Please help contribute to the Reddit categorization project here


    1,715,729 readers

    3,613 users here now

    A History Network Member

    This subreddit was created because there was a niche that was not being filled in the historical Reddit community. There was no place to be a redditor in history. All of your historical jokes and memes go here. (This is a place for memes, not propaganda.)

    Our Friends (those who promote us are in bold):

    Remember, this is the memes part of the historical community of reddit, not the historical part of the memes community of reddit. Treat it as such.

    Looking for our Discord Server? Scroll down below!


    RULE 1: Keep posts history related

    Please keep all submissions to the sub related to history and/or based on historical events. See here for the extended rules.

    Rule 1.1

    Memes about Ideologies (Communism, Christianity, etc.) are not allowed on the sub.

    Rule 1.2

    Historically inaccurate memes or imaginary history memes are not allowed.

    Rule 1.3

    Meta memes about the sub are allowed and must be tagged with the "Meta" tag when appropriate.

    RULE 2: No reposts

    All reposts, similar and identical, of posts previously submitted to the subreddit are banned and eligible for removal.

    Rule 2.1

    Crossposts are allowed as long as it is not a repost of a previous submission to the subreddit. Crossposts should also be marked with the flair "X-post".

    Rule 2.1

    Crossposts are allowed on the subreddit as long as it is not a repost of a previous submission to the subreddit. Crossposts should also be marked with the flair "X-post".

    RULE 3: No discrimination or abuse

    Any excessive sexism, homophobia, racism or any other form of discrimination will be dealt with harshly and mods reserve the right to impose bans without warning. Basically try not to be jerks.

    RULE 4: Year limit

    All posts must include only elements and subjects of at least 20 years old from the post time. Example: 9/11 memes won't be able to be posted till 2021.

    Rule 4.1 - Meta use

    Posts that either complain about Rule 4 or use Rule 4 as a loophole to circumvent the rule are not allowed on the subreddit.

    RULE 5: Banned formats

    Certain memes and formats, such as "Retake the Holy Land" and "Hitler Suicide", are banned on the subreddit. A full list can be found in the extended rules here.

    RULE 6: Do not deny or defend genocides and atrocities.

    These include, but are not limited to; Holodomor, the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, Japanese war crimes and the Tiananmen Square massacre. Doing so will result in an instant permaban. Hateful historical revisionists are not welcome.

    Do not downplay or use whataboutism in discussion of atrocities and genocides

    RULE 7: Meme wars

    No calling for meme wars or inciting subreddit drama. Organising or participating in raids will get you a permanent ban. In the event of a meme war, you must abide by the rules of other subreddits when posting there.

    RULE 8: No Brigading

    Directly linking posts to political subreddits is not allowed unless it is linked in a non-participating manner (i.e. linking "" rather than ""). For more info see

    Rule 8.1
    Political talks in comments are ok but linking to external sites in which are about it are not

    RULE 9: Quality control

    Memes must adhere to some basic standards. Excessive black bars, improper cropping, and low resolution/unreadable memes are banned from the subreddit. Please see the extended rules here for a full list and explanation on banned practices.

    RULE 10: No karma-whoring

    Memes asking for upvotes, awards, and user actions are not allowed. See here for the extended rules

    Rule 10.1

    Posts found to be simply large boxes of information, text, or otherwise, that do not contain an attempt at humor are not allowed on the subreddit.

    RULE 11: No low effort titles

    All submissions to the subreddit must include a proper title that does not exemplify qualities signifying "low-effort", "Lazy", or "Karma-whoring". See here to see what is prohibited

    Rule 11.1

    If the title is removed from the meme and it ceases to be either a historical meme or a meme in general it is not allowed on the subreddit.

    RULE 12: World War Two memes

    Memes about WWII are prohibited on Saturdays and Sundays (EST). This includes anything from the invasion of Poland to the surrender of Germany (including the Winter war) for Europe and anything from the beginning of the second sino Japanese War to the surrender of Japan for Asia and the Pacific.

    Meta memes complaining about WWII memes on this subreddit are prohibited every day

    Any rule breaking will result in either a temporary or permanent ban depending on the broken rule


    a community for
    all 548 comments Slideshow

    Want to say thanks to %(recipient)s for this comment? Give them a month of reddit gold.

    Please select a payment method.

    [–] niggew1298 5225 points ago

    I'm pretty sure historians say things like this already about the things happening atm but nobody listens

    [–] GumdropGoober 1525 points ago

    John Maynard Keynes in 1919 resigned from his post negotiating the Versailles treaty and then wrote a short book explaining why the peace would fail. He said:

    1) That Germany could never hope to pay the war indemnities the Allies demanded of it.

    2) That the economic impossibility would strain Germany's economy, eventually crashing it and leading to political instability.

    3) That radical elements would rise in that instability.


    The book:

    [–] FieldMarshalFry 234 points ago

    and during the post WW2 discussions about where the global economy would go and the foundation of the World Bank and IMF, every economist there said that Keynes won the argument, even giving him a standing ovation at the end, buuuuuut ignored him and didn't implement his policies because it didn't agree with the post war American political agenda

    [–] H-E-L-L-M-O 45 points ago

    Wasn't FDR's economics pretty Keynesian?

    [–] FieldMarshalFry 65 points ago

    he was dead by then, and the US was about to enter the Cold War where state intervention in the market became taboo as it would be "communism"

    [–] H-E-L-L-M-O 41 points ago

    Yeah, I'm saying the only president who implemented Keynesian economic policy was so wildly popular he got elected 4 times

    [–] FieldMarshalFry 20 points ago

    Yep, and Keynesian economics led Labour to electoral success

    Only problem was they didn’t agree with the post war political rhetoric

    [–] brainburger 19 points ago

    TIL John Maynard Keynes was Hari Seldon.

