Friday, 14 May 2010

Can we stop history repeating itself? Do we want to?

If we don't know, and understand our history, we will be doomed to repeat it.  I was tickled to find this quote in the blog of one of the several young, inspiring bloggers I read. He recognised the truth of it, both on the global scale and on the personal, but I know I didn't at his age! 

When we are young, all is fresh and new, we feel love, and so many other powerful emotions, for the first time, and their intensity can be overwhelming, totally wiping away any other view and making rational decisions quite impossible.  The joy, and pain, of young love is unrepeatable - thank heavens!  When I look back to the see-saws of emotion that I underwent when I was younger, I am deeply relieved I am no longer subject to these gales and tsunamis of perception, but also grateful to have had my senses so exalted.  The calmer seas of age are no less enjoyable, but sailing on a gently rippling sea, in the shelter of the headlands of experience is alot more relaxing, allowing one to savour experiences more deeply.  

Following the General Election here, in the UK, a little knowledge of history also brings a calming perspective!  The election of 1979, when Margaret Thatcher swept to power with an overwhelming majority, began a new era - one that most of us who lived through it regret deeply. Such a majority meant there was very little tempering influence over the actions of a group of people who were rather like religious fundamentalists, they believed utterly in their version of truth, and imposed it rigorously.  As one gets older, one realises that no one has 'THE Truth' and that such a belief results in bigotry, and bigotry leads to oppression.

Thatcherism lead to an enormous increase in the gap between the 'Haves' and the 'Have nots', which was perpetuated by Tony Blair and his 'New Labour" (which to most of us bore no resemblance to any kind of socialism)  I am not particularly Left or Right wing in my political stance, it seems to me that both extremes have some truths, but also have some bigoted, emotional misconceptions in their world views. 

I am extremely heartened to see the Right wing and the Centre of British politics making a sincere attempt to work together for the good of the country - this seems to me real patriotism, which is a different beast from from the Jingoism so often seen in the media, and I hope they can make it work.  The media keep reminding us that this is the first Coalition government since the War - but omit to recall how well that Coalition worked!  Conflict makes excitement and therefore viewers/readers for the media, but it's not good for a healthy society.  Perhaps the cynics/sceptics who keep decrying the stability of this new government would be wise to take a step back and realise that if this doesn't work, their bank balances, along with the rest us, will suffer?  Take the medicine, folks, before we all go to hell in a handbasket.

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