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The importance of history

We ignore history at our peril!

How many people know when universal compulsory education first began and which countries have adopted it?

How many people realise that for a long time – like centuries, and still continuing in some countries – religious organisations were solely responsible for providing education? And that, in many countries, the religious orders were responsible for substantial aspects of governance?

How many people know the countries which still deny equal access to education for women?

Those of us in most of the developed world do not fully appreciate how fortunate we are!

One could relate the recent attempts to dominate the world on the basis of religious beliefs by ISIS as being comparable to the Great Inquisition – which took place not so long ago in the earth’s history!

The last century has seen a monumental increase in technology, which has also gone hand in hand with a massive increase in mankind’s influence on climate, following the industrial revolution.

Our misplaced concerns about the rise of Islam are founded, I would claim, in our ignorance of our own history.

The continuing thread throughout history is the desire to acquire power and use it to control others.

China is the most recent addition to those seeking world domination, but our concerns over wars and power balancing, pale into insignificance when we look at the forces we are continuing to unleash in nature.

Sadly, the appalling slaughter in New Zealand by an Australian man (who shall remain nameless), occurred on the same day as the students’ March 4 Climate Change.

Because of the media’s attention to the unfolding events in NZ, little coverage was given to the massive turnout, worldwide, of young people who genuinely and realistically fear for their future in a world where no adequate attempts are being made to curb and reverse global warming.

Our politicians are not scientists (sadly!) and pay scant regard to their findings, putting us in a most unacceptable situation.

Each one of us can, as we did during WWII, try to recycle and postpone replacing items as they age, but only governments have the power to enforce larger scale efforts to counter climate change.

We need to simultaneously decrease the unnecessary wrappings which generate the pollution causing waste, at the same time as we are developing and installing the technology (which is in part available already) to sort and recycle the existing waste. The first is in our hands but the latter requires input from government and private investors.

Our throwaway mentality has already resulted in an enormous amount of pollution in our oceans, putting our own food resources at risk. And speaking of food – the shocking amount of food waste in developed countries would feed millions who are currently dying of malnutrition.

It is almost as though mankind is developing a self-destruct, nihilistic fatalism!

But we are better than that – and we have future generations whose fate is in our hands.

Water is essential for life – and we are wasting and polluting it. The very air we breathe is polluted to an unacceptable extent in many parts of the world.

All round the world, people are living in dire circumstances while mega-monopolies create untold wealth for a tiny minority of the world’s people.

I find it ironic that the USA has a Social Security system linked to financial assistance in later life, yet they react to the idea of social welfare as if a snake had reared its head.

People can only survive if they help and support each other and we should be expecting our governments to recognise and enable that process.

We are rapidly approaching the point of no return. Maybe a decade and then it will be a question of survival for the hardiest.

We must all join the children and make our voices heard! This is a much worse situation than the decadence of Rome destroying an empire.

This is the selfishness of human beings destroying a planet.

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11 comments

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  1. Rossleigh

    “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory over forgetting.”
    Milan Kundera

    Apart from the sexist nature of the quote, I think that says it all.

  2. Rossleigh

    Actually when I think about it, when you add the sexist nature of the quote it does say it all.

  3. Alcibiades

    One firmly agrees with & supports the theme & clarion call of the article …

    Titled ‘The importance of history’, opens with the line ‘We ignore history at our peril!’ yet states :

    One could relate the recent attempts to dominate the world on the basis of religious beliefs by ISIS as being comparable to the Great Inquisition

    Comparable ? Re facts & history, let alone what ISIS actually is and the geo-political purpose it serves ?

    China is the most recent addition to those seeking world domination …

    Alas, ‘twould appear our daily MSM propaganda ‘narrative’ appears to be working, splendidly. 🙁

    Do not look forward to the minimum daily ABC News article ritually demonising China, let alone the rest of MSM.

  4. Karen Kyle

    Yes history is important. Understanding the broad sweep of history and being able to evaluate historians is crucial.. Some historians write propaganda rather than history and they can be either on the left or the right. Ideology has the effect of distorting the interpretation of historical facts to suit a self serving political agenda. This can invalidate the work of some so called historians. It is called Disinformation and it is rife on the left and the right..

  5. Karen Kyle

    China is hardly being demonised. Since when was the reporting of uncomfortable facts demonisation? As for MSM some of it is excellent, but not to thos who subscribe to “alternative facts”.

  6. DrakeN

    “History” as we know it, was written by and for those holding the reins of power.
    A bit like Murdoch’s “news” media it manipulated detail, omitted what the writers considered inappropriate and often told outright lies.
    History, as we know it, is simply not a record of events; it is more generally a propaganda issuance.

  7. Stephengb

    How right you are Karen, I note with alarm the writings of so called historians of my generation (71) whilst my generation also decry the intellect of the XY generations, the generations who by and large are true historians rewriting history from fact rather than romantic notions of king and country.

  8. Lambert Simpleton

    History is important. If there was no history would there be a present?

    Think about that.

  9. DrakeN

    “History” is important – especially in the manner which it has historically veered from truth and accuracy.

  10. Alcibiades

    @Karen Kyle

    Remarkable. Instant off-hand dismissal & a Trump put down.

    The ‘reporting of uncomfortable facts‘ is such an interesting turn of phrase. Very open minded. Reporting ? Facts ? Uncomfortable ones ?

    Hm, howzabout just a keyword search on our beloved ABC for, ‘China’ ?

    https://search-beta.abc.net.au/#/?query=china&page=1&configure%5BgetRankingInfo%5D=true&configure%5BclickAnalytics%5D=true&configure%5Banalytics%5D=true

    Such a fascinating range & scope in just the first five pages of results … such interesting headlines … could there be a theme ?

    This one is a standout masterful classic of the ‘art’ though, such twists & turns, entirely objective/neutral/balanced ? :

    Is Chinese media using the New Zealand mosque shooting as a political opportunity?

    China’s censorship apparatus is so efficient that sensitive social media posts are culled within minutes, but for some reason the New Zealand shooting videos were left up for nearly two days as state media slammed security in “the West”. Why?

    Nah, no demonisation. After all if there is to be a ‘Coming War with China'(Why?), then we have to be conditioned to ‘love’ the ‘other’ first, em ?(/snark) Seekers of ‘world domination‘ n all that, don’t ya know.

    Um, ‘History doesn’t repeat, though often rhymes’ springs to mind … ah, that apparent fool Clemens(apocryphal), a Trumpian one before his time, Karen ?

    Do not wish to derail, so will be off to read ‘alternative facts’, in history books …

  11. helvityni

    China, America…

    Last night I watched two programs about America: on Foreign Correspondent I saw San Francisco side streets filled with Oxycontin addicted people… The other was Paul Theroux in Milwaukee talking to police and to some poor black people, and watching endless shootings, everyone armed…

    Yet it’s America we look for our role models. Even now with Trump as their leader…..

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