted Islam include the Muslim participation in the African slave trade, the early-20th-century pan-Islamism promoted by Abdul Hamid II, the ''jizya'' and rules of marriage in Muslim countries being imposed on non-Muslims, the majority Muslim interpretations of the rules of pluralism in Malaysia, and "defensive" supremacism practiced by some Muslim immigrants in Europe. According to scholar Bernard Lewis, Fiqh#Diagram of early scholars, classical Islamic jurisprudence imposes an open-ended duty on Muslims to expand Muslim rule and Islamic law to all non-Muslims throughout the world. Despite being comparatively more tolerant in the past than Christian Europe, North Africa has witnessed numerous incidents of List of events named massacres, massacres and ethnic cleansing of Jews and Christians, especially in Morocco, Libya, and Algeria, where eventually Jews were forced to live in Mellah, ghettos. Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted during the Middle Ages in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. At certain times in Yemen, Morocco, and Baghdad, Jews were Forced conversion#Islam, forced to convert to Islam or face the Capital punishment in Islam, Islamic death penalty. While there were antisemitic incidents before the 20th century, antisemitism increased dramatically as a result of the Arab–Israeli conflict. After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the 1948 Palestinian exodus, Palestinian exodus, the Israeli Declaration of Independence, creation of the State of Israel and Israeli victories during the wars of Suez Crisis#Invasion, 1956 and Six-Day War, 1967 were a severe humiliation to Israel's opponents—primarily Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. However, by the mid-1970s the vast majority of Jews Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries, had left Muslim-majority countries, moving primarily to Israel, France, and the United States.Yehouda Shenhav. ''The Arab Jews: A Postcolonial Reading of Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnicity''
/ref> The reasons for the Jewish exodus are varied and disputed.


Ilan Pappé, an expatriate Israelis, Israeli historian, writes that the First Aliyah to Israel "established a society based on Jewish supremacy". Joseph Massad, a professor of Arab studies, holds that "Jewish supremacism" has always been a "dominating principle" in Religious Zionism, religious and secular Zionism. Zionism was established with the political goal of creating a sovereign Jewish state where Jews could be the majority, rather than the minority which they were in all nations of the world at that time. Theodor Herzl, the ideological father of Zionism, considered antisemitism to be an eternal feature of all societies in which Jews lived as minorities, and as a result, he believed that only a separation could allow Jews to escape Persecution of Jews, eternal persecution. "Let them give us sovereignty over a piece of the Earth's surface, just sufficient for the needs of our people, then we will do the rest!" Since the 1990s, Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish rabbis from Israel, most notably those affiliated to Chabad-Lubavitch and religious Zionist organizations, including The Temple Institute, have set up a Noahidism, modern Noahide movement to Proselytism, proselytize among non-Jews (usually referred to as "Gentile#Judaism, Gentiles" or ''goyim''). These Noahide organizations, led by religious Zionist and Orthodox rabbis, are aimed at non-Jews in order to proselytize among them and commit them to follow the Seven Laws of Noah, Noahide laws. However, these religious Zionist and Orthodox rabbis that guide the modern Noahide movement, who are often affiliated with the Third Temple, Third Temple movement, expound a Racism, racist and supremacist
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes abo ...
which consists in the belief that the Jewish people are God's chosen nation and racially superior to non-Jews, and mentor Noahides because they believe that the Messianic era will begin with the Third Temple, rebuilding of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to re-institute the Jewish priesthood along with the practice of Korban, ritual sacrifices, and the establishment of a Jewish theocracy in Israel, supported by communities of Noahides. David Novak, professor of Jewish theology and Jewish ethics, ethics at the University of Toronto, has denounced the modern Noahide movement by stating that "If Jews are telling Gentiles what to do, it’s a form of imperialism".

See also


{{Racism topics, state=collapsed Supremacism, Ethnic supremacy Narcissism Political theories Prejudice and discrimination Racism