Posts Tagged ‘scapegoat mechanism’

Ties into Rene Girard’s scapegoat mechanism. We demonize what we perceived as “other,” not because the “other” is different, but because it creates a lack of difference between systems that want to maintain their separate integrities. The other is blamed for the chaos it supposedly creates, and an individual other is conflated with a collective other. The microcosm takes on the totality of the macrocosm.

Mimetic Margins

It is often said that René Girard is like “the Einstein or Darwin of the social sciences or the humanities.” According to Girard, however, the social sciences as such as they came to flourish in the West’s modern age, and his own contributions are only possible because of a “superior” knowledge revealed in Judeo-Christian tradition. Jean-Pierre Dupuy puts Girard’s claim this way in his book The Mark of the Sacred – which is in many ways a further development of Girard’s main ideas:

Only a madman or a crackpot, disregarding all the conventions of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, could make the following outrageous claims today: That the history of humanity, considered in its entirety, and in spite – or rather because – of its sound and fury, has a meaning. That this meaning is accessible to us, and although a science of mankind now exists, it is…

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