Thankfully, not all of the radical left has been sleepwalking through history. We have to be grateful that those heavy-hitters like Marx/Engels, Lenin, Mao Zedong and their many comrades and fellow travellers have taken what those of privileged background considered their sole right of ownership, and delivered to the world a different political outlook and possibility.
Those scholars and revolutionaries were students of history, both contemporary and ancient and within those tomes of archived wisdom and hard lessons they could filter out, like a calculating alchemist, that which was the objective lesson to be scrutinised and salubriously applied, and what was the most destructive exemplar to be avoided like poison … They weighed one period of history against the other and studied that and those which could be called a “perennial truth” .. ; a truism that could be applied down through any age, any culture .. as familiar to ancient and modern, as commonly felt in pain and pleasure by any peoples .. as grist to all as jealousy and love or fire and water .. yet used in many differing applications by all and the generic knowledge amongst any nation which has learned to value and scorn the solid truth of what gold is to iron pyrites.
“It is true that the history of past centuries ought to be the instructress of the present; but not in the vulgar sense, as if one could simply by turning over the leaves discover the conjunctures of the present in the records of the past, and collect from these the symptoms for a political diagnosis and the specifics for a prescription; it is instructive only so far as the observation of older forms of culture reveals the organic conditions of civilization generally– the fundamental forces everywhere alike, and the manner of their combination everywhere different–and leads and encourages men, not to unreflecting imitation, but to independent reproduction.” (Mommsen ; History of Rome, chap 11, bk 5.).
So only in a general sense we can claim that : “History repeats”. But in an “organic” sense, we can clearly see the familiarity of behaviours, the continuity and habits … Jealousy remains a constant .. as does hate and greed and covetous desire … and many more .. there is a constant in so many things human.
(On the ancient royal Celt clan families of Gaul).
“These great families combined in their hands financial, warlike, and political ascendency. They monopolized the leases of the profitable rights of the state. They compelled the free commons, who were oppressed by the burden of taxation, to borrow from them, and to surrender their freedom first de facto as debtors, then de jure as bondmen. They developed the system of retainers, that is, the privilege of the nobility to surround themselves with a number of hired mounted servants– the –“ambacti”- as they were called (mercenaries)–and thereby to form a state within the state; and, resting on the support of these troops of their own, they defied the legal authorities and the common levy and practically broke up the commonwealth.” (Mommen ; History of Rome; bk 5 chap 7.)
What have we been missing in these lessons complete from history? .. Is it example? .. no! .. there are legion of those .. Is it precedence of situation matched to current conditions .. no! .. the base behaviours are similar, the organic nature the same .. Is it an unwillingness to confront the inevitable on the chance that it just may not happen? .. “it will be different this time … ” THAT, I believe is the uncertainty that restrains the action. The chance, the possibility that perhaps … perhaps things WILL be different this time around .. the corporate memory lost, the battered person syndrome, history forgotten.
But Mao didn’t forget, nor Marx or Lenin … The history was there, in bold archival print, recorded in ghastly blood, in cruel reality .. all the characters played out again and again in life and theatre, in brutal abuse or florid, Shakespearian tongue. Again and again the people are beaten, flogged and robbed and still we come back for more .. EXACTLY like the battered woman, hoping, trusting , that things this time will be different ..
Bad news, fellow travellers … they could get worse .. and just how bad can these things get? Go back and read “Outsider’s ”Italian Resistance” pieces and see. Go back and read those many expose’s about indigenous massacres and carnage and see … go back and read of the fall of Rome .. Go to Google and conjure up any amount of images of Roman villas .. google up the luxury and the silks and vases and marble halls and palaces .. there could NOT BE MORE luxury to get … witness even now , after two thousand years, the remnants in the capital or Pompeii , the voluptuous pleasures and think not that this we have here and now cannot be wasted just like Raqqa in Syria today .. nothing but a shell and despair … and just imagine the chaos and ruin of millions of lives and joke no more that to study history was “as driving with your eyes constantly in the rear view mirror”. To NOT study the lessons of the past is to be driving blind.
We must make it a habit to keep the histories of our past as close to us as we keep our life lessons. They must be learned and memorised NOT as a scholarly text to be rote repeated, but rather as the whispers of a close friend’s advice to be heeded. For time will come when a decision between hope and despair may have to be made and woe betide the making of the wrong choice through lack of precedent knowledge.
