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tv   Sebastian Junger Discusses Tribe  CSPAN  August 31, 2017 9:18pm-10:10pm EDT

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>> c-span washington journal, live every day. news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, michael greenberger director of the center for health and homeland security at the university of maryland discusses federal disaster relief programs. reverend johnny moore member of president trump's evangelical advisory board talks about the role of the board and their support for the president. my issue braden lawyers committee for civil rights under civil law discusses transferring military equipment to civilian law enforcement. be sure to watch washington journal live seven eastern on friday morning. during the discussion. >> next, sebastian junger talks about his book, "tribe: on homecoming and belonging". it explores what we can learn from tribal societies. he spoke at jones college prep
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high school at the 2016 chicago tribune printers role -- printers row lit fest. >> welcome to the 32nd annual chicago tribune, printers row lit fest. i want to give a special thank you to our sponsors. the theme of this year's festival is what's your story? and we encourage you to share the stories that you here this weekend on twitter, instagram or facebook using the #prlf1. you can download the printer's row app. it has content for subscribers and a complete printers role that schedule.downloads and get five dollars off of
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printers row lit fest merchandise. today we will broadcast live on c-span2 booktv. if there is time at the end for the q&a session with the author we ask you to use the microphone located to the right so the home viewing audience can hear your questions. before we begin today we ask that you send your cell phone and turn off your camera flashes. please welcome senior writer and columnist from the chicago tribune and today's interviewer, rick kogan . [applause] >> thank you. this, if you do not know is sebastian junger. i think - [applause] is simply not my place to do this but i really think in light of the events of early this morning and this morning that we all do need to, if you pray, pray.
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but let's have a moment to consider those poor people in orlando. okay before we get in deeply into this book, i need to know that something about him. i just learned that he fashions himself a rather more than capable harmonica player. >> that is only because of chicago.when i was a young man in the 80s, i lived near amazing blues player. he grew up in chicago and is one of the best in the world. i was lucky enough right out of college, i was working in an italian dinner where i just -- all i remember is that there were three generations that worked there and they all screamed at each other all the time. [laughter] >> i would take all of the loose change and there was a
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big next with the dentist. i would trade in a pocket full of change for a $20 bill and i would get a lesson from jerry. he was an amazing teacher and i started playing in blues bands in and around boston. and i still play. >> and you said if you had when i would play it. >> if you have a harp i would be happy to play. >> wouldn't that be fabulous? i am always going to carry one. you grew up sebastian -- without much - >> there is one. >> saved until the q&a. we do not want to start that way. you grew up, his father was an immigrant and your mom was related to the graham family of grimm's fairy tale but you write in here, i find this fascinating. i'd hardly ever do most of the hudson river after you graduate in the fall of 86.
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in my mind, what waited for me in dakota and wyoming and montana would not only comment was not only the real america but the real me as well. elaborate. what do you mean? >> i grew up in an affluent suburb. i was not tested and any physical way. i think a situation like that, it tests people psychologically but i wasn't really tested physically. and i felt, i just had this feeling. i don't know if it is a male thing or not. but certainly is young man i felt like i had not proved myself. i had not sorted turned my identity.and that i needed to have -- i needed to go through some stuff. the thing i can think of to go through was to travel across this country sort of putting myself at its mercy in a sense that i was just a young kid with a backpack out in this great land. >> you were at the time and never went out with the intention of becoming i don't
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think, a journalist. he studied anthropology in college. when did journalism into your life and why? >> i was a pretty good distance runner in college. i ran mile, two miles across country and i end up writing a thesis, doing research with a thesis on the navajo long-distance runners. i trained with their best as peter came back to college and wrote the thesis. and in the act of taking this information and turning it into prose was, it was the first thing in college that truly truly excited me. and i got out of college and did construction for a while. and i started thinking was probably pretty close to journalism maybe i should try to be a journalist.yband it was a nacve thought process but it started me stumbling towards the career. >> this book -- how many of you
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have bought this book already? it's pretty many but less than half so let's have a full house by the time this thing is over. how does that sound? it's not very long either. and it is astonishingly provocative. we are talking about stage about the fact that most reviews, you hear people talk about this in the media and it's like it is a soldier story. it is anything but.soldier play a part in this. but, here is some of the sebastian junger sebastian writes the word tribe is hard to define. but the people who feel compelled to share with the last of their food with. he also writes humans do not mind duress. in fact they thrive on it. what they mind, is not feeling necessary. that is what the book is about and it is told in an anecdotal way in the beginning.
