A Reflection on Empire and its Ruins

Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve always been fascinated by history. To me, understanding the history of the world was the only way one could make sense of the future.

That was what drew me to Humanities Core. But Humcore was not just another history course. There was literature, linguistics, themes of power and conflict, cultural identity, imperialism and so much more.

And that has completely changed how I think about the world and how society has reached where it is today. I’ve begun to see the ubiquitous patterns of imperialism and empires rising and falling not just in the traditional sense, but in modern contexts as well in the form of multinational corporations and crime syndicates. And many countries don’t attach the suffix of “Empire” to their name, but retain the attributes nonetheless.

That was what drew me to write my post about The Rise of China as a Global Hegemon and the Subsequent Collapse of the American Empire. The patterns of nations attempting to dominate one and other has been seen countless times throughout history and will most likely be seen countless times in the future.

Every quarter this year, I’ve taken my Humcore seminar with a different professor, so that I may learn a different point of view and I’m grateful to each of my professors for introducing me to their unique point of view.

During the my first quarter, I explored how certain civil rights and liberties are not as black and white as one might think at a glance. And that despite all our progress in America, we keep slipping into habits of regression and bigotry and hatred. And it is so important to fight that regression and bigotry so that we can keep moving into the future.

And that perhaps is the most important lesson that I’ve learned from Humcore.  It might be a cliché, but there is a quote by Winston Churchill that really encapsulates that lesson: “ Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” Especially in today’s society, its more important than ever to learn history so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. We can do better and we should do better.

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