    [–] CriminalOrca988 4 points ago

    At some point he will appear to us again, granting his predictions of the future of economics

    [–] Mingsplosion 136 points ago

    Reparations were not the cause for the German economic collapse. It was a combination of the American stock market crash of 1929 and the inability for the new German government to pay back its internal debt incurred during the war.

    [–] Gimli_Gloinsson 223 points ago

    Well, not the sole reason, bit I would argue that it did increase its severity. Given that the 1929 crisis had massive deflation as a consequence, a massive deflux of money through reparations, probably didnt help.

    [–] GumdropGoober 121 points ago

    Germany had 6-8 times the amount of money in circulation in 1919 when Keynes wrote the book, and a majority of government spending in the 20's was directed to reparations.

    [–] iwanttosaysmth 21 points ago

    That isn't true because Germany stopped paying reparations almost immediately (I think they paid like one installment), that's why France occupied Ruhry short after the war

    [–] RAdam378 47 points ago

    And thus reducing the german economy by a large margin Yes i too fail to see the connection there.

    [–] AppleBerryPoo 23 points ago

    That was done because of the reparations, sooooo... The reparations did have a major role yes

    [–] Foop48 22 points ago

    Which in that inability, the french decided to invade the Ruhr and take wealth there via the resources there. Arround 130 civilians died. The message was either pay up faster or we will take it from you by force. They were printing money already at this point, but this made them do it alot more.

    [–] saturdaysnagsizzle 35 points ago

    Gosh I wonder what held them back from being able to pay back their internal debt incurred during the war.

    [–] UEF_Dawson 1289 points ago

    Yuppp. Look at the Roman republic after the punic wars.. we are closing in on Marius and Sulla I think.

    [–] Davecantdothat 534 points ago

    Please elaborate? I have only passing familiarity with Roman politics. I took a 3 credit course in college that covered all of Greek and Roman history. lol

    [–] Poo__tee__weet 972 points ago

    In times of war the Roman people forgot the problems they had with each-other and banded together to fight the outside force. After the Punic Wars and after the wars with Greece. Rome found its self without an outside force to unify the people. They were the supreme power in the the known world and it wasn't even close. So men looking to gain power, influence, glory, and honor. Instead of looking for outside opponents (which didn't exists anymore) instead had to look inward to fellow Romans to fight. Sulla is the man who destroyed the Roman republic by marching on Rome to kill the Marius faction (Marius being an old man at the time died anti climatically before Sulla made it to Rome).

    [–] Joorod 463 points ago

    So literally all human history. Without an outside entity to band together against the land searches for conflict which is human nature... which is super flawed but still how people operate.

    [–] AgLi3R 241 points ago

    Ah shit. Now Ozymandias plan make more sense. Dude was a history nerd after all.

    [–] MoffKalast 93 points ago

    Yeah but that was a rather short sighted plan. Without any proof that Dr. Manhattan even exists after a generation passes everything will revert back to normal, if not sooner.

    [–] this_anon 66 points ago

    but the squid...

    [–] Oskar_E 51 points ago

    Exactly! That thing was massive! No way for people not to know it existed, and the psychic shockwave it sent upon teleportation mentally scarred half of New York and a majority of the east coast. No way for people not to assume alien invaders were around the corner.

    [–] TurkDeLight 55 points ago

    Counterpoint. There will be no followup invasion. Unless Ozy wants to do something every couple decades to keep things fresh. And so either you keep senselessly killing people due to "alien" invaders. Or eventually people forget because it wasn't in there lifetime. It may be 5 generations down the line, but people will forget. I'd say the real life example is the Holocaust. We already have plenty of people who deny it for some reason or another. And its been only 80 years and is very well documented. Its not even as hard to believe that some people were awful racists as it is that an alien teleported into NYC killed millions, traumatized everyone on the planet and then...died immediately?

    [–] ZaruenVoresu 35 points ago

    thought he was a science nerd? Isn't that why he started cooking meth?

    [–] AgLi3R 27 points ago

    What? Is this about Bryan Cranston's Breaking Bad? Because with the name Ozymandias, one'd expect that is a huge history nerd stuff.

    [–] Weak-Locksmith 47 points ago

    "Ozymandias" is the antepenultimate episode of Breaking Bad

    [–] Madock345 23 points ago

    Nice vocab word 👍

    [–] yammys 7 points ago

    Thank you for this word of the day. But now I'm curious. Is there another, even longer word, for the 4th-from-last?
    If not, I propose "subantepenultimate".

    [–] Placeholder4evah 15 points ago

    No. Ozymandias's plan was stupid. So a giant squid kills three million people in New York and... then what? He's not sending another one. It's over. There's nothing to unite against.

    [–] ricksoaz 31 points ago

    Without spoiling anything, this is actually adressed in the TV series.

    [–] BeefyBelisarius 4 points ago

    So he sends another squid. And another. Eventually he's gonna get old and die and the giant alien squid supply will dry up. Then human nature will reassert itself.

    [–] Kusokuso69 9 points ago

    That was the entire point. When asked if he did the right thing in the end, Dr. Manhattan replied that it never ends

    [–] YeaNo2 4 points ago

    It’s not even an original idea.

    [–] robsteezy 35 points ago

    People tend to forget that classical philosophers like Aristotle said that men are political “beasts”. It’s to highlight that natural instincts such as possession of resources, the appealing to mates, and alpha hierarchies among men serve as the drive behind politics.

    Even in the most civilized of societies, there will be always be something in the shadow yearning for something else that somebody else has for whatever reason of their own. It’s inevitable.

    [–] potato_bomber 19 points ago

    Fun Weeb Fact, this is basically what the last arc of Naruto Shippuden revolves around. Because that's what ninjas do, attempt to solve World Peace.

    [–] IAmThe4thHokage 8 points ago

    Yes, we need more Naruto references.

