General Question

antimatter's avatar

Do you think history repeats itself?

Asked by antimatter (4411points) July 14th, 2015

Eighteen years ago something happened to me and for some unknown reason the same thing happened to me again.
Eighteen years ago I started working at a retail store and was paid off two days later. Now the something happened again to me.

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15 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Yes, because humans forget history and inevitably end up making the same mistakes.

Your case however is pure coincidence plus selective perception.
Think of all the years this did not happen.
And think of all the people this did not happen to.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, we’d need more details to understand. Why were you laid off the first time, and why were you laid off the second time?

janbb's avatar

History repeating itself and you having the same experience twice in your life are two different things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

…Unless she was laid off for the same reason both times @janbb.

wsxwh111's avatar

One cannot step twice into the same river?

Berserker's avatar

@ragingloli I don’t think it’s so much that people forget, rather than they either don’t care, or genuinely believe that what they’re doing is different. I think the main mistake is most people think they’re doing something unique, and when coupled with desire or any kind of other strong intent, well…you know the rest.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It happens all the time in America—more than other places, I think. It has to do with the American’s poor knowledge of history and their obsession with the meaningless shit they call entertainment, instead of paying attention to the nation’s life and death issues.

For example, in the run-up to the last presidential election, there was a lot of talk about “Supply-Side Economics” (aka Trickle-Down Economics) by the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, when he came under attack for being out of touch with the general population as a “One Percenter.” He said with Supply-Side economics, the One Percenters would be the ones to save America from it’s latest economic woes—through tax cuts to the rich and service cuts to the poor.

Supply-Side Economics is the “economic theory” that economic benefits provided to upper income level earners mainly through tax cuts will help society as a whole by stimulating the national economy. In theory the extra wealth accrued through tax cuts to the wealthy will be spent by them into the economy, providing wealth for lower income earners and creating jobs. This wealth will, in turn, be spent back into the economy when the money is invested into new business ventures and in this way paid out to employees, suppliers, and contractors creating national economic growth. Sounds good. It’s a very good con, because it’s failure to deliver economic growth and benefit all Americans isn’t revealed until it’s too late and the country is nearly broke.

The problem is that the wealthy don’t reinvest in America when the economy is flat. They take their money elsewhere, or simply use the money for personal gain, and the American taxpayer is left holding the bag for massive national debt in a country with less services than before due to spending deficits. In fact Supply-Side, or Trickle Down Economics is not a Theory at all. No economists consider this even a theory. Theory is what the con is called in order to give it legitimacy when being sold to the public. It is policy, and no more.

Unbeknownst to the ignorant electorate, this was first tried in the 1890’s. It had been promoted by the wealthy class (Morgan, Carnegie, Mellon, Rockefeller, Cooke, the Goulds, etc.,—all were vocal proponents) through the Republican Party in the United States under the name “Horse and Sparrow Theory,” as in, “If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” In other words, horseshit. But this description only came after the economic Panic of 1896, for which “Horse and Sparrow” is considered partially responsible by economic historians.

In 1929, the stock market crashed and a world-wide depression ensued. Herbert Hoover, a Republican president elected only the year before, was pretty much left holding the bag. However, during the run-up to the presidential election of 1932, Hoover disinterred the old Horse and Sparrow Theory as a way for America to work it’s way back to economic health, but evidently it was too soon (Americans had better memories then), for the voter wanted food for the hungry not more horseshit, and they voted in the man who promised them a New Deal.

Supply-Side was most recently successfully championed by Republican President Ronald Reagan and trumpeted by his budget director, David Stockman, over 30 years before the 2008 election as a way to stimulate a flagging economy during what became on of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. But, once again unrecognized by the ignorant and unwashed, it was once again used as an excuse to cut government spending on schools, community medical support, public services such as highways and many other badly needed programs for which the one percent wealthiest people of the U.S. find little financial benefit in and therefore wish to dismantle. At that time is was known as Reaganomics and Laissez-faire Economics.

But the latest generation of voters had evidently never heard any of the terms used to describe the “theory” in the past and therefore were prime marks for the latest con. When came Romney in 2008 with the same old horseshit to a whole new generation, it was like he’s just invented the wheel. He was, after all, some kind of genius in the world of investing. But for other reasons entirely, Obama was elected president instead. Just dumb luck.

Other favorite disastrous repetitions of American history have to do with war. Here, I’ll let you figure this one out:

Vietnam War : Quagmire :: Afghan and Iraq War : ?
The answer is: Clusterfuck.

That one just blew my mind. I couldn’t believe the American people were stupid enough to get sucked into something so similarly unnecessary, so expensive, and so fucking soon after our last little Asian adventure at an average of $1Million/minute (1967 dollars!) for ten years. Incredible. They were sucked in by the same kinds of lies and temptations, the same outrageous expense in blood and money, and there is no reason to believe that we won’t pay the same long-term societal costs —because we still won’t take care of our veterans.

Yeah, @antimatter, history repeats itself, tragically and unnecessarily.

geeky_mama's avatar


Case in point: “Cloud Technology”.

This, in essence is a repeat of the way the internet started back in the day with dummy terminals and big ‘ol server rooms.

Now we just call them “Cloud Servers” and/or SaaS or Hosted Services today instead of VAX – which was what we used back in the CSNET day”—which was basically the birth of the internet in the US.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. In some cases, because humans don’t learn from their mistakes.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Edit above: 2008 election 2012 election.

upyurts's avatar

I do believe that it has a repetitive resemblance in some instances. Say fashion, it isn’t the exact, but a copy with a change or detail which upgrades the original. In historical facts, many world war 2 survivors, say what they see in America now, reminds them of what was happening in Germany with the rise of Hitler! Also, there is a Shymta Year ever 7 years, and the economy goes through some sort of hiccup every 7 year cycle, so I would say yeah, it does in some degree or another!

antimatter's avatar

@Dutchess_III the story goes like this, 18 years ago I arrived the morning at this new job of mine, upon my arrival I was informed that my so called post or vacancy was closed due to retrenchments, the HR lady was supposed to contact me four weeks earlier but she never did it.
As result I was unemployed for almost a year, my car was repossessed and I was evicted.
18 years later the same thing happened again to me. That’s one personal example.

antimatter's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I think you are spot on! Well said

citizenearth's avatar

Yes, indeed history repeats itself. Especially if you did not learn from your past lessons.

wsxwh111's avatar

To express my opinion again, I don’t think so.
No two incidents are actually the same. Even if it feels like the same mistake again, well I bet you regret and rethink more this time. Which is closer to solve it, isn’t it?
It’s common for people to make the same mistakes because not all mistakes can be avoided or fixed after just one lesson.
And even you experience the same thing again, much of yourself is very different.

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