The Ascent of Money - Netflix
Bringing context and understanding to the current economic crisis, historian Niall Ferguson tells the story of money and the rise - and spectacular falls - of global finance throughout the ages.
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Ascent of Money - Niall Ferguson - Netflix
Niall Campbell Ferguson (; born 18 April 1964) is a conservative British historian and political commentator. He was a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford and is a visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities. He is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Before Stanford, he was the Laurence Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. Ferguson writes and speaks about international history, economic and financial history, and British and American imperialism. He is known for his contrarian views, like his defence of British empire , which has been considered “audacious”, “wrong”, “ignorant”, “informative”, “ambitious” and “troubling”. He once called himself “a fully paid-up member of the neo-imperialist gang”. He has been a contributing editor for Bloomberg Television and a columnist for Newsweek. Ferguson was an advisor to John McCain's U.S. presidential campaign in 2008, supported Mitt Romney in 2012 and has been a vocal critic of Barack Obama. Ferguson received the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism in 2013. In 2018 he resigned from a Stanford program, Cardinal Conversations, after leaked emails proved that he had conspired with members of the Stanford College Republicans to dig up “dirt on a progressive undergraduate”, in order to force him out of the program.
The Ascent of Money - Civilization - Netflix
Published in 2011, Civilization: The West and the Rest examines what Ferguson calls the most “interesting question” of our day: “Why, beginning around 1500, did a few small polities on the western end of the Eurasian landmass come to dominate the rest of the world?” The Economist in a review wrote:
"Mr Ferguson starts with the overwhelming success of European civilisation. In 1500 Europe's future imperial powers controlled 10% of the world's territories and generated just over 40% of its wealth. By 1913, at the height of empire, the West controlled almost 60% of the territories, which together generated almost 80% of the wealth. This stunning fact is lost, he regrets, on a generation that has supplanted history's sweep with a feeble-minded relativism that holds “all civilisations as somehow equal”.
Ferguson attributes this divergence to the West's development of six “killer apps” largely missing elsewhere in the world – “competition, science, the rule of law, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic”. Ferguson compared and contrasted how the West's “killer apps” allowed the West to triumph over “the Rest”. Thus, Ferguson argued the rowdy and savage competition between European merchants created far more wealth than did the static and ordered society of Qing China; that the tolerance extended to thinkers like Sir Isaac Newton in Stuart England had no counterpart in the Ottoman Empire where Takiyuddin's “blasphemous” observatory was demolished for contradicting the teachings of Islam which ensured that Western civilization was capable of making scientific advances that Islamic civilization never could; and because respect for private property was far stronger in British America than it ever was in Spanish America, which led to the United States and Canada becoming prosperous societies while Latin America was and remains mired in poverty. However, Ferguson also argued that the modern West had lost its edge and the future belongs to the nations of Asia, especially China, which has adopted the West's “killer apps”. Ferguson argues that in the coming years will see a steady decline of the West and China and the rest of the Asian nations will be the rising powers. A related documentary Civilization: Is the West History? was broadcast as a six-part series on Channel 4 in March and April 2011.
The Ascent of Money - References - Netflix