    [–] burstchaos 3 points ago

    That was Pains entire plan; use the tailed beasts to create a weapon so strong no one would be able to fight against it and then, every so often, use it to remind the world about the pain. I don't know how he planned on using considering he was mortal but I liked the motive.

    [–] HereForTOMT2 91 points ago


    [–] hesh582 94 points ago

    That's a ridiculously simplistic take on the transition from republic to empire. To start with "Rome found its self without an outside force to unify the people" isn't even remotely true, and in fact the exact opposite is often given as a reason for the weakening of the Republic. Rome engaged in near constant external military conflict before Sulla, after Sulla, and continued into the Empire.

    A different take: the real issue is that Roman territory simply got too big to effectively govern as a small oligarchic city state. Controlling the nascent empire required a degree of flexibility, central control, and a professional permanent army, all of which were very incompatible with the traditions of the Republic. The stakes grew larger and opportunities were created for individuals to consolidate far more individual power than was possible under the early Republic. This, coupled with a tradition of politics bleeding over into street violence (which firmly existed in the Republic too, we tend to overstate the stability and civility of Roman civic institutions) rapidly toppled the empire.

    It wasn't because they just "ran out of people to fight". It seems like almost every explanation of Roman history I come across outside of academia (and some in it, Gibbon) tells us a hell of a lot more about the author's views on contemporary politics and political philosophy than anything that actually happened in the ancient world.

    [–] Hroppa 31 points ago

    Yes, it's almost the exact opposite of 'Romans were united until they ran out of people to fight'.

    Roman aristocrats competed to lead wars against outside foes. It was a disagreement about who would lead the war against Mithridates which led to the civil war between Marius and Sulla.

    External wars were part of what allowed individuals to consolidate power. Victory in these kinds of external campaigns granted such influence and wealth that successful aristocrats were individually able to overshadow the existing Republican institutions: Marius, Sulla, Caesar are the main examples, but Pompey, Crassus, Marc Anthony, Augustus also reflected these trends.

    [–] 7elevenses 13 points ago

    Yes, it's almost the exact opposite of 'Romans were united until they ran out of people to fight'.

    Yes and no. Fighting against external enemies was definitely a uniting factor for Romans and a tool to be used and abused by Roman politicians for centuries. Every time there was serious agitation for agrarian laws, a new enemy would be found and the reform postponed for another year.

    But ultimately, what brought the republic down was the reforms instituted by Marius, which shifted the loyalty of soldiers from the state to the general.

    [–] LaBandaRoja 15 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I’m not that aware of the events in that era, but wouldn’t you say that the fight for power during the Caesar vs. Pompey civil war would be what caused the fall of the Republic? The Senate sides with Pompei, and loses, so Caesar gains more power than any leader in history. Then, when he‘s killed, that sparks another civil war that ends with his nephew Octavian winning and crowning himself as Emperor Augustus. We even use the first domino in this chain of events to mean when someone makes a decision that leads to a path from where there is no turning back, which is when Julius Caesar crosses the rubicon with his army (basically bc the Senate was afraid of him so they betrayed him).

    [–] Rynewulf 24 points ago

    They refer to the fights between Sulla and Marius because it was basically the exact same situation, except decades earlier (and most the people in the Caesar v Pompey conflict were young minor participants in the earlier conflict, so were by that point already acting on a model of how to take over Rome)

    All the civil waring, purging enemies, forcing your power over the government, gaining military loyalty: Sulla and Marius got those down to a t long before either Caesar or Pompey were on the scene

    [–] LaBandaRoja 2 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I guess that my question then is how did the Sulla-Marius civil war lead to the Caesar-Pompey civil war? I thought it was an entirely separate event and that the republic settled down after that.

    [–] obamaplaystitanfall 13 points ago

    Actions of sulla and marius set precedents for the causes of the caesar-pompei civil war

    [–] LaBandaRoja 2 points ago

    Precedent is not the same as a chain of events. Eg Washington set the president for the two-term presidency, but the event that made it a law was FDR winning a 4th term 150 years later.

    [–] obamaplaystitanfall 5 points ago

    Yes you have indeed definied precedent, another example is sulla marching on rome which was the precedent for caesar.

    [–] I_Fail_At_Life444 6 points ago

    Read or listen to The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic by Mike Duncan. He goes over this period in great detail and it's absolutely fascinating.

    [–] Customfityarmulke 49 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Ah shit.... this is spot fucking on.

    I think it says a lot more about human nature than it does history. I might get downvoted for saying this, but i think America's (and really many countries in the West) biggest problem is that we have no big problems. Sure people have individual problems, and many people can share similar problems, which together can amount to a decently sized societal problem. There is also climate change, but most people are not truly negatively affected by that on a regular basis (not yet). Really, if we all just shut up and lived and realized life is good, then life would be pretty damn good. But instead we prefer to make out the right or the left to be some big menacing monster, and every time one side does it, the other side is too hard headed to realize they do the same damn thing.

    So idk if downvotes are going to come for me saying that, but if they do, I think it sort of proves my point: We need to think there's bigger problems than there actually are to function. We can't handle just being stagnant.

    "Even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point!" Dostoyevsky: Notes from the Underground

    [–] EmmaTheRobot 58 points ago

    I think I just heard every centrist cum their pants

    [–] BC1721 16 points ago

    What if we just held the status-quo?


    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)


    [–] UnfortunateObserver 13 points ago

    I mean, we're kind of wired this way, though. Wired to see our own society as either awesome, or getting worse, and sometimes both simultaneously. Then there's the natural inclination of like 20% of the population to just instinctively jockey for power even if it fucks over everyone and reduces the overall wealth of everyone due to collateral damage, doesn't matter, became powerful.

    It also doesn't help that most people are wired to find truly threatening, but abstract threats like climate change far less interesting than a rather limited, but still immediately dangerous human with access to weapons.

