* The triangle of the desire
* External & internal mediation
* The loss of the differences
* Mimetic rivalry
The subject is desiring, but he does not know what. In his
errance, he is going to cross the road of a human being equipped with something which is
lacking to him and which seems to give to this one a plenitude that
he does not have. This apparent plenitude, so near and so distant,
completely will fascinate him. The famished desire of the subject always
seems to ask the same question to the model: " What have
you more than me ? " (to appear so happy, to have a
so beautiful wife, to be the favorite of the management, etc.).
To fix his admiring attention on a model, it is already to
recognize or to attribute to him a prestige that the subject does not have,
what means noticing his own insufficiency to be.
It is obviously not a really comfortable position but the man who
admires and who, more, envies the Other one, is initially somebody who
scorns himself intensely. This is impossible to admit so, if the model is so perfect, it is certainly because he has in his possession something
of which subject is at the moment deprived: material object, attitude, status, etc. Variations are
infinite for an always identical result: what differentiates him of the Other one
proves, with the eyes of the desire for the subject, the success and the prestige that he attributes to him.
The desire that the subject has for the object is nothing else but the desire he has for the prestige
that he attributes to the one who possesses the object (or who gets ready
to desire the object at the same time as him). Thus is instituted the
mediation of the model and the first metamorphosis of the object.
For example, a car is more than this steel carcass
to move from a place to another one, otherwise any model could be appropriate ;
it is the instrument which would allow to be, following the
example of his model, a Don Juan, a senior manager, a gang leader, etc.
What is aimed by the desire is not of course the ownership of the object "car" but what he believes that this ownership
will give to him, as for the Other, in terms of feminine conquests or social identification.
As René Girard specifies it, the subject will always ignore
this anteriority of the model, because it would be at the same moment to
reveal his insufficiency, his inferiority, the fact that his desire
is not spontaneous but is imitated. Then, it will be easy for him to denounce the
presence of the Other, mediator of his desire, as recovering from the only envy of this last one.
The model is not saved more than the subject. He also try
to fix his desire and he waits until one indicates something desirable to him.
It is indeed that the subject of our triangle makes. From this point of view, he is well also an Other.
We already know that it is not the object that sees now the model, but an object transfigured by the desire of the
subject, which gives it a completely unexpected " value ".
The model has no passive role in this triangle. He
is not satisfied to await a manifestation of the subject. On the contrary, he makes
everything to create that one. As an object for which nobody would compete for it would have no interest,
no value able to fix his own desire, everything urges him to expose towards the others
his good fortune - which become advantage in term of being only if it is recognized as such
by these same others.
To be consolidated, the desire of the model needs to feel the other desires. It thus tends
always itself to arouse competition, i.e. to cause the emergence of a rival that it will up then to
The in love one praising the qualities of her boyfriend to her friends tries so much to assert, vanity or pride,
the superiority of her happiness that to confirm her own desire. The best answer would be that her friends, envious of
this happiness, all together begin to desire the aforementioned friend, with the exception of other pretenders.
This would make only confirm the lover in her shaky certainty which she holds the good one.
The object is not anymore the boyfriend - undoubtedly very banal - of Miss X, but he becomes gradually
the almost unique boy quarreled by all, i.e. an illusion arising from rival desires.
Outside of this rivalry, i.e. at a place of observation not contaminated by this illusion, all will ask
the question: " But what do they find him? ".
The infernal circularity of the mimetic desire is now in
place. No recrudescence of the desire of the model for the object
will escape to the subject, which will see there the confirmation of its
importance and which will redouble efforts to have it. Each one thus,
subject or model, contributed to the emergence of the other as a rival.