Niall Ferguson quotes

  • So much of liberalism in its classical sense is taken for granted in the west today and even disrespected. We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don't understand how incredibly vulnerable it is.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Taken #Today #West

  • The ascent of money has been essential to the ascent of man.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Men #Essentials #Ascent

  • The law of unintended consequences is the only real law of history.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Real #Law #History

  • Oral history is a recipe for complete misrepresentation because almost no one tells the truth, even when they intend to.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Recipes #Telling The Truth #Misrepresentation

  • The rise of the West is, quite simply, the pre-eminent historical phenomenon of the second half of the second millennium after Christ.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Historical #West #Half

  • When I first came to Oxford, I struggled to feel comfortable in an Anglican, public school-dominated institution.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #School #Oxford #Firsts

  • I refuse to accept that Western civilization is like some hopeless old version of Microsoft DOS, doomed to freeze, then crash. I still cling to the hope that the United States is the Mac to Europe's PC, and that if one part of the West can successfully update and reboot itself, it's America.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Europe #Civilization #America

  • I would say I'm a 19th-century liberal, possibly even an 18th-century one.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Century #19th Century #18th Century

  • The Armenian genocide showed what could happen when empires were beaten into nations.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #History #Empires #Genocide

  • In Stalin's Russia racial persecution was often disguised as class warfare. More than 1.5 million members of ethnic minorities died as a result of forced resettlement.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Class #Russia #History

  • In the old days it would have been a relatively simple matter to have checked Hitler's territorial ambitions. All you'd have needed would have been the 1914 combination of Britain, France and Russia. Indeed, if such an alliance had acted decisively to defend Czechoslovakia in 1938, Hitler might even have been overthrown by his own military. But it was not to be.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Military #Ambition #Simple

  • To make a living space, there first had to be a killing space.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Space #History #Firsts

  • Why did the Germans and Japanese keep fighting after 1943 when every rational hope of victory had disappeared?
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Fighting #History #Victory

  • The Japanese Co-Prosperity Zone began as a racist utopia and ended as a cross between an abbatoir, a plantation and a brothel.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #History #Racist #Prosperity

  • When bond prices fall, interest rates soar, with painful consequences for all borrowers.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Fall #Painful #Interest

  • For 500 years the West patented six killer applications that set it apart. The first to download them was Japan. Over the last century, one Asian country after another has downloaded these killer apps- competition, modern science, the rule of law and private property rights, modern medicine, the consumer society and the work ethic. Those six things are the secret sauce of Western civilization.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Country #Rights #Japan

  • If the financial system has a defect, it is that it reflects and magnifies what we human beings are like. Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong. Booms and busts are products, at root, of our emotional volatility.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Emotional #Roots #Swings

  • From the earliest days, the Rothschilds appreciated the importance of proximity to politicians, the men who determined not only the extent of budget deficits but also the domestic and foreign policies...
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Men #World #Determined

  • American Empire- it is an empire that lacks the drive to export its capital, its people and its culture to those backward regions which need them most urgently and which, if they are neglected, will breed the greatest threats to its security. It is an empire, in short, that dare not speak its name. It is an empire in denial.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Names #People #Needs

  • It's all very well for us to sit here in the west with our high incomes and cushy lives, and say it's immoral to violate the sovereignty of another state. But if the effect of that is to bring people in that country economic and political freedom, to raise their standard of living, to increase their life expectancy, then don't rule it out.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Country #People #Political

  • No civilization, no matter how mighty it may appear to itself, is indestructible.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Civilization #Matter #May

  • The West may collapse very suddenly. Complex civilizations do that, because they operate, most of the time, on the edge of chaos.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Civilization #West #May

  • It’s our generation that is witnessing the end of Western predominance. The average American used to be more than 20 times richer than the average Chinese. Now it’s just five times, and soon it will be 2.5 times.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Our Generation #Average #Chinese

  • A historian is battling all the time to remember as much as possible.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Remember #Historian

  • As a teacher, my strategy is to encourage questioning. I'm the least authoritarian professor you'll ever meet.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Teacher #Strategy #Professors

  • Between 1980 and 2000 the number of patents registered in Israel was 7652 compared with 367 for all the Arab countries combined.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Country #Israel #Numbers

  • Today, the average Korean works a thousand hours more a year than the average German. A thousand. ... That is the end of the Great Divergence.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Motivation #Inspiration #Average

  • I can't imagine having a conversation about 'Celebrity Big Brother' in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    -- Niall Ferguson

    #Brother #Massachusetts #Imagine