War and Peace (Book 4, Part 1)

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Show Notes

This week, Matt and Cameron start on Book 4, Part 1 (after diverging from our original plan to combine parts 1 and 2) and do a deep dive on how we can really analyze wisdom, on the horror of war collapsing into peace, and whether self-sacrifice can ever be a true ideal of Christianity. That’s right, it’s the big ideas section! Well - the whole book is the big ideals section, but this is a great survey of some of Tolstoy’s most interesting ideas. Grab your YouTube video of Slavoj Zizek and tune in!

Major themes: Collapsing War and Peace Together, The Nature of Wisom, The Banality of Evil

15:12 - I meant to say “Andrei,” not “Nikolai” here

18:48 - “Cry” not “die”

26:30 - Well, the prisoner per capita ratio is still high in China - just nowhere near as high as the U.S.

30:20 - I learned this in class sometime back, so I’m going to hedge this claim a bit. Here are some comparative numbers on draft dodging, but I’m unclear on how they got to these numbers (analyzing data from the U.S. gov vs. independent analyses) so I won’t say this is a definitive answer. If I can locate a study or similar research that uses a consistent methodology to analyze draft dodging these two periods, I’ll add it here.

51:57 - Some more information about Dostoevsky’s almost-execution

53:24 - Surprisingly, I was right.

The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and YouTube.