History lessons

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What does history teach us? In fact, a lot. To be convinced of this, it is enough to read the collection of philosophical and historical essays “Lessons of History” by Will and Ariel Durant, a qualitative reprint of which came out quite recently. We read the book and highlighted some of the brightest thoughts that provide great food for further thought.

The new regime rarely brings the justice it talks about so zealously

The victorious rebel almost always reverts to the methods inherent in the one whom he condemned and whom he overthrew – history is not so clear about anything.

Many ideas are not so good

Out of every hundred ideas, ninety-nine are likely to be inferior to those they claim to replace. It follows that a conservative who resists change makes just as valuable a contribution to development as a radical rebel, perhaps even more valuable because the roots feed the tree.

What are our vices?

It is possible that our current vices were once virtues that made a significant contribution to the survival of our ancestors. Who knows, all of a sudden, all human sins are more likely traces of former power than symbols of the fall?

About good

Nature and history fundamentally disagree with our understanding of good and evil: according to their definition, good is what can survive, and evil is what cannot and what the universe does not give preference to in any way.

About religion

History does not provide us with tangible examples of successful states that acted without reliance on religion. Nowadays, many countries, although they have declared that the church is separated from the state, nevertheless very often resorted to her help in order to settle certain conflicts. Only a few communist countries chose to completely renounce religion. (But let’s remember how it ended for them) Religion, for all its shortcomings, has an amazing ability to resurrect again and again, no matter how suppressed it at one time or another. “As long as poverty reigns on earth, the gods will rule in heaven.” (Will Durand, The Abode of Philosophy)

Discilina or freedom?

It is likely that order will return to our civilization through military discipline. Most likely, under the pressure of more important geopolitical security issues, individualism in Europe and America will decline. Sexual freedom will be healed by its own excess. At the same time, there are advantages of modern freedom: you can breathe deeply as long as you do not disturb others.

About those who rule everyone

History clearly shows that people who know how to manage others control those who can adjust only with weapons or tools, and those who manage money control both of them.

East is West, West is East

The fear of capitalism forced the socialist countries to expand their freedoms; the fear of socialism forced the capitalist countries to pay more attention to equality. East is West and West is East, and soon these twin halves will come together.

The only true form of government

Perhaps the most natural form of government is monarchy, since it proceeds from the obvious authority of the father, the leader, and the like. Democracies in our history have been short-lived outbreaks.

We are ruled by a minority

As Rousseau rightly pointed out, majority rule is completely unnatural, since it rarely knows how to act in concert, while the minority does it very well. The majority does not do anything better than periodically throwing one minority off the throne and building another.

True revolution

The only real revolution is the enlightenment of reason and spirit, the only real emancipation is the awareness of one’s own inner freedom and curbing it, the only real revolutionaries are philosophers and saints.

Who are we? Where are we going?

If you are fond of history and want to understand more about how our past, present and future are related to each other, then we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the key ideas of the books of Yuval Noah Harari:

 1. “Sapiens” (about our origin).

 2. “21 lessons for the XXI century” (about the present).

 3. “Home Deus” (about our future).

Only a knowledgeable person will conquer the darkness. Read on and be charged with new knowledge!

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