Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind.Taken to another level:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
Aldous HuxleyPlease click HERE for a letter from WWII. Point of departure for highbrow speculation? Another lesson not learned? Matter for contemporary comparison? Or something else entirely?