“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

— George Santayana

Now, I’ve got a great admiration of what I’ve read of Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás’ quotations over the years. I know little of the man or of his wider works and that, I think, is how it shall stay; I’m honestly not much more curious than trying to fit his words to modern-day events.

I’m not sure I wish it were thus, but it is.

Anyway, the one at the top of the page is perhaps most relevant to today, but in a way I’d not really considered previously.

I’m not clever enough to create a plan that asserts authority over others in a way they cannot see, that blinds them to the loss of their freedoms and those they’re taught to despise. Neither, I think, are those who are in power here and in other places throughout this mad world of ours. Nevertheless, whatever it is they are doing, and for whatever reason they are doing it, it’s working.

I have to say though that choosing the insidious beginnings of populism/nationalism, fascism, all the other -isms from 1930’s Germany as a blueprint to govern, though lazy, though utterly abhorrent to me, is completely understandable; it worked.

But for fuck’s sake, given what they could have done with the power handed to them, why‽