Is this a good time to throw out a cliche-like quote?
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
– George Santayana
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
– Wendell Phillips
It seems to me that the part that’s not being remembered is not so much how these things get started, but where they invariably end up.
“Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. Cultural and religious sites were ransacked.”
“In a few years, countless ancient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books, and paintings were destroyed…”
– Wikipedia article on China’s Cultural Revolution (1960s-1970s)
Not just for buildings and books, but for far too many people, as well. Groups of people get singled out for ‘Kristal-lization’ or “re-education.” All for the good of all, of course. (Except, of course, those suffering at the hands of the revolutionaries – or the government itself.)
“Mao believed that victimizing these people, as well as other groups of citizens – such as teachers, educated intellectuals, and enemies of the Communist Party (cadres) – was a necessary component to initiate the changes in the Chinese culture that he desired. He believed that those who were victimized either deserved it or became better citizens as a result of it.”
“Large numbers of people perceived to be “monsters and demons” regardless of guilt or innocence were publicly denounced, humiliated, and beaten. In their revolutionary fervor, students denounced their teachers, and children denounced their parents. Many died through their ill-treatment or committed suicide.”
“Many survivors and observers[who?] suggest that almost anyone with skills over that of the average person was made the target of political “struggle” in some way.”
I think it might not be just a matter of remembering, but possibly never knowing in the first place – by insidious design.
“It’s been my experience, Langford, that the past always has a way of returning. Those who don’t learn, or can’t remember it, are doomed to repeat it.”
― Steve Berry
Then again, it’s quite possible that it doesn’t matter even if we do remember.
I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana: we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive.”
― Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Or perhaps, that upheaval might even be a good thing.
“Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
“A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing, don’t you think?”
– Marko Ramius quoting Thomas Jefferson
Regardless, that history repeats is unarguable. And this pattern goes back a long way. Maybe one Son of Man realized this and was way ahead of His time.
34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Either way, I’m not so sure I really want to be around when “the **** hits the fan” for real in my own neighborhood.
“Alas, that these evil days should be mine. The young perish and the old linger. That I should live to see that last days of my house.”
-Theoden (Theoden doesn’t survive the evil days)
This past weekend, the tweets of our leaders, to me, expressed very similar feelings. So why is one so widely criticized?
“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”
“I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
– Nelson Mandela, quoted by Obama
In spite of it all – and from personal experience – I have to believe that all will be well in the end; the Creator already has a way to make everything right.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
– Genesis 50:20
Blessings to all.