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he said, this book is about a lot of people who have affected your life and many of whom we have never met. talk talk to me about some of the early american settlers. i found that beginning portion fascinating. >> yes but i mean first i started the book with an active but when i was hitchhiking in wyoming a diocese to give him his lunch because it was not needed, he was not needed that that the coal mine so no one was sick so he would not need his lunch and he really forced it on me. and he kept that lesson my whole life. that i realize he thought we were in the same tribe because we were both, he thought homeless. i was just having an adventure but he did not know that. at any rate, i had a friend when i was young when i was that age a mentor. an uncle figure named ellis. and he was half apache and have
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sioux. he was the best red man i've ever met. he said all throughout the history of the country throughout the frontier white people were always running off to join the indians. and the indians never ran off to join the white people. and i realized later, we do have this phrase to grenada. there is no ways to go civilized. and i thought about that my whole life. >> it was a matter of the so-called civilized world, being not boring to people at least, they were confronted with an alternative. where the indian lifestyle and the indian kind of, is communal the right word? you cannot use it often in here. >> yeah, where the only world heard today that developed
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alongside 3000 miles of wilderness populated by stone age peoples. and it did, that interface did actually give both sides a choice of how they wanted to live. because there was the opposite example right across the tree line. and benjamin franklin, a french writer and a lot of it was a time were quite disturbed by the fact that as i said, white people always ran off to join the indians and not the other way around. this is a quote - superior russian culture. why would people fleeing it? why would people not coming towards it? what they decided was that there was an inherent -- and if you are a nomadic people frankly cannot acutely well. you certainly cannot pass it on through to the generations. you cannot really accumulate more than you can carry. you're really judged on their own merits.
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and the basis of that, franklin decided was very appealing to settlers. and clearly is not the case in white society. and that was -- they decided that was the appeal and they incorporated something, components of what was called the iroquois great law of peace. and it was based on an inalienable right of the individual. and again, this really profound transport there were parts of the law and the american constitution. it was completely in sync with enlightenment thought as well. but they deliberately put native american thinking into the constitution because it was so exemplary of a just society. >> my thought is that your publishers, were probably always eager for you to -- hey, i want you to get another perfect storm or write about war again. undoubtedly, this book has made
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the new york times bestseller list as of today. i do not think this should be a tough sell. you just figured publishers you want to write something.but what was the catalyst for this book? was there a moment they said i have a need to write this book? >> i've been thinking about what ellis had said to me my whole life. a component of it was that people were kidnapped by the indians and abducted and adopted into native society often when given the chance to come home, refused it. and i thought about that my whole life. and i wondered if it was true. i wasn't sure. ellis was a good storyteller also. and i always had to wonder. and then when i was with american soldiers many, many years, decades later. they were in a very tough deployment, i was out at a 20 man position on this ridge called -- my first day out there we got hit four times
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very hard. it was a brutal, brutal violence, deprived place. when the tour was done, those guys couldn't wait to get back to italy where they based and had all kinds of activities planned i will not go into detail but they were definitely prepared for a good time when they got back to italy. but after a while it were often when i caught up with them a few months afterwards in italy, a lot of them said, you know, if we could go back to restrepo, we would do tomorrow. and all of a sudden i thought, we don't want to go back to america. we want to go back to work. all of a sudden i thought about ellis in the captives. and i thought, what is it about modern society that is so unappealing even to people who have enjoyed the benefits of its date the and its comforts? >> you saying here, talking about war, when you receive your draft card vietnam had
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ended and you say that you write and i know problem personally with fighting a war. i just did not trust my government to send me to one that was completely necessary. you then quote - your father. and this is a quote - i will remember forever. saying, i'm sure you know what it is but you asked him about this. and he was very anti-vietnam and he said, you don't owe your country nothing. you owe it something and depending on what happens, you might await your life. talk to me little bit more about your dad and that quote. >> he grew up in france. and he came here during the war as the germans were rolling into paris. chis father was jewish and he and his family fled. he got to this country tried to join the military but had asthma so he could not. he contributed in other ways actually. but he watched as hundreds of
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thousands of american soldiers fought. and thousands and thousands died. in his home country of france to liberate europe from fascism. and there were thousands of americans graves on our soil. and he was totally against vietnam and i grew up with that environment. so i got my selective service card in the mail. i mean b,18 girls don't know this but mothers know this. but boys, 18-year-old boys get a card in the mail from the government. and the cards as we want to know where you live in case we need to draft you. and boys are still getting this card. girls do not. and so i got this card and every adult and it was against vietnam and i said to my father, i'm not signing this. this is ridiculous, what is this? and he said no, you are sending it. and he said we said to don't owe your country nothing. and his point was love, if it is an immoral work, is your moral duty to oppose it. but it might be immoral work. it might be necessary war in
