To start, before I reply to you about history repeating itself, I am afraid to ask my English cousins what they think about Brexit but I’d bet either wholehearted or reluctant remain — reluctant because of overpopulation and impacts to the countryside, immigration, and fracking in Yorkshire. My response after the Brexit vote was that I wouldn’t want xenophobic, racist and reactionary rage mob mentality running the show, capitalizing on the frustration and anger of those who feel excluded in decision making, especially economically, and as regards immigration with the UK within EU membership, yet obliged to navigate the impacts. When I was in the UK last year, some were saying England is a small country- how to accommodate a larger, more foreign population in England’s green and pleasant lands; others were fully in favor of free trade capitalism, while farming in a gentlemanly manner.
But as an American, I have since become more aware of free trade impacts especially with President Obama’s TPPA promotion. As obvious “paying the piper” to his election donors 4 and 8 years thence, most Americans are unaware of these impacts. Hidden in the agreement are draconian conditions that would nullify the powers of local to federal governance, and therefore, the USA as we have known it. Both houses of the Legislature already are answering, not to constituents, but almost wholy to corporate lobbying and control, as is our judiciary, and executive Powers that were meant as checks and balances to prevent tyranny. We now have tyranny behind the screen, and we are not supposed to notice the dangers we might face- with tepid response to global warming, air and water pollution and degradation of wilderness and environment sold out from under our feet to the highest bidder. The dangers this implies for people excluded from a decent education, health care, or rewarding work and therefore equality and wellbeing as citizens are much greater, and for the so called undeveloped world, with militarized and corporatized USA as empire, the dangers border on the horrible already.
With these ideas, I think what repeats itself without fail in History is ignorant greed on the part of dominating and controling interests for reasons of a blind and unconscious rage, and perceived indaequacy and low self esteem on a personal, collective, and national, scale. Much mythology, floklore and many a cautionary tale reflects the very old theme. If you really want to face its causes, It is blamed on Eve but is beyond a doubt of male origin. Even though women inoculated with overdriven power might be more sensational, it is men falling for physical might, an imprint of mythic proportions even to argue about. Through the eons, however a large and ancient human demographic is historically the first to bring massive violent causality and with it the ironic concept of the “dawn of civilization”.
Referring back to Tobias Stone’s article, disaster History’s repetitions go beyond class, yet the class system- having everything to do with war, has created trauma by invasions, near permanently weakened populations, also disseaeses and less ability to survive well. We have inherited war on this destructive scale, in part, from our Indo-European forebears as they migrated westward in waves beinning 8 to 10 thousand years ago. That this approximates the origins of the span of recorded history and large scale river valley agriculture, is not entirely an haphazard accident- my opinion, and does have a lot to do with why history repeats itself, where it began, and why. By this I mean that the advent of armied destructive genocide style war “Arts” began at that time, as is recorded in the Bible, hero songs, Greek Mythology, early writing, and archeology. Since we call that the “dawn’ of civilization” that is also when the fact of history repeating itself in these dire ways began.
Our Indo European Ancestors migrated from the Indian sub continent to escape devastating drought, as recent geological study has revealed, and as mentioned in the book “Rain; A Natural and Cultural History”, by Cynthia Barnett, published in 2015. They brought their caste system with them- and their mythology, going first to Northern Europe beginning at the end of the last Ice Age at about the 11- 10,000 year margin for genetic mutation, and continuing to leave for the next 5 or 6 centuries. But many of the people they conquered or replaced were tribal people indigenous to Western Eurasia and Central Asia. They were shamanic cultures that did not have “history repeating itself” the way we do now. Even Arch sites show no fortifications of villages at all over at least 10,000 years prior. They were hunter gatherer peoples or stock herding nomads.
The earliest large sculptures representing human form are those at Catal Huyuk, and neigboring sites on the Anatolian Plateau, in modern day Turkey. A legendary Archeologist named Klaus Schmidt has slowly excavated sites there for decades, especially at Gobekli Tepe. He discovers from skeletal remains that the people there were very tall and very healthy. He surmises that the advent of agriculture, brought literal meaning and origin of the concept of the “Fall of Man.” Now there was war to gain more land. Now there was hierarchy, fortifications and towns. Now women were burdened with having many children to work in the fields, and reduced status- unequal to men, death by childbirth; organized religion to keep control of the people, and a 6 inch drop in height, and marked increase in malnutrition and ill health over less than 1000 years time in populations in the entire area all the way to the fertile crescent. None of these hallmarks of “civilization” were found at these ancient sites of large incised sculptures of humans, animals, and fantastical beings of fabulous meaning.
History repeating itself originates in the trauma of war. The new study, and revelations, folllowing PTSD gives us a modern medical glimpse of this truth, but hasn’t yet broken the code. Alexander the Great scourged the continent from Greece all the way to far Central Asia. It has been one disaster after another starting around 3 to 6000 BCE. Genhis Kahn brought trauma by unconscious return 1,300 years later, destroying much of Europe and everything else on the way. The Mohammedans conquered most of Europe in the 7th Century AD. The crusaders reacted. War and disease on a disaster scale, and History repeating itself has a definite beginning. Shamanic cultures, ( see www.shamanism.org) those that remain, have much to teach us now, though these cultures have lost much from persecution and the arrogance of power, by the organized religion, and so called modern civilization. It stuns me that a memory survived, described in the Bible and in other ancient texts, of wellbeing, abundance, wisdom and more balance, and is discovered as an archeological link in time — something that actually existed, followed by “The Fall of Man.”