History and what is teaches us

Essay by tariqkoorHigh School, 10th gradeB+, September 2014

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

"History teaches that history teaches us nothing". These are the words of the great German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Whilst forming my response to these remarkable words, I stumbled upon the words of many other laureates, intellectuals and philosophers, who have also challenged the reasoning and thought of man. And through the words of these individuals I tried to make sense of this astute pun. This pun is blatantly harsh. And after much realization I have concluded that it is also blatantly true.

We keep miscalculating decisions decade after decade. Moronically, it would appear, we repeat our past deeds that have failed. This is evident, whether it's creating the sequel to a bad movie or the decision to invade another country. We simply don't learn. Do we repeat our actions because we are too arrogant to remember the faults of our past or in hope that they will turn out differently? The answer to that is a whole debate in itself.

It is often said that learning from ones mistakes is easier said than done. Take the Second World War for example. More than 20 years had passed since the first one had killed a bunch of people, when a new generation of pompous politicians and bureaucrats, many of them knowing and remembering a great deal of history, followed and even more destructive course that killed over sixty million men and women. They would have probably claimed that they had exhausted all other options and therefore, declaring war seemed liked the most reasonable thing to do. This is an example of repetitive behavior that illustrates human beings inability to learn anything from their past.

The Founders of the United States of America believed that the purpose of studying history was to make us better, better as individuals, better...