chapter  1
24 Pages

STRANGERS AND SCAPEGOATS

Most human cultures have been known to deploy myths of sacrifice toscapegoat strangers. Holding certain aliens responsible for the ills of society, the scapegoaters proceed to isolate or eliminate them. This sacrificial strategy furnishes communities with a binding identity, that is, with the basic sense of who is included (us) and who is excluded (them). So the price to be paid for the construction of the happy tribe is often the ostracizing of some outsider: the immolation of the ‘other’ on the altar of the ‘alien’.