SCAPEGOATING (BOUC EMISSAIRE; CAPRO ESPIATORIO) has been on, in this Global Meltdown and recession, since mid-March 2008 or even before, and culminating in the Lehman bros sacrifice in mid-September ’08: sincerely,  searched for, wanted by their Padre Padrone in person, Mr Fuld (pane al pane e vino al vino).  But why should Mr Fuld become now a scapegoat himself, à la Far West – as  it happens in some sectors of the public opinion and scapegoating media? Looking desperately for a single victim on which to discharge all the repression of the depression. It’s JUST CRAZY, and destructive of any civilisation base!!! We all know, among economists, that if there is a major responsible of all that went wrong in the world economy, IT WAS MR GREENSPAN. But from here to scapegoating …: in between, there are many institutions such as Fairness,  Justice, etc.

What we desperately need is something else, Other:

– a SUPERIOR civilisation, not going back to Far West and  homo homini wolf;

– a society grounded  on the respect of the Other and her\his social roots (S.Weil, L’Enracinement)

– inseparable freedom -and -justice;

– implementing Levinas’ metaphysics of The Other (Autrui): at the origin of our existence, the Face of the Other is looking at us, imposing her presence in a plural (Adriana Cavarero), relational and much more than tolerant human world (tolerance is definitely too less).

THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED YET: EVERY DAY  animals and  human beings are victims of  Hyper-irrational Scapegoating, here and there; in the majority of cases,  they are killed; or, sometimes, humans beings, our Brother and Sisters are pushed towards suicide. The major contemporary victim, that is: THE MOST OUTSTANDING PERSONALITY, ONE THAT WAS PURE IN HIS BEHAVOUR AND HEART, THAT DESERVED NOTHING OF ALL THAT KILLING “FURORE” (WRATH): has been the greatest grimpeur in the history of cycling, Marco Pantani.

basic references

Girard, René 1963. Dostoïevski, du double à l’unité. Paris: Plon. (English translation: Resurrection from the Underground: Feodor Dostoevsky. Crossroad Publishing Company. 1997)

— 1972, La violence et le sacré. Paris: Grasset. (English translation: Violence and the Sacred. Translated by Patrick Gregory. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977)

—  1996, The Girard Reader. Ed. by James Williams. New York: Crossroads.

—  2002, La question  de l’antisémitisme dans les Evangiles, ch. 5, pp. 181-198 in Girard 2002 (original English v., ch. 14, pp. 211-221 in Girard 1996)

—  2002,  La Voix méconnue du réel. Paris: Grasset.

Jim Grote (2003),  Conflicting Generations. A new theory of family business rivalry. Family Business Review, 16 (2).  Anthropologist Rene Girard’s theory of triangular desire and modeling makes a major contribution to the theory of family business rivalry, especially when understood within the context of Ivan Lansberg’s theory of succession planning and mentoring. Grote2003ConflictingG_daGirard

SocialOceanpedia (2009), il Pirata vive  e lotta assieme a noi.

Tate, Ryan (2009)

Tutu, Desmond


D’origine religieuse, l’expression bouc émissaire désigne en langage courant la personne qui est désignée par un groupe comme devant endosser un comportement social que ce groupe souhaite évacuer. Cette personne est alors exclue du groupe, au sens propre ou figuré, parfois punie, ou condamnée.

La personne choisie ne l’est pas forcément pour avoir partagé ce comportement, elle peut être une victime expiatoire choisie pour d’autres raisons du fonctionnement du groupe.

The scapegoat was a goat that was driven off into the wilderness as part of the ceremonies of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in Judaism during the times of the Temple in Jerusalem. The rite is described in Leviticus 16.

Since this goat, carrying the sins of the people placed on it, is sent away to perish [1], the word “scapegoat” has come to mean a person, often innocent, who is blamed and punished for the sins, crimes, or sufferings of others, generally as a way of distracting attention from the real causes.

Girard’s socio-religious theory

The Christian anthropologist René Girard has provided a reconstruction of the scapegoat theory. In Girard’s view, it is humankind, not God, who has the problem with violence. Humans are driven by desire for that which another has or wants (mimetic desire). This causes a triangulation of desire and results in conflict between the desiring parties. This mimetic contagion increases to a point where society is at risk; it is at this point that the scapegoat mechanism[6] is triggered. This is the point where one person is singled out as the cause of the trouble and is expelled or killed by the group. This person is the scapegoat. Social order is restored as people are contented that they have solved the cause of their problems by removing the scapegoated individual, and the cycle begins again. Girard contends that this is what happened in the case of Jesus. The difference in this case, Girard believes, is that he was resurrected from the dead and shown to be innocent; humanity is thus made aware of its violent tendencies and the cycle is broken. Satan, who is seen to be manifested in the contagion, is cast out. Thus Girard’s work is significant as a re-construction of the Christus Victor atonement theory.é_Girard

René Girard (born December 25, 1923, Avignon, France) is a French historian, literary critic, and philosopher of social science. His work belongs to the tradition of anthropological philosophy. He is the author of several books (see below), in which he developed the following ideas:

  1. mimetic desire: imitation is an aspect of behaviour that not only affects learning but also desire, and imitated desire is a cause of conflict,
  2. the scapegoat mechanism is the origin of sacrifice and the foundation of human culture, and religion was necessary in human evolution to control the violence that can come from mimetic rivalry,
  3. the Bible reveals the two previous ideas and denounces the scapegoat mechanism.

René Girard’s writings cover many areas. Although the reception of his work is different in each of these areas, there is a growing body of secondary literature that uses his hypotheses and ideas in the areas of literary criticism, critical theory, anthropology, theology, psychology, mythology, sociology, economics (1), cultural studies, and philosophy.

(1) MY NOTE. On René and Political Economy:

Aglietta, Michel & Orléan, André: La violence de la monnaie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (PUF), 1982.

Arcangeli, Enzo F. (2009),

External links

[edit] Bibliographies

[edit] Interviews, articles and lectures by René Girard

In chronological order.

[edit] Organizations inspired by mimetic theory

[edit] Other resources

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