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“Las razas inferiores son funestas en el trabajo libre,” published in the periodical El Universal in 1921, was written by Francisco Bulnes, a Mexican intellectual and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under President Porfirio Díaz. In the article, Bulnes argues that some races are inferior to others. He defines “inferior races” as those races that are not inclined toward hard work and progress, the cornerstones of society and morality. As an example of indigenous inferiority, Bulnes cites the government of Argentina’s employment of Italian laborers to harvest crops rather than the numerous indigenous inhabitants of its country. Bulnes also refers to a study by a German researcher indicating that the indigenous inhabitants of Chile do not strive to improve their quality of life because they are hindered by drunkenness and indolence. Bulnes critiques the African race by explaining that Afro-Cubans are possessed by inertia and superstitions and are, furthermore, inclined towards Bolshevism. Bulnes claims that “inferior races,” with their political and moral deficiencies, were created by god to be subservient to superior races. Therefore, according to Bulnes, superior races have the right to create laws and implement means to civilize inferior races. However, Bulnes argues, the presence of inferior races can become burden to a country. Bulnes recommends that Latin America free itself from indigenous and African peoples, whose inferiority impedes the continent’s progress.
Francisco Bulnes (1847-1923) was a Mexican intellectual and polemicist who served as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the dictator Porfirio Díaz. Díaz served multiple terms as President of Mexico, the first from 1876 to 1880 and the second from 1884 to 1911, after the interim rule of Manuel González. Although the Díaz regime is remembered for bringing about the paz porfiriana, a period of modernization and economic stability, Díaz’s popularity waned because of his use of political repression. Fransisco Bulnes supported the Díaz regime for its establishment of order and economic progress. Bulnes adhered to Mexican positivism, emphasizing the application of scientific analysis to his writings on history and politics. His publications include El verdadero Díaz y la Revolución (1920), The Whole Truth About Mexico: President Wilson's Responsibility (1916), and El porvenir de las naciones hispano americanas ante las conquistas recientes de Europa y los Estados Unidos (1899). In El porvenir de las naciones hispano americanas Bulnes described Mexico as backwards, attributing this lack of progress to the debility of the indigenous race. In response to the publication of “Las razas inferiores son funestas en el trabajo libre,” Mexican anthropologist Manuel Gamio denounced Bulnesas a racist. Bulnes’s strongly held opinions were criticized by Mexican liberals and conservatives alike.