Showing posts from April, 2023

I See Satan Fall Like Lightning (book)

Humanity tends to scapegoat individuals or groups to water the thirst for collective violence or to resolve tensions and angst. The scapegoating mechanism is at the heart of the Western canon: both Socrates and Jesus were put to death to appease the inflamed crowd. According to French American thinker Ren é  Girard, these are extreme, archetypal versions of a phenomena that plays out in lesser forms throughout human life. Girard sits at the crossroads of various traditions but is uniquely brilliant when discussing the role collective violence has in human communities. At the heart of Girard’s work is the notion of mimetic decision-making. By this he means that humans by nature imitate what they see, hear, and read, including in what they desire. The imitators inevitably begin to go after the same things in a world of scarce resources, which increases tensions in the community. Eventually, the tension becomes too great, and the individual or group is selected for scapegoating, whereby t