Sunday, February 05, 2017


Individual motivations are interesting but have little to do with what actually drives history. People in large numbers react predictably to economic factors; there may be any number of personal motivations but people would still act much the same if they had some different individual motivation, and the end result would be the same. Sociology and economics are the keys to understanding history, not psychology.

But psychology is important on the personal level. How people act and react to each other matters just as much as history, after all. Maybe more — living our lives comes first. What would life be without art, religion, emotion? Just economics, ants mindlessly marching to serve their colony and then disappearing into nothing.

Columbus used to be seen as a hero. Now, many regard him as a villain. It doesn’t matter. America still would have been ‘discovered’ and colonized in the same matter. The economic forces were there, the technology was there. It was inevitable.

Each of us, however, is in control of our own life. We choose our personal actions, good and evil, love and hate. So what if someone else wrote the play? There is plenty of room for improvisation in our parts, before we all take our bows.

Stephen Brooke ©2017

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