Federal Scapegoating

“If the entire community were not already subsumed under a single head, that of the surrogate victim, it would be impossible to attribute to the sacrificial substitution the significance we have claimed for it, impossible to establish a social basis for the institution. The original act of violence is unique and spontaneous. Ritual sacrifices, however, …

A Substitute Aristocracy in a Democracy

“American popular culture is as old as the colonies, but the appearance of high and popular culture as distinctive categories in American life occurred around the turn of this century [1900] . . . a cultural hierarchy emerged that divided American life into ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture as a primary means of social, intellectual and …

Puddles

“Many modern novels, poems, and pictures, which we are brow-beaten into ‘appreciating,’ are not good work because they are not work at all. They are mere puddles of spilled sensibility or reflection. When an artist is in the strict sense working, he of course takes into account the existing taste, interests, and capacity of his …