Ferguson (2013) The central claim of The Great Degeneration is that the West, long ascendant, has arrived at a ‘stationary state’ (a reference to Adam Smith’s description of China) even if it is not actually in decline. The gap in standards of living between the West and the rest is declining, and many of its key institutions are weakening: “Public debt…has become a way for the older generation to live at the expense of the young and the unborn. Regulation has become dysfunctional to the point of increasing the fragility of the system. Lawyers, who can be revolutionaries in a dynamic society, become parasites in a stationary one. And civil society withers into a mere no man’s land between corporate interests and big government.” (conclusion, 25/28).
David Last, 16 June 2013