Those who forget history, or don’t bother to learn it, are indeed doomed to repeat it!
As the reader absorbs the following excerpts from Russia in 1839 — also known as Empire of the Czar: A Journey Through Eternal Russia — by Astolphe de Custine, (a.k.a. “Marquis de Custine”) think about the modern situation.
When reading the first paragraph, think about the TSA and modern travel restrictions.
When reading the second paragraph, think about the increased security we’ve seen in this country over the last decade — as well as the increased security which the media promises is just around the bend. Also think about the increased number of policemen and security officers, as well as the growing number of police brutality cases and court rulings across the country which support warrantless searches on private property.
When reading the third paragraph, think about how, from one year to the next, our friends become our enemies and our enemies our friends — or sometimes, they simply become irrelevant — as was the case with Osama bin Laden when George Bush announced in 2003 that he was no longer concerned with searching for the alleged 9/11 mastermind.
When reading the fourth paragraph, think about how history in our own country is constantly being distorted — or completely falsified — and those who bother to search for the truth are chastised and ridiculed for teaching and sharing what has been deemed fiction by those “in charge” of educating and informing the children and adult citizens of this country. (i.e.: public schools and the mainstream media, both of which receive much of their instruction from the government.)
While reading the fifth paragraph, think about the five wars we are currently fighting? Why are we fighting these wars? Because, as Bush claimed, they hate us for our freedoms? That hardly seems likely, since we have progressively been denied those same freedoms — which our founding documents refer to as “rights” — over the last century!
While reading the sixth paragraph, think about our current political crisis. Think about the excuses we have been given by Bush and Obama each time we start bombing a different country in the Middle East. We are spoonfed the illusion that we are doing good deeds – that we are liberating them! That we are bringing democracy to them? Hogwash! Also think about the events of 9/11 and the many questions which have since arisen, as well as the search for Osama bin Laden, the 2001 reports of his kidney disease, hospitalization in Dubai, and death – and his apparent ressurection with new, undiseased kidneys – only to die again, this time at the hands of Navy Seals who dumped his body into the ocean, never to be seen again.
Lastly, think about the history of Russia over the next 150 years after the following excerpts were written. Substitute the word “America” everytime you see the word “Russia.” This, my friends, is what is in store for us if more of us don’t start waking up!
“The more I see of Russia, the more I approve of the Tsar’s forbidding Russians to travel abroad, and making access to Russia difficult for foreigners. The Russian political system would not stand out 20 years against free communication between Russia and the West.”
“Here in Russia, friendship itself partakes of police surveillance. How is a man to feel at ease with people so circumspect, so discreet in whatever concerns themselves, and so inquisitive in what concerns others? The excessive suspicion with which you are looked upon here by people of every class is a warning which keeps you on your guard. The danger you run is revealed by the fear which you inspire.”
“We of the West see in a Russian political prisoner an innocent victim of oppression: the Russians see him as a reprobate. That is what political idolatry leads to. Count Repnin governed the Emperor and the Empire. Two years ago, he fell from grace. For two years, no Russian has pronounced this man’s name. In Russia, when a minister is dismissed, his friends become mute. From the moment when he seems to be out of favor, he is buried alive. I say seems to be, because nobody will speak of him even to say that he is out of favor.”
“History is part of the royal domain. It is the immaterial property of the ruler exactly as men and lands form his material property. History is kept locked away with the crown jewels, and only that part of it is displayed which the ruler deems useful to display. The memory of what happened in the past belongs to the Tsar alone. he amends the annals of the nation at his good pleasure, and dispenses daily to the people those historic truths which are consonant with the fiction of the moment.”
“They see in Europe a prey which sooner or later must fall to them as the result of our dissensions. Men say in Petersburg: ‘Europe will go the way of Poland: it will wear itself out with its futile liberalism, while we remain strong precisely because we are not free.’”
“The Tsars have taught us that despotism is never so fearsome as when it claims to be doing good, for then it assumes the right to explain away its most revolting acts by its good intentions, and to offer ills endlessly in the guise of remedies. Overt crime can triumph only for a day: it is sham virtues which forever mislead the minds of men. People who are dazzled by the glittering accessories of crime, by the vastness of heinous deeds which events are summoned to justify, end by believing in a double standard of good and evil. If what you fear is naked power, go to Russia: there you will learn to fear, above everything, hypocritical tyranny.”