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1 This paper
is adapted from the manuscript and working papers for Too Close for
Comfort, by Chip Berlet & Matthew N. Lyons. Many of the themes
and ideas expressed in this paper are the result of our joint work. The
speech presented at the symposium was based on this paper.
Sklar, Chaos or Community: Seeking Solutions, Not Scapegoats for Bad
Economics, (Boston: South End Press, 1995); Mike A. Males The
Scapegoat Generation: America's War on Adolescents; (Monroe, ME,
Common Courage Press, 1996 To Reclaim a Legacy of Diversity: Analyzing
the `Political Correctness' Debates in Higher Education, (Washington,
DC: National Council for Research on Women, 1993); and Ellen Messer-Davidow "Manufacturing
the Attack on Liberalized Higher Education," Social Text,
Fall 1993, pp. 40-80.
A. Aho, This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy, (Seattle:
Univ. of Washington Press, 1994). "A Phenomenology of the Enemy," pp.
4 Sir James
George Frazier, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion,
Abridged, (New York: MacMillan, 1922), pp. 624-686. for a comprehensive
treatment of the process and social function of scapegoating in historic
persecution texts of myth and religion, see: René Girard, The
Scapegoat, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986;
5 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, p. 244.
6 Landes, "Scapegoating," Encyclopedia
of Social History, Peter N. Stearn, ed., (New York: Garland Pub.
Inc., 1994), p. 659. Neumann has argued against using the term scapegoating
when discussing conspiracist movements, but we support the Landes'
definition; Franz Neumann, "Anxiety in Politics," in Richard
O. Curry and Thomas M. Brown, eds., Conspiracy: The Fear of Subversion
in American History, (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972),
7 Eli Sagan, The
Honey and the Hemlock: Democracy and Paranoia in Ancient Athens and
Modern America, (New York: Basic Books, 1991), p. 370.
W. Allport, Nature of Prejudice, Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley,
1954, p. 350.
9 The socio-psychological
concepts regarding anger, frustration, and aggression depend on a chain
of research that includes, among others: John Dollard, L. Doob, N. E.
Miller, O.H. Mowrer, and R. R. Sears, Frustration and Aggression,
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939); Theodor W. Adorno, et al., The
Authoritarian Personality (New York: Harper & Row, 1950); Gordon
W. Allport, Nature of Prejudice, (Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley,
1954), Milton Rokeach, The Open and Closed Mind, (New York:
Basic Books, 1960).
10 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, pp. 348-353.
an interesting approach linking Jungian psychology to interventions against
scapegoating in dysfunctional small organizations and groups, see Arthur
D. Colman, Up From Scapegoating: Awakening Consciousness in Groups,
(Wilmette, IL: Chiron, 1995).
with Susan M. Fisher, M. D. clinical professor of psychiatry of Univ.
of Chicago Medical School and Faculty, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis,
Billig, Fascists: A Social Psychological View of the National Front,
(New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), pp. 313-316.
discussions in Jaroslav Krej_Í, "Neo-Fascism-West
and East," in Luciano Cheles, Ronnie Ferguson, and Michalina Vaughan,
eds. The Far Right in Western and Eastern Europe, 2~nd edition,
(New York: Longman Publishing, 1995), pp. 2-3; David Norman Smith; "The
Social Construction of Enemies: Jews and the Representation of Evil," Sociological
Theory, 14:3, Nov. 1996, pp. 203-240; Billig, Fascists, pp. 296-350;
Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, The Anatomy of Prejudices, (Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1996); pp. 163-339. An excellent review
of the psycho-social aspects of authoritarianism and the Frankfurt school
theories is in Social Though & Research, 1998, 21:1&2.
with Herman Sinaiko, Professor of Humanities, University of Chicago,
16 Sagan, The
Honey and the Hemlock, p. 363.
with analyst Mary Rupert.
18 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, pp. 243-260.
20 Colman, Up
From Scapegoating, pp. 7-10.