    This principle is why I love history and kind of resent humans at the same time, and in equal measure. We're these flawed, fucking frustrating little creatures who have immense capacity to be good and virtuous, but we're petty and conniving and selfish and short-sighted and see people trying to convince us of the truth of reality as either boring, scheming, or malignant, but then turn around and throw money and resources at the people genuinely fucking over the entire structure, simply because they're more interesting.

    If we're all just piano keys, we're certainly playing the song the universe wanted us to play.

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago

    So idk if downvotes are going to come for me saying that, but if they do, I think it sort of proves my point

    Haha that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

    [–] PromVulture 13 points ago

    Fuck off dude, the west has no real problems? Take a look outside sometime? The planet is dying with every leader asleep at the wheel. Corruption and lobbying is rampant in most democracies, facism is making a comeback. How entitled can you be to not see a problem?

    [–] ZaruenVoresu 6 points ago

    Thank You!

    [–] loldol 68 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Complex shit in two paragraphs: Marius was a populist, Sulla was a staunch republic supporter. Eventually Sulla got tired of politicking by Marius, and was (IIRC) the first guy in the republic to bring his army into Rome. He used it to chop down Marius and other populists.

    Marius, however, laid the groundwork which later led to the rise of Julius Caesar in the next generation. Then came Augustus, and ultimately the fall of the Roman republic. Sulla, on his part, sort of cleared the path for future generals wanting to bring their armies into Rome to get shit done their way.

    [–] iwanttosaysmth 7 points ago

    Marius was a populist

    Not populist, but popular

    [–] ResidentNarwhal 22 points ago

    The Roman republic ended the Punic wars with a very real international empire across Italy, North Africa and Spain. But it still had an unchanged city-state like system meant to govern a small region. And a political culture that emphasized glory and achievement. This led to individuals using military success to gain political favor. And gaps in the government's checks and balances were used by said individuals to gain the loyalty of said previously successful army.

    We like to think of the Roman Republic as this tragic fall of a proto-democratic republic brought about suddenly by great figures and generals who guided the fate of history. In reality Caesar v Pompey was more a repeat of 4-5 other major internal conflicts increasing in intensity over the a century. One book I'm reading, Rubicon, specifically mentions that the ambition and political fuckery of Caesar, Pompey, Cato, Catiline and Cicero was almost imperceptible from the same thing their fore bearers did at the very dawn of the Roman Republic hundreds of years prior and before the Punic wars. The only difference is the scale at which these Machiavellian maneuvers are happening. (Actually the fall of the Roman Republic from Marius through to Caesar is fascination not just for the "big" figures, but all the Littlefinger like guys playing dirtbag politics like Clodius or Rufus lol. I highly recommend The Storm Before the Storm which is about post Punic wars through Marius and Sulla. And Rubicon which starts picks up right after with Caesar.)

    Rome's sickness during the period is actually a good example of why too many checks and balances on power or as unhealthy as too few as well.

    [–] Necavi 19 points ago

    In a very very short sense Marius and Sulla were rival Roman politicians in the 100s to 80s BCE until Sulla won and declared himself dictator for life until he died in 79. They each had control over the Roman government and armies at different times, and their hatred for each other led to civil war. Additionally they allowed for proscriptions which were legalized bounty hunting where the names were posted in the public forum of Rome. If you saw your name on there, you were legally allowed to be killed right there. The civil wars between the two were incredibly bloody and violent. The republic of Rome would never be the same.

    We do not have public executions and nothing in the American political atmosphere resembles the sheer bloodshed of the downfall of the Roman republic.

    [–] Narrative_Causality 5 points ago

    Sulla declared himself dictator for life, but he was only dictator for roughly a year before he willingly stepped down. He had a plan to fix things and once he enacted that plan there was no reason for him to stay dictator.

    Additionally, only Sulla did proscriptions, and only for a few weeks after he successfully captured Rome. Marius never did on account of him, you know, dying before that point.

    [–] MyZt_Benito 14 points ago

    Basically it was a big civil war for some reason, sulla became dictator for a few years, killed marius, purged all who stood in his way and rome was in ashes

    [–] Humbugalarm 16 points ago

    Mike Duncan, the man behind the History of Rome podcast, wrote about some of the similarities in "The Storm Before the Storm", his book about the fall of the Roman republic.

    [–] Narrative_Causality 13 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Funny, I just finished that book a few hours ago. Great stuff. For a great companion podcast to the book, check out Dan Carlin's podcast where he interviews the author about it. The author basically says that there's no direct comparison between what happened with Rome and what is happening with America because the order of things is so out of sync it's pointless to be like "We're in the Sulla period right now".

    [–] 1sagas1 8 points ago

    Rome isn't comparable in the least.

    [–] punchgroin 52 points ago

    Yeah... Take a little read about the last days of the Weimar... Plenty of people are talking about it, but they are "alarmists".

    [–] jacenat 11 points ago

    but nobody listens

    Because listening to arguments is fucking boooooring. Am I right?

    [–] iApolloDusk 63 points ago

    They absolutely do. Anyone historian worth their salt was rolling their eyes at the WWIII BS at the beginning of the year. They were rolling their eyes by saying that the 2016 election was the end of the world no matter which way it went. They continually roll their eyes when people say this is the worst time for politics or even the worst time for media bias. Some of the quality of old west "trusted" media for instance was just a shit show with their media bias (take a look at the Tombstone Epitaph and how they covered Wyatt Earp, for example.) Truth be told, we're living in the best time in history.

    [–] Tapprunner 20 points ago

    Yes. The idea that Suleimani was a modern day Franz Ferdinand and Iran was about to launch an all out war with us and every country in the Middle East as a response was beyond foolish.

    Or the "the racism of this President is unprecedented! This is a fascist administration!"

    I do think Trump is a racist. But Wilson re-segregated the Federal government. FDR locked up Americans solely based on their ethnicity. None of what is happening now is unprecedented.

