Why does it seem that more of the population of the U.S. seems to think that history isn’t important at all?
Is it just because over the last few generations of kids going through the school system were bored silly? Or the fact they were expected only to memorize dates and shit, and regurgitate them on the tests – to be forgotten once you got your grade?
I know when *I* was taught history, the motivations of the people involved were JUST as important as the dates, battles, and etc. We were expected to THINK about why certain activities happened, rather than just know that they happened.
Hell, I was taught not only the history of countries, but also the history of parts of those countries (like, the history behind the growth of the Christian church in Europe and how it affected colonization and conquest).
But now we have politicians who are PROUD of not knowing basic history. Who seem to think that the issues we have today either came out of no-where, or are somehow isolated from motivations and choices – thereby being completely new on this earth.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Everything we are doing now is pretty much the same as has been done in the past. And, because it is in the past, we can extrapolate that if we make Choice A it will probably turn out one way, while if we make Choice B it will turn out a different way. We can also look at the past and see if we can find a new perspective on the solutions our ancestors came up with.
Let’s take a sample, shall we?
Religious issues, and governing with the state and religion running hand in hand. Even ignoring the horrors of the Crusades, or of the choices of colonizing Europeans, there is STILL a lot of horror and bloodshed that saturated the history of the world over requiring state religions. And, before any Neo-Pagans stand up and say, “See, Christians are evil!” even the ancient pagans had their own horrors and bloodshed over their inclusion of religion in the state’s affairs. All you have to do is peruse history and you will find example after example after example of the horrors that religious rule caused to your average human being.
There’s very strong reasons why our Founders wanted there to be no overarching religion for the Federal government. They, their parents, grandparents and generations before experienced those horrors of religious rectitude defined by the State.
Hell, even our experience with the banks and Wall Street has happened before. And we created laws to try to keep it from happening again. Sadly, we also threw those laws away leading us right back to the same issues we experienced 100 years ago. We have our own crop of robber barons in this century, just as we did in the early 1900s. We had the same kind of corporations telling us to trust them, because they of course wouldn’t do anything for the Almighty Dollar that hurt people at all. Really? Which, of course, is why we don’t have people getting sick from choices corporations have made. Oh, wait…..we do.
If you are a person in government, you had damned well better know your history. And if you are voter, you had DAMNED well pay attention to it as well. Even if you don’t want to deal with over-all history, you had damned well be informed on the history of the person you are voting FOR – because the actions and choices they made in the past will reveal what actions and choices they will make in the future.