The Theory Of Rene Girard Essay
The reason I’m doing this is simple: Girard’s theory is paramount in addressing the violence that grips our world and, at a time such as this–when bombs and bullets have become the paradoxical default answers for solving the problem of bombs and bullets–we need a better solution. In medicine, a disease can’t be properly treated without the correct diagnosis, likewise, we can’t begin to address the problem of violence unless we understand its root cause.
So, let’s get started, shall we?
The key to unlocking our problem of violence is to understand that our desires are non-consciously derived from the desires of others–and vice-versa. I’m oversimplifying, but we are all copycats of each other, modeling for one another what objects should be deemed the most desirable. This might be hard to accept here in the West, where autonomy is king, but it is nevertheless true. If our desires were not influenced by the desires of others, and were instead fixed and static, they would simply be a form of instinct (Girard, I See Satan Fall like Lightning, 15). Hopefully we recognize that we are beings who possess something more than mere instinct–that we have a free will of sorts, even if that will does suffer from enslavement.
This enslavement is evident throughout our world. Pay attention to the fashion industry, which uses celebrities and other attractive and…