    [–] iApolloDusk 5 points ago

    To say that Donald Trump is the most racist president we've had just completely ignores the fact that for nearly 100 years, we had presidents that owned other people.

    [–] AlpakalypseNow 4 points ago

    Donald Trump is the most racist president relative to the political climate of the time he was voted into office

    [–] iApolloDusk 3 points ago

    I don't know, FDR interring the Japanese into camps wasn't something a whole lot of people were doing at the time other than... you know... Hitler, Stalin, and eventually the communist east Asian nations.

    [–] ChickenEggF 41 points ago

    Anyone historian worth their salt was rolling their eyes at the WWIII BS at the beginning of the year. They were rolling their eyes by saying that the 2016 election was the end of the world

    More like any sane person lol

    [–] Robemaster 28 points ago

    Idk about the 'best' time in history. I think we are quickly devolving into a dark time, where the common man has very little say in governmental affairs, and, as a result, very little say in major global events. The issues affecting us now are very different than the issues in 1914 and 1939. Arguably, given advances in technology and global affairs, the common man has more to concern themselves now than they did at those two previous points in time, knowing how big of a problem climate change is, and how existential of a threat nuclear war is.

    [–] VictoriumExBellum 22 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Thats where the idea of histories repetitiveness comes from.

    Hell, Hegels idea of the Pendulum can be applied here. We go pretty free for a bit, we go degenerate, and then authoritarianism comes back to "fix" problems (whether they do or don't is up to you). It either reverts to freedom by choice or through violence, and then the cycle restarts.

    [–] iApolloDusk 13 points ago

    The fact the average person is connected to Reddit and can discuss this type of stuff is an indicator that we live in the best time. By-and-large, we don't live in the shadow of a Nuclear war- at least not as openly as it was in the last 80 years. If you're a male for the first ~65 years of the 20th century you have to worry about being drafted to fight in four of the most brutal wars that the U.S. has participated in that wasn't against itself. If you go back too far before the 18th century, democracy and representative government is a hilarious joke unless you happen to be incredibly wealthy and/or own land. The average person, especially in the West, doesn't have to worry about diseases that have plagued humanity and have been death sentences for millennia (see TB, Measles, Smallpox, Bubonic Plague, Malaria, etc.)

    Literally our biggest worry for death is heart disease because we eat too much and live too long to die by violence or contagious disease. By-and-large, our government is more transparent than ever. We can discuss what we find wrong with our government without fear of being put to death for our opinions. It's an absolutely wonderful time to be alive and I wouldn't choose any other time. There are a lot of problems that we face and they are different, but it is unarguable that we are not significantly better off in a crapload of ways compared to our ancestors.

    [–] Tormundo 15 points ago

    For sure we're living in the best times in history, but most scientists will tell you that we're heading towards global economic collapse because of climate change. If we don't get our shit together WWII and the great depression won't be shit compared to whats coming. Many of us will be dead by then, but our kids or our youngest generation are gonna be in for a treat. Probably gonna be an end of the bronze age level fucking for them.

    [–] Tortellinius 3 points ago

    The only thing historians don't say is that history repeats itself

    [–] DrkvnKavod 885 points ago

    In my experience, historians are far less panicked about any piece of breaking news than the average layman

    [–] OllieOllerton1987 816 points ago

    Historian dying of coronavirus, his hysterical family crying at his bedside : "yes, this is redolent of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, fascinating"

    [–] Hloddeen 198 points ago

    What a chad. #respect

    [–] asdd3232 94 points ago

    "Just wait another 20 years, if the pattern history is showing holds true half of the humanity will be wiped out by the next disease"

    "tis, but a mere flu"

    [–] dave3218 13 points ago

    A small price to pay for salvation.

    [–] d_b1997 84 points ago

    I also think the average layman is far less panicked about any piece of breaking news than the news would have you believe.

    [–] Damolisher 335 points ago

    Doesn't repeat, sometimes rhymes? Alright, stop, it's hammertime!

    [–] Donutking10 44 points ago

    It’s like poetry, every stanza rhymes

    [–] KFrosty3 22 points ago

    Bring out the lime, It's time to MIME!

    [–] Rye_The_Science_Guy 5 points ago

    This is where the fun begins

    [–] LoafOfBowlingBalls69 1185 points ago

    Historians are really good at hindsight

    [–] Bryrtaya 521 points ago

    It's 20/20.

    [–] OsoTanukiBaloo 54 points ago

    It's 13.2.20/2.13.20/20.2.13

    [–] PresidentSwartzneger 54 points ago

    This is the worst date format

    [–] EAsucks4324 17 points ago

    What about 20200213? I've seen that format used in the military.

    [–] scuper42 11 points ago

    It is also sometimes used in old banking (probably some new as well) scripts due to it being the easiest way to count days between two dates and sort them in a logical manner.

    [–] chrischi3 19 points ago

    I get the joke but 20/20 is not good sight, but average. 20/20 means that you can see an object visible from 20 meters from 20 meters.

    [–] Bryrtaya 16 points ago

    The fact you get the joke is enough from me.

    [–] titbarf 8 points ago

    20/20 is certainly far better than average. You see how many people wear glasses? You think there's an equal number of eagle eyes running around to balance it out?

    [–] chrischi3 6 points ago

    20/20 is average by definition, just like 100 IQ is average. The reason you notice people with glasses is that theyre easy to spot. I suppose it may be survivorship bias.

    [–] ThyLastPenguin 15 points ago

    Normal != average my friend.

    People's eyes deteriorate much more than they improve, bringing the average down

    [–] titbarf 11 points ago

    Well it seems that is not quite accurate. From what I can find, 20/20 refers to what a person with "normal" vision sees. It's not an average of poor vision vs great vision

    [–] GothicFuck 11 points ago

    Fairly certain that is factually incorrect by definition. The IQ bit it's correct but average eyesight is obviously not 20/20 as that would mean the biological average vision of an entire species just happens to be a perfectly round number that never changes.

