What important Lessons of History have we Failed to Learn?
I just came across a lovely quote from Aldous Huxley whilst surfing the internet:
"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that History has to teach"
So that made me wonder - what are the biggest lessons from history which we should have learned, but haven't?
>the consequences of war
>the consequences of unfettered greed
>the falsities of religions
>that hate solves no problems
>genocide and ethnic cleansing will never work
>science trumps religious beliefs every time
>there are hundreds more.....
Hi electronician! How's it going?
I must say, that when we formulate the question of what we should "learn from history," or what "history has to teach," we make a very, very curious assumption.
If we are supposed to "learn" something "from history," then this means that history has something to "teach" us. What do we mean when we say that?
What I mean to say is: A teacher teaches; and a teacher is a human being, a sentient being who conveys information (hopefully en route to knowledge) to one or more students, also human beings. The only other teacher(s) that have ever been acknowledged are the gods or God (known by many names) via one or another religious text. Of course, since the supposed lessons are not very straightforward, mediation by a priesthood of some kind has always been thought to be desirable.
Therefore, by "history" do we mean "God" or "gods"? And by the way, who is this "we" we often refer when asking such a question about what history has to teach "us"? By "we" are you talking about all of us, humanity as a whole.
But who is it, exactly, who fail to make use of whatever "lessons" "history" has to "teach"? Is it all of us, the average citizen who have the policy-making power to either acknowledge and apply or ignore the lessons of history? Or is it a comparatively much smaller segment of the political and economic elite in America and other nations of the world that has such power?
One example: In the 1970s, the leaders U.S. companies responded to renewed competitive pressure from Western Europe and Japan to, for one thing, offshore manufacturing jobs overseas to cheaper labor forces. Question: Do you think that if workers themselves managed those plants, they would have made such a choice, thus failing to "learn from history"?
2 go 1 further-when monopolies of the past were broken up because of the economic damages they were doing, & then allow them 2 return 2 do the same damage-shows lack of learning by past mistakes. Man lives only in the present X-cept 4 religion
Hi WingedCentaur, thanks for some interesting points. No I don't mean Gods, I mean 'how could the information we have about history inform our decisions'. By we I mean society, which you're right is nebulous, but any 'we' could yield a good answer.
That history repeats itself because evil seeks evil.
That perception is interpretation using personal sensory information to depict a circumstance, environment, situation, or expectation based on idiomatic discriminatory mechanisms.
That individuals, regardless of personal belief, possess discriminatory feelings based on personal perception.
That freedom is not free.
That freedom is lost when individuals do nothing to stop evil and immoral.
That evil will always persist when moral individuals do nothing to stop it.
That apathy for evil and immoral will always lead to further destruction.
That power in the hands of socialists will always lead to genocide.
That unchecked power breeds destruction.
That war is inevitable when power is unchecked.
That no man will ever be as powerful as the Holy Spirit because man limits himself to science.
That the only true advancement for man is through persistent acknowledgement that he must continue to seek further knowledge through moral innovation.
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