Scapegoat Mechanism

According to Girard, the process by which humans have historically saved themselves from mimetic crises by immolating or expelling a scapegoat. The first time the scapegoat mechanism is employed, it happens mimetically and spontaneously. After that, it is reenacted in ritual fashion in a way that recreates and resolves the original crisis. Bullfighting is one of many examples of a highly elaborate social ritual which re-creates danger and then sacrifices something to put an end to the danger. By participating in the spectacle, each person watching in the bullfighting arena has some of the feelings of danger mimetically transmitted to them and then relieved in the ritual killing, approximating what happens to a community in a mimetic crisis.

Arbitrary Scapegoat