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which case it is your duty to fight it. when he put it that way s and only, this sort of active sort of bureaucratic convergent of signing this card and sending it to my government all of a sudden became something noble. and i was part of something bigger. i realized, people might need me. and i think the real loss in contemporary affluence society, is that you never get the feeling that your people need you. you do not get that ancient human feeling of being needed by your community. where affluence enough to not need the individuals in our society in order to get by. and this is the first time in human history that has been true and there is actually a tremendous loss there. >> you make that point, to that point, you make the point that sometimes we can overcome that burden. that is not self imposed by disaster. you talk very articulate and
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poignantly about the blitz in london. he also talked about an earthquake. you write, and earthquake achieves with the law promises but not in practice maintain the quality of all men. crisis and trouble sometimes elicits that, yes? but let me just say it is an amazing quote. i wish i wrote that but i did not. i was courting someone that survived the earthquake. that was in italy in 1916 or something at that. a devastating earthquake. what he said was that after the earthquake all of the survivors huddled together for days before help got there and there was no, there was a complete breakdown of social class. these people, poor people, there is no distinction at all in this society and he said this disaster produced equality of all men. even law cannot produce that. we find in disasters and the often, people get nostalgic because there is a massive
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societal breakdown.but what's breaking down is not the spirit of cooperation and altruism that humans are often known for. what's breaking down is the class system. people come together during disasters, there is not mayhem, there is not chaos in the streets. it is the opposite. people act better in catastrophes and social class breaks down. rich and poor does not matter. and it really brings out the best in london, people -- strangers were sleeping shoulder to shoulder on the subway platforms and forming bucket brigades to put out fires in buildings. it was 30,000 londoners were killed during this time and people missed that afterwards. and the authorities were shocked. there was -- they were prepared for psychiatric casualties because of the bombings. and the opposite happened. the admissions to psychiatric wards went down. one official said we have
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neurotics driving a blintzes. and again, if you fill your people need you, the community needs you, it literally is as simple as this. stop thinking about yourself and your problems. one lady very movingly said, we would have all gone down to the beaches with broken bottles to fight the germans if we had to. we have people thinking like that about themselves, you have a psychologically healthy population even though the society as a whole is under tremendous duress. >> isn't that interesting to among the many reasons you should buy this book. i'm sorry i took your subject's quote - and put into your mouth. here is you writing. the -- to the collective good. i love that beauty and tragedy. >> thank you very much. i mean, what i don't want to do
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is write about modern society that doesn't acknowledge the incredible good that comes from it.>> sure! >> i mean we have -- will have to be cognizant of being incredibly lucky to live in an age of modern medicine, the rule of law, philosophy and science. we have, you know, central heating and central air conditioning. many, most people do in the modern society and this incredible blessing. but the question is, what is the downside? why is it that as wealth goes up in the society that the suicide rate goes up? why does depression rate go up? i found a study that compared depression rates in nigeria to north america. for some reason they were focused on women in the study. urban women in north america have the highest, they were the wealthiest group in the study and they had the highest depression rate. rural women in nigeria, one of the poorest, most messed up
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chaotic and violent countries in africa. i had been all over africa, they had the lowest rates of depression. hardship and property along with all of the stress of that, they actually do those things, those hardships to force people into collaborative communal existence.and that collaboration and that communalism of that life offers people get mental illness even though there are other hardships that go along with that. >> the pressures and struggles and pains and, of war. you have seen on the front lines as they say. there is a very moving portion of the book here where you are writing on the subway getting back from afghanistan a year or so before 9/11. and something has happened. something happens to you. >> yep, this was the fall of 2000.
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i never even heard of the word ptsd, the country was not at war and i had be, i was on my second trip to afghanistan. i went 96 and again in 2000. and i was with -- and his northern alliance fighting the taliban. back in the taliban had fighters, jet planes, tanks and everything. and so we really got pounded because we had nothing. a few times. i came home pretty often psychologically but i did not know. i was a young man and i thought nothing affects me. until one day i went down the subway and i had a massive, massive panic attack. i never had one before. everything was going to kill me. the lights were too bright, there were too many people, ahmad was going to turn on me. trains are going too fast, they were going to jump the rails and somehow climb up on the platform and hit me. i mean everything was a threat and i ran out of the station. and the panic attacks kept happening. eventually they dissipated.
