011 | Wars of Ideology

For this podcast, we talk about the Battle of the Sommes, the Russian Revolution, and modern day slavery. Not to be missed!


The Dunning-Kruger effect: Ever wonder why people seem to be getting dumber AND more confident? It turns out that this is an actual phenomenon. The more you know something, the less confident about it you are. No wonder guys like Donald Trump think they know everything! [1]

The So-Called “Great War”: you might have heard somewhere that the First World War was started because of the assassination of Archduke Frans Ferdinand, which would eventually lead countries that had formed complicated alliances to war with one another. But keep in mind that it took months for people to actually give a shit, and the actual reasons for war were far more nuanced. Still you can’t say the man didn’t have an interesting life.[2]

Shell Shocked: We’ve known for a long time that sending men to kill one another has severe impact on their psyche. Before it was called PTSD, soldier trauma was described as “Shell Shock”, from the constant shelling the men were often subject to.[3] 

The Russian Revolution: Russia did so poorly in the First War that their government was toppled by a rumor that the city of St. Petersburg was running out of bread, on Woman’s Day, of all days. This first Revolution was spontaneous, and not controlled by any major group. It was the second revolution, in October, that would change the country forever. [4]

The Battle of the Sommes:  Over a million soldiers were wounded and killed in this battle, one of the bloodiest in human history, and lasted over 5 months. It was the first battle to use tanks.  One wonder what kind of horror the soldiers first facing these metal beasts, as the countless mortars exploding around them.[5] Despite how brutal this battle was, the war would go on for another 3 years. 

Woodrow Wilson demanded Democracy for Germany: By the end of the war, the Allies had the upper hand, and Wilson was adamant that it would only accept Germany’s surrender if she promised to become a democracy. [6] 

The Lost Treasure of the Tsar: It almost sounds like a spy movie or something, but yes, Russia’s gold reserves have never been found. Some day, there’s going to be a lucky treasure hunter who changes the world. [7]

Phillipines Experiment with Fascism: Their new President: Like any good dictator, it’s all about exploiting the fears of people. In the case of Rodrigo Duterte, that involves going after drug dealers. For this guy, the “Rule of Law” is more like “Do What You Want”.[8]

Endentured Servants: Slavery wasn’t originally just for black people. Keep in mind that this is a pretty old institution, and that it exists in many different forms (although admittedly not under the same conditions). When you learn that 75% of early settlers were themselves indebted servants, it sort of changes your perspective of just why people went to America to begin with.[9]

Clinton’s Environmental Legacy: Progressives in America have never really been able to actually do much in the way that is progressive. Keep in mind that it was Nixon, a Republican, that created the EPA. Ever since then, different presidents have all had a really troubling relationship with the Environment [10]. Its kind of messed up that he was America’s greatest environmental president [11]

Equador’s Socialist Experiment is a Disaster: The country is a mess right now, and no one wants to take responsibility. The socialist government has it’s own facts, claiming that it’s Neoliberalism that’s to blame for their problems.[12] The rest of the Equadorians seem to disagree. [13]

Father Couglin’s Legacy: It came as a bit of a surprise to learn the Charles Couglin was in fact born in Canada. So in this instance, it seems like that level of crazy had to be exported. It’s also revealing to what lengths the government censored him, when all they had to do was question his patriotism.[14]

The Tannenberg Memorial: This was build after WW1 by the Germans as a way of convincing themselves that they hadden’t started the war (even though they basically did). When the Nazis were defeated, they destroyed this monument to dillusion. [15]

Voltaire and the Enlightenment: Can you have a movement without a spkesperson? Imagine a man who defends the rights of his fellow man to the point of having to run from hus government, lest he face imprisonement or worse! [16]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
[2] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-28/franz-ferdinand-profile/5542910
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_shock
[4] https://books.google.ca/books?id=BEoBCGJ4VqYC&pg=PA1&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Somme
[6] http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/germany-telegraphs-president-wilson-seeking-armistice
[7] http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/where-in-siberia-is-the-last-tsar-of-russias-missing-gold/
[8] http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/where-in-siberia-is-the-last-tsar-of-russias-missing-gold/
[9] http://mertsahinoglu.com/research/indentured-servitude-colonial-america/
[10] http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/clintons-environmental-legacy
[11] http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/surprisingly-richard-nixon-was-the-most-environmental-us-president-ever
[12] http://www.alternet.org/economy/ecuadors-correa-neoliberalism-has-failed-not-socialism
[13] http://www.smh.com.au/world/pushing-back-on-socialism-ecuador-vents-its-presidential-ire-on-the-streets-20150702-gi3ew2.html
[14] https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005516
[15] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannenberg_Memorial
[16] http://digitalcommons.wou.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=history_of_book
[17] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire#Biography