Friday 20 October 2017

We are in danger of sliding into a modern version of history that looks all too familiar

Donald Trump attends a rally at Spooky Nook sports centre in Manheim, Pennsylvania Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump attends a rally at Spooky Nook sports centre in Manheim, Pennsylvania Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Jillian Godsil

George Santayana, the Spanish philosopher, is credited with the sage observation that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Sound advice, to which I would add a codicil - those who write the history dictate the repetition and in that case, are we actually repeating what happened, or inventing a past to repeat?

I have been boring my friends and anyone who cares to listen for the past five years or so that we are sliding into a new history that looks very much like the old one. I have said it on live radio, in live pubs and at live dinner party conversations. I am like a parrot at this stage.

Now I see it on Facebook, arguably the caretaker of trends, where people quote historic lessons and provide modern parallels. The rise of the Third Reich is no longer a chapter confined to a history book; it is now a series of videos on social media where people are tracing clear and obvious parallels between Hitler's monster rallies and Donald Trump's election rallies.

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