My Generation is Doomed to Repeat History

Thursday, March 27, 2008 | Labels: | |

"All new news is old news happening to new people"

- Malcolm Muggeridge

A wise man once said, "If there is one thing we've learned from history it's that we haven't learned from history." A part of me wants to believe this man was a historian himself, otherwise one would need to question whether or not he is repeating a statement that was already in history or making that statement without knowledge of history himself thus making an invalid statement. It was news to me, but that doesn't make it new news nor does my repeating it make it any form of new historical progress, but I bore you with my mindless digressions...

As my generation turns into an election year we've become the forefront in lack of education of our historical ancestry. Dare the statistics even be quoted at this point? Having escaped the clutches of public education only years earlier, I now understand why my own knowledge of history was lacking. One could discuss the cliche 'Those who do not learn from history are forced to repeat it.' Although cliched it proves a valid point. The entirety of my education of history in my public high school consisted of one class, ran by a middle aged gentleman who pleasantly reminded us George Bush stole the elections, 9/11 was his conspiracy and then moved on to filling three days of classes with the film JFK. Do not question him by the way, you will be ridiculed...

Needless to say the only historical facts learned in that class were that history teachers have historically taught what they want their students to perceive as history. Thus, bringing us in a round-a-bout way to the overall point. My generation, without any knowledge of history, will inevitably repeat it. The news, who knows its audience, will find no difficulty finding stories to astound their viewers with, because their viewers have no historical reference to what is being portrayed. Lack of knowledge of history is the first step towards the replacement of history with a different, more convenient one.

Wisdom is "...knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action" ( If we fail to be knowledgeable of what is true, then how can one prepare to make a just judgment? They cannot, if ones perceptions are skewed, and their knowledge is vastly lacking, their judgments will be based upon that unknowledgable system. We have become unwise, and not because we have simply made the decision to be unwise, but because the pleasures, the cultures and the society we live in makes it much more convenient and encourages us to be as such.

Does this not make sense as to how such a historically failed system of socialism still maintains such a strong presence in modern day society? Or the universal adoption of a theory of science that is now critically discredited by some of the worlds top scholars still maintains such a foothold? It is not because the philosophy and science are just simply invalid, it is because the truths of the dramatic flaws of that philosophy and science have conveniently never been taught. So we embrace them with open arms and little knowledge, not realizing if we had only obtained the knowledge necessary, we would be pushing the ideas out our door much quicker than we would have let them in.

Craig Chamberlin