Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.
History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.
What experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learned anything from history or acted on the principles deduced from it.
To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. It is a very serious task, young man, and possibly a tragic one.
Those who weep for the happy periods they encounter in history acknowledge what they want: not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.
The history of knowledge is a great fugue in which the voices of the nations one after the other emerge.