In the past year I have read two books by Niall Ferguson, Empire and The Ascent of Money. While they were interesting, they left me scratching my head over what he included and what he left out.
I have just begun a third book called The Square and the Tower. I am only on page 16 and I am already beginning to wonder if it is worth finishing. Let me try to explain.
In these early pages he spends a lot of time belittling people who believe in conspiracy theories. If he had listed specific things that I also tend to ignore such as the 9/11 conspiracy or the JFK assassination I would have given him the benefit of the doubt. There is doubt because most of the so-called conspiracy theories of the last few years have turned out to be solid facts. Instead of focusing on the obvious extremes he went for the pitcher of kool aide built around the idea of Russian collusion. The problem is in this case he believes the conspiracy theory of the left.
He comments on Trump’s 2016 victory,
“One of the many reasons why he did not lose was that Russia’s intelligence network did its utmost to damage his rival’s reputation, using the website WikiLeaks and the television network RT as it principle instruments. In the words of a partly unclassified report by the US intelligence agencies, ‘the Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016' that was intended to ‘denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency’, reflecting the Kremlin’s ‘clear preference’ for Trump.” pp. 11-12His footnote says this came from an article in the Washington Post. I assume this was the blatant lies relentlessly pushed about Russia, Russia, Russia, and ignores the undisguised illegal actions of Hillary Clinton with her e-mail servers. If he is as informed as he is supposed to be it would be hard to miss such details.
Earlier when he was going on about absurd conspiracies he had said this,
“The standard version of the conspiracy theory links the Illuminati to the Rothschild family, the Round Table, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission - not forgetting the hedge fund manager, political donor and philanthropists George Soros.
“Such theories are believed, or at least taken seriously by a remarkably large number of people.” p. 6
Notice that George Soros is labeled as a “philanthropist”. This is the man who is spending the wealth he accumulted trying to undermine governments for the purpose of destroy the American election system. I believe the copyright is 2018. That means the shenanigans of Soros were well known.
Another interesting bit of information comes from the introduction,
“As a consequence of my work as a writer and professor, I have also joined a number of economic and political networks such as the World Economic Forum and Bilderberg meetings.” p. xxThis is the same World Economic Forum that wants us to eat bugs and tells us we will own nothing and be happy. It seems there is a bit of doubt about his qualifications.
Does someone with so little discernment have anything to say to someone who can remember what he wrote a few paragraphs earlier? I have not made up my mind yet. The good news is that if I decide not to finish it, I can turn it back in to the library at no cost.
Ferguson, Niall. The Square and the Tower. New York: Penguin Press, 2018.
homo unius libri