Exercising free will is not impossible but it’s certainly difficult, there’s this pull to follow the crowd, to want what ‘they’ want and to have the same things ‘they’ have.
As the need for approval and the issue of conflict are part of human nature so it affects the concept of free will.
Believe it or not imitation plays a major role, not only in the way we learn; but most of all in the way we fight?
Humans take their cue from others on what to think, what stance to take on a given issue, who our role models are and who to hate; and so on and so forth.
René Girard was a world renowned anthropological philosopher who coined the concept of Mimetic theory which helped explain its impact on human behavior and motivation.
He is also known as the father of modernism even though his ideas might look like a rejection of it.
Just like with the great Apes humans mimic others to test the limits of what’s possible and what isn’t.
Studies prove how majority opinion impacts those who start out with different views to the norm.
Initially the test starts off with two teams split into the majority view and the minority view; with more people on the first side than the second.
As the numbers on the second team are whittled down closer to a minority of one; they feel the pressure to change their views to fit in, or should that be not to stand out?
It seems standing alone or going against the grain is one of humanity’s worst fears; and weaknesses.
Can we see mimetics as a human fault line is the question, and if history is any test, is mankind is failing it?
Most of all we take our cue about who to scapegoat and publicly sacrifice as well; which is the very basis of archaic religions and civilizations.
This is what is known as The Mimetic Theory of Desire.
Girard thought his concept of mimesis was a discovery of original sin.
When he made the connection he explained it as close to a conversion experience; in an intellectual sense at least.
Then he linked mimetic behavior and anthropology.
He began to see the Bible as “anti-myth” — a description of humankind’s long climb up from barbarity, and the revelation that the scapegoat is innocent; culminating in the Crucifixion.
People are against my theory, because it is at the same time an avant-garde and a Christian theory,” he says. “The avant-garde people are anti-Christian; and many of the Christians are anti-avant-garde.