Conversations with Trevor Cribben Merrill (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture)
"Psychopolitics" by Jean-Michel Oughourlian delves into the theme of political leadership and how it unifies communities against common enemies. However, the search for common enemies today only brings about polarization. Oughourlian, a renowned neuropsychiatrist, proposes that the only authentic enemy is ourselves, responsible for both everyday frustrations and global dangers. He explains how all people are bound together in a dynamic, contingent process of imitation, and shows that the same patterns of irrational mimetic desire that bring individuals together and push them apart also explain the behavior of nations.
first published in 2010