Saturday, December 11, 2004

Leftists respond to Niall Ferguson

Ann Talbot of the World Socialist Web Site reads Niall Ferguson's Colossus. She makes him sound further to the right than I had previously thought him to be. For instance, she characterizes him as follows:

The trouble with America, Ferguson complains, is that its citizens “like Social Security more than national security.” In his eyes it is a country burdened by too many policies that date back to the New Deal. Bush’s failure, according to Ferguson, is that he has simply not done enough to bring welfare spending, especially Medicare, under control. “The decline and fall of America’s undeclared empire may be due not to terrorists at the gates or to the rogue regimes that sponsor them, but to a fiscal crisis of the welfare state at home,” Ferguson writes in Colossus. If America is to succeed as an imperial power, he argues, the government needs to cut welfare spending more aggressively.

Is this a position he holds consistently?

Also, she challenges his version of the Cold War, where my knowledge is, I must admit, pretty superficial. Is she right about Macarthur and the Korean War, or is Ferguson?

Also see Part 2 of Talbot's critique; and Part 3.

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