Scheidel contends that the fall of Rome precipitated the kind of competition-driven innovation that made modernity possible in the first place. Rome’s greatest gift to posterity is that, in disappearing, it made room for the West to rise.
Rather than representing “white supremacy,” the evolution of mathematics has been a globe-, race-, and culture-spanning collaboration of advancements, an ongoing development of more effective tools for anyone to use.
Reinstating the mark, a peaceful act by a sovereign country, would create a cascade of monetary reform throughout the world. Europe's trading partners would find the cost of necessary imports rising in terms of their local currencies, forcing them to adopt fiscal and monetary responsibility.
In the United States, the two-party system of the old days is seemingly still preserved. But this is only a camouflage of the real situation. In fact, the political life of the United States is determined by the struggle and aspirations of pressure groups.
The Swiss state should end antigold regulations, end negative interest rates, and return to zero rates on bank reserves. These are small steps on their own, perhaps, but would be progress away from the brewing mess that is the eurozone.
What seems to me the great strength of Pankaj Mishra's new book is its demonstration that the atrocities of imperial conquest and rule prefigured the horrors of the European wars of the twentieth century and later wars of conquest as well.
Many observers of international affairs assume that larger, more populous states are necessarily more powerful. But the reality is wealth and economic development are the most critical factors in securing true military power.