Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 X - Xenophobia


Xenophobia: Fear of strangers.

Somewhat of a psychiatric cant term with which racism and ethnicism may be discussed in "serious journalism". Although there no doubt is xenophobia amongst humans, most racism and ethnicism is based on racist and ethnicist ideologies (briefly: Our kind is superior; Their kind inferior, much like hooliganism with sports fanatics, and like the sheep in Orwell's "Animal Farm": "Four legs good! Two legs bad!"), which in turn serve the interests of - leaders of - social groups, and appeal to the needs of the unintelligent majorities in such groups to define themselves as We by contrasting Us with outsiders, to have a common enemy, to look down upon others, to satisfy their totalitarian needs, and to have a simplistic emotionally satisfying view of the world and humanity, and perhaps also to have a pretext to indulge in some sadism with one's own mates against outsiders.

Another reason to remark upon this diagnosis in psychiatric jargon is that it seems to me that often what is euphemistically and pompously called "xenophobia" simply is hatred of some usually ideologically motivated kind rather than fear.


See also: Ethnicism, Groupthinking, Totalitarian, Racism,


, Laqueur Ed.

 Original: Aug 24, 2004                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top