The cliché, “History repeats itself”, is a dull echo of a George Santayana quote and is in itself, timeless – but it has a rhythm of usage throughout history, I’m sure.
I’m sure of this because the study of history is simply the study of mankind dancing to it’s own rhythm.
It’s apparently a really great beat to dance to, so mankind dances.
A culture repeats things, and all around the world, cultures repeated things. As the world began to change, bureaucracies were formed – largely to govern – but bureaucracies were to keep things from changing quickly1. And so they did, and so they do, and so they will. They govern the rhythm of a society, the rhythm the society dances too.
Maybe if we got better DJs we’d have better choreography.
1 Gleick, James Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, Pantheon Books, 1999.