Consider these three examples below .. :
“Lucius Aelius Sejanus (June 3, 20 BC – October 18, AD 31), commonly known as Sejanus was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the Roman Emperor Tiberius . An equestrian (upper middle-class) by birth, Sejanus rose to power as prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, of which he was commander from AD 14 until his death in AD 31.
While the Praetorian Guard was formally established under Emperor Augustus, Sejanus introduced a number of reforms which saw the unit evolve beyond a mere bodyguard, into a powerful and influential branch of the government involved in public security, civil administration and ultimately political intercession; these changes would have a lasting impact on the course of the Principate.” (Wikipedia)
“Peter Craig Dutton (born 18 November 1970) is an Australian politician who has been a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Dickson, Qld. Dutton was the Minister for Health and also Sport from 18 September 2013 and Minister for Immigration and Border protection from 21 December 2014 in the Abbott Government.. In July 2017, he was named Minister for Home Affairs and officially appointed by the Governor-General on 20 December 2017 to lead the Department of Home Affairs, a newly created portfolio giving him oversight of ASIO, the AFP and Border Force.
In 1988, when Dutton was 18 years old he joined the Young Liberals (Aust’) and became the Policy Vice-Chair of the Bayside Young Liberals the following year. In the same year he ran unsuccessfully as the Liberal candidate against Labor MP Tom Burns in the eastern Brisbane state seat of Lytton . In 1990 Dutton became Chair of the Bayside Young Liberals.” (Wikipedia)
The road to aspirational desire and achievement in the two above characters is similar .. Both came from middle-class backgrounds and both desired power .. absolute power .. Dutton is yet to try to grasp that supreme baton of ruler, Sejanus made a reckless lunge for it and paid the supreme price … This age and country does not execute .. physically .. those who try to usurp power through devious advantage .. but it does condemn them to a kind of soft purgatory … The portrayal of Sejanus in Robert Grave’s “I Claudius” … is a decent collation of events that led to his final, swift fall .. and possibly not a moment too soon!
Dutton is no life and death gambler of the cut of the personally violent Sejanus, no … HE gets the departments and the minions employed by his authority to do the dirty business … HE keeps his own hands off the blood-soaked bodies while he gloats of their fate, Dutton has not the overt courage of a risky Sejanus, but he has all the viciousness! … and worse .. Dutton has the coward’s snivelling temperament.
Dutton WILL try for the supreme power, but unless those ticks and leeches that are the current crop of LNP caucus can sink any lower in both their own estimates and the general public’s, Dutton should not get the job .. and hopefully in the next election, this odious person will once again be relegated to public sight and mob payment for what he has done in our name.
We cannot afford to go into the next phase of this century with our eyes shut against the confronting lessons of history. It is there for us to see .. the habits formed when weak leadership does not pick up on signs and behaviours that give clear intent of actions. The current Prime Minister has such a lack of political judgment so difficult to believe that it is mind-numbing to watch him walk this nation into the jaws of destruction when there is so much wealth of opportunity for social justice .. The film below gives us a chance to see constructed the step by step path to disaster .. the posts of “Outsider” shows us the real-life results of those fumbling steps ..
“1900 “ is a 1976 Italian epic historical film directed by Bernado Bertolucci Set in Bertolucci’s ancestral region of Emilia, the film chronicles the lives and friendship of two men – the landowning Alfredo Berlinghieri (Robert De Niro) and the peasant Olmo Dalcò (Gerard Depardieu) – as they witness and participate in the political conflicts between fascism and communism that took place in Italy in the first half of the 20th century.
Born on the day of the death of renowned composer Guiseppi Verdi— 27 January 1901 — Alfredo Berlinghieri and Olmo Dalcò come from opposite ends of the social spectrum. Alfredo is from a family of landowners led by his populist grandfather (also called Alfredo), while Olmo is an illegitimate peasant. Olmo’s grandfather, Leo, is the foreman and peasants’ strong man who verbally and spiritually carries out a duel of wits with the elder Alfredo. . . However, Alfredo’s father has hired Attila Mellanchini (played so lasciviously by a drooling Donald Sutherland) as his foreman. Taken with fascism , Attila eventually incorporates his new belief system in his dealings with the Berlinghieri workers; he treats them cruelly and later cages them in the Berlinghieri compound and accuses them of treason against fascist Italy. Several are killed by Attila himself. As the new padrone (master) of the plantation, Alfredo does little to challenge or halt Attila’s actions.”
“Lights! .. Camera! … Action!! “ ….. Let the history repeat.