This is an essential point. There are too many people who push ideas of Girard because they are Catholic and see himself as „a Catholic intellectual“ – this is wrong.
René Girard was a great anthropologist and sociologist. He explained what I say above very clearly. René Girard never called for State intervention, never demanded changes in public policies. So he was not a „sociologist“ in how can we define „sociologists“ today : know-all people busy writing to propose public policies based on how people „behave“, without never taking into account knowledge issues (basically, what Mises called the impossibility of socialist calculation). I mean by know-all : very pretentious people trying to pretend they know all by taking all the appearances of serious…
The arguments I raise against Jesus, in my book From an Einstein Syndrome to the People, are based among other things on Girard‘s key principles, and on Mises‘.
I think that few people actually read Violence & the Sacred which remains his best book – an in it a very important, crucial thing is that it points to the violent nature of, already, ancient Greek democracies, which had a scapegoat custom, a quasi-human sacrifice, a part of „Greek democracy“ usually not taught in schools, where most teachers are always attempting to idealize stuff, trying to „forge spirits“ etc. The point of my work is neither to demonize the Catholic church in particular, as you understand. But I argue that Girard‘s demonstration that sacrifice, or quasi-sacrifice, is and remains at the core of ALL cultures is much more powerful than the pale and pathetic teachings of „tolerance“ by people with dubious airs, like priests and the Catholic church, NGO campaigners for instance… René Girard‘s book Violence and the Sacred is much more efficient than the Bible. I am, again, thinking of the role of meat, and animal products in general, how many people secretly enjoy to share together moments dedicated to the sufferings of others, be them humans or animals.
I invite to read my page on Quakerism, once again. When you drive extremely fast on a highway, are you listening to inside yourself, truly (answering to a true need), or are you solely trying to amaze others ?
On self-repression, there is a manipulative tendency, sometimes, to bring people to excess by repeatedly telling them they „self-repress“, while manipulating the definition of self-repression to something else. I really don‘t like agorism, which is an ideology which usually is said to come with libertarianism and anarchocapitalism. I am not and do not think I will ever be a true agorist. I don’t like to bargain in the streets. But the black market is a natural reaction of people against lack of economic freedom… That‘s basic economics… The Carabinieri should understand…
To come back on a book I read long ago, on the Camorra, by Saviano : already, when you have someone observing from inside, it can cause, through a number of patterns, changes that lead to a report of no value. It is akin to my comments on zoologists and animals in From an Einstein Syndrome to the People, first chapter. Likewise for all those epidemiologists, now, who all try to make calculations on „how the coronavirus will evolve“, etc. You NEVER KNOW and there are so many providers of impressive mathematical calculations to „pretend they can predict future evolutions“. Mathematics is not a science but a language. Participant observation, of anthropologists going inside groups, is not as well a way to „prove“ something. Maybe actually the primitive group would like to play pretend things with the anthropologists by falsifying their own customs when they are there, for instance. I always see so many papers produced by scientists relying on such reports – like „sociologists“, epidemiologists and all the people who negate the individual arbitrary, like neuroeconomists, they are part of what would be defined in general as the historicist school, of which Sismondi was a member, i.e. trying to „make science out of experience“ without acknowledging that, for instance, many people have tendencies to lying (remember how Keynes said his economics worked better in a totalitarian country like Nazi Germany, in his 1936 editorial to the German-language version of his book). A school that Mises attacked, already, very brutally ! A school that was so active in Germany at the end of the 19th century and still seems everywhere in academia now, if we define historicism better, as I suggest above.
The group relies on the discrimination of a „other“, because the people in the group try to legitimate themselves as member of the group by talking about what‘s not in the group and hating it, so as to benefit of „common grooming time“ without actually thinking of their own flaws.