Expeditionary groups should always function as a team, and the job of their leaders is to make sure that they do; newcomers usually bring new ideas an additional capabilities to established teams, but not without problems.
Would someone seeking fortune or knowledge leave a will for descendants that would never make wise use of his achievements?
People really die when they are forgotten, and if that happens, the lessons – good or bad – fall into oblivion as well; if those forgotten are relatives, ancestors, then, the history of the family and probably some of the best lessons in life for anyone go into the darkness forever. Forgetting is thus, the worst enemy of learning.
And what about the victims of persecution, robbery and genocide? Do they deserve to be forgotten just like their slaughterers want in order to get away with their crimes?
Indeed, neither our ancestors, nor those who achieved things beyond the norm, nor those who were victims of injustice deserve to be ignored by society.
And what you would do if suddenly you knew that your ancestors were truly achievers that also were murdered?
Of course, any normal person would seek justice, but that is something that at certain point cannot be obtained thorough a court. Sometimes just giving what has been taken back becomes impossible, and sometimes, courts and judges are unwilling or unable for political or other reasons to do anything.
What could be understood by justice if the proportions of the crime include the murder of dozens of relatives, capital losses reaching levels of fortune and the destruction of human resources and talents in arts, sciences and social capabilities?
What if your family suffered genocide and plunder? Would you ben contended if perpetrators were hanged or shot by a firing squad?
Despite the fact that they should be punished, in the long run that serves very little to reconstruct what has been lost. The only thing that would eventually enable that is memory.
Remembering is also important from a leadership perspective: Memories develop into traditions, and that improves teamwork, quality and responsibility. It is not just academic excellence what gives a degree from Cambridge, Oxford or the University of Bologna its special touch. History and the paraphernalia of tradition do play a significant role.
It is no coincidence that more modern universities and colleges construct their own traditions by emulating those of other more established learning and cultural institutions, neither is the product of pure fashion the fact that cities as well as military regiments develop their own coats of arms and heraldic symbols based on those of aristocratic families.
And most notably, a proper “yikhus” or pedigree that leaders can show always has a very deep psychological effect among subordinates. It is history what separates the true aristocrats from the mere nouveau riches.
Money, academic credentials, political power are all very interesting, but even in an “equal” society, they cannot surpass the effect that a proper genealogy leading to – say – noble or royal ancestors has because history is never for sale and there is no way to acquire or purchase it.
That is why it is important to remember what happened; those who forget history will be under risk of repeating it.
The sea of Pachamama; pencil, 2012, by Pablo Edronkin.