January 31, 2008

Learn your history: Avoid another Bush

Wired has a great article on the today's aftermath of the fall of the Berlin wall, the Stassi (secret East-German Government police... Patriot Act on steroids), and totalitarian rule in Germany. Its shocking that this sort of thing, still fresh in the memories of many, may actually lead up to repeating itself:

This being Germany, there's even a special word for it: Vergangenheitsbewältigung, or "coming to terms with the past." It's not self-evident — you could imagine a country deciding, communally, to recover from a totalitarian past by simply gathering all the documents and destroying them. In fact, in 1990 the German press and citizen committees were wracked by debate over whether to do just that. Many people, however, suspected that former Stasi agents and ex-informants were behind the push to forgive and forget.

By preserving and reconstructing the Stasi archives, BStU staffers say they hope to keep history from repeating itself. In November, the first children born after the fall of the wall turned 18. Evidence suggests many of them have serious gaps in their knowledge of the past. In a survey of Berlin high school students, only half agreed that the GDR was a dictatorship. Two-thirds didn't know who built the Berlin Wall.

Here in the US, its been over 200 years since we overthrew our tyrannical government but never less the Hamiltonians, Lincoln-lovers, Big government Bush Crime Family members and the like have slowly crept tyranny back into our lives. How naive we have become, especially Democrats, to trust that politicians (*cough*Hilary*cough*) will actually use their political power solely for good.

Remember the old quote: power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The lesson from Germany is simple, learn your history and teach it well less you plan on reliving the nightmares of the past.

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