Luckily we are civilised now and the past will not repeat itself

Gordan Stojović

Luckily we are civilised now and the past will not repeat itself.

People are constantly fooling themselves, some do it more cleverly than others for myriads of different reasons. However most frequently for some type of personal gain. Those who are caught red handed in their deceit are shunned and quickly give up. The others, those who go about their deceit more elegantly, grow to be great manipulators, some greater than others, but all like one go about their lives manipulating on micro or macro levels.

There is however one collective lie. I like to call it the lie above all lies. It is the myth of the civilised enlightenment of our modern time (as we all know every current era is considered modern as it is unfolding). It is equally negative on the level of the individual as it is on higher levels.

Each time I hear someone say: “ but we are living in the 21st century, we have learnt to much to let the history repeat itself. The humanity has evolved, we are civilised now”, I worry, and my worries are growing exponentially with every passing year.

I reminisce of peaceful treaties between great empires in not so distant past inviting to prosperity after great losses, debating that those great atrocities are nothing more than thing of the past, and that we are civilised now. My skin crawls in particular when I think of 1991 and my 14 years old self and my father reassuring me that he as a son of military man, the general of Titos army, he who had lived all across the former republic of Yugoslavia, who had friends among the people of all 6 of the republics, he told me that people have evolved, they were smarter now, they new better, and nobody wanted to relive the horrors of the Second World War.

Ilustracija: Monja Jenssen

As I was then observing the manipulation of those primitive but unfortunately efficient media from every border, and the terror that was slowly getting under the skin of the everyday people, I was convinced that there would be no war. I was soundly sleeping my adolescent sleep, reading Orwell, Borges and listening to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden as every other ordinary kid. And as every text book teenager I was attempting to play a bass guitar in local punk band without any success worth mentioning.

This lasted for a while, until one day as I was walking back home from school I noticed troops of soldiers and tanks marching straight through my little Mediterranean town, going of to some war against some people who lived only a few miles to the north, where I had spent a better part of my childhood years. Why were those people going of to war against their friends, their acquaintances, people whom I knew and loved through my parents. And what would become of my favourite guitar and fishing equipment store? I thought to myself naively.

I asked my dad – how can it be that we are repeating something that we have relived many times over and know by heart.

I’ve never gotten a straight answer, and I’m still searching for the same answer scared on the behalf of our humanity who never learns from its mistakes, who when it looks back thousands years in retrospect is constantly repeating the same mistakes only to periodically convinces it self that it has evolved, become civilised and that the errors of its old ways will not repeat itself.

But the mere essence of the man is such in nature that it cyclically on every level brings himself and others who think, look or deviate from the norm by any respect to extreme confrontations, to be zealous and give ample motive to the other side, and the other side to the third one and so on and so forth.

As said by one of my favourite poets; “people are angry because they are not people” or at least not enough as it takes for the humanity to not constantly be lacking in our human skins.

It is such a shame that we are forevermore letting the history repeat itself instead of finally abandoning our aspirations of the myth of our civilisation.