Why the West Rules—For Now: The Patterns of History and What They Reveal About the Future. By Ian Morris. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 750 pages; $35. Amazon
“Change is caused by lazy, greedy, frightened people looking for easier, more profitable and safer ways of doing things. And they rarely know what they are doing.”
From the Economist's Review:
What Mr Morris shows is that over a period of 10,000 years one civilisation after another hit a “hard ceiling” of social development before falling apart, unable to control the forces its success had unleashed. For every two or three steps forward, there was at least one step back. During those periods of advance the West tended to pull ahead of the East, and during the steps back the gap narrowed again.