George Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” has become such a cliché that it frequently rolls off the tongues of wannabe erudite pundits so cavalierly that it means nothing at all. Mostly it is intended to impart some philosophical pretense to a rather banal analogy between current and historical events, such as today’s conflict in Ukraine and World War I, or today’s physical economic breakdown and earlier financial panics.
While knowledge of history is an essential component of an educated citizen, memorization of facts yields no viable knowledge of historical events. Rather, it is the dynamic principles that drive the events that must be the subject of attention.
Lyndon LaRouche often wrote that history must be understood as classical drama if its study is to be a guide to the future, and he left us many such valuable historical studies. One of the greatest examples of such study, which is vital to understand today’s developments, is Fredrich Schiller’s "History of the Thirty Years War" and his subsequent series of dramas known as the Wallenstein trilogy.
This week and next Bruce Director will present a two-part series to introduce you to Schiller’s work. You can’t understand what’s happening today without it.