State of Chaos

Girardian chaos is the state of a society in which mimetic desire has created rivalries and tension that have disrupted the social fabric to the point of breaking. Societies in a state of chaos look for something to bring order, and that something is often the scapegoating mechanism.

Scapegoating Mechanism

Humans always seek to bring order out of chaos, yet Girard’s theory posits that it is by their own mimetic desires leading to rivalries that create the chaos in the first place. The scapegoating mechanism works, in part, because people never attribute the cause of the chaos to themselves but rather to some entity in the group or outside of the group that they can pin the blame on. This allows them to avoid dealing with the problems of desire that are internal.