New Delhi: Historian and professor Niall Ferguson's latest book 'Civilization - the West and the Rest' looks to pack in 600 years of history into 300-odd pages. Examining the predominance of the west and why that may be coming to an end.
Ferguson said, "I wanted to write a book of history of the past 600 years. In my new book civilisaiton I argue that there are six killer applications, six magical institutions that put the west ahead of the rest after 1500."
Those killer applications are what proved to be game-changers and the game has certainly changed. There's good news in the long term for those betting on India versus China.
Ferguson also added, "And of these six, China does not have the full complement - India does. India's got economic competition, it's got science to a pretty high level, it's got the rule of law and representative govt which is also crucial, as well as modern medicine, consumer society and the work ethic.
On the revolutionary uprisings across the middle east, he says the fear is of a larger conflict. He also adds, "There is a non zero probability that a much larger conflict may emerge from all of this - between Sunni and Shia muslims. the real battle for power now is between Iran which would like to take advantage of this instability and the Saudi Arabian royal family, which is terrified they may be victims of it. That could produce a much bigger upheaval and possibly even full-scale war. Right now most people don't see that coming, but I think it's a real issue."
But here's how he lays to rest all those end-of-days rumours.
Ferguson also added, "We're all going to die as individuals, it's kind of comforting to imagine everyone's going to go down at once. That's part of the fascination of apocalyptic visions. We're attracted to this in a ghoulish way. The world is going to continue, longer than i will continue as an individual, and many of your viewers - the big question is whether western predominance is going to end, and that is going to happen pretty soon."