“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Yesterday marked the 68th anniversary of the NanJing massacre. If you never heard about it I am not surprised, since like so many other atrocities in human history this one has been attempted to be erased from history. There are people that believe that the Holocaust never happened, there are people that never heard of Pol Pot or The Killing Fields in Cambodia partly because it was people killing their own people. I am even guilty of not knowing what has happened even in our lifetime and Hotel Rwanda had to open my eyes to what had happened in that country.

Colombia also has its history and current state of violence. There was a period of time know as “La Violencia” when for 10 years the conservative and the liberal parties killed each other during the 40’s. After that the guerrilla’s started, which then spawned the paramilitaries and it just gets more complicated and entangled from there because the drug trade gets mixed in. The bottom line is that people are still killing each other for religious or political reasons, right now in a world that should by now become civilized.

I recently watched the movie Kingdom of Heaven. It was a good movie, but it was also very sad for me, the fight between the groups of people is still happening today for that piece of land that so many consider holy. Why can’t we take an idea from the fictional movie Highlander and never fight in “Holy Ground.”

I chose the quote today because it says a lot more than “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat It.” – by George Santayana. We hear this quote from a lot of our teachers and while they both have a very similar message I think Shaw says it a little better. Why do we refuse to see ourselves as part of the human race? Why don’t we understand that there is a big blanket that unites us, instead of finding so many things that separate us? Why must our quest for individuality be tainted by rejection of what we deem different? Lets hope we can start to learn from history and making the comparisons we need to with our world today, even though we have traded swords for guns we are still acting like barbarians.

7 comments on “History

  1. It’s sad how people deny these massive historical atrocities. Another big one is that Turkey denies the Armenian genocide.

    Oh yeah, there’s a story on CNN.com today where the president of Iran calls the Jewish Holocaust “a myth.”

  2. all true friend. we kill each other for absolute bullshit. actually i read that about the nanking massacre. i think the author was found dead earlier this year or last year. i dunno i am just like amazed at man. but i think the healing gotta start deep within each of us. personal improvements no matter how small is the key to tolerance and peace.

  3. Generally speaking, people are very jingoistic and don’t want to believe that there are similarities between ourselves and the homeless man, the heroine addict or the politician. I think that’s why the ‘big blanket’ idea escapes most people. And they think they won’t make the same ‘stupid’ mistakes that people in the past made.

  4. Thanks Logtar for simulating us to think in a time that the only worries to most of us are leaks and fixes…

    The book Billy mentioned is named “The rape of Nanking”, (Nanjing is the Chinese spelling.) Iris Chang is the first author who introduced the history to the English world, after 60 years of the massacre, which Japanese government tried to wipe out in their own history book . (http://www.irischang.net/)
    She herself, due to the continues threatening and horrors from the unknown Japanese authority, committed suicide in 2004.

    Her figure was sculptured into a bronze stature standing in front of today’s Nanjing Memorial Hall, Nanjing, China.

    Killing 300,000 innocent citizen of Nanjing in two weeks starting 12/13/1937 is history. But forget about the history or deny it is a second time rape of Nanjing.

  5. You know Logtar, I honestly believe that a gender dominated world, one that we live in, prevents “man” to be incapable of learning from experience. I believe that a man and a woman are two parts of one whole, and well, will our world ever be right when a male-dominated society exists?

    Often, people comment on how men aren’t like women, in that, as a group, they generally get along better without the bickering. However, if one thinks about that situation for a bit, one can see, that the reason why “Men” are so incapable of learning from historical experience, is because, they generally support one another, even when they know something is wrong. In other words, let’s say that a co-worker of yours is cheating on his wife or let’s say instead, that he’s not cheating on his wife, but eyeballing other women. Would you question his behavior and challenge him to act in a more respectful manner… or… consider it none of your bussines and continue doing your work. Most men would support that type of behavior and go about their bussines. Women, on the other hand, end up “checking” another woman’s behavior… and doesn’t just “let it slide” (now that’s not 100% of the time…but often the case). More men, l think, need to break away from this “supportive” ideology of abusive behavior, and learn other ways of experiencing life such as observance and self-reflection, instead of domination and conquering.

    One of the things you do John, is self-reflect here on this blog… which is an awesome step for mankind. Maybe blogs will teach men how to reach into their inner-selves… you never know.

  6. I guess I must be a huge exception. I have been on the situation you described above and I did “check” my coworker. I think you make an excellent point April, and I do believe that a society where there is no domination of any kind (sex, religion, etc) is really what utopia is all about. I think blogs are a good start, I do believe in their power, not just of self reflection but of sparking ideas.

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