Scapegoats have been frequently used to divert anger or frustration for purposes of maintaining political domination over a variety of subordinate groups.
Scapegoats are frequently individuals, but may also be ethnic, racial, religious, linguistic, class or political groupings which are blamed collectively by another group or groups for economic hardship, political oppression, discrimination and other major ills. Elitist groups tend to play off discontented subordinate groups against one another. This was particularly practised under colonial rule, and against Jews in Czarist Russia and Nazi Germany. Gipsies are also used as scapegoats.