Why Bother Studying History? Watch the News Reports of Human Folly Repeating as We Speak

Okay so, I have an interesting hobby, and I doubt there are very many other people who have this hobby, although I do know of a couple, even some folks who have written books on the topic. One thing I like to do is take famous quotes from “The Harper Book of Quotations” and then I like to try to argue against such common sense and wisdom, which is often found within these quotes from notable people of past periods. One quote I’ve always liked is;

“Those Who Fail to Study Their History Are Doomed to Repeat It.”

Now then, I have decided and concluded that we should change that quote to read; “those who fail to study their history CORRECTLY, are doomed to repeat it.” Why you ask? Because it appears to me, and this is another piece of common wisdom; it is the victors who write the history.

In other words whether they were right or wrong it is the victorious who rewrite history in their favor. And it is really easy to study your history incorrectly without having the knowledge you need because perhaps all of the information of the true and correct history is no longer with us or has been burned by those who were victorious.

Okay, now let’s take all of this to a higher level. It seems these days in school the kids don’t really wish to study history, and they often tell the history teacher; “why should I study all the dates, names, and events in history, when I can look them up on Google anytime I want to?” Yes, unfortunately the student who doesn’t feel like studying because they are lazy is actually correct, but yet remember the quote; “those who fail to study their history are doomed to repeat it.”

Is this why so many of the up-and-coming generation are willing to vote for someone with some ridiculous line of political rhetoric perhaps because they haven’t lived through enough history, or even bothered to study their own ancestral history to realize the podium pusher’s political rhetoric is just that, thus they don’t realize it when they see it? I would submit to you that this is a real problem. Nevertheless, because humans are repeating the folly of their previous history at such a fast and rapid rate, maybe they don’t need to study their history anymore?

Yes, I realize that you disagree with that statement, but let me explain it another way. If we teach kids current events, then by the time they grow up all of it will be there history, and we can prevent them from repeating that history by explaining what is going on in the present period, while they’re are in school. Then we my relate it to the correct history of past periods, without perhaps going into all the detail. Again because they can look it up on Google or Wikipedia anytime they want.

In fact, even if you’ve never studied your history, or never even really liked the subject, it’s repeating so fast, and humans are making the same mistakes over and over again at such a rapid rate, that it hardly matters. You only have to remember a few years hence, to realize when something is going wrong.

At that point you need to act on this information, which brings up a whole other set of issues in the age of global social media, smart mobs, and instant information. But I won’t go into this now because I’m going to ask that you stop and consider all of these points of contention, and see if you agree with what I’ve presented. Please think on it.


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