Girard on war and apocalyptic

Via bls comes this review of a new book by Rene Girard (not yet translated into English, it appears) wherein Girard critiques Von Clausewitz’s On War and discusses the prospects for humanity’s self-annihilation.

Girard turns to the Revelation of John, the apocalyptic passages in the Epistles, as well as the “little apocalypse” of Mark 13 and its parallels. Christ said he did not come to bring peace. It is, says Girard, the “old world he came to destroy.” And this by kicking out from underneath our legs the crutch of the scapegoat. Sacrificial violence now becomes ineffective, because God in Christ has submitted to it and broken its power to deceive by creating numinous but idolatrous peace through sacrifice. Our age is only the witness and locus of the intensification of violence, free-floating because it is no longer able to make peace at all. Now that technology is reducing dramatically the “friction” that restrained total war, and politics has lost its control over the means of war, as terrorism becomes the warfare of choice for all concerned, absolute war as realistic planetary catastrophe looms. The destruction of the environment is the mimetic double of this escalation to war’s ultimate extreme. What the apocalyptic literature predicts is that the preaching of the Gospel by the Church will fail to convert enough to stop the process.

Sounds cheery!

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