Vincent van den Born / The Old Continent
After summarising and commenting on art historian Kenneth Clark’s 1969 13-part series Civilisation, what better than to follow up with historian Niall Ferguson’s 2012 six-part PBS-series called, well, Civilisation, based on his book of the same name.
In the first episode Ferguson discusses the way in which ‘Westerners’ came to dominate ‘Resteners’ after 1500. He identifies six ‘killer apps’ which made this possible, which he says they’re “history’s greatest revelation.” In this episode, his main argument is a comparison between Europe on the one hand and China on the other.
Both because of his timeframe and the vast geographical area he covers, Ferguson’s narrative has some oversimplifications and generalisations. He admits as much himself in the introduction to the book. His defence is that without these ‘errors’, the book cannot be written, the series not made. What has been left out, “has been left out for a reason.“
Giulio Meotti / ZeroHedge
“Far from leading to fusion, Europe’s migration crisis is leading to fission”, Stanford’s historian Niall Ferguson recently wrote. “Increasingly, I believe that the issue of migration will be seen by future historians as the fatal solvent of the EU”. Week after week, Mr. Ferguson’s prediction seems to be turning into a reality.
Not only does Europe continue to fragment as anti-immigration sentiment gathers political strength, but, as a result of the migrant crisis, the EU’s border-free internal zone, Europe’s most cherished prize after the Second World War, is now defined as “at risk” by the Italian government, among other governments, such and Austria.
Immigration is also redefining the intra-EU contract.
The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, the so called “Visegrad Group”, recently called for EU border defense. “We have to have a Europe capable of defending us”, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said as well, after he was invited to join the Visegrad meeting.