December 9, 2020

How History Repeats Itself

Someone once wrote that “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Authoritarian regimes have many common characteristics. They often are led by a charismatic leader who preys on the fears of the majority, particularly in times of economic, religious, political and societal uncertainty. Secondly, to unite everyone, this leader must find a group to be the focus of all their fears, usually those who look, sound, and act differently from the majority. The goal is to depict this group through books and news media as uneducated, drug lords, rapists, lazy, poor and uncivilized.

Thirdly, they must convince everyone that this group is the reason that there is a deterioration of their way of life, when things were better before they came. Fourth, that leader must convince everyone that they must rid themselves of this group in order to gain back their way of life — a time when they were in complete control, and everything was good and beautiful because everyone looked like them. This can be achieved by violence, imprisonment or expelling those who are considered different or foreign from the accepted majority.

Fifth, all intellectuals, scientists, doctors and college professors are considered threats because they rely on history, data and facts that might offer contradictory points of view. Sixth, they must convince everyone that the news media is not to be trusted, only their sanctioned news outlets or spokespersons, so that only one point of view can be presented.

So, perhaps we are once again at the precipice:

We will either learn from history, or we are doomed to repeat it.

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