The Cosmic Race

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The Cosmic Race, by José Vasconcelos, is about the new race that will arise in Latin America from the mixing of all races and the society they’ll create. It is an extremely influential essay in Mexico and still widely regarded today. In the The Cosmic Race it is said that America is the ancient home of the now lost Atlantean civilization (Vasconcelos 7). The downfall of the Atlanteans spawned four races: the Indian, the Black, the Mongol, and the White (Vasconcelos 9). Latin America, the essay argues, will be the homeland of the new Neo-Atlantean race as it already the racial melting pot of so many races (Vasconcelos 17-18). This essay, both intentionally and unintentionally gives us a glimpse of contemporary Latin American race relations,…show more content…
The earliest known case of race transcending nationalism can be seen in an excerpt from Problems in Modern Latin American History, which looks at Cuba during the struggle for independence, and the colorblind nationalism that arose. While Cuba nationalism arose due to a meritocratic revolutionary army, in The Cosmic Race argues it will happen because of the spiritual duty of all races to create a neo-Atlantean race comprised of all the races on earth. The Cosmic Race could be seen as the eventual evolution of this type of nationalism that started in Cuba. One problem with this belief is that it urges an end to racism because of a spiritual duty. However, in Cuba, where this type of nationalism actually occurred, it was forged in the blood and fire of revolution. The want of liberty and conflict against the Spanish helped defeat racism. It was through this conflict and violent struggle that racism was crippled in Cuba, not because of Cuban belief in spiritual duty. Historically speaking, believing that spirituality alone can eventually unite the races in any given society is extremely unlikely. The irony, at least looking at Cuba, comes from the need of a conflict, presumably against another…show more content…
Many of the more unrealistic parts of the essay can be seen as less of the ideological musings of one man and his hope for a united future and more the reflection of a colonial and racially charged violent past, disunity of Latin America and failure of Simon Bolivar's dreams, and the corrupt rule of the
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