To use the language of today’s computerised, synchronised world, these were the six killer applications – the killer apps – that allowed a minority of mankind originating on the western edge of Eurasia to dominate the world for the better part of 500 years.
This is of more than purely historical interest. For it is only by identifying the causes of Western ascendancy that we can hope to estimate with any degree of accuracy the imminence of our fall.
My conclusion is that we are already living through the twilight of Western predominance. But that is not just because most of the Rest have now downloaded all or nearly all of our killer apps. It is also because we ourselves have lost faith in our own civilisation."