do you have mimetic desires?

green eye


Fashion, trends and fads all owe something to our natural instincts to want what other want or have. At a basic level this instinct is probably something of a survival and learning mechanism. Today, it is hugely important in economics, market movements, popular culture or the polarization of sales (the dip vs the long tail).

René Girard

Far from being autonomous, our desire for a certain object is always provoked by the desire of another person — the model — for this same object. This means that the relationship between the subject and the object is not direct: there is always a triangular relationship of subject, model, and object.”

Everyone holds firmly to the illusion of the authenticity of one’s own desires

Peter Thiel of PayPal & Facebook;

“Thiel’s philosophical mentor is one René Girard of Stanford University, proponent of a theory of human behaviour called mimetic desire. Girard reckons that people are essentially sheep-like and will copy one another without much reflection. The theory would also seem to be proved correct in the case of Thiel’s virtual worlds: the desired object is irrelevant; all you need to know is that human beings will tend to move in flocks. Hence financial bubbles. Hence the enormous popularity of Facebook.”


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