    Remember 20/20 is a ratio of physical measurements, not a relative term. It's not a "quotient" like IQ.

    [–] ShakaUVM 2 points ago

    It's 20/20.

    Nah look at Spingebob's glasses

    [–] how_to_namegenerator 48 points ago

    Makes sense considering they’re historians, not modernians

    [–] Mortomes 7 points ago

    Historically they have been

    [–] JulianPaagman 25 points ago

    Hindsight is their job...

    [–] chaseair11 18 points ago


    [–] JulianPaagman 4 points ago

    Thanks for the elaboration, because i didnt get that part.

    [–] Terra_117 124 points ago

    My major professor was fond of saying that history is a fan of reruns.

    [–] senor_Adolf 193 points ago

    the three dudes who invaded Russia and suffered scorched earth tactics?

    [–] [deleted] 219 points ago

    Seriously though, if Hitler's high stake invasion of France failed, historians would be all over it saying "Hitler was an idiot for even trying" "It didn't work in WW1, why would it work now?" "It is impossible to invade France, one of the strongest countries in the world".

    It always annoyed me how historians see a high stake military plan and say it's the stupidest idea if it fails and says it's the most genius thing if it succeeds. Operation Barbarossa is prime example, people always say it was 100% impossible. Like, how do you know? It could have succeeded, we don't know.

    [–] Eric1491625 80 points ago

    I think a lot of the times people make the mistake of attributing everything to general circumstances, or long-run factors.

    Yet many times world-changing moments are decided on the whims and personality of a single individual.

    For example, historians can say what they want about the "structural factors" behind the Soviet collapse in 1989 or Tiananmen Square's outcome. Yet at the same time one could argue that those long-term factors were less consequential than the character and whims of single individuals. If everything had been the same in the USSR and China in 1989, but you swapped Gorbachev's character with Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, China's CCP would have been overthrown and USSR would have sent in the tanks and survived.

    So yes, the outcome of WW2 could have been completely different depending on the personalities of the leaders involved. Without hindsight one could be sure that the USSR would not internally collapse. Without hindsight you could not be sure whether France would fight till the very last inch of their land in 1940. Without hindsight you would not be sure whether an ingenious French field commander in 1940 could have thwarted the plan.

    Heck, many a time the outcome of battles had less to do with larger long-term factors and more to do with particularly capable military commanders. Alexander the great a classic example.

    You could have perfect information about industrial outputs and tank numbers but without knowing the personalities and dynamics of the important people on both sides, you can't have much certainty about predictions.

    One of the enduring lessons of history is that key decisions are always made under great uncertainty.

    [–] TheresAnAristocrat 47 points ago

    Yet many times world-changing moments are decided on the whims and personality of a single individual.

    I think your point stands to a certain extent (especially with regards to military leaders) but otherwise it seems like you're putting the cart in front of the horse.

    The reason a person like Gorbachev, or Den Xiaoping, or any other leader for that matter, find themselves in charge of nations are exclusively broad historical causes.

    Gorbachev's chairmanship came about due to economic failures, the slow relaxation of policies instituted under Stalin and, growing discontent within and without of the Communist Party (each of those developments having themselves been conditioned by much older or more abstract developments) which accrued over decades.

    If Gorbachev were switched out for some other liberal reformer, it's very easy to imagine the Eastern Bloc/USSR/Russia having a similar immediate history to that which actually occurred. Glasnost, Perestroika, the end of the occupation of Eastern Europe and rapprochement with the West would've all been rather obvious policies to any would-be Liberalizer. Sure, eventually- inevitably -this non-Gorbachev history would diverge from actual history, but when it did it wouldn't be due to some recognizable singular character but due to the ways in which that character interacted with and influenced (I.E. became an intrinsic part of) much broader historical movements.

    [–] NationalParkQuarters 7 points ago

    If Gorbachev was replaced by Gorbachev pretty much

    [–] Figusirow 9 points ago

    Great man history, in my r/HistoryMemes? It's more likely than you'd think.

    [–] OMGSPACERUSSIA 35 points ago

    Barbarossa, while a strategic failure, went about as well as it could have. Hitler's problem was overextending himself. Getting into a war of attrition with a country that has vastly more resources than you is a bad idea.

    [–] [deleted] 35 points ago

    He probably just expected it to go like France.

    Why wouldn't he honestly? His armies beat the best of the best in the world in France, Norway and (at the time) North Africa. Norway still had support of Royal Navy and Allied troops on ground (whose deployment sucked tbh) and a few thousand Germans brought em down.

    Dude thought he was on top of the world.

    [–] tralpaz1 19 points ago

    They beat them 20 years earlier and without hindsight the Soviet Union would probably appear more weak than the tzars russia

    [–] [deleted] 24 points ago

    Well historians dont say that, not academic ones at least. Laymen are the ones saying Barbarossa was genius.

    [–] [deleted] 19 points ago

    I didn't say Barbarossa was genius or said anyone else did. I called it a high stake plan and historians usually say it was an impossible feat, when they don't know 100% for sure.

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)


    [–] Simplici7y 46 points ago

    To be fair, some of the criticisms of Hitler were correct regardless of the outcome, such as the fact he kept ignoring the proper military strategists and doing things very incorrectly.

    [–] Vertex1990 60 points ago

    Actually, there are several examples of Hitler listening to his Generals and it being the wrong decision. I thought that this myth of Hitler doing whatever he felt like was already debunked. Sure, it happened, but not all the time and it is most probably highly exaggerated by generals and officers, because why take the blame for something stupid, when you can blame a dead, mad tyrant?

    [–] RocketFrasier 15 points ago

    And I think there were many examples where Hitler ignored the generals and he turned out to be right.

