Posted: 9/4/2015 6:43:04 PM EDT
Our new class of conquerors and "leaders” have the mega-machine of war at their disposal or the inexorable advance of global corporate power. "The state had its own built-in wisdom; it ‘solved’ its ponderous internal problems of social justice by making justice a matter of triumph over an external enemy. This was the start of the large-scale scapegoating that has consumed such mountains of lives down through history and continues to do so today... what better way to forge a nation into a unity, to take everyone’s eyes off the frightening state of domestic affairs, than by focusing on a heroic foreign cause?:
...if you kill your enemy, your life is affirmed because it proves that the gods favour you... And so the more dead the better” (105).
"Rank observed. ‘The death fear of the ego is lessened by the killing, the sacrifice, of the other; through the death of the other, one buys oneself free from the penalty of dying, of being killed.’ No wonder men are addicted to war... Freud saw that when it comes to enemies and strangers, the ego can consign them to the limbo of death without even a second thought”
However, "...the logic of killing others to affirm our own life unlocks much that puzzles us in history, much that with our modern mind we seem unable to comprehend, such as the Roman arena games” (110). We are heartened by the controlled display of dying... and the realization of our own escape from the same fate. The logic of sacrifice and scapegoating explain all forms of butchery and feuds and hatreds... [And] "In times of peace, without an external enemy, the fear that feeds war tends to find its outlet within the society, in the hatred between classes and races, in the everyday violence of crime, of automobile accidents and even the self-violence of suicide”