There’s an educationally fertile footnote in the masterful history classic by Halévy, “Victorian Years” (Élie Halévy, History of the English People in the Nineteenth Century, Volume 4, Ernest Benn Ltd., London, 1970):
“…[people are] forgetting what all history is constantly proclaiming, that nothing human is fixed; that crowns, sceptres, dominions, institutions, establishments, and monopolies are ever changing, ever departing from their old seats, springing up anew in other places and leaving deserts where they formerly flourished. Tyre, Sidon, Carthage, Greece, Rome! all the departed nations of the world warn us of this, and still we remain unconscious that our time comes, it is coming, nay, is almost at the threshold.”(“Victorian Years,” footnote for page 40)
The classic on change, Thomas Carlyle’s Past and Present (1843) was influenced by this “overview” of ephemerality in the long run.
A student should ponder these words and see “past and present” and oneself more clearly and more sagaciously.
Education must put this on the “intellectual plate” in front of each freshman everywhere.
The highlighted phrase above, “leaving deserts where they formerly flourished” is an eerie premonition of sorts, of global climate change in our time, and the insouciant attitude of the White House and the absolutely destructive “head in the sand” reactions by the “haves,” especially Washington.
The phrase “that nothing human is fixed” above reminds us of the Nietzsche/Foucault intuition on things.