Tuesday, December 7, 2010
So much I've seen lately has been about looking to the future, about not dwelling on the past. About the chimera of general hope in the progress of humanity. I think it's all poppycock. History is integral. And not just THE history, but historical perspective. So many people think there is only one past. If we knew the pasts of other cultures better, if we constantly challenged ourselves in search of new perspectives on things we thought we knew, it would only foster greater understanding. After all, real progress is an expansion of knowledge, not a contraction of hope in one feckless direction. The "future"? It's a rhetorical device. Recall Ecclesiastes (1:9-11): "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Looking at history? That IS looking at the future. The real future.