In the aftermath of the horrific attacks in Paris, politicians and commentators appear engaged in a dangerous contest to surpass each other in doomsday predictions. On Monday, eminent Harvard historian Niall Ferguson wrote an op-ed for the Boston Globe that seemed designed to beat them all: the events of last Friday are equivalent to the sack of Rome and we stand on the precipice of nothing less than the collapse of Western Civilization.
Ferguson begins with a graphic passage from Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire describing the sack of Rome in 410 by the Goths:
In the hour of savage license, when every passion was inflamed, and every restraint was removed . … Seguir leyendo »