The focus of this highly interdisciplinary essay is on an analogy between the formation of memory in individual brains and in collectives of individuals, and on the use of that analogy to derive two hypotheses. The first hypothesis involves the application of understanding of retrograde amnesia in individual brains, to the phenomenon of amnesia in collectives. The second hypothesis involves the application of observations of competition in the formation of collective memory, to memory formation in individuals. Evidence in support of both hypotheses is presented. This analogical reasoning leads to deeper understanding of memory on both individual and collective levels. It also raises many new questions―difficult questions that likely would not have arisen in the absence of the analogy.