Claim: Knowing about the past cannot help people to make important decisions today.
Reason: We are not able to make connections between current events and past events until we have some distance from both.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
b) 有些东西行不通；——共产主义communism，乌托邦utopia——utopian socialism (Robert Owen, community experiment of socialism)——人类的本性：
In a society of public ownership，people cannot live a rich life, since when people detect that working is not for themselves, and they can still enjoy the fruits of other people, they will lose motive to work, therefore leading to an end of poverty.
The speaker asserts that since it is difficult to find out the connections between the current issues and the past ones until they both become part of the history, knowing about the past cannot help us to make important decisions today. I agree with his assertion insofar. After all, the history cannot always manage to serve as foolproof panaceas to all current issues. However, I must point out that we still can learn lessons from the history about what we cannot and should not do.
As the progress of our society, the societal problems develop themselves as well. When we witness the huge improvement we have achieved today, we also find that the issues and challenges we face today are more complicated and fresh than the past ones. As a result, when dealing with the problems today, we may find it difficult to find some issues of the past close enough for a good reference. Take the problems of violence and crime as an example. Crimes and evil things almost trouble any single society. Therefore, I suppose our predecessors should have developed fully system and methods to deal with and stop the sins from happening, and surely they did: the laws, the reforms, the “tough-on-crime” approach and so forth. But now the crimes and sins are still here to stay, and become so complicated----with complex motives, sophisticated plots, novel methods and etc----that it is hard for us to define or handle them only with the aid of the experience from our predecessors. Everything changes, and we are driven to develop new methods for the new problems as well instead of referring to the vague historical issues.
However, the history does teach us some lessons about failures for us to refer in case we get trapped in the same trench. For example, the history of the 1st and 2nd wars reminds us of the huge damages caused by wars. We still can recall the long-lasting regression of the postwar period and the pains people suffered both mentally and physically. We can even image our extinction if we apply nuclear weapons again. Therefore, we human beings today become aware of the huge disadvantages of the wars and reach an agreement about against-war policy. We witness that nations try to develop amicable relations with each other today to pursue the prosperity for all in spite of the continuous conflicts and biases between countries.
Moreover, from the history, we also can prove the theories and get an answer for their availability. For example, the utopian socialism was once popular in western society in the early 20th century. Some people believed it could create a better society which would one day replace the current one. One of these people is Robert Owen, who purchased a land in the center of America serving as a community experiment for a practice of the utopian dreams. The result of this experiment, however, was a failure. People in a society of public ownership never become rich since they suppose their work is not for themselves, and even they do not work, they still can enjoy the fruits of other people----so no one works. In this light the history proves the futility of this utopian dream and we can also learn this lesson from the break-down of the Former Soviet Union.
In sum, when making decisions we may feel it difficult to target some relative historical issues for a reference to the current ones since today’s social problems are as old as the society itself and therefore become so complicated and fresh for us. However, I agree that studying the past is of some value, for example, it can help learn we should not start warfare and prove the futility of the utopian socialism.