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i just thought i was going crazy. and i know it sounds weird but -- i did not get help. because i thought i was going crazy. i mean i just thought like, well if i'm going crazy vanilla can help me. so i might as well do this in quiet, with dignity by myself. [laughter] >> you wrote about -- there is much in the book about war and veterans and so, so much more. this is just -- this is an unknown number of veterans in vietnam and onward. this is a sentence that just really haunts me and makes me unbelievably sad. today's veterans often come home to find that though they are willing to die for their country, they not sure how to live for it. >> yeah -- could i read the next few sentences there? >> do you want to hear him
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read? you do not like my reading? i am a professional reader for god sakes. >> it is hard to know how to liberate country that regularly carries itself apart along every possible boundary. the income gap between rich and poor continue to one. many people live in racially segregated communities for the elderly mostly sequestered from public life and rampage shootings have been regularly they only remain in the news cycle for a day or two. to make matters worse politicians occasionally accuse rivals of deliberately trying to harm their own country. a charge so destructive to group unity that most societies would probably have just punished it as a form of treason. it is complete madness and the veterans know combat, so does all but ignore the differences of race, religion and politics within their platoon. it is no wonder so many of them
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get so depressed when they come home. >> is coming home to donald trump would be traumatic kind of thing. there is an i think this book to me has kind of -- if you read it and take it to heart and mind, kind of a real ripple effect of contemporary society. politics especially these days, there is something tribal about it to me. especially mr. trump. do you agree? because it really -- so many things in this book resonated in the current state of political affairs for me. >> yeah, the thing about our survival annotations as a species is that they all can be used for good or ill. so we talk about the human tendency for community, for tribe, that's great. until it is used against another group and then it is not so great. and so, is donald trump exploiting -- i don't even want
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to point the finger at him. too many politicians exploit a kind of tribalism as a campaign tactic to mobilize their base? yes. and they are smart too. they are playing on human evolution. it works, clearly it works because some people get nominated doing it.what i would argue is that if we are going to talk about -- if we're going to talk about that kind of fiercely affiliated community, we have to acknowledge that we are all part of one nation. we are part of a unity. and that you really can't start doing that with subsets of americans. in opposition to other subsets of americans. you are destroying the country. so that kind of tribalism, it is the thing that keeps human groups coherent and close. but if we are going to presume to be a nation, and i think we should continue to. we are going to be a nation of
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320 billion we better have that tribalism applied to everyone. of donald trump one set either we have a country or we don't. he was suddenly illegal immigration which is different conversation but in a weird way kind of like that sentence. yes mr. trump, either we have a country or we don't. that means that everyone in it, including people of say, mexican heritage for example. or for that matter, german heritage. and he was german i believe. all of those ethnicities are equally part of this country. so yeah, either we have a country we don't. let's actually start thinking in real ways, start thinking like that.>> i also think, it is hard not to think in chicago of the gang violence that besets and actually haunts the city and many other big cities here. the whole notion of gangs -- strangely, the whole notion of gangs as tribes.
