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August 17, 2010 Posted by | Admin, H100, H200, H300 | Leave a comment

Watch Out! History is Repeating Itself!

The repetitious nature of history is a popular theme of commentators, particularly in regards to the issue of war.  Here are some headlines from recent media:

“The Thai crisis:  History repeats itself,” The New York Times, December 1, 2008

“History repeats itself,” The Economic Times, April 28, 2010.

“History Repeats Itself In Burma,” CBS News, Sept. 26, 2007

“History repeats itself with scandal-scarred seat,” New York Post, July 30, 2010

The earliest formal recording of this idea is the quote:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress: Reason in Common Sense (2nd ed., Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, New York 1924), 284.

Does history repeat itself, or does it only appear to repeat itself to those who don’t really know their history?  Is Santayana really talking about a cycle of history or is he talking about people and instutions who fail to appreciate and understand the experience of the past (history) and therefore make mistakes in the present which could have been avoided?

August 17, 2010 Posted by | H100 | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments