He’s at it again.
Here is Niall Ferguson on the BBC arguing strongly that the problems of the Islamic world are not the fault of Western imperialism but are in fact the fault of, well Islam.
It is a bit frustrating because the person with whom he is debating doesn’t really get his point across very well. I have a feeling that the counter argument is a bit stronger than this one clip would suggest.
But Ferguson does make some good points. The Ottomans were in the region a lot longer than the Europeans and you can’t say that Islamic clergy are remotely pro-Science. But I think it is distorting things rather a lot to dismiss American influence as ‘only indirect’.
The best counterweight to Ferguson on this is probably Chomsky, in particular Hegemony and Survival.