Editorial

Learning from History

Winston Churchill wrote, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

People who don’t learn from their mistakes, repeat the same mistake time after time and our political powers, to the left and to the right, seem to be deliberately ignoring the past.

As both parties move towards the edges of their political spectrum; as they become more dogmatic and more rigid and perceive the other side as sworn enemies instead of as collaborators with a different point of view, perhaps it is time that we re-examine our political system and consider that if we don't act now, there is the possibility that this country's treasured democracy is going to become just another extinct dodo.

Instead of the two party system where all the spoils go to the eventual winner, perhaps it is time to start looking at three or more parties; each with their own beliefs, heroes and villains and where power can be achieved by coalition, not dogmatic insularity.

There is one thing I’ve learned through the years. Good results are achieved through compromise and collaboration; I give a little… you give a little… and we both get a result that both might not be ecstatic about, but certainly don’t mind. It is the true “art of the bargain” practiced every day at the markets and bazaars of the Levant.

Those that expect “political purity” and push for all-or-nothing, usually get nothing. Demonizing the other side just brings in extremists, on all sides. Intolerance breeds contempt… contempt breeds hate… hate breeds more rigidity and more contempt and, eventually, violence.

Have we already forgotten or, even worse, dismissed January 6, 2021? There will always be hucksters that will try to exploit public opinion to their own advantage. They will lie and manipulate and try to empower themselves at the expense of everyone else.

“An ignorant mind believes itself omniscient and omnipotent” said George Santayana.

What happened in Germany of the late 1920s, should be a lesson for us in the US of today.

Germany was a democracy for much of the early 20th century. The German defeat in World War I and the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles, holding Germany responsible for starting the war and imposing harsh penalties in terms of loss of territory, massive reparations payments  and demilitarization, infuriated the average German. German political parties had a narrow base of support generally based on class, occupation and religion. The Chancellor and the Cabinet needed to be approved by the Reichstag, Germany's legislature, and needed the Reichstag's continued support to stay in  power. As the economic stagnation deteriorated in 1930, many disillusioned  voters turned to extremist parties. During this period, Adolf Hitler began to promote himself as the only one that could fix the humiliated and economically ailing country and Make Germany Great Again... sounds familiar? The politicians that governed Germany at the time, thought that if they made this upstart Chancellor they could control him; instead he turned the tables on them and declared himself Führer (supreme leader) of the Third Reich with the slogan “ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” (one People, one Realm, one Leader) promoting the cult of personality that surrounded him. Hitler became the absolute dictator of Germany; there were no legal or constitutional limits to his authority.

WWII and the “Final Solution” followed.

Thankfully, it didn't happen that way after our 2016 election; but it could have easily happened. Is that the road we want to be heading down?

Just remember. Know the past, so that you can control your future; it's as simple as that.

 

Manos Angelakis
Managing Editor
LuxuryWeb Magazine

 

 

 

© February 2022 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.

 

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