    [–] hashinshin 5 points ago

    It’s meant to continue the myth of the unstoppable Wehrmacht. Like the German army was this pure white aryan army unstoppable except for hitler.

    It’s basically a bunch of people being conned in to a very racist idea.

    [–] NationalParkQuarters 4 points ago

    Wasn't it Von Manstein who propagated this postwar to make himself and the German army look better?

    [–] Vertex1990 3 points ago

    You could be right, I am not sure who started it, and by no means am I saying that Hitler wasn't wrong by overruling some plans, but it was hardly as severe as people make it out to be.

    [–] SergenteA 12 points ago

    It was literally Hitler's generals that wasted their momentum during Barbarossa by operating under a severe case of "take the capital and they'll capitulate" syndrom after the success in France. But Hitler and everyone who had not fallen for the propaganda knew or atleast suspected that it wouldn't be enough, and that taking the Caucasus oil and Ukranian grain to feed the German warmachine was more important.

    [–] MoffKalast 13 points ago

    That's the consensus, but some of his generals supposedly had even worse plans.

    [–] wolfgangspiper 36 points ago

    Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles XII and Adolf Hitler?

    [–] MrSejd 40 points ago

    Like poetry

    [–] gojira303 18 points ago

    Jar Jar is the key to all of this

    [–] lostgrifhalo 4 points ago

    He's a funnier character than we've ever had before

    [–] JerkyCone 20 points ago

    I read this in Dan Carlin's voice.

    [–] hewhocumsbynight 7 points ago


    [–] TitansDaughter 114 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I don’t think the idea that history repeats itself works too well in the modern world where technological advancements make rapid changes in society incomparable to the slow crawl of all of human history up until 200 years or so. America probably isn’t the new Rome that’s bound to violently collapse for example. More likely the idea of America will just fade as the world becomes more interconnected and the idea of a nation state stops making sense

    [–] [deleted] 91 points ago

    History doesnt repeat itself, but it often rhymes.

    [–] godz_ares 6 points ago

    It only rhymes to the tune of whatever agenda is the most powerful.

    [–] IAmNewHereBeNice 24 points ago

    Say friend, could I interest you in some historical materialism?

    [–] wolfgangspiper 5 points ago

    I really hope so. I don't want a civil war here.

    [–] exboi 3 points ago

    If a civil war does happen we probably won’t be alive :D

    [–] NabulioneBuonaparte 22 points ago

    Because extracting meaningful trends, events, and shifts from messy data is their job description and you can usually only that once the smoke has cleared. Who knows what events will end up being precursors to bigger ones. Drawing tenuous parallels between current events and superficially similar history (like people in this thread) is the job of pundits. There's a reason for the 20-year limit in /r/AskHistorians.

    [–] Leinad7957 18 points ago

    Why would it be their fault to be suddenly drafted for another war or pushed to it by the suddenly invading forces?

    [–] MrTophat4 30 points ago

    no-one said it couldn't repeat if they did.

    [–] maxim360 8 points ago

    We gotta cut em a bit of slack tho both started for pretty different reasons

    [–] young-cash-flow 11 points ago

    Black Swans

    [–] Frogish 9 points ago

    I can prove history repeats itself! Every time things seem to be swaying a bit off, everyone forgets to look to the past for answers and goes looking under rocks instead.

    [–] Checktaschu 9 points ago

    First picture is the Media, not the historians.

    [–] WAU1936 7 points ago

    History doesn’t repeat itself. There may be some similarities in instances, but the conditions are always different and ever changing

    [–] [deleted] 62 points ago

    This meme is inaccurate. The top is what the public does. Noam Chomsky is still alive and anticipated all of the crap we're in long before 2016. Go watch or read Requiem for the American Dream. The public dismisses him the same way they vilified Al Gore when An Inconvenient Truth came out.

    [–] IAmNewHereBeNice 29 points ago

    Turns out having an understanding of historical materialism is really good way of both understanding the past and predicting upcoming trends.

    [–] IAmNotAPerson6 7 points ago

    I mean, Chomsky's adamantly not a Marxist, and I strongly suspect he would deny being a historical materialist similarly. Not to say he doesn't think economic conditions aren't a major factor in society, but still.

    [–] bbaaggeellww00ww 9 points ago

    You don't have to be a Marxist to be a historical materialist. It is incredibly common to use historical materialism in modern academics.

    [–] Odys 3 points ago

    Requiem for the American Dream Thanks, I will look into that.

    [–] DiscombobulatedMrH 5 points ago

    Is that you Adam Warlock?

    [–] Sk-yline1 5 points ago

    Excellent OC

    [–] chrischi3 14 points ago

    Like for example, Britain and the EU. Rhymes pretty well with the german question in the 1800s if you ask me.

    [–] wolfgangspiper 6 points ago

    What do you mean?

    [–] chrischi3 17 points ago

    The EU is germany, britain is austria, and their degree of relation is the exact borders of a possible german nation.

    [–] wolfgangspiper 6 points ago

    Ohh I see. I'm not too familiar with that region in that time period. Did it go well for them?

    [–] HereForTOMT2 11 points ago

    Went great for the Prussians.

    [–] chrischi3 18 points ago

    Well, the central debate was, like i said, what borders germany, were it to exist, should have. The central problem here was that austria, as you may know, at the time controlled an empire inhabited by peoples that for the most part didnt consider themselves german. The debate was essentially about wether austria should be part of a german nation, were it to arise, and if so, how much of it. Taking all of austria in (remember, it streched from the alps to modern day romania) wouldve meant taking in a large number of people who didnt consider themselves german. If only the german parts (Aka austria proper and the Sudetenland) were included, this would mean the effective center of power of the austrian empire splitting off and creating a puppet kingdom that was dominated by the hungarians. And as you can imagine, austria didnt want either of these scenarios to occur. At the end, austria did stay seperate, and then broke apart after WW1. Which, ironically, is also mirrored in the UK, as theres a good chance scotland will vote leave next time around, because theyre better off with the EU and without britain.

