Dominant minority: Wikis


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A dominant minority, also known as alien elites if they are recent immigrants, is a group that has overwhelming political, economic or cultural dominance in a country or region despite representing a small fraction of the overall population (a demographic minority). The term is most commonly used to refer to an ethnic group which is defined along racial, national, religious or cultural lines and that holds a disproportionate amount of power.

White minority rule describes a situation where Whites, comprising the minority of inhabitants in a given region or territory, lead countries where non-White populations are the majority of inhabitants. White minority rule was associated with legal segregation (apartheid) in South Africa but not in Rhodesia or the Portuguese colonial territories. In these countries, the franchise was extended to non-Whites on a qualified basis.

The term is mostly applied to in southern Africa, especially in the Republic of South Africa before and during the policy of Apartheid and in Rhodesia before and during the rule of the Rhodesian Front. Many in the local non-White populations tended to favor Majority Rule, a term which the White minority tended to describe as Black Majority Rule.

White minority rule ended in these countries through a combination of violent attacks by non-White groups; peaceful protests by non-Whites; widespread international moral, political and financial pressure, including from majority-White countries; and changing attitudes within the White minorities themselves.

Some scholars argue that White minority rule exists within the international system and term this phenomenon Global Apartheid.[1] International affairs dominated by whites was notably observed by Thabo Mbeki, who used the term "Global apartheid" famously in a 2002 speech. Anthropologists, such as William Haviland, have written about the power and wealth disparity between whites and the rest of the world's peoples. Of particular note is the fact that 71.3% of world profits are gained by those of European descent (Haviland, 1993).

The dominant minority phenomenon in Africa was not limited to Whites, however. The most famous example of an inter-African dominant minority is the Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi.


More examples of dominant minorities

Other examples of dominant minorities that have been said to, exist, or have existed in the past include:

There are more cases of situations where a minority group has had disproportionate representation in economically-powerful positions and has achieved higher incomes than the majority community. However, in these situations, these groups may not have had the political, social and cultural power that other dominant minorities have had.

The most commonly cited examples of minorities that may have had economic power and influence in a society but lacked political dominance and often suffered as a result are: the South Asians in East Africa, Chinese in Indonesia and Malaysia, and Jews in Europe and the Middle East; see Market-dominant minority.

Anglo-British monarchy as an example

Another case of minority domination over other people, is the Anglo-British monarchy. French people in "England": from Stephen de Blois in 1135 until Richard d'Anjou in 1485 (350 years total) followed by Germans in "Great Britain": Philip von Habsburg 1554-1558, then on from William van Nassau in 1689 until Elizabeth von Wettin in 2009--the present (324 years total thus far) were and are the usual conditions for monarchy in the British Isles with respect to ancestral ethnicity, since the Middle Ages and in contrast to that of the people. The French and German rulers would typically surround themselves with foreign dignitaries and council during their novice period of generations holding the Throne, but would later come to be socially naturalised (such as adopting "Lancaster", "York" and "Windsor" or "Mountbatten-Windsor" as surnames) and thenceforth, choose the naturalised and in further time, appoint native magnates as favourites and executors of policy.

Although there were non-English (British: e.g. Tudor dynasty and House of Stuart) rulers of England and Ireland, they were generally considered part of the same, mostly Anglophone community of islanders, rather than foreign or naturalised. Native condition is what they share in common to the earlier English dynasties, having been domestic in the period from which nation-states were formed, upon which the later and more ethnically different rulers from France and Germany came to dominate. Previous peoples and their monarchies historically came from Paris and Belgium in the Roman Empire (for the Welsh people) and from Saxony and Denmark in the Carolingian Empire/Holy Roman Empire (for the English people). Also, whilst the Welsh and English have populated the colonies of Brittany and Normandy respectively, those would not necessarily be considered foreign in the modern sense, since they were/are considered ethnically on par with the modern sense of these peoples of the British Isles, much the same way as the Gaels of Ireland and Scotland have a common origin, distinct from the Anglo-Welsh or Anglo-British. For instance, just as Britons fled Britain for Armorica after the Roman government left with the legions, so too did Saxons establish themselves in the Bessin right beside them and the Danes later copied this in their expulsion from England to found the county of Rouen, alias Rotomagus, nucleus of their newfound Neustrian habitat.

The French and German rulers would only be related ethnically to their subject peoples by proxy and by the nature of power in regional geopolitics; similar, but not quite, yet acceptable approximations for "representative government" in the sense that they have been West European Christians, rather than Islamic Turks or Moors of course (nor Russian or Greek East European Christians, for that matter), despite differences in their tribal origins that set them apart from their subjects. The French also share a common diaspora nature to the English, having each taken over a province, be it Roman Gaul or Roman Britain; Britain was also a diocese of the Gallic prefecture during the tetrarchy and part of the Gallic Empire. On the contrary, the Welsh and Germans were able to remain in place and accumulate centralising power through consolidation of contemporary conditions, rather than through transformation. Over time and into the present, parliamentary democracy came to be more locally and nationally representative of the people, in that native British islanders represented themselves under the aegis of foreign-origin dynasties (or these dynasties were there at the natives' good graces, considering current Prime Minister prerogatives), although government officials have not necessarily shared the same quality of life or socio-economic backgrounds which a majority of the people have come from.

See also


  • Barzilai, Gad. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003). ISBN 978-0-472-03079-8
  • Gibson, Richard. African Liberation Movements: Contemporary Struggles against White Minority Rule (Institute of Race Relations: Oxford University Press, London, 1972). ISBN 0-19-218402-4
  • Russell, Margo and Martin. Afrikaners of the Kalahari: White Minority in a Black State ( Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979). ISBN 0-521-21897-7
  • Johnson, Howard and Watson, Karl (eds.). The white minority in the Caribbean (Wiener Publishing, Princeton, NJ, 1998). ISBN 976-8123-10-9, 1558761616
  • Chua, Amy. World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (Doubleday, New York, 2003). ISBN 0-385-50302-4
  • Haviland, William. Cultural Anthropology. (Vermont: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993). p. 250-252. ISBN 0155085506.


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