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The Unique Importance of History for Individuals and Society

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History attempts to present the facts of social experience in the same form and order in which the facts of individual experience occur. The unique importance of history, that is discussed in this essay, is based not on its objectives, which are common to other school subjects, but on its methods and materials. The role of this subject is crucial as this also takes place in both for people and the society at all. History is about the experiences of groups of ordinary individuals as well as the achievements of extraordinary people. History arranges its materials in chronological order and thus is naturally led to stress the concepts of change and continuity, of development and decay. This time dimension cannot be given so much emphasis in any other school subject.

The majority of politicians sell their work on a diet of fake news. What they say is like honey is dripping from their mouths, but what they do is commonly almost exactly the opposite. It’s just like what fascists did. They launch fake news to cover things up or start wars and then talk about humanity. It’s the same thing with public media nowadays. It’s like Ted Bundy telling you not to kill people.

So, Hitler got a stimulating Nobel Peace prize, right? Almost the same way, Obama got one. Comparing Obama with the great leaders who have come before is painful. So, of course, Trump shouldn’t get a Nobel Prize, because America has stopped being the world’s self-proclaimed policeman during his mandate – wars were stopped and the economy rose. Why would he get a Nobel Prize, the same one that was given to Obama?

When the Soviet Union fell, optimistic scholars believed the world had shifted inexorably in the direction of free markets and liberal democracy. Instead, the West gradually embraced bigger government and weaker social bonds, creating a fragmented society in which the only thing we all belong to is the state.

Let’s not become laugh-free, brain-free fools. Socialism has no moral justification whatsoever; poor people are not morally superior to rich people, nor are they owed anything by rich people simply because of their lack of success. Charity is not a socialist concept – it is a religious one, an acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty over property, sovereignty the Left utterly rejects.

Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution.

The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors. While the West tries to turn its citizens into cultural variety hour, Islam tries to turn Muslim lands into a cultural monolith. The same West that justifies the rap culture thinks that every Muslim terrorist bombing is an expression of economic angst or social alienation.

Not only that the modern implementation of the prison planet has far surpassed even Orwell’s 1984, but the only difference between our society and those fictionalized in apocalyptic comics is that the advertising techniques used to package the propaganda are a little more sophisticated on the surface. Yet just a quick glance behind the curtain reveals that the age-old tactics of manipulation by fear and manufactured consensus are still being used to force humanity into accepting the terms of its own imprisonment and in turn policing others within the prison without bars.

We don’t know where we are going if we don’t know where we’re from. But there is a deeper reason, which is that history allows us to understand our own fallibility and hubris, helping us to approach our shortcomings with some degree of humility.

It also emphasizes that progress is not linear, nor is it irreversible. With every step forward, we can still take two steps back. If we study history’s trajectory and learn from our mistakes, perhaps we can be better attuned to what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the better angels of our nature’.

What about the American original sin – slavery? Thomas Jefferson was also a slaveholder which should remind us that the story of human progress is hardly the magnificent, linear journey toward the promised land of peace and justice that we often believe it to be.

President Barack Obama was fond of quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s aphorism that ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ But the progress is fragile and reversible. (And Obama made no progress anyway.)

History isn’t a march to neverland. History warns us, however, that a steady march to the promised land is fallacious — as much as we all might want to believe in it.

The ones who study history have a better grasp of politics, so they play games of predicting the future. Masses might’ve been manipulated into voting for a certain decision, but their original thoughts have never and will never be acted on. But that is alright, we are responsible only for our own actions.

We also study the past to understand how great leaders come to grasp and master the currents of history more deeply than others. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill understood the gathering threat posed by Nazi Germany long before his peers did. He knew the USA must be forced to participate in the war. Abraham Lincoln felt that slavery had to end before many of his colleagues did.

History makes loyal citizens because memories of common experiences and common aspirations are essential ingredients in patriotism. History makes intelligent voters because sound decisions about present problems must be based on knowledge of the past. History makes good neighbors because it teaches tolerance of individual differences and appreciation of varied abilities and interests. History makes stable, well-rounded individuals because it gives them a start toward understanding the pattern of society and toward enjoying the artistic and intellectual productions of the past. It gives long views, a perspective, a measure of what is permanent in a nation’s life. History leads to all these goals, but so do other subjects studied in schools. Civics, geography, and sociology also aid in developing loyal and intelligent citizens; art and literature help to create tolerant, sympathetic, well-rounded individuals. Each one has a definite place in the curriculum.

What is true of individuals is also true of communities. Every organized social group is guided by its recollection of the past. If it does not think about its past it will be ruled by custom, but only the most primitive people remain at this level.

It is hard to see how a community could exist without a sense of its past. It could not know that it was now a community if it did not know that it had been a community. It could not have a common policy if it did not remember the common experiences from which policy must be derived. We all use history; we all appeal to past experience in making both individual and group decisions. Much of the history we use comes to us naturally and without effort; we remember our own experiences and those of the people with whom we are most closely associated. In a small community or a primitive society, this informal history meets most needs. In a large community or a complex society, it is inadequate.

It was not very important for our ancestors of the eighteenth century to know the history of people that live thousands of miles away, but it is today. We should become good neighbors as well as good citizens – that’s something that America lacks the most. No country can exist without a diversity of occupations, interests, and beliefs. We need more tolerance and an active appreciation of the contributions of all the kinds of people who make up our countries.

National history can teach us how to live with ourselves, and the history of the world lets us know what to do with our neighbors. Understanding and appreciating what has been done by others is one way of keeping life from becoming monotonous and meaningless. History, when properly taught, shows the importance of religion, art, and literature as much as it does that of economic and political processes. It can interest us in science and many other spheres of life. It can make us curious about life. At least, it places us in the proper setting. There are many interesting stories to tell in order to study the development of humans as a species.

One of the most important lessons of history is that all human activities are interrelated. A history course that is broad enough would provide questions, solutions, and consequences for those solutions. History is the record of human existence and it’s absolutely 100% made by us. There is no reason to be proud of anything that’s not the product of our historical choices.

Finally, history prepares us for living. We must know our own history if we are to understand our country and deal adequately with its problems. The American Revolution was part of a world war in which four European countries were involved; the development of American industry has often been affected by events that took place abroad. If we know only our own history we are apt to exaggerate both our achievements and our failures. The dearest part is the fact that we can get first-hand information up to a few generations back. We can almost feel the uniqueness of those times.

However, history can give birth to ideas of superiority or inferiority that lead us astray, however, history is also the antidote for that. Some myths are made up and easily debunkable.

Nostalgia contributes to mythologizing the past. We always make our memories a little more exciting due to our long grief about the loss of Eden. Our memories often become idealizations of the revolt against the present. The truth is, most of us live in an ordinary world and times. There’s nothing too unique about it, however, something is always going on.

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The Unique Importance of History for Individuals and Society. (2023, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 26, 2023, from
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