This essay deals with the relationship between nationalism and racism, and it revolves around the notions of fictitious ethnicity and genealogical scheme. Both these notions refer to the idea that the nation must find an institutional and imaginary mechanism in order to transfer and reproduce at a political level the symbolic function which binds the succession of generations under the sign of "cultural heritage" and "hereditary identity". A careful analysis shows how these notions are the residue of the idea of "race" after the delegitimation of its application to the violent discrimination of colonial subjects, or descendants of slaves, or ethnic alterity. It can be understood how the notion of race, whatever biological justification is
adopted, was nothing else than a mythological construction, its aim being to support the idea that reproduction, transmission, education, memory,
tradi tion, occur within the limits of a community with a recognizable identity.