the power of history revealed
We are history. I know that sounds like some cheesy line from an intro-level seminar, but it really is true in both senses of the phrase. We are history in an existential sense, because we die. From this we draw an imperative to live. We are also history, though, because we are material and ideological expressions of the past. We are born into worlds with preexisting conditions—ideas, hierarchies, inequalities, to name a few—and, through the course of our lives, decide whether we will replicate or change these flaws. The two together, our impending death and our knowledge about our place in the world, are what make studying history so important.
History helps us understand the failures of prior generations and, from them, to construct norms by which we can better live. From history, we learn that there is no “great again” to which we can return, that we are dangerous…
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