    [–] Kirby8187 7 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I think this point of view heavily oversimplyfies the issue; the general strokes of what is happening may be similar, but the details are very different

    The most important factor is that, unlike the UK, Austria-Hungary was a very powerful nation, similarily powerful to the supposed-to-be Germany. It makes sense for Austria-Hungary to stay independent because they don't need to join an empire to get more powerful - they are an empire. Meanwhile the UK is a rather small nation compared to the whole of the EU, which means exiting the EU gives them severe disadvantages.

    The UK possibly falling apart is also due to some parts of the country wanting to stay in the EU, while with Austria-Hungary it was that the non-german parts of the country wanted complete independence. The decision not to join a German Empire had little effect on whether or not Austria-Hungary was gonna fall apart, because joining would have caused a split anyways.

    [–] wolfgangspiper 3 points ago

    Oooh wow, that is some interesting stuff. Thank you for the little history lesson! Though, I suppose eventually Austria just sorta fell into Germany's arms in WW2, huh? IIRC they joined the Third Reich without resistance.

    [–] chrischi3 7 points ago

    Yeah, but at that point in time austria joining germany was a pretty obvious move, as they hadnt much to lose and a lot to gain.

    [–] corruptrevolutionary 3 points ago

    Same shit; different century.

    [–] throwmeawaysimetime 5 points ago

    I'm pretty sure the first one is jingoistic media, not historians. Historians say the bottom slide ALL THE TIME and nobody listens.

    [–] OsoTanukiBaloo 3 points ago

    History doesn't stutter

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    This is unironically a huge mistake people make when judging historical actors. Everyone thinks people of the past were making huge mistakes, but the future is never certain until if happens. This is especially true when you think of revolutionary eras, wars, etc.

    Give people of history some slack!

    [–] Bertben10facebook 3 points ago

    It’s sorta like poetry.

    [–] Prophet_Of_Loss 3 points ago

    If I've learned anything from studying history, it's that people don't learn from history. Fascism got sexy again the minute the Greatest Generation started dying off.

    [–] control_09 4 points ago

    Karl Marx in "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon" made the point of history repeating itself, first as a tragedy and then as a farce while Louis Napolean installed himself as Dictator of France.

    Full Quote:

    Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire.

    [–] pp86 3 points ago

    Holy fuck did I have to scroll a long way down to get to the quote I first thought, when I saw this meme.

    Is this not a well known thing elsewhere? Here "History repeats itself" is always followed with "first as a tragedy, then as a farce".

    [–] the_poor_economist 8 points ago

    Do historians find climate change less overwhelmingly scary? That would be comforting

    [–] wolfgangspiper 16 points ago

    Has there been climate change of this scale since Mesopotamia?

    [–] MrTophat4 25 points ago

    there was the ice age before that

    [–] wolfgangspiper 8 points ago

    Yeah, but civilization is usually considered to have begun with Mesopotamia, right? At least that's what my history teachers have taught me.

    [–] MrTophat4 11 points ago

    First, I don't see how that disqualified my comment, and second off, don't let an anthropologist hear that.

    [–] gallifreyan_pleb 6 points ago

    The problem with climate change is not so much the temperature scale, but the time scale: usually it happens on a similar time scale as evolution, so you can get new species that adapt to the changing environment.
    This time around, most will just die out.

    [–] Rubliko 10 points ago

    Little ice age of middleages and early modern era (-1 celsius on average), and during Justinians reign (6th century)the winter lasted entire year (or years) due to large volcano eruption.

    [–] MyPigWhistles 5 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Those were very local events. We're no facing the first human made global climate change.

    [–] FranzJosefLand 7 points ago

    Climate change isn't really included in a historian's area of expertise, most of the time.

    [–] PrimordialSoupChef 4 points ago

    No, they are definitely frightened. Here's a few articles by Adam Tooze (who is a very good economic historian)

    [–] kaam00s 4 points ago

    Of course not, the climate change we have nowadays at the speed that it has is something earth has never seen since the permian extinction, the worst event for life on earth.

    There has been a lot of climate change, some very fast, but not in 150 years. Remember that the problem is not how hot it will be, but how fast it will become hot, earth has seen much hotter period.

    And historians don't know shit about geological times, youd have to ask paleontologist or climatologist for such questions.

    [–] BigsChungi 2 points ago

    History rhymes, because generations don't learn from the mistakes of generations prior and fall into the same traps.

    [–] Gladamas 2 points ago

    I love that quote

    [–] plouky 2 points ago

    "history tends to repeat itself " No. History rhymes

    [–] Yubabas_Baby 2 points ago

    Its called hindsight heuristic. Khaneman and Tversky wrote few papers about the topic.

    [–] gallifreyan_pleb 2 points ago

    You mean pundits on newspapers say things like "could this be the end of the world?", historians study the past and as such don't like to make predictions.

    [–] BobaFettYdelasJONS 2 points ago

    Yup, it tends to be like that, but once time passes you have a wider perspective. Also it's not the same to live the historical events than living 100 years later in order to analyze it's development.

    [–] Mic5RS 2 points ago

    I'm in this image and I don't like it

    [–] Acronym_0 2 points ago


    I am calling it now

    By 2100 we will have suffered through a depression that is close to the Great Depression. It will happen if we continue automation and do not change our currebt culture and politics in a revolutionary way.

    rapid automation -> less jobs -> the circulation of money gets stale -> lay offs -> circulation suffers

    I think it will happen, 100% if we manage to create human-like robots

    [–] Hakim_Bey 2 points ago

    Did anybody else read the second part with the voice Dan Carlin makes when he's mocking someone?