Quote of the Day (So Far!)
Niall Ferguson on complexity and decline.
9:31 AM, Mar 2, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Niall Ferguson had a fascinating op-ed in the February 28 Los Angeles Times:
Ferguson's larger essay, from which the op-ed is adapted, is available to subscribers of Foreign Affairs here. Whether Ferguson is an American declinist is an open question. For what it's worth, I think Josef Joffe and Joel Kotkin are right and the pessimists are wrong: the evidence shows that America isn't going anywhere.
Nevertheless, perception counts for a lot. As Robert Kagan says, the idea that American power is waning motivates a lot of the Obama administration's diplomacy -- and not for the better. And the pervasive sense that our best days are behind us leads to cynicism and apathy and, above all, the decision to embrace decline. Elite loss of confidence in American institutions turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which is why it's so important to fight it.
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