The Great Degeneration By Niall Ferguson Essay

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What is something our historical past and urban future both have in common? A particular outlook to this complex question could be found in their commonality shared “by the institutional frameworks within which cities operate” (Ferguson, 2014, p.142). Niall Ferguson, the author of “The Great Degeneration,” argues that Western civilization has entered into a period of decline because of the exclusivity and private dictatorship of the state. Ferguson is strongly concerned about the decline of the west and North America and Europe becoming a stronger polity. Thus, he believes that reforming this decline cannot be done through revamping institution, but rather through a rejuvenation of civil society itself. In our western society today it is highly apparent that there is a lack of agency throughout civil society. Therefore, I argue that because civil society cannot be changed through the efforts of institutions, change has to come from the grassroots of civil society engagement. The importance of having a strong sense of community and grassroots support among civil society in the western world will be the integral focus throughout this book review. As a whole, starting from the bottom up and having this interconnectedness within neighborhoods and communities can be correlated through democracy, capitalism and the rule of the law on one common basis, as we as humans thrive on the social interactions that a strong civil society has the power to initiate.
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