Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote in 1946 to thank the U.S. for Hemingway, Faulkner and other writers who were then influencing French fiction — but whom Americans were starting to take for granted.
"We shall give back to you these techniques which you have lent us," he promised. "We shall return them digested, intellectualized, less effective, and less brutal — consciously adapted to French taste. Because of this incessant exchange, which makes nations rediscover in other nations what they have invented first and then rejected, perhaps you will rediscover in these new [French] books the eternal youth of that 'old' Faulkner."
That is what is needed. An incessant exchange between different communities, cultures, people, ideas, to rediscover each other. To find what has been invented, used and been rejected and digest them and present a better, newer, improved version.
History does repeat itself. However, when presented with improvements and with intellectualism, its not history anymore - it is innovation, beautification and creativity.
PS - A very nice article on France, its apparent cultural downfall and actual innovation here. Rather long, but eminently readable.