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Those Who Have No Knowledge Of The Past Are Condemned To Repeat It. Is A Knowledge Of History Important?

811 words - 3 pages

Those who have no knowledge of the past are condemned to repeat it. Is a knowledge of history important?This is an old belief that if we do not know history, we will not learn from it and will repeat it. For this reason, it has been promoted that a study of history is all important. My opinion is that a knowledge of his​tory is not at all as important as it is made out to be and, in fact, history stores a lot of pain that we can well do without. In many aspects, a knowledge of history actually acts as an obstacle to progress. In this age when more and more discoveries are being made about the human mind and how it works, it could well be that it is a knowledge of history and a fanatical belief that there are invaluable lessons in it that actually bring out a repetition of the pain that it once brought. Psychologists have prov​en that past failures in an individual's life keep him from even trying to succeed. This could well apply to a country, which is after all a collec​tion of individuals.The statement in the question brings to mind another popular state​ment: History repeats itself. This quotation is .a contradiction of the other. It has been found to be true quite often. For example, we see that World War Two came about in the same area affecting the same nations barely twenty years after World War One ended. If the statement that history teaches valuable lessons is true, how did World War Two happen? Obvi​ously the slaughter of millions of young men in the prime of their lives just twenty years ago taught the nations nothing. In this case it is obviously a case of history repeating itself and not of people having learnt from history.Looked at in another way, we see that there are countries - like Switzerland and Sweden - who have not been involved in a war for a few centuries. There are no lessons that they have learnt from so how did they keep war away? They seemed to have a source of learning but not from the past. Their lesson probably came from a reasoned forecast of 'what if. They probably realized that if they did not take certain steps they would be drawn into a war and so they took the steps in order to safeguard their interests.A popular saying related to the military is : Generals always prepare...

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