Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Scapegoats

I would like to speak about René Girard.
He is a French philosoper of Catholic formation.
He has developed and interesting anthopological theory based on the critical analysis of the Bible.

His main idea is the existence of "mimetic desire", namely his theory is that we tend to desire objects just because other people have them. In his opinion the trigger of desire is imitation or mimesys.
The mimetic desire causes tension in society. Tensions are are resolved through sacrifices. In old times the sacrifices were literal such as human sacrifices, then as society became more civilised the scarifices were substituted by animal sacrifices (scapegoat) or by symbolic sacrifices.

In his opinion the problem with the sacrifices is that they are a temporary solution and there is an ethernal cycle of mimetic desire, crisis in society and sacrifice.

Being a religious person and a Christian, Professor Girard sees in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the only way to break this vicious cycle.

I think I have observed Girard's theory of sacrifice and scapegoating in many cases in real life.
In office dynamics it sometime happens that scapegoats are picked with the aim to solve tensions. But this is also a short-term solution.

In Girard's opinion this ethernal cycle is also true in society as a whole. Sometimes a group becomes a target for scapegoating in order to inconsciously solve tensions in society. Also the growing "phobias" in developed world can be seen in this light.
We tend to blame others for our weaknesses.

2 comments:

Gasfirane said...

Non sapevo che René Girard fosse uno degli sceneggiatori di Lost ... ;)

Krapa said...

Ne riparliamo quando uscirà l'iPhone ;o)