scapegoat in German

Scapegoat is German is Sündenbock ,the goat that is used for blame for one’s sins.

The origin of the phrase is in the Bible, the old testament.

Scapegoats rarely change, once it is established a certain group or individual is a scapegoat , it is very difficult NOT to be one. 

I often wondered why there needs to be a scapegoat and have concluded that human beings have a difficult time  accepting  personal responsibility and prefer to make it someone else’s problem rather than deal with their own inadequacies. 

It is easier to blame someone else for whatever is not right with you or your society, which explains the rise of the extreme right in Germany, a culture that has already established the use of a scapegoat needs to have someone take the responsibility for its being a less than perfect society. 

The more a certain society or individual needs to feel perfect, the more they will need a scapegoat since life is far from perfect. 

First there were the Jews, then the refugees , collectively blamed, and then it is both, but the Germans and other groups will tend to repeat history , deny mistakes had been made, deny denying , and continue to use the mechanism of a scapegoat because it works, it takes away from the need to face one’s own failures and faults.

This mechanism works in dysfunctional families where rather than accept responsibility for one’s failures and faults, the responsibility for all that is wrong is placed upon the shoulders of a less dominant member of the family, someone meek and less able to argue for their place , this is why forgiving a scapegoater never solves the family disfunction, the only solution for the scapegoat is to escape its scapegoaters!


Scapegoating (from the verb “to scapegoat”) is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame as a scapegoat.Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals (e.g. “he did it, not me!”), individuals against groups (e.g., “I couldn’t see anything because of all the tall people”), groups against individuals (e.g., “Jane was the reason our team didn’t win”), and groups against groups.

A scapegoat may be an adult, child, sibling, employee, peer, ethnic, political or religious group, or country. A whipping boy, identified patient or “fall guy” are forms of scapegoat.

Literary critic and philosopher Kenneth Burke first coined and described the expression “scapegoat mechanism” in his books Permanence and Change (1935), and A Grammar of Motives (1945). These works influenced some philosophical anthropologists, such as Ernest Becker and René Girard. Girard developed the concept much more extensively as an interpretation of human culture. In Girard’s view, it is humankind, not God, who has need for various forms of atoning violence. Humans are driven by desire for that which another has or wants (mimetic desire). This causes a triangulation of desire and results in conflict between the desiring parties. This mimetic contagion increases to a point where society is at risk; it is at this point that the scapegoat mechanism is triggered. This is the point where one person is singled out as the cause of the trouble and is expelled or killed by the group. This person is the scapegoat. Social order is restored as people are contented that they have solved the cause of their problems by removing the scapegoated individual, and the cycle begins again. The keyword here is “content”. Scapegoating serves as a psychological relief for a group of people.

About seagullsea

a seagull flying over the great ocean of life observing.
This entry was posted in anti perfectionism, antisemitism alert, art, diagnosis, dreams, European life, family life, survival, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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