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Archduke Ferdinand alive and well ...

 First World War a mistake -

so went a somewhat comical tongue-in-cheek reference to the the

consequences of actions taken, without due consideration of the

consequences of consequences of ever more complex systems. 

In the context of the article entitled "What Singapore teaches U.S." -

to which Nicholas Beecroft has referred to in his facebook forum

Future of Western Civilisation - Michael Auslin has concluded -

"These lessons aren’t meant to predict a war. There remains every reason

for Washington and Beijing to keep peaceful relations. But history is full

of surprises, usually for status quo powers. The United States maintains

extraordinary strength and with the right economic growth policies can

be the world’s dominant nation for decades to come. But it may not be

able to be dominant all the time in regions with rising powers. The lessons

of Singapore remind us not to overestimate our strengths and to honestly

face up to our weaknesses."

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Views: 100

Comment by Michael Grove on November 8, 2013 at 18:33

Within a year the UK will be immersed in the first stage of a centenary commemoration like no

other the world has seen: that of the First World War. But what will that great commemoration of the

Great War be like ?

Comment by Michael Grove on February 26, 2014 at 15:48


IS the world about to experience another Black Swan, a seemingly improbable or unpredictable

turn of events with deeply negative consequences for financial markets and the economy ?        

Developments in Kiev certainly have the potential to turn into such a catastrophe, for they are not

just about Ukraine. Just as the Syrian civil war reflects a wider regional struggle between Iran and

Saudi Arabia for political and religious supremacy, Ukraine finds itself the luckless victim of much

bigger forces than its own internal divisions - centuries old East/West rivalries and ambitions. 

Ukraine’s disgusting kleptocracy deserves to fail; genuine democracy and rule of law in this

brutalised nation would be an overwhelmingly positive development. Yet there is something

almost Napoleonic about the idealistic fervour with which Europe pursues its eastern ambitions.

That said, the forces that turned the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand into the greatest

conflict in history simply don’t exist today. Despite occasional sabre-rattling, the world is

generally better at muddling along together than it has ever been. The big, intra and inter-regional

conflicts of the last century are unthinkable.

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