White's Political Dictionary

By Wilbur W. White | Go to book overview

R

race. A large group of people of common origin with clearly distinguishable physicial similarities. There are very few pure races today. Particularly the various branches of the white or Caucasian race have been so intermingled through the countless invasions, emigrations, interchanges, etc., that individuals who could be called "pure" representatives of the Nordic, Alpine or Mediterrenean race are in a distinct minority. Anthropologists and biologists generally deny that mere membership in a particular race results in the inheritance of other than physical characteristics, or that belonging to a race determines biologically the mental or moral make-up of an individual. They also deny that any race as a race is mentally or morally superior to any other race. Such differences existing between members of different races have historical, environmental, or social and not simply racial reasons. The so-called "racists," however, believe that the domination of one group over another can be justified by their superior racial qualifications. See ARYANISM, NAZISM, NORDIC.

racism. See ARYANISM, NORDIC, RACE.

racket. Extortion by means of threatening violence to a person or his business.

racketeer. Extortionist whose weapon is the threat of violence.

radical. One inclined to be unsatisfied with, and even indignant about, existing political and social institutions. Radicalism is a term containing a large number of beliefs, all desiring social change and systematic destruction of the present, and establishment of more favorable social, political and economic institutions. In modern society radicals are usually those who desire certain fundamental reforms in order to better the economic, social and political position of the masses. Radicals would fight for the propertyless underprivileged against those who own property and occupy high social positions. Modern radicalism was born in the late 18th century in France and England and was advocated in America particularly by Thomas Paine. In England the extremists of the Liberal or Whig Party, under James Fox, were called "radicals." In America today radical is often identified with socialist or communist, while in Europe it is used as a label for the reformist groups among fairly moderate, liberal middle class parties, such as the French Radical-Socialists, or the Beveridge wing of the British Liberal Party. In Yugoslavia the Radical Party today is one of the most conservative parties and is called "reactionary" by Marshal Tito's followers. See LEFT, LIBERAL, REPUBLIC, UTILITARIANISM.

radicalism. See RADICAL.

railroad. To rush a bill through a legislative body intentionally, thus not allowing full consideration or permitting those who might oppose the bill to organize to defeat it.

Railroad Brotherhoods. The Grand International Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers ( 1863), the Order of Railway Conductors of America ( 1868), the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen ( 1873), the Brotherhood

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