One of the reasons we study history is to learn from past mistakes, ostensibly so as to avoid repeating them. But it’s not so easy, as “History repeats itself, but never in exactly the same way.” The circumstances are almost always just enough different to frustrate easy solutions in a world of “enormously complex problems.”
I have a theory. It’s that we keep bouncing back and forth from different sides of the action/inaction continuum, trying to learn from past mistakes. Let’s start with the Treaty of Versailles that ended The War to End All Wars. There, the attempt was to punish the Germans and hobble their ability to ever again cause such massive destruction. But it only prompted them to seek national redemption and revenge. We responded the other way then, by trying to avoid a repeat of the horrific carnage of WWI via a policy of appeasement. But history tells ... Log in or subscribe to continue reading.
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