Despite having been—full disclosure—an adviser to John McCain, I acknowledged his opponent’s remarkable qualities: his soaring oratory, his cool, hard-to-ruffle temperament, and his near faultless campaign organization.I guess I would quibble that the question confronting us is who has the ideas to move us forward, but Professor Ferguson's point is on target.
Yet the question confronting the country nearly four years later is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not.
Under the theory of six degrees of separation, Professor Ferguson is married to Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the script for the short documentary, Submission, that led to the murder of Theo van Gogh, in Amsterdam, Holland. I am figuring my path is through my granddaughter's husband, who probably isn't that far separated from Theo van Gogh. And, I have read the Professor's book, The War of the World.
Then there is his latest book, released in November of last year, blurbed here at Amazon.
In Civilization: The West and the Rest, acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic. These were the ‘killer applications’ that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest; opening global trade routes, exploiting new scientific knowledge, evolving representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the industrial revolution, and hugely increasing human productivity. Civilization shows exactly how a dozen Western empires came to control three-fifths of mankind and four-fifths of the world economy.Is this not a clue to the Professor's thinking?
Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered because the Rest have finally downloaded the six killer apps the West once monopolized – while the West has literally lost faith in itself.
Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside the clashes of civilizations, Civilization recasts world history with verve and wit. Boldly argued but also teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.
But, what about Newsweek's thinking? I am shocked.
Regards — Cliff