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i sort of understand what people in depressed neighborhoods and economically disadvantaged people get from a gang. they get family. but there is more, isn't there? >> yes, they get family, defense, psychological reinforcement, there in notional needs are met. gangs provide everything that humans form groups four. defense, identity, human connection, sense of psychological or emotional security.gangs provide that. and the thing is if subsided does not provide good and healthy groups for young men to belong to. innocent young men because they are particularly dangerous. >> and vulnerable. >> and vulnerable, yet, they can cause a lot of damage in society. and if society doesn't provide good things for good groups for people to belong to, it will create bad groups to belong to. but again, one of the tragedies of high crime, poor high crime
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neighborhoods, is that i mean everyone wants to serve. everyone must be useful to the community. it is wired into us. many people, many young men in those communities do not see the wider country as a community that they can serve. they just do not think they're part of it, that they are invested in it or that it is invested in them. >> he talk often in the book about the trouble that exists with the increasing and i think it is increasing, i think you do too, the economic disparity in this country. to my mind it is like a cancer. >> my point in the book, i mean you can argue against political divisiveness or economic injustice.from a political point of view you can deliver a left-wing harangue for a right
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wing read you are not going to convert anyone on the other side, right? and what my book is about is the sort of evolutionary reasons for acting communally. i'm not talking politics here. in fact i have -- it works well, they work well in conjunction with each other. but really there is powerful revolutionary origins for having a, essentially a just society. we like to survive in groups of 40, 50, 60 people. anthropologists looked at situations where small nomadic groups of hunters and gatherers put a member of their group to death for violations in the against the community and what
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were the typical crimes that were committed that elicited the death penalty in these small stone age groups? and mostly it was a dominant male trying to take more than his share of resources. and the group would kill them. because that kind of behavior is so dangerous to group unity. and so my only point in the book is, by allowing that kind of thing in the society -- i am not saying we should or shouldn't i emma journalist. i think that it runs contrary to 2 million years of human evolution and is probably for pretty good reason.>> one of the people in this book, i hope some of you guys remember this famous folksinger -- that is sad to me. but, he was interviewed for the
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good war. he says this, and you must transfer the research for this book is considerable and you really picked out the best of the best. he wrote, the good war was about world war ii. he wrote for the first time in our lives we are in a tribal sort of situation where we could help each other without fear.there were 15 men to the gun. 15 guys who for the first time in our lives were not living in the competitive society, we had no hopes of becoming officers. i like that feeling very much. it was the absence of competition and boundaries and all of those phony standards that they have created the thing that i loved about the army. the standards we live in now are to my mind, increasingly phony.where is the one percent. you have to aspire to be part of that one percent so we can have everything and we can have
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guarded homes and guarded communities. troublesome. >> well here is the thing. everything has an upside and a downside. these sort of capitalism fueled individualism of modern society as an incredible engine for invention and creativity. and accomplishment and i mean it is a great, great engine for human accomplishment and individuals set out to invent the printing press or whatever it is. like they set out to do that, not just for altruistic reasons but because it personally benefits them. so it is a great engine. the downside is that if you emphasize individualism, personal wealth, personal accomplishment too much, you wind up devaluing things that serve the common good. they do not have social currency. you do not have to go very far back for things to be a little bit different. benjamin franklin -- in some
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ways the bill gates of his era. he invented the franklin stove. his incredibly crucial piece of equipment that was soon in every home in america. it was very efficient. and fireplaces are not efficient but the franklin stove is very efficient. and he refused to take out a patent on it. it is of anything that was that the greatest country should be on for humanity for that matter. it should be on by everyone. so again, the problem is that individualism is not necessarily bad. it is also part of our revolution. it is there for a reason.but the problem is that in this society, that eat those, that franklin adhered to and that amazing act with the stove, it has basically, it has been lost. and it is to our detriment. >> love benjamin franklin. you never actually and i think it is good to some things up but this is as close as you get. acting in a tribal way simply
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means being willing to make a substantive sacrifice for community. be that your neighborhood, your workplace or your entire country. obviously, people in the military are doing it for the entire country. what can become -- i am not making you change the world but what can compel people to think that way? because i see people in the city trying to help the neighborhood, trying to help their block, trying to help their building. but i see this country moving from further away from it, and my nuts? >> the more affluent we get, and affluence is a wonderful thing. it brings a lot of good things but the more affluent we get the less we need to help each other. it's just how it works. so the trick is, can we have it both ways?
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can we maintain the pleasures and benefits in an affluent society and also regain, somehow began sort of the communal connection. you know, i grew up in a suburb. it just transfer the physical layout of the server made it hard for communities, that community to coalesce. it was a sprawling town where you really needed a car to get anywhere significant. and short of banning the car, had to be returned to living in close-knit communities of 50 or 60 people? it's not happening. we live in a different society is formed in a different way. but we are part of a nation. and i think there are things that we can, i think when there is divisiveness and contempt at the very top levels of our government, our society, it trickles down and pollutes all of our feelings and experience of community. when very, very powerful people who have a huge amount of control over our lives -- when they speak with contempt and
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mockery about the president, about the government, about segments of the population, the message that we all receive unconsciously and that veterans receive when they come home is, there is actually nothing to belong to. it's actually a fiction. and that is you know it's like children hearing their parents fight. in the bedroom. it's terrifying. i literally think these countries you know it's like almost have any experience of children during divorce but her mom and dad after going to split up? what's going to happen? at that we were family. i think one thing we can do, as we the people, such a wonderful phrase. it means conservatives and liberals both. it means all of us. i think it will become really do that would be hugely beneficial is to insist that people who lead us to speak with respect about each other. and by everyone in this country. [applause] >> that is kind of what this
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book is all about. and one of the reasons that you should buy this book. it may not be the book, it may not be the book you are expecting from him but he has more buzz in him. he also owns a restaurant in chelsea. he makes documentaries. i'm telling you folks, this is not just thought-provoking. actually can be and i hate to put this heavy burden on you, life-changing.sebastian junger. >> thank you everybody. >> now you get to ask some questions. [applause] >> and do not let them be of the variety like yeah i was once a storm on lake michigan. that is not what we are looking for. there is the microphone. >> we will start calling on people -- >> here comes somebody.
