March 02, 2008

06, 07 Niall Ferguson on MP3

Nassim Taleb says that Niall Ferguson is 'a good lunch', which I take to mean they get piss drunk and talk shit, but I'm probably wrong. What I do know is that he talks well, and is worth listening to.

Side note. I don't have much tolerance for listening to or reading things that I agree with. It's nice to be stroked, but it gets boring fast. I don't need someone else to go on at length about my ideas or confirm my prejudices - I do a good enough job of that myself. So take this endorsement of Ferguson as something that I'm not entirely comfortable with, and hence all the more delighted with. I first heard about him when he came out as pro-British Empire and knee-jerk ignored him, being a good Chomskyite and all. So, yes, he's broadly in favor of 'liberal empires' and tends to ignore the wishes of the colonized, but he has lots of challenging ideas, and challenges are good. Plenty of contra-Ferguson articles are available at Wikipedia. So, here are four recent [2006-07] MP3s that all deal with the lessons of the past for the future we are facing.

Interview on NPR about The War of the World, or why the 20th century was so bloody. The same topic in a good talk and Q&A at Vanderbilt University.

Trialogue on reassessing neoconservatism, with Francis Fukuyama, who goes by the name of Frank here.

Another interview about America and empire.

Similar topic, After Hyperpower - The United States and the Next War of the World, November 28, 2007

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