We interrupt your regularly schedule review of Burklo’s Christianity to offer these thoughts on the nature of patriotism from James Hillman’s A Terrible Love of War.
The enemy provides the constellating image in the individual and is necessary to the state in order to collect individuals into a cohesive warring body. René Girard’s Violence and the Sacred elaborates this single point extensively: the emotional foundation of a unified society derives from “violent unanimity,” the collective destruction of a sacrificial victim, scapegoat, or enemy upon whom all together, without exception or dissent, turn on and eliminate. Thereby, the inherent conflicts within a community that can lead to internal violence become exteriorized and ritualized onto an enemy. Once an enemy has been found or invented, named, and excoriated, the “unanimous violence” without dissent, i.e., patriotism and the preemptive strikes of preventative war, become opportune consequents…If war begins in the state, the state begins in enmity.