A Girardian take on Obama’s State of the Union address

I must admit, I’ve really been diggin’ Girard lately. I was excited to discover The Raven Foundation, a group of folks doing pretty much the same thing and (more importantly!) figuring out how to apply it.

From a recent blog post over there by Adam Ericksen, here is an interesting take on Obama’s recent State of the Union address (emphasis mine):

The political rancor in Washington is obvious to anyone who watched last night’s speech. And yet there were moments of unity. Obama talked mostly about the economic crisis and America’s historically tenacious desire to overcome similar obstacles. He mentioned that other nations, such as Japan and Germany, are working hard to overcome economic disaster. The President claimed, “China’s not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany’s not waiting. India’s not waiting. These countries aren’t playing for second place. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America.”

That was one of the few times Republicans and Democrats united in applause. But please notice, the unity that momentarily washed away the mimetic conflicts was based on a common enemy: those other countries that are beating us.

This is a negative, false unity that is very dangerous because it is mimetic; it cannot be controlled. The unity we find in the division and rivalry with other countries actually reinforces our own divisions and rivalries.

Darn straight.