We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

—George Bernard Shaw

When I read this sentence, I could not understand what is this means. I guess I read this more than ten times.  It confused me because it says we learn from history at first and then it says we learn nothing from history. This sentence seems contradictory. However, now I have my interpretation for this sentence. People make mistake and it will be a part of the history, but they will make the same mistake again that they did before. For example, when people think many victim of the war, they think it is sad and war is not good. However, in reality, there are a lot war happening in this world, even though they had many experience of wars and learned that war will kill people and made people sad. It means they learned nothing from the history.

7 thoughts on “History”

  1. Maai, can you connect Shaw’s remark with Santayana’s claim that “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”?

  2. In fact, I think this sentence can be understood in reverse. We have learned those tragic wars and absurd laws from history, but we still cannot prevent them from happening in the future. Perhaps it was because the trigger that led to those tragedies was already the best solution at that time, and everyone could not stop history from rolling forward. This is also why the wheel of history is always rolling forward, but it goes round and round.

  3. i have a similar explanation with you of this sentence. what we want to do and what we have been done is the history, this is made by people and as long as people are survive on the planet. the history will be keep written and being a variation.

  4. My interpretation of this sentence is also that one. I was confused too, but I think that you are right. And I think that not only with wars, but we can associate with other things, for example, diseases. As an example, I can think about COVID-19. Governments had been on situations like this ones and they didn’t managed well with this pandemic.

  5. I agree with you that although we acknowledge that history is important, and we study it, in fact we learn nothing from it because we are still making the same mistake but the good thing about the past is lost.

  6. I agree with you when you say we make the same mistakes we did before. it seems like no matter what, people can’t learn from what happened in the past.

  7. I feel like you could have expanded this a lot more because you had a strong start and seemed to just fade as the post kept going. But I liked the idea you started with!

Leave a Reply