Afterwards, on account of being a ponce, I wrote as follows to Rebecca who was also there with Steve:
I can't help but think that René Girard's thought could have helped clarify a lot of Alex Vitale's contribution to last night's event.
In particular, his concept of mimetic desire (https://www.iep.utm.edu/girard/#H2) goes a long way to explaining gang behaviour. and the scapegoat mechanism (https://www.iep.utm.edu/girard/#H3) underlies the policing reaction Vitale deplored.See what I mean about being a ponce? Any road, if you need to catch up with Monsieur Girard in a hurry, there is a convenient overview in the latest New York Review of Books. See https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/12/20/rene-girard-prophet-envy/.