I suppose we've exhausted the clichéness of the cliché that George Santayana is credited with, "those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it." All you need do is look around, if you have the courage to fix your gaze on just about anything that is happening in the world today. The picture that heads this post from an OWS protest at UC Cal Davis is just one example of how we've either lost any perspective on our current roles in the continuim or have just decided, in some astonishing feat of hubris, that what we're doing has no connection to the magnificient human errors that we and our ancestors stumbled into in the past.
What's that lesson we all learn as children? Stick you hand in a flame and you get burned? Why have we seemed to take a collective leave of our senses (both physical and intellectual) when it comes to dancing so periously close to fires we thought we had extinguished? Is the burning heat and glow of the fire so seductive that we ignore the potential for pain?
Here's a small list of seemingly collective memorable moments in time within which we seem to have collectively forgotten to remember our past.
- The ridiculous responses to the OWS protests.The crackdowns serve to inflame not douse. These efforts to diminish the protests only serve to diminish the diminishers. I mean seriously, you write a memo explaining our you are going to spend money to discredit the protesters and let it leak?
- Wall St and the finanical world, you know that place where people make money by not making anything, are heading us all into another crash. Of course this behavior and our lack of a government with any desire to do something about it led to the OWS movement in the first place.
- The Republican presidential circus primary. I mean if Newt Gingrich can be on the ascendancy then those who are boosting him upward either don't care, or the office of the presidency has lost all meaning. Probably both. But then, I think the last decade has proven that what we call the US poltical process is nothing more than a hand maiden to bigger interests.
The list could go on and on, because as a species we just go on and on. But somehow in the going on and on, we've forgotten to carry any baggage with us from out collective past as we try to step into the future unfettered. But the only thing that is unfettered or unencumbered seems to be our destiny to find ourselves, again, on the bottom of the cycle that is life, crying about the burns on our hands.