Buy Achever Clausewitz by René Girard, Benoît Chantre (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible. Buy Achever Clausewitz by Rene Girard (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Achever Clausewitz (“Finishing Clausewitz”) by René Girard (Paris: Carnets Nord , ) is a powerful re-thinking of the Bible’s apocalyptic.

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Carl von Clausewitz —the Prussian military theoretician who wrote On Waris known above all for his famous dictum: Battling to the End issues a warning about the apocalyptic threats hanging over our planet and delivers an authoritative lesson on the mimetic laws of violence. His books have been translated and acclaimed ahcever. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

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Achever Clausewitz : Rene Girard :

Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. Some of these items ship sooner than the clauseaitz. Buy the selected items together This item: Battling to the End: Ships from and sold acnever Amazon. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World. Dialogues on the Origins of Culture Bloomsbury Revelations.

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Achever Clausewitz (French Edition)

The author diagnoses humanity, rightly so in my view, as rushing into self-caused apocalypse while refusing to look at what is glaringly visible to those open to the truth. This explains the refusal of nearly all contemporary political leaders to do what is essential for preventing future catastrophes, even if they are somewhat aware of it: Girard is pessimistic about preventing apocalypse which is his view has transcendental-religious significances.

I think that following some less-than-fatal catastrophes, humanity may perhaps learn to prevent species-endangering violence. But the book is right: Reading this book is an intellectual adventure strongly recommended to serious readers.

I am neither a Christian nor a Girardian; however, I very much appreciate the insights of both. I have long been impressed with Girard’s Christian anthropological understanding of human history but had wondered how and indeed if he could apply that understanding to our thoroughly secularized postmodern world.


This book does just that. However, as a non-Christian, this book leads me to considerations that our author could never support. But first a word about Girard and his brilliant book. Girard began his career with a theory of Mimetic Desire. Not only do we acheved desire, but we desire what others desire.

Achever Clausewitz

This leads to conflict. The ancient world resolved this conflict through the mechanism of the scapegoat. One individual is publicly sacrificed so the community might live in an always temporary peace. But the Crucifixion ends all that. Today we all know that the scapegoats are achevef.

So, why aren’t we living in Paradise? That is the tale that this achsver tells. In these conversations Girard maintains that Clausewitz glimpsed the ‘demoniacal’ evil of secular progress not as peace, but as war, not without end, but rather as war to the bitter end. I have just recently purchased this and am quite impressed. I know that Clausewits was not alone in wondering if Girard could bring his understanding of ancient religious or mythical sacrifice, mimesis, violence, and Christianity into the modern world.

In a nutshell, it was the Apocalypse itself that Clausewitz glimpsed in his study of modern war. Of course, later commentators paper xlausewitz over.

Girard is thinking mostly of Raymond Aron and Liddell Hart here. But it is just this ‘Apocalyptic turn’ of the Enlightenment project that Girard intends to ‘shout to the mountaintops’. This book is brilliant; but it is by no means a ‘pleasant’ read. The Introduction ends thusly: This book is intentionally quite exciting: And then, salvation, – in spite of everything Girard does not give up hope.

I do fail, however, to understand the necessity of presenting this book as a conversation Wouldn’t a book length essay have been more effective? But that is a quibble.

This book is superb! Five stars for a brilliant account of the necessary violence of our Secular Enlightenment. Now, most Christians I know are optimistic about the future. There are underlying notes of tragedy in this text that are genuinely terrifying and perhaps even irredeemable. It is these that I wish to pursue in the remainder of this review. Has Christ not Risen? In his Introduction Girard tersely, brilliantly and compellingly describes our present situation and what led to it: Demystification, which is good in the absolute, has proven bad in the relative, for we were not prepared to shoulder its consequences.

We are not Christian enough. The paradox can be put in a different way: Christianity is the only religion that has foreseen its own failure.

This prescience is known as the apocalypse. The Passion unveiled the sacrificial origin of humanity once and for all. It dismantled the sacred and revealed its violence. However, Christ also confirmed the divine that is within all religions. This incredible paradox, which no one can accept, is that the Passion has freed violence at the same time as holiness.


Without sacrifice in the broad sense, it could destroy itself if it does not take care, which clearly it is not doing.

Anglicans Online Essays | Pierre Whalon | Off with ‘On War’

It is wholly good, but we are unable to come to terms with it. A scapegoat remains effective as long as we believe in its guilt. Having a scapegoat means not knowing that we have one.

Learning that we have a scapegoat is to lose it forever and to expose ourselves to mimetic conflicts with no possible resolution. This is the implacable law of the escalation to extremes. The clqusewitz system of scapegoats is finally destroyed by the Crucifixion narratives as they reveal Jesus’ acehver, and, little by little, that of all analogous victims. He placed himself at the heart of the system to reveal its hidden workings.

The ‘second Adam,’ to use Saint Paul’s expression, revealed to us how the ‘first’ came to be. The Passion teaches us that humanity results from sacrifice, is born with religion. Only religion has been able to contain the conflicts that would have otherwise destroyed the first groups of humans. However, the Revelation has not destroyed Religion. Mimetic theory does not seek to demonstrate that myth is null, but to shed light on the fundamental discontinuity and continuity between the Passion and archaic religion.

Christ’s divinity which precedes the Crucifixion introduces a radical rupture with the archaic, but Christ’s resurrection is in complete continuity with all forms of religion that preceded it.

The way out of archaic religion comes at this price. However, we now know, in part thanks to Clausewitz, that humans will not renounce it. The paradox is thus that we are starting to grasp the Gospel message at the very moment when the escalation to extremes is becoming the unique law of history.

Read them if you dare! But now I would like to turn to some ‘Meta-Girardian’ considerations if I may. The Crucifixion ends not immediately, it is the beginning of the end of the effectiveness of the scapegoat mechanism. It was this effectiveness that allowed Civilization to both arise, increase and endure.

Without this mechanism Civilization must eventually destroy itself. To continue to speak in Girardian terms, the destruction of the scapegoating mechanism has plunged the world into an endless cycle of ever-increasing violence.