I was recently told, by a Green Party member, that he was “too busy with the future to think of the past”. It set me thinking. Is history just a nostalgic trip down memory lane for a few oldies, or is it something far more vital; something, even, of critical importance for shaping the future?
History is to understand events ‘in the round’. It’s holism. It means we can give context, and depth of understanding, to the words and actions of people today. And if we believe our actions today will have an impact on the future, then it’s only logical to believe the actions of people in the past are influencing us now... To know where we’re going it is first necessary to know where we come from.
How can we understand and evolve green political philosophy without reading the great green authors of the last forty years and beyond? How can we develop strategies that deliver change without looking at where strategies have failed and succeeded in the past?
We need to know what works and we need that information fast. History has sometimes been described as a springboard into the future, and the deeper our understanding of history the further and the faster we can spring.