History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Relate: I have been saying it for a couple years now, but apparently, I am not alone. Here are a few headlines from recent articles saying much the same:
August 29 – Washington Post “The West May Be Sleepwalking Into Another Catastrophe”
August 29 – Financial Times “Populism Is the True Legacy of the Global Financial Crisis”
August 30 – Forbes “Resource Nationalism Is Back, and It Is On the Rise”
From a local paper here in Turkey: August 5 – Hurriyet Daily News “The Rise of Global Non-Democracy”
No matter where you look there are three things on the rise that I would have thought we had left in the past. 1) The Increasing power and popularity of polarizing politicians (Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Maduro, Mugabe, etc). 2) The rise in nationalism. 3) The demonization of the “other” (immigrants, Muslims, opposing political parties, neighboring countries or cultures, etc). It is happening here in Turkey. It is happening in the US, in the UK, in Russia. It is happening in many Central American states, in Europe, and in Africa. The details might be different from one location to another, but the trends are all the same.
I don’t think we are at the same level of crisis as the late 1930’s with Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Churchill, FDR, Attaturk, Tojo, Mao etc. We are not that bad off yet, but we definitely seem to be heading in that direction. The question is, what will it take for the entire world to make a course correction before it is too late?
React: George Santayana has famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In response to this, Kurt Vonnegut responded, “I’ve got news for Mr Santayana: We’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what.” Here at the beginning of Ecclesiastes, it sure seems like the Teacher, Solomon, agrees with Vonnegut. Are we doomed to continue repeating our past mistakes over and over and over again? Is there really any better hope for the future, or is everything under the sun one large never-ending cycle? The answer to that question is in a song that has been in my head since I started writing this post…
Help me to get over the sun. If everything here on earth is destined to repeat itself, then we need something from beyond to step in and intervene. You did. And I pray now that You will again, both for this world that desperately needs You and in my life that just as desperately needs Your rescuing hand.