21 Girard, Scapegoat,
pp. 43-44, 49-56, 66-73, 84-87, 100-101, 177-178. A spirited discussion
with faculty at Bucks County Community College helped frame these ideas,
especially in pointing out Girard's discussion of the collective demonization
of the scapegoat as building in-group social cohesion. Girard's central
focus is his thesis that the Gospels retell persecution myths from the
perspective of the victim, and thus provide an opportunity to turn away
from collective violence against scapegoats. A practical application
of Girard's work to reduce tensions in Northern Ireland was explained
by Jean Horstman at a 1997 study group sponsored by the Center for Millennial
22 Landes, "Scapegoating," Encyclopedia
of Social History, p. 659.
23 Aho, This
Thing of Darkness, pp. 115-116.
24 Girard, Scapegoat,
Noël, Intolerance, A General Survey, (Montreal: McGill-Queen's
Univeristy Press, 1994), p. 129-144.
26 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, pp. 363-364.
Benedict, Race: Science and Politics, (New York: The Viking Press,
1961), p. 151.
28 Benedict, Race,
pp. 150-151, 153.
29 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, p. 351.
30 Frazier, The
Golden Bough, pp. 667-668, 680-686.
Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and
Bloodshed, (New York: Plenum Press, 1996), pp. 234-235.
with Susan M. Fisher, M.D., 1997.
relationships among prejudice, discrimination, and scapegoating are complex
and by no means straightforward. Prejudice (the negative attitude) often
preceeds discrimination (the negative act), but not always. Persons can
discriminate without prejudice and be prejudiced without discriminating.
McLemore, Racial and Etnic Relations, pp. 107-159.
34 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, p. 133.
p.351. ]]]Check this
and Steinberg, The Tenacity of Prejudice, (New York: Harper & Row,
1969), pp. 135-169.
37 Frazer, The
Golden Bough, p. 624.
38 Sklar, Chaos
or Community: Seeking Solutions, Not Scapegoats for Bad Economics,
(Boston: South End Press, 1995).
W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswick, Daniel J. Levinson, R. Nevitt Sanford, The
Authoritarian Personality (New York: Harper & Row, 1950); Bruno
Bettelheim and Morris Janowitz, The Dynamics of Prejudice, (New
York: Harper & Row, 1950); Norman W. Ackerman and Marie Jahoda, Anti-Semitism
and Emotional Disorder, (New York: Harper & Row, 1950).
Young-Bruehl, The Anatomy of Prejudices, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1996), pp. 319-325.
excellent, albeit opinionated, review of these issues is in Daniel Jonah
Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the
Holocaust, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996) pp 375-415. A good summary
of the social science through 1964 is Bernard Berelson & Gary A.
Steiner, Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings,
(Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964), pp. 493-525; see Hans Askenasy, Are
We All Nazis? (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1978), for an accessible
introductory discussion of the claim that most "normal" people,
rather than just "authoritarian" personalities, can be manipulated
into acts of brutality by authority figures. For a second round of theories,
see James W. Vander Zanden, The Social Experience: An Introduction
to Sociology, (New York: Random House, 1988), pp. 264-266. While
the claims of a psychological basis for right-wing group membership or
that conservative or reactionary individuals were all prejudiced bigots
were faulty, the evolving theories of frustrated feelings and aggression
being projected towards scapegoats are sound. S. Dale McLemore, Racial
and Ethnic Relations in America, second edition, (Boston: Allyn and
Bacon, 1983 (1980)), pp. 115-119; Peter I. Rose, They and We: Racial
and Ethnic Relations in the United States, second edition, (New York:
Random House, 1974), p. 118-119. For a new psychological interpretation
of the authoritarian personality and its role in politics, see Michael
A. Milburn and Sheree D. Conrad, The Politics of Denial, Cambridge,
MA: The MIT Press, 1996).
42 Young-Bruehl, The
Anatomy of Prejudices, p. 23.
43 Young-Bruehl, The
Anatomy of Prejudices, p. 460.
