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Those Who Ignore History are Doomed to Repeat It

I think almost everyone is familiar with this common proverb.

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."

The original saying was by George Santayana and is actually:

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

The first issue with either saying is that it assumes history is full of mistakes. This may or may not be true. I will let you decide, but I think not.

Otherwise, these sayings could imply that the successes throughout history are doomed to be repeated too. This just does not make any sense, unless you assume that there were no successes in history. Again, I think not.

Maybe I am just reading into these sayings too literally. It probably means to just learn from the mistakes of others throughout history.

However, history is the direct result of the human nature. Unfortunately, it is not reasonable to accept that knowing history can change human nature. Therefore, history will repeat itself because human nature does not and cannot change despite education. Of course, better education could reduce or minimize some mistakes, but people in general are stupid. People are stupid enough to repeat their own mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others throughout history.

Therefore, history repeats despite education, because human nature does not change.

by Phil for Humanity
on 07/12/2010

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