History is walking through life looking backwards. The Mental/Mythic structures of consciousness extol history. Looking backward to plot the future enslaves us to what has happened. Thinking we can think ourselves into well-being results in trying to strategize how to be based on what has happened. What a filter! However can we grow?
Those who venerate history rarely ask how memory forms. Yet, we know emotion is a principal regulator of memory. History makes believe that emotions are not part of the record. Take a moment to reflect on your own memories. Can you extract emotions? The old saw that history is written by the victors contains some accuracy. Where is the value in that? What changes for you in considering the history of America if you always include the Trail of Tears? Andrew Jackson, anyone?
I taught Game Theory to graduate students and members of the US military during the Vietnam War. We ran many simulations and the outcome was always the same: devastation and loss. Moreover, every simulation predicted rogue states would have disproportionate influence in the future unless there were radical changes made in both military expenditure (down) and strategy (more alliances predicated on mutual economic benefit). Also, as has been obvious forever (or at least since the Romans, French in Morocco, or the US in Korea), wars fought on foreign soil at great distances cannot subdue the indigenous people. Then came the Afghanistan-Iraq-Iran conflicts. The Viet Nam people and approach was (is) used! You are living the result. Similarly, the headlines about Israel and its relations with its neighbors are the same as they were 50 years ago.
This is not about politics. This is about enslavement to history. The constitutions validity does not derive from its historical value. The only question is: how do its principles live in our consciousness? History enslaves to the document, the flag, allegiance, and by the subtle threat of loss of security. If we don’t keep going as we have been, how do we know we’ll be OK?
The same holds true for personal history. It isn’t a question of whether you were wounded (or treated well) but how those experiences live in you now. Then there is responsibility; then there is freedom. What is the glue that holds them?
Those who revere history are doomed to repeat it.
Don’t think for a minute that economic wealth depends on military spending. That is history running the show, blinding you to the moment. Don’t think for a minute that defending the constitution means oppressing others. Don’t think for a minute that decision makers employ historical narratives for anything but their own greed