This section is from the book "Principles Of Sociology With Educational Applications", by Frederick R. Clow. Also available from Amazon: Principles of sociology with educational applications.
. . . History always turns in the same circle - Le Bon, The Psychology of Peoples, p. 229.
Social activities are periodic. Harvests and food-supplies are alternately abundant and meagre. Exchanges, in fairs and markets, are rhythmical, and the balance of international trade is ever changing; prices rise and fall. Industrial depressions alternate with periods of industrial prosperity. The tide of immigration rises and falls. War and peace, conservatism and liberalism, alternate. Religion, morals, philosophy, science, literature, art, and fashion are all subject to the law of rhythm. - Giddings, Principles of Sociology, p. 370.
I wonder why it is that everything tends to run down. I used to try to get my school or my class into shape so that it would stay in shape and allow me to give attention to something else. But I have learned that things don't work that way. The only way to keep a good school is to keep everlastingly at it. The most careful work of organization will soon have to be done all over again. - A normal school president.
This anonymous paragraph was the impromptu utterance of a middle-aged man, connected with schools all his life and the president of a normal school for eight years, while talking to his students one morning about some lapse in their behavior. Does it express a general truth? Change is universal. Is there also system about the changes? Do they have some kind of course to run which is repeated over and over again? The history of a nation has often been likened to the life of a person: it passes through the stages of youth, middle age, and old age to death. Is this anything more than an analogy? If so, does it apply to schools, classes, student organizations? To churches and business establishments? To states and races? To civilization itself?