History Lessons

History truly does repeat itself. So, why do people not pay attention and learn from it? Is it because we think we won’t make the same kind of mistakes? We wouldn’t do something like that! But if we don’t learn from history and see why things happened the way they did, then we won’t know how to stop it from happening again.

Fascism in its simplest form is where the organized minority are able to rule over the disorganized majority to comply with their ideal. When we get too comfortable in our materialistic mediocrity we tend to react only when our comfort is threatened and are all too willing to allow a strong leader to take over so we don’t have to do anything. We’re okay with what is happening as long as it doesn’t rock our personal boat and force us into action. Too often inaction by the majority can lead to massive regret when everything falls apart and starts to infringe on our personal safety and beliefs. We mistakenly believe for too long that it won’t happen to us. I’m sure the people in Italy thought the same way leading up to when Mussolini came into power…until they woke up to what was actually happening and didn’t want it anymore.

When I study history I ask the question: “Why did this happen?” What led up to the event that caused the people to act or not act in the way they did? Why were they so easily swept up in the behavior that we now think (in hindsight) was so obvious and should have been avoided!

Thousands of years ago, recorded in the book of Exodus, the people of Israel were forced to work as slaves for the Egyptians. The new Pharaoh had no idea how Joseph, years earlier, had saved his country from perishing in a severe drought/famine. He simply saw the sheer number of immigrants as a threat to his country and forced them into slave labor to keep them under his control.

All throughout history, blame has been put on a particular group of people who were labeled as a threat for whatever imagined reason and action was taken to somehow subdue or eliminate them. I use the word “imagined” because in every case it was a different group of people…each country has had their targeted group that is mistreated and marginalized for whatever reason.

When we are confused and unsure about what we really believe, it is quite easy to get swept up with what is the most popular idea of the day. How can we then see clearly enough to recognize the dangers of a particular line of thinking or movement? If we haven’t become informed about how these things happened in the past, we have no line of reference to compare it to. Those who do speak out about the pitfalls ahead are seen as melodramatic objectionists to what the majority sees as the only immediate answer. Many blindly follow the one who shouts the loudest or has the most charisma to draw them into their way of thinking.

How many of us are willing to walk out of step with the masses, ask the hard questions, take a stand, and learn how to do things in a way that hasn’t been done before? Let’s listen and learn from our history lessons before we make the same mistakes all over again.