As I’ve aged, to whatever degree I have thus matured and learned, I’ve become aware of the tremendous anachronism (or as CS Lewis called it “chronological snobbery”) of our tiny pocket of history.
Do we honestly believe that we are somehow smarter and better than those whose paved the way for our existence in the last 5000 years?
We are taught a shallow and cursory view of history in modern schools (an indoctrination system that has only existed a very short time), with perhaps the most important aspects reduced to biased negative stereotypes (the ruthless dictator; the misery of the middle age peasant; the viciousness of the Catholic Church, etc). We are propagandised into a moralistic worldview instead of a rational one. There is little to no emphasis placed on developing one’s own logic, or practicing detached scepticism.
Public schooling is certainly more akin to the mass cult indoctrination than the eras and cultures past that are today accused of such.
The only solution to the problem of my own ignorance, I conclude, is to read as many books as I can. The older the better. No one book is definitive or complete in its perspective, so more books are better.
I certainly have a great deal more to learn in order to understand the goings on of the world today, but there is one thing of which I am almost certain: everything we today call PROGRESS and believe to be some unique enlightenment or evolution of man’s nature is only a temporary fluctuation in trajectory or velocity of the swinging pendulum of history.
There is nothing new under the sun.
Many of the things we are taught to view as virtues and positive developments have not only happened before, countless times, but also have they wrought great destruction when their fruits were finally borne.
Beware the claims of the fools who believe that history has ended, and some kind of wondrous new epoch is dawning. This age will end, and it will end in a blood bath, just as every one past has too. The wise among us will not be so foolish as to trust the certainty of the future being sold to them, and they will adapt and breed, and only the families who pay attention to the past will inherit the future.