|Devotion to Our Lady||
If You Do Not Know History You Will Be Doomed To Repeat It
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” The quote is most likely due to George Santayana, and in its original form it read, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The phrase itself certainly is catchy. It’s hard to disagree with. It's a big one, not only because it is so common, but also because, if it is true and if history is ugly (which it is), then this saying ought to guide our public and private policy, our spiritual, physical and material lives.
Wars that ended with confiscatory terms of surrender inevitably breed more wars based on resentment and a desire for vengeance of some kind—whether it be political vengeance, military vengeance, financial vengeance, etc. Revolutions that give an individual absolute power inevitably, or very often, end up as brutal dictatorships―due to the effects of Original Sin. As the saying goes: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” Even individuals are subject to this advice. Couples who do not learn from their marital fights, often end up breaking-up. People who don’t learn from their mistakes don’t mature and repeat them over and over in a variety of ways. Holy Scripture puts it this way: “As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is the fool that repeateth his folly” (Proverbs 26:11)―a somewhat distasteful expression, but it certainly gets the point across!