Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The lessons of history

"Our preoccupation with the last war, as revealed in films such as 'Dunkirk', is to him striking: 'It seems to express a mood, and yet a lot of things that have happened recently have done so because the generation that is running the world has no memories of it. The world we grew up in was created by people who were terrified the war could happen again, and they tried to make sure it wouldn’t. Less nationalism, more cooperation. Now real fascist rhetoric is creeping back into the mainstream. The old taboos are fading because of lost memory.'"

Ian Buruma - current editor of the New York Review of Books - in a recent interview in The Guardian.

With the last century gradually eroding in the memory of so many ignorant, uneducated people, oblivious of history and suffering from a failed education, old ghosts come back to haunt us. This is not a normal process, but a dangerous accelleration of the usual generational forgetfulness: in a society obsessed with utopia and progress (progress as getting forward on the time line of history, not progress in terms of improvement), the lessons of history get lost, and history may be repeating itself.

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