Sunday, August 23, 2015
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
It’s Deja’vu all over again.
A news commentator this morning used the old phrase ‘history repeats itself.’ Actually history does not repeat itself, except perhaps in some parallel universe.
The thing that does repeat itself – the thing that never changes - creating the same or similar outcomes - is the persistent nature of mankind.
Man is a pack animal. We gather and identify and organize in bigotous (if that is not a word it should be) units of family, religion, race, politics, nationality, nationalism… We join together with people like us, with people that think like us, and our group becomes an avatar – a group or mob incarnation with all the attributes of its human members.
The attributes of man never change; thus the attributes or our avatars never change. We believe in our own righteousness and our rightness in all things. We are self-centered, insensitive, self-absorbed, bigoted and prone to violence. In our group are war like, distrustful, and are capable of justifying the most heinous actions for the better good. We believe we act for ‘the better good’ - and the better good is whatever we define it to be.
However, technology changes dragging us along with it. Transportation improves, communication improves, longevity improves and weapons improve…. But all of this is in the hands of our various avatars – and our avatars never change.
History does not repeat itself; but our avatars use the new tools in the same old ways producing new situations but always with similar outcomes.
Thus we say history repeats itself.