Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.
Remember hearing that when you were young?--it must have been a kind of truism for our grandparents' generation. I think it is time we recognize that we don't believe Santayana anymore, that we are no longer in control of our fate, and that we are currently blindly repeating history. Of course, if we could admit this then we would not be blind; this is the essence of Fate. Admittedly, there is something thrilling about living "out of history." It occurs to me that a civilization in irreversible decline might put its hands over its eyes and simply enjoy the fall.
Occasional Thought: perhaps the central wisdom of all religion is this: that when the current world order ends (when the apocalypse is upon the world), one must understand that all is not lost. Those American citizens who would be prepared to face the fall of the American Republic, for example, are the true believers.