Scapegoating Dynamic LO16460

Mnr AM de Lange (
Fri, 9 Jan 1998 12:18:24 GMT+2

Replying to LO16413 --

Dear Organlearners

Marvin Berman <> writes:

> Maybe if scapegoating were not viewed as inherently pathological it would
> be easier for groups not to get stuck at this level of development. I've
> found that groups can learn to outgrow scapegoating as a defense mechanism
> when they are taught to manage differences and conflict in more functional
> ways.

Marvin, thank you for bringing to our attention that scapegoating is a
defence mechanism. I agree with you that it is a natural mechanism, a sort
of camouflaging.

What I have tried to stress in my earlier posts is that when scapegoating
becomes common in the learning of an individual or an organisation, it
becomes pathological. As a sympton it then indicates that there is a
persistent avoidance of learning.

It is a pity that the topic of this thread is "Scapegoating Dynamic". It
is because persistent scapegoating is one of a number of ways to justify
failure in learning. I can think of at least seven such ways. Each one of
the seven ways has to do with a particular essentiality of creativity.
(There are seven essentialities.)

Scapegoating has to do with a misconception of the essentiality
"identity-categoricity". The strategy of scapegoating is to shift the
responsibility of learning. The healing is to realise that learning is
primarily self-organisation. The remedy is to promote emergences in which
sureness play an outstanding role.

Another form of avoiding learning, is persistent denigration. It has to do
with the essentiality "quality-variety". Persistent denigration is very
obvious in avoiding for example racial learning (better known as racism)
or religious learning.

We all know that Rick has to moderate this list. We all appreciate the
wonderful job he is doing. We wish him strength for this new year. But I
wonder to what extend Rick has to cope with this "avoiding of learning" in
his moderation? If there are any moderators of other lists tuning in on
this list, what are your experiences?

Best wishes


At de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education University of Pretoria Pretoria, South Africa email:

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