1. Technological innovation;
2. The spread of ideas and institutions;
3. The tendency of even good political systems to degenerate;
5. Supplies of essential commodities;
6. Climate change.
Mr. Ferguson points the way to a more enlightened practice of history, while scolding those lazy,dubious opinionators, who shroud their intellectual laziness in the mantle of Mr. Kuhn's salutary idea. That Decadence is number three is not surprising, that always dependable epithet, that is the passionately held obsession of Conservatism, across those once rigid national boundaries. And garnished with a telling quote from Bismark about American political naivete, or should we more accurately call it American witlessness? Mr. Ferguson makes himself an unwelcome, but candid guest. Yet we are only at the half-way mark in his essay, and the antagonists to American hegemony are the internal expression of American 'liberal isolationism', as threat to the imperial reveries of Mr. Ferguson, the perennial threat of the economic rise of China: the Yellow Peril economically re-imagined and the Arab Spring turning into The Islamist Winter. This looks like Samuel P. Huntington's Clash of Civilizations with fresh fresh application of powder, paint and an almost flattering costume change.