Zeskind, "Some Ideas on Conspiracy Theories for a New Historic Period," in
Ward, Conspiracies, pp. 23-24.
45 Girard, Scapegoat,
46 Noël, Intolerance, pp.
149-164, Young-Bruehl, The Anatomy of Prejudices, pp. 353-365.
Arendt, "Antisemitism," The Origins of Totalitarianism,
(New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973 (1951)), pp. 3-10. We believe
our tying of scapegoating to actual conflict resolves Arendt's objection
to the traditional use of the term. Arendt's work is eclectic, and we
draw from her cautiously. An excellent summary and critique of Arendt's
broader work is by Margaret Canovan, The Political Thought of Hannah
Arendt, (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974).
and Steinberg, The Tenacity of Prejudice, pp. 130-131.
Louis Gates, Jr., "Black Demagogues and Psuedo-Scholars," op-ed, The
New York Times, 7/20/92.
51 Allport, Prejudice,
Norman Smith; "The Social Construction of Enemies: Jews and the
Representation of Evil," Sociological Theory, 14:3, Nov. 1996, pp.
calls this the "mimetic" response where two groups mimic the
other in constructing scapegoating allegations.
54 Landes, Encyclopedia
of Social History, "Scapegoating," p. 659.
and McDevitt, Hate Crimes, pp. 33-63
56 Allport, Prejudice,
57 Aho, This
Thing of Darkness, p. 111.
58 Goldhagen, Hitler's
Willing Executioners, pp. 416-454. Goldhagen argues that the commonplace
bigotry, demonization, and scapegoating of Jews throughout German society
was the central factor in the willingness of ordinary Germans to participate
in the genocide. Christopher Browning, who studied the same unit of
German wartime killers as Goldhagen, concluded that bureaucratic conformity
was the central factor. (Christopher Browing, Ordinary Men: Reserve
Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York:
HarperCollins, 1992). This intentionalist v. functionalist dichotomy,
like many academic feuds, is more useful for practical applications
in a synthesized form that balances arguments from both camps. Sadly
enough, either way, the victims still are brutalized and murdered.
For a thoughtful review of the issues, see Adam Shatz, "Browning's
Version," Lingua Franca, February 1997, pp 48-57.
59 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, p. 410.
Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (New
York, Harper, 1951).
fascinating perspective on the manipulative nature of demagogues can
be found in Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad, The Guru Papers: Masks of
Authoritarian Power, (Berkeley, CA: Frog, Ltd., 1993).
62 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, p. 410.
Cople Jaher, A Scapegoat in the New Wilderness: The Origins and Rise
of Anti- Semitism in America, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press, 1994), pp. 13-14.
S. Robins and Jerrold M. Post, M.D. Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics
of Hatred, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), p. 301.
explaining the logical fallacies can be found in most libraries. An excellent
and comprehensive online reference on fallacious arguments by Dr. Michael
C. Labossiere can be found at <http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/>.
A vivid and humorous exposé of illogical demagoguery is
Ray Perkins, Jr., Logic and Mr. Limbaugh, (Chicago: Open Court,
66 Hofstadter, Paranoid
Style, p. 37; Johnson, Architects, 23-25, 27.
with Holly Sklar, 1996.
author has been conducting these interviews since 1969.
69 Allport, Nature
of Prejudice, p. 418.
70 Arendt, Origins
of Totalitarianism, pp. 470. Arendt described Hitler's Nazi government
and Stalin's communist government as totalitarian, but rejected the
claim that all fascist or communist governments or movements attained
pp. 354, 362, 364.
a cautious approach, see Steven Hassan, Combatting Cult Mind Control,
(Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1988)
Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil,
(New York: Penguin Books, 1963), pp. 37-45, 51-53, 131-132, 135-145,
183-184, 286-290, 293-298.
L. Langer, Admitting the Holocaust: Collected Essays, (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 182.
appropriate credits to the Facing History and Ourselves curricula and
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