Previous | TOC | Print | Next

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.

2 Holly 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.

3 James A. Aho, This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy, (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 1994). "A Phenomenology of the Enemy," pp. 107-121.

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), p. 255.

7 Eli Sagan, The Honey and the Hemlock: Democracy and Paranoia in Ancient Athens and Modern America, (New York: Basic Books, 1991), p. 370.

8 Gordon 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.

11 For 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).

12 Conversation with Susan M. Fisher, M. D. clinical professor of psychiatry of Univ. of Chicago Medical School and Faculty, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, (1997).

13 Michael Billig, Fascists: A Social Psychological View of the National Front, (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), pp. 313-316.

14 See 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.

15 Conversation with Herman Sinaiko, Professor of Humanities, University of Chicago, (1997).

16 Sagan, The Honey and the Hemlock, p. 363.

17 Correspondence with analyst Mary Rupert.

18 Allport, Nature of Prejudice, pp. 243-260.

19 Ibid., pp. 29-67.

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 Studies.

22 Landes, "Scapegoating," Encyclopedia of Social History, p. 659.

23 Aho, This Thing of Darkness, pp. 115-116.

24 Girard, Scapegoat, p. 44.

25 Lise Noël, Intolerance, A General Survey, (Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univeristy Press, 1994), p. 129-144.

26 Allport, Nature of Prejudice, pp. 363-364.

27 Ruth 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.

31 Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed, (New York: Plenum Press, 1996), pp. 234-235.

32 Conversation with Susan M. Fisher, M.D., 1997.

33 The 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.

35 Ibid., p.351. ]]]Check this

36 Selnick 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).

39 Theodor 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).

40 Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, The Anatomy of Prejudices, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), pp. 319-325.

41 An 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.

44 Leonard Zeskind, "Some Ideas on Conspiracy Theories for a New Historic Period," in Ward, Conspiracies, pp. 23-24.

45 Girard, Scapegoat, p. 19.

46 Noël, Intolerance, pp. 149-164, Young-Bruehl, The Anatomy of Prejudices, pp. 353-365.

47 Hannah 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).

48 Ibid., p. 5.

49 Selnick and Steinberg, The Tenacity of Prejudice, pp. 130-131.

50 Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "Black Demagogues and Psuedo-Scholars," op-ed, The New York Times, 7/20/92.

51 Allport, Prejudice, p. 255.

52 David Norman Smith; "The Social Construction of Enemies: Jews and the Representation of Evil," Sociological Theory, 14:3, Nov. 1996, pp. 203-240.

53 Gerard calls this the "mimetic" response where two groups mimic the other in constructing scapegoating allegations.

54 Landes, Encyclopedia of Social History, "Scapegoating," p. 659.

55 Levin and McDevitt, Hate Crimes, pp. 33-63

56 Allport, Prejudice, pp. 57-59.

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.

60 Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (New York, Harper, 1951).

61 A 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.

63 Frederick 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.

64 Robert S. Robins and Jerrold M. Post, M.D. Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), p. 301.

65 Books 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 <>. A vivid and humorous exposé of illogical demagoguery is Ray Perkins, Jr., Logic and Mr. Limbaugh, (Chicago: Open Court, 1995).

66 Hofstadter, Paranoid Style, p. 37; Johnson, Architects, 23-25, 27.

67 Interview with Holly Sklar, 1996.

68 The 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 totalitarian status.

71 Ibid., pp. 354, 362, 364.

72 Ibid., pp. 371-373.

73 Ibid., p. 367.

74 For a cautious approach, see Steven Hassan, Combatting Cult Mind Control, (Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1988)

75 Hannah 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.

76 Lawrence L. Langer, Admitting the Holocaust: Collected Essays, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 182.

77 With appropriate credits to the Facing History and Ourselves curricula and William Shakespeare.

Previous | TOC | Print | Next

Online Articles:

Spotlight On

Browse Topics | Site Guide | Multimedia Bookstore | Magazine | Publications | Activists Resources

Political Research Associates

Copyright Information, Terms, and Conditions

Please read our Terms and Conditions for copyright information regarding downloading, copying, printing, and linking material on this site; our disclaimer about links present on this website; and our privacy policy.

Updates and Corrections