Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ismail Ax & the Primitive Sacred

Mark Gordon at Suicide of the West lifts up a frightening yet keen intuition about the shooter at VTU. Fatuous speculation? Not if one takes seriously René Girard's mimetic theory.

In the times when the cultural enterprise of a people are loosening mores, prohibitions, taboos that confined scandalizing behavior, Girard, Jean-Michel Oughourlian and Guy Lefort laid down the blueprint for a predictable gradient that leads nearly inexorably to complete social meltdown. Such "sacrificial preparation" mimics the founding violence that gave rise to culture in the first place. To believe with supreme naïveté that we moderns have outgrown such "primitive" behavior is worthy only of such folk as still believe in the myth of the autonomous self. You know, like the commissioners of the EU.

That a loner, bereft of the benefit of the light of the Gospel should stray toward violence that is a clear expression of what Girard calls the "primitive sacred" with dehumanization of its enemies and immunity from repercussions for violence performed upon them is only "natural" in every sense of the word. For, only the revelation of the deposit of faith vouchsafed by the Catholic Church offers freedom from this gradient of sin and death.

But regardless whether the shooter was or was not a recent convert to Islam, Nietzsche would have been proud of the lad, Cho Seung-Hu or Ismail Ax, for trying to jump start the old mechanism of the "eternal return." If we willingly relinquish Catholic truth, either in its full expression guarded by the Magisterium of Mother Church or watered-down versions of other christianities, we will see with dread and awe that the vacuum of secularity will be filled by Islam or other expressions of the primitive sacred.

That will be the doom of those who refuse to remain attached to the True Vine, Jesus Christ the only Son of the Father [Jn 15]. May the West awaken to the sounding alarm. And soon.

1 comment:

Athos said...

Let it not go unsaid if you have not seen or heard the story of another hero at Virginia Tech.