"America's Oh Sh*T Moment" by Niall Ferguson Essay

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“America’s ‘Oh Sh*t!’ Moment”, written by Niall Ferguson, a historian who teaches at Harvard University, in 2011, explores why civilizations collapse, and how America can avoid this. He does not focus only on America, but many civilizations in the past that have collapsed. Niall Ferguson is the author of Civilization: The West and The Rest. The article is creatively and cleverly written using the metaphor of modern technology to describe the way in which the societal collapse occurs. This shows that the article was written for adults who are highly educated and understand and relate to technology. The article discusses the possibilities of what complete collapse would look like in American society. I believe the author successfully…show more content…
They always drop off and collapse. The author very strongly believes that America’s civilization is in danger of social devastation in the near future. This is clear throughout the whole article, as the author gives many reasons why America is in line for a collapse. This is a valid assumption, and is very thoroughly explored and argumented. For example, the 6 “Killer Applications”: Competition, The Scientific Revolution, The Rule of Law and Representative Government, Modern Medicine, The Consumer Society, and The Work Ethic. These are 6 factors in the potential devastation of the United States of America. The author also states recent reasons as to why America would collapse, mainly revolving around the fact that the other countries are “catching up” to America, in these 6 areas, especially China and Japan. The author believes (and states) that Asians spend more time working and studying, and also have the majority of the world’s largest shopping malls. These countries are also making more money, and have become more competitive over the years. As the article states, “The United States’ average competitiveness score has fallen from 5.82 to 5.43, one of the steepest declines among the developed economies. China’s score, meanwhile, has leapt up from 4.29 to 4.90.” (page 3) While I do agree with the author that China and Japan are “catching up” to America, I think the author exaggerated a little while emphasizing this point. Just because America isn’t

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