Humans destined to continually repeat history?
Muna Cosic, Staff Writer
May 18, 2011
Filed under Opinion
Philosophically speaking, history is the foundation of the present, providing structure for the future. Understanding the glories and mistakes of our history and applying that knowledge to the foundation of our present would promise a more rational and accepting world, which would structure a more solid future for mankind.
Instead, the world is in a constant tumult of religious, political, and economic upheavals. But to be more direct, what about all those historical disasters caused by mankind, which we never learned from or derived the crucial lesson from in order to prevent them from repeating? History is a constant cycle where the same blunders are constantly being repeated and we’re never learning a damn lesson from it.
Why? Are we so thick-headed that we refuse to learn from past mistakes? Do we truly not understand the history of mankind? What are history classes for?
From elementary school to high school, history is a mandatory subject to learn and understand, yet, it seems that the subject has failed to teach students the mistakes of the past. Perhaps, we do learn our history and understand it, but simply don’t care enough to apply it to today’s worldly events. Whatever the case, it seems that a lot of things happening in today’s world could have been prevented by simply understanding the history of past events and applying that knowledge to prevent mistakes from being repeated.
Remember that recent nuclear disaster in Japan, where the Fukushima Daiichi Power Station was crippled due to the 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami that followed? Well, the danger of the nuclear reactors breaking down and radiation being released into the atmosphere isn’t enough to stop the Japanese government from shutting the plant down and reconsidering the nation’s energy policy.
In fact, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said “it will take at least six months to stabilize the plant,” according to the New York Times. Not to mention, new earthquakes hit Japan every single day. It is still an extremely unstable area and the tectonic plate activity should be deterring the country from relying on nuclear power anymore, but it’s not. Lesson learned? Not even a bit.
Countries like China, France, Germany, India, Russia, and USA have taken nuclear safety measure due to the Fukushima disaster, but is that promising enough to ensure safety for the world? Can we rely on these safety measures and believe to be immune to another nuclear disaster? No. Doesn’t the nuclear disaster of 1986 in Chernobyl teach us how dangerous nuclear power plants are and what kind of radiation exposure it can conjure? There were safety measures taken after the Chernobyl crisis as well, yet still Japan repeated history. Now, with the Fukushima catastrophe on top of the Chernobyl crisis, it seems the world will never learn from these disastrous events and nuclear energy will continue to fuel the world, round and round.
From nuclear catastrophes to economic calamities, history is in a constant state of repetition. ”By closely examining the dynamics and threats that were facing the country during these previous Crisis periods, we may be able to peer into the murky fog of the future and make out the phantoms of events to come. What we know for sure is every previous Crisis had an economic and fairness dimension that provided the initial spark, triggering a series of events that eventually led to an all-encompassing war for survival,” said James Quinn, writer for the International Business Times.
Can we look at the past economic depressions, like the Great Depression of 1929, and apply those events to today, in order to prevent it from repeating? Of course! Are we doing that? No. Instead, the economy continues sliding downward, inch-by-inch, and the future for economic recovery is gloomy. The pockets of the wealthy become fuller, while the rest of us are coming up empty.
Get a history book, read just a few pages and you will see how so much that is happening today has occurred, one way or another, some time in the past. Our actions become history, whether recorded in a book or not, but they leave a mark somewhere, somehow. Our history books can take us on a journey of what used to be, but they scream at us not follow the same path but to find a new one; one with a promise of a better, safer, and accepting tomorrow.