History never repeats itself they say, and if so, surely there are no lessons to be learnt by studying the same.
However, history remains one of the great subjects at the core of university learning across the nations.
Musing so, it seems that history has resonances that beat out a rhythm we can recognise and heed so that we can learn at least something of worth from it.
The past year has seen a turmoil and upset across the political world that promises to change the world order from the expected to the uncertain. A disquiet now lies across the free world that is felt but largely unexpressed. There is a palpable fear of the future which for many millions now seems uncertain and at best ill defined.
The last time the world faced this type of fear was during the 1930s. Economic depression had gripped both Europe and America, economic poverty brought different reactions from country to country largely dependent on the level of misery imposed by the economic failures per nation.
In every case nations started to look inward. The League of Nations founded after the First World War disintegrated. Blame was looked for to assuage the deprivation being suffered by ordinary people. The Banking system fell into disrepute, and in Germany this led to blame being attached not only to the system but to the racial qualities of some of the most well-known banking families. Despite the underlying disquiet both in Germany and outside Germany the specifically self-styled National Socialist power edged into power.
Like many democratically decided mandates this was not one universally endorsed by an overwhelming majority. The Nazis scored a narrow majority, drawing their suffrage from the most disenfranchised and the hardest hit in the recession…. what the UK would term as the working classes and the lower middle class. The reaction against Hitler internationally was simply that of an underlying unspoken fear, without any direct outward condemnation.
Accommodation, appeasement and just a deliberate refusal to recognise Hitler as a dangerous right wing racist fascist was the universal affliction of all the free-thinking world.
Issues of inward looking extremism were besetting other countries including Japan, Italy, Spain, and Russia where Stalin was departing substantially from the ethical values of Lenin, to embrace totalitarian fascist policies himself.
Fear walked like a ghost in the machinery of the world.
The results of this remain etched in comparative recent political memory save and except for the fact that the last of the generation of world leaders and politicians that actively lived through that War have now passed the baton of leadership to a generation that now only know of those times from the history books.
It is simple enough to draw prophetic comparisons with the 1930s world, and probably naïve.