Lessons from History

Jim Jones hung a sign over his stage in Giuana that said "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it."
"To study history means to search for and discover the forces that are the causes of those results which appear before our eyes as historical events. The art of reading and studying consists in remembering the essentials and forgetting what is not essential." Adolf Hitler

In both cases the "lesson from history" was controlled by cult leaders and the results were disastrous.
If rational people don't try to do a better job the next cult leader just might do it again!

In order to learn from history you must first have an accurate record of history. Since most of history was recorded by biased people we don't have that so you have to settle for the closest version available.

If your going to learn from history it will help to remember trial and error principles that are often taken for granted. try accomplishing your goal two or more ways then choose the way that works best. for example: one day you may decide you want know if you can improve your day by banging your head against the wall. When it doesn't work you don't do it again. If that sounds stupid keep in mind its better than doing it again. Now consider past experiments with war. Society just keeps doing it over and over again. Not only is that stupid but it is insane.

When learning from history it will help if you take three step:
1. Recognize the problem exists. many problems are ignored until it is to late like insufficient flood control in New Orleans many experts knew it existed but the public ignored it until it was to late.
2. find the cause of the problems
3. correct the cause of the problems

Simple right then why doesn't Society solve most of it's problems??

Alright in some cases it is more complicated but not always much more complicated.

No matter what the subject it is important to educate the public about solutions. If the public doesn't understand these things they won't know how to avoid voting for politicians that are catering to narrow special interests.

Don't build cities in flood zones.

Watch out for demagogues that try to lead you into unnecissary wars.

Don't assume that we have a free press when the corporate media floods the market with trivial things and ignore more important things.

Get organized and do a better job explaining things to the public so they have access to the information they need to make intelligent decisions.

Pay attention to small conflicts before they get big and try to solve them without the military whenever possible.

The greatest tyrants were all abused children before they became monsters. They were condemned to hell before they committed their crimes. Stop child abuse and tyranny and crime will drop dramatically in the long run. This lesson will not prove itself as a quick fix but it will do much more good in the long run than just about anything else.


First of all it is important to remember that war is not a good way to solve problems. Demagogues are always trying to get people angry and ignore this fact. Once people get angry they stop thinking as rationally. A big part of the problem is that the people that make the decisions are not usually the ones that fight the wars. politicians have a long history of lying about the causes of Wars including the gulf of Tonkin incident, The Maine, weapons of mass destruction and much more. One of the biggest things that they distorted is Communism. The soviet Union and China were a real threat but they were not communist. They were Tyrants. They should have been warning people about Tyranny. Communism is supposed to be about standing up for workers rights. Instead of saying workers shouldn't be able to stand up for there rights they equated it with Tyranny. McCarthyism was used to suppress workers rights without directly saying that.

There have been many efforts to learn how to fight wars more effectively and win them. There have been efforts to learn how to convince the public to go along with the leaders more effectively. However there have not been enough efforts to teach the public about the lies politicians use to manipulate them and avoid being lead blindly into war. This should involve a much better education project.

President Bush has recently confided to us that "we have fought 204 wars of which only five were declared". Where is the organized list of these 204 wars? If people wanted to understand what causes wars a tedious study could be done on all the known wars in history. A serious of questions could be asked of each like what kind of government led each side? How did they convince the people to start comitting mass murder and why? etc. This would be a slow process so it would probably be easier for the researchers to start with a small number of wars set up a system and expand from there. Once this study is done then a summation could be written and an explanation as to how the study is organized so that those who want to check it can. Even just a list of all these wars would be enough to let people know haw obsessed people are with unnecessary conflict the human race is.

Always remember that War is a last resort.
Even if a War can't be avoided in the short term efforts should be made to end it learn from it and avoid Wars in the future.

One of the reason The USA has been involved in wars is because our government has proped up Tyrants around the world. The Taliban, Sadam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, The Shah of Iran, Batista and more were all once allies of the USA. Either they turned on us or they were over thrown and the new government blamed the USA for propping up a Tyrant.

Refusing to communicate also makes it hard to avoid war. The assumption that simply because the government maintains an open line of communication with a Tyrant means that they approve of them is foolish.

A greater emphasis on peaceful relationships that include educational programs like peace corp. and Habitat for Humanity would help. When countries become desperate they are more likely to fight.

