As November 11th approaches, there seems to be evidence of a sort of social “dementia” in which collectively we are suffering a “swiftly failing memory” of those who have come before us. Cliches such as “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” aside, I find it troubling that a social media “trend-setter” has recently suggested that British students should learn less about World War Two and more about issues like the environment and Brexit.
But should I be troubled? First of all, what did those people “way back then” ever really do for us? It’s not like their example of rationing, and limiting unnecessary consumption has any “real world” application in 2019. And there is a certain logic in his argument politically. After all what does rise of a right wing nationalist leader, the manipulation of the press, the suppression of the voice of a parliament, and the sorting of society into “us and them” back in the 1930s have to do with us today?