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Niall Ferguson on the future of Western Civilization and the world

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Michael Posner's interview in Canada's Globe and Mail reveals the provocative thinking of British historian Niall Ferguson.

In his new book Civilization, the West and the Rest, Niall Ferguson argues that the West's rise was based on "apps" which included competition, science, and the rule of law. He's not optimistic about the Arab Spring because "secure private property rights, scientific literacy - they aren't well established".

Never mind rights for women, which we believe have been crucial to the prosperity of the West.

Ferguson looks at Occupy Wall Street and discusses its failure to confront the political elites who are as responsible as banks for the enormous economic problems we are facing.

He does not think the West is doomed to collapse, but it has to "update the software, delete the viruses and reboot the machine, and that calls for massive political courage".

It's worth reading the whole thing. Some of our quotes come from the print edition.

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