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Reply To: In the Stillness of Love’s Madness, with Mythologist Norland Têllez


Hello Dear Professor Norland Tellez,

I apologize for the delay in my response, it was not because of my lack of enthusiasm in the topic, on the contrary, your introduction of Renee Girard and his thesis on “Scapegoating” has only stirred my interest   .

As you wrote that “Jung seems to recognize that ideology has its social usefulness precisely in the institution of the scapegoating system, the system of sacrificial victimization upon which the experience of the archaic sacred rests. Both Freud and Girard point to the archetypal situation of the “primal murder” upon which human civilization is based.”

I listened attentively to the videos and his chats with Kennedy and Prof from the University of Montreal. Yes, Girard says something identical to what Jung said, that is, ‘culture begins when people unite against a single victim…. all against one”  In this case my example of Oscar Wilde is indeed more than apt. Oscar Wilde was scapegoated for the cultural changes within the society.

In his poem, “The Ballad of Reading Goal”, Wilde expresses the same thoughts as Girard, viz., that ‘ culture begins when people unite against a single victim..’:

And never a human voice comes near
To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
With soul and body marred.”

How every single person that comes in contact with the convict, treats him as all others do.

“They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
And gave him to the flies;
They mocked the swollen purple throat
And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
By his dishonored grave:”

Let’s just take a minute to think of “Saddam Hussein”.  Army Generals and the media all agreed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Kaddafi’s fate was very similar.

Yes indeed very true, “The sacrifice serves to protect the entire community from its own violence; it prompts the entire community to choose victims outside itself.”   Here I am thinking of scapegoating ‘immigrants’ or ‘blacks’ in predominantly white communities. It might not be racism or anti-immigrant hysteria, but this basic human instinct of ‘scapegoating’.

Now, I’ll move onto his other videos and discuss them, as time allows. One thing, though, on his theory of  “imitation”, I  seem not to see his point, especially on ‘love’.

Thank you again for this amazing piece.