It’s not history as such that repeats itself but human nature.

 Human beings are patterns of behavior…and when patterns are reinforced, as in cultural conditioning, they are firmly established, even collectively. Based on past experience, then, the character of those patterns is predetermined by the way in which we see ourselves, and so live our lives. Thus it is that every generation needs to discover “just what those patterns are” for themselves, and either change the way in which they see or repeat the status quo and eventually regress. Mankind tends to opt for the second choice (it’s easier to be led than to find your own way) and thus civilizations rise and fall. You would think we would catch on after a while–but the spirit (or is it flesh?) of self-examination is weak.