If we don’t know where we have been then it is likely that we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. That is what this post is all about.
I am a lifelong addict for US history. I have read hundreds of books about our founders, leaders, and institutions. Until recently I was also an avid observer of our government and its history. Of course, given the appearance of #CO3 (Current Oval Office occupant) that has virtually dried up, at least until that despicable man off the headlines.
I spend the first hour of every day reading about what is currently happening in the US and the world. That, and my life’s experiences, is the main fodder for what I post here. Finally, given the fact that I have been in this mode for at least 50 years, I have watched myself, my community, and especially my country make the same mistakes over and over again.
You could say I am an elitist when it comes to this topic. I am currently reading an interesting book entitled “In Defense of Elitism“. It is written tongue-in-cheek but has some rather startling observations about being elite. I am preparing a specific post about this book that will come out soon, but for here I just want to make one observation here and that is there are many people who think being informed about something is now a bad thing. The book calls these folks populists.
It seems that populists basically put “gut instincts” above learned knowledge. They call it common sense but I see it more as proud ignorance. Why learn the facts about a situation when gut instinct is better? To me that seems to say “don’t bother me with the facts”. I really think that statement is true for the MAGA/Evangelicals.
Finally, getting back to the original purpose of this post, if you don’t study the past you are bound to repeat it. Given the populist mentality that seems so prevalent now it seems impossible to avoid doing the same thing over an over again, and as Einstein said, expecting a different result.
Maybe, as the graphic above states, it is harder to know we are again doing something against our better interests and not being able to do anything about it, than it is to just trust your gut instincts.
But, I don’t think this is going to stifle my learning the facts, or questioning everything as that is who I am to my core. I hope you feel the same way.