Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
For over 15 years, he’s been reading Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization – he’s finally on the very last volume of the series (11). The author spent his entire adult life writing the series from 1935 to 1975; he died in 1981.
We both like history because it’s fascinating just how much it repeats itself. You could take the news about the latest scandal on cheating, double-dealing, and influence from the Roman Senate and change it to the DC Senate and no one would notice.
We’re such predictable creatures. There are the occasional surprises, though.
Right about now are the Ides of March so it was 2,058 years ago that Brutus killed Caesar.
Roman historians like Plutarch commonly note that most people – including Brutus himself – thought that Caesar was Brutus’ father.
So Brutus wasn’t just killing a politician, he was killing his father. It makes Caesar’s last words all the more pitiful, “Even you, Brutus?”
Was pretty young when I learned this and found it completely unbelievable that something as mundane as politics would drive someone to kill his own father.
But just recently an article called I lost my dad to Fox News, which talks about how politics split a father and son. It’s not really so unbelievable now.
As for me, I’m reading about the 1683 Battle of Vienna and the struggle between Muslims and the west.
There’s this French saying that goes, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – the more things change, the more things stay the same.
There’s something comically tragic about that.
Me: What are you going to read after you’re finally done with the series?
Brother: I have no idea.
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