Contrary to popular belief, people do not learn from experience. Instead, they respond to a particular stimulus in a predictable way, and do so repeatedly. Again and again this undeviating irrational response may be observed.

In the fourth year of World War II, the axis armies came under sustained attack on all fronts from superior allied forces. The then German chancellor insisted his generals, and those of his allies, hold untenable overextended positions. This directive was given despite the clear danger of his forces being overwhelmed. The promised relief to sustain the line would never live up to expectations.

Again and again this repeated strategy for the remainder of the war resulted in the massive loss of the manpower and essential weaponry necessary to guarantee the regime's ultimate survival. Despite assistance from the depleted reserves of the central power, the ineffectual satellite states loyal to Berlin succumbed, one by one, to the hopeless odds. By the time the allied armies crossed her borders Germany was too weak to prevent a collapse.

Again and again, generation after generation to the present financial crisis, this dismal message, in various guises and circumstances, reappears like writing on the wall.

Ken Menton

North Circular Road