The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1218 Friday, 25 May 2001
Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2001 17:00:09 -0700
Subject: 12.1171 Re: Seminars
Comment: Re: SHK 12.1171 Re: Seminars
>I'm perfectly aware of the 'authorities' that Sean Lawrence has been
>gracious enough to list for me.
Good. So you'll be so kind as to drop the patronizing suggestion that I
(and a lot of your other interlocutors over the years) just haven't read
or studied enough? (As in, "I urge him to give serious critical
attention to the concept of 'ethics' to which he refers.")
>But let me ask him to consider this: Girard's position
>is that there are certain rituals that come into play in order to
>obviate the possibility of violence. If we translate that into the
>present debate, then I take that to mean that the protocols of academic
>debate are really what stand between us and undifferentiated violence.
>Of course, we need constantly to re-examine those protocols...which is
>why I question Lawrence's deployment of the term 'ethics' in this
>context and its usefulness.
Of course we need to re-examine these protocols and to be aware of how
much they might be influencing us, even subconsciously. The question is
not whether we'll have one set of protocols or another, but whether
ethics is reducible to such protocols. Why is there something ethical
rather than nothing? Certainly in his work on the Christian gospel (The
Scapegoat 1986), Girard suggests that it should be possible to live
without the symbolic violent, and hence without politics or ideologies:
In future, all violence will reveal what Christ's Passion revealed, the
foolish genesis of bloodstained idols and the false gods of religion,
politics, and ideologies. The murderers remain convinced of the
worthiness of their sacrifices. They, too, know not what they do and we
must forgive them. The time has come for us to forgive each other.
(212) There would still be a need for forgiveness, an ethical issue,
even if we were to do away with all "the false gods of religion,
politics, and ideologies". Whether we are working within the protocols
of 'business' or the 'personal' (however you choose to define either),
there is still an ethical problem that presents itself to us.
The notion that fascism should be understood as an ideology is worth
following up, no doubt. It strikes me as providing a stronger reading
for the R