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Does History ever Repeat Itself ?

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Mohammad Shazaib
Mohammad Shazaib Sep 10, 2020
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“The present is the past rolled up for action and the past is the present unrolled for understanding.” — Will Durant

History repeats itself ? Why do you think so ?

We heard this phrase many times, '' History is repeating itself ''. Does it really has some meaning ? or just a phrase with an absurd notion. If the past is repeating itself, then why it's called Past?

How can we understand that at this particular moment history is repeating itself?
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In one way, at least

Anja M
Anja M Sep 11, 2020
A complex one, but always worth trying. In the quantum entanglement sense, at least theoretically, I guess. But I won't try giving any physics definitions, as some of much more expertise there could do it incomparably better. I just finished watching "Dark" and am under impression. :) (And I am recommending it.) Anyway, there is a very good reason to believe that in a way not strictly scientific in the manner of proving the exact 100% same events are happening under these and these laws, the history gets to repeat itself. On the other hand, in that sort of a repetition we can do much more than in perhaps some more deterministic systems. What I am aiming at are our psychological patterns. The number of trans-generational behavioral patterns. And yes, before I continue to the main point I should say we should be aware of both nature and nurture part of it, so as to mention there are certain behavioral phenotypes we inherit, such as those for stress and trauma response. Further, they are to or not to be triggered by environmental factors, so, we get the idea of how complex it can be. One of the papers addressing this: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352154618300871 However, when it comes to the maturation process and our personal development, yes, people initially behave according to how they were raised, and there are numerous examples each one of us can find in our own environment, starting from ourselves, almost in devastating numbers. And it is curious how hard for an individual is to properly mature, even though we live in an age when we are supposedly working on destigmatizing mental disorders, accepting imperfections openly, attending life coaching courses, etc. But breaking those (bad) transgenerational patterns is a way to "control" history, as much as we can. Apart from the personal/individual level, the collective level of our behavior lies on numerous such models. So getting an insight on "why" and "how" and even "when" something triggers a particular behavior/perception is of much value for either repetition or breaking of that cycle of history.
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History repeats itself due to lack of choice

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Sep 11, 2020
History does have a tendency to repeat itself. There are a number of ways to explain this. I am going to take a different approach and explain how history repeats itself using an example of convergence form evolutionary biology here. Convergence or Convergent evolution is observed when similar features (similar in structure or function) evolve independently in species from different periods in time. These similar features appear in species whose common ancestor did not possess them. The most common example is that of flight. Birds and bats can fly but their common ancestor, that is, the terrestrial tetrapod could not. Thus, the flight mechanisms of birds and bats are analogous features. These two groups evolved flight independently. This has led to differences in the structure of their wings making them functionally convergent, but not anatomically. Similarly, the flight mechanisms in the extinct pterosaurs (a dinosaur), insects, flying squirrels (a mammal), and sugar gliders (a marsupial) are examples of convergent evolution. Although evolved from different body parts and have different anatomy and morphology, they perform the function of flight. What leads to convergent evolution? - Probably the environmental constraints. When there is competition for resources on the land, organisms need to travel longer distances and flying is beneficial in this case. The flight is also a mechanism to avoid predation by terrestrial organisms or to hunt more effectively. The flight is a basic mechanism. To better survive, the species adapts to new ways. There are only a limited number of ways allowed by the environment. In this case, the ways in which an organism can transform itself is to be able to occupy space in the water, on the land, or the air. Since the number of species far exceeds the number of ways, species have no other choice but to adapt to one of these three ways to thrive better. Therefore, to answer the bigger question “why does history repeat itself in general?” – It is probably due to a lack of choice. For each specific event to happen, there exists a limited number of options. The number of events far exceeds the number of options. Repetition is, therefore, inevitable. Note: Along with water, land, and air, space is another, probably unexplored, area for living. Homo sapiens have made progress in that area, not biologically (not using biological evolution), but technologically (using cognition). Observing repetition here will require a larger timeline involving not only the past but also the future.
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History only repeat itself By and Large.

Mohammad Shazaib
Mohammad Shazaib Sep 11, 2020
Saying “history repeats itself” involves viewing history as a circle, similar to the Nietzschean “da capo”, an eternal return of life to the same. The idea that history repeats itself is nothing new. Many thinkers of old have conceptualized history with grand theories focusing on how it has an inherent repetitive nature — or of events themselves, if you think of every historical event was once a present moment. Claude Henri de Rouvroy, a French socialist of the 18th century, characterized the past and future as a period of organic growth followed by critical decay.[1] Oswald Spengler, a philosopher of the 19th and 20th centuries, saw history like the changing of seasons, inevitably repeating the same four seasons in a cyclical fashion.[2] The Ancient Roman poet Virgil, saw all events bound to repeat by some “deterministic fatality and in every particular, all those events that had followed that condition before”.[3] And last and most importantly, Thucydides — the man whom we owe as the founding father of Western history if there is such a thing — argued that history repeats itself. Of all those who have attempted to theorize the cyclical nature of history, the most well-put and exact characterization was by Mark Twain when he famously said: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” All events do not sound off like broken records and Mark Twain said it best by proclaiming that they do rhyme, which he meant that there are similar sounding situations that reoccur throughout history, but not the exact same sound — the definition of a rhyme. This is confirmed by most modern thinkers. As Will and Ariel Durant state in the Lessons of History, “history repeats itself, but only in outline and in the large” Thus, examples of rhymes throughout history are endless: we can affirm that history repeats itself ‘by and large’ which can be explicitly or implicitly observed. Most events will always be of the same nature, but to understand why and not just demonstrate it through the cherry-picking of examples, we need to once again return to the great historians and philosophers. References [1] Durant, Will & Ariel. The Lessons of History [2] Ferguson, Niall. Henry Kissinger: The Idealist [3] Durant, Will & Ariel. The Lessons of History
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