Ferguson: The Nasty Fiscal Arithmetic of Imperial Decline
By Rocky Vega
With over 143,000 views, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson’s recent video, on empires on the edge of chaos, has at least a lot of social proof going for it that it’s worth a gander. He gave his lecture to the Centre for Independent Studies, a public policy think tank within Australasia, and addresses questions such as: What if history isn’t cyclical and slow moving? And, what if collapse doesn’t amicably settle in over centuries, but instead comes quickly, or overnight?
With these questions in mind, about the true nature of complex systems, he considers implications for the United States. He portrays the US as a complex system, which appears to be stable, or in equilibrium, but is constantly evolving and mutating. Just a small trigger can lurch its seemingly benign system into an abrupt collapseÉ at a scale that’s impossible to anticipate.