Friday, February 3, 2017

Girardian Analysis of Modernity's Katechons

The so called peace-making state, the free market, international law and transnational organizations, a commercialist, utilitarian culture of mass-produced consumer products, technology, science, the privatization of religious belief and practice, the declaration of and enforcement of human rights and the dignity of every human, the universal concern for victims institutionalized in law and government—all of these katechons, according to modernity, prove modernity’s moral superiority, even its more perfectly Christian character; for, these institutions and practices require no scapegoats: no human sacrifices, on the one hand, no suppression of religious freedom, on the other—and they have brought about an unprecedented material prosperity and moral consciousness to boot(!).

However, with a Girardian lens, things look less rosy: the prolongation and escalation of violence and millions upon millions of human sacrificial victims—the unborn, the elderly, the handicapped, the poor and middle-class in the first world, the vast majority in the third world; religiously, culturally, and intellectually starved souls; the normalization of political propaganda; pathological violence and plasticized sex in media and entertainment; massive private indebtedness; masses of brave new world soma addicts (in forms Huxley couldn’t have dreamt of), the so-called collateral damage of millions of innocents in perpetual, epic-scale wars; the perpetual fear and terror of the national security and surveillance state; wars and rumors of wars; the renewed threat of nuclear Armageddon.


Source: Thaddeus J. Kozinski, "René Girard and Modernity’s Apocalypse," in New Directions for Catholic Social And Political Research: Humanity vs. Hyper-Modernity, ed. by Guido Giacomo Preparata (New York: Palgrave Macmillam, 2016), ch. 6.

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