If the Government is serious about spreading democracy abroad they should start by improving it at home.


Democracy has turned into a sham. It is supposed to be By the people for the people and of the people but unless the people understand how it works they won't know how to vote intelligently.

one of the core principles of democracy is freedom of the press. When the USA was established the press was controlled by a lot of modest property owners. Even then not every one had equal influence over the press. It was controlled by mainly white male property owners but they were all independent of each other so a variety of messages were expressed. In the past Twenty years or so the small media outlets were bought up by the big ones so now we have a small percentage of the public making decisions for the mass media. The internet provides a new tool for small press but it is badly organized and it is hard to find good trustworthy sources. What we need is more direct influence on the mass media from the public not just the government and the corporations. If a Government controlled Media is not considered democratic why should we consider a corporate controlled Media democratic?? Especially since the same corporations are financing and controlling the election process.

The Media could be used to do a better job teaching the public about the basics of every subject and more instead it is being used to pump out mass amounts of propaganda. Tyrants understand how important the media is much better than the public. Until the public realizes how important the media is we won't have a real democracy.

Another major improvement would be instant run off elections that give small parties a chance. the two party system is designed to keep small parties from competing. Instant run off elections would dramaticlly change that. If people don't want to waste their vote by voting for a fringe candidate they can do that with Instant run off elections; if there candidate is ruled out their second choice would be counted. Some have complained that this gives people multiple votes and is not fair. This is a false argument since only one vote is counted and everyone would use the same system. Then we would know how much support these third party candidates really have.

The public should also have more influence over the interview process. Instead of the candidates negotiating with each other and the media to decide how the campaign is run they should be required to answer directly to the public. This may not be easy but in order to succeed the first thing you have to do is try. I don't mean a token effort that will be bumbled so they can say that doesn't work we tried it. We need a sincere effort and if it doesn't work the first time try again.

Organizations like Vote smart.org could be a big help if the organization is controlled by the people.

The environment

There have been a lot of environmental disaster in the past but as soon as a few months go by the public forgets them if they had an organized list of these disasters they would know more about how much damage is going on. If you read about an oil spill in the local papers that isn't in the national news keep in mind that there are probably thousands of other spills that you never heard of.

Another thing that will provide a quick partial solution to pollution is a list of things you can do to conserve energy. You wouldn't need help from the corrupt politicians. You could do something right away while democracy is being reformed. In the past when I looked at environmental web sites they didn't do as good a job at this as they could have.

Natural Disasters

Better prevention can do a lot to reduce natural disasters. Simply not building cities in flood zones can make a big difference. New Orleans has been in a flood zone since it was first built and it is only getting worse. To rebuild it without careful planning would be just asking for another disaster.

The Economy

Simply understanding the purpose of the economy will improve it for most people the economy is a tool to get the things you want that improve your life. In some cases this can be done without spending so much money. If people thought more about the best way to get the things they need they could improve their standard of living without spending more. For example if you want to loose weight eat less and exercise more no need to spend money. Insulate your house and save on heat and reduce pollution at the same time. Ideas like these are considered bad for the economy but they are good for the consumer. The economy is being presented from the point of view of the corporations not the consumers. It is not always necessary to let the corporations take a cut every time you do something.

Health Care

One of the most important things that could be done to reduce health care cost is simply educating the public better about preventive medicine. Simple things like eat less and diet to reduce obesity anti smoking campaigns. another thing that could be done is people can look at systems being used in other countries that provide more health care for the citizens. The media often seems to spend more time convincing us we are the best country in the world than trying to figure out how to improve things and perhaps actually becoming the best country in the world.


We have the same problems with immigration that the Roman empire did two thousand years ago. The "crime" that illigal aliens committed involves being born in the wrong place. If your not born in the right place you have to go through a lot of red tape in order to get away from repressive governments and wait a long time assuming you can get in at all. How many times has Lou Dobbs pointed that out? In the long run the peace corp., habitat for humanity and other similar organizations would do more to solve this problem than border patrol. If people had a better life at home many of them wouldn't want to come here at all and we would be able handle those that do. They have been increasing border control for a long time now and it just isn't working.

Full Index
Indoctrination Tactics
The Real God Maybe
Free Speech
Lessons From Histoy
What Religious people really Worship
Theory for everything
107 Wonders of the Ancient World