Sunday Morning Link Brunch: 2/8/2015

Society

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. So, hey, why not?

Have you ever wondered who helps shape public policy in western society? Read all about the influence of consultants, think tanks, contractors, and other behind-the-scenes figures here.

Karl Marx’s father may have converted his family to Protestant Christianity from Judaism, but the famous social scientist’s incessant penchant for studying may have been influenced by his family’s rabbinical roots.

More links after the jump.

America is one of only three advanced countries that spend more on richer pupils than poor ones. Are you surprised? Honestly, I’m more surprised this was written by The Economist than I am by the fact that America favors the rich.

Speaking of America, who runs the country? The people or a piece of paper?

Here is a nice piece on the problem of American obedience and the folly of American exceptionalism.

Becoming Rational also has a nice post on why war is a deadly racket that allows a few of the wealthy and powerful to profit from death and destruction of the many.

How deadly was the poison gas of WWI? The accounts of false reporting and the mass hysteria they caused were what I found the most interesting.

Greece’s new finance minister is pretty outspoken. And also pretty awesome.

Big brother is watching journalists and activists in Bosnia. Appalling little fact: the police around the country have spent about 11.5 million euros buying new military-type gear since last year’s protests.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was really hopeful last year that this movement could make some significant changes to the way in which that country is run. Unfortunately, it looks as if the movement may have run out of steam. At least for now…

And here is a brief seven minute video that gives an update (albeit, a depressing one) on the Dita factory workers in Tuzla, who essentially started the Bosnian protests last year and continue to fight for their wages and to end corruption in their country.

Recently it was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, so here is a story about the forgotten camp, Monowitz. I found the different purposes of each camp horrifically eye-opening. And the ties to capitalism that Monowitz had were also interesting.

Who commits mass murder?

Ever wonder when the purpose of college changed from teaching critical thinking and molding good citizens to simply pushing out workers? This article has your answer.

The resurgence of the leftist public intellectual. Holy hell, what I wouldn’t give to see Slavoj Zizek on CNN.

David Harvey: Looking Toward a Moneyless Economy and Sleeping Well at Night.

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?

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