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>> big fan, 20 years or so. i read the perfect storm with my dad. loved it. i come from north carolina where we are a big military community.try to employ veterans in my very small business. my question is this, kind of square up, if you can, your thoughts on the seriousness of the events that you believe led to these tribal communities. be it in the frontier era. you have tribes that are fighting each other constantly and are facing starvation, things like that. and then the idea being that world war ii, the civil war, world war i, these types of environments where the entire fabric of the world was at -- in the balance so to speak. and i think that part of what i'm hearing and part of what i have read is that, the kind of
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small wars. vietnam, not to say that it is a small war but in terms of world history. afghanistan, things like this. are leading our country to have great dissent about being there so veterans are coming home and saying, we came home from world war ii saying why was i there? and so in conduction with that the idea of a 300 million person tribe -- how do we create that important conflict as it were? artificially, so that we can form tribes? how do i form a tribe? with that backdrop in mind? >> that is a great question and keep in mind we are trying to do something. modern society is trying to do something that has never been attempted in human history. which is to have a feeling of group purpose.
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and the group is hundreds of millions of may not -- we may not be able to pull it off. and there will always be tensions in that but she said no matter how big or small the war is, it's experience. soldiers experience it in very intimate ways. they experience it basically in groups of 40, 50 people. that is what a platoon is. it is a maneuver element.and they sleep together, eat together, do everything together. that is exactly what we evolved for. that is what humans involved for spiritual living groups.size.and that is why think the military experience resonates so deeply in soldiers. 300 million people? we can't in any recognizable sense, meaning what the word tribe is meant for two million years. we will never mean that in a
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society that is this size. what we can do is insist on certain modes of conduct. even in the larger scale, that we know facilitates connection and community in the smaller scale. so as one of the soldiers said to me, there are guys in the platoon straight up hate each other but we would all die for each other. what i never saw in that plot tan, conflict, guys hated each other, humans are messy. hum relations are messy, but i never saw anyone speak with contempt and derision about someone inside the wire. someone they might have to depend on for their life. they just didn't do it. when you could it in a large group, like 300 million, -- we 300million of us. we could be turned into a combat outpost overnight. we don't know september 102001 we had no idea what was coming and we still don't.
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we might remember this day like the end of an era. we just don't know. you can't talk like that and act like that with people inside th. camps. to affect that group of that size and a positive way. >> there are some incrediblele observations and reservations about the reaction of people in new orleans that thrives in the face of what i would call the conventional wisdom of people stealing television sets you should read that and all the other parts. >> do you think mandatory service would be a way to address this? >> people think the draft would
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keep people from going to war too easy but history shows that is not the case. don't use the draft as a way to stay out of the war. the problem with that is it only creates a collective action during wartime. it also sort of suggests the only way to serve the country is with a gun in your hand. but i think could be healthy and positive for the country is to have mandatory national service. [applause] and you could have a military option, that as my father said you do not throw your country anything. when i ask people what do you owe your country other than your taxes no one knows what to say because the nation hasn't come up with an answer to national service would provide a
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ready answer that would be sort of binding for the society and would create the feeling that we are all in something together. thank you for coming here to speak like i said i'm a longtime i agree with mandatory national service. therservice. there's a quote in the book about one of the dakota tribes. if you're not a high school superstar sports athlete or youtube sensation for a lot ofse kids the military is the onlyis path to a solid education and the only path to a solid job.
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like the bruce springsteen line i'm going to go out tonight and find what i got. i don't know if that exists anymore. you don't have to go back as far as benjamin franklin.efused a they refused to pass on thethe i polio vaccine and today you've got the bill charging $1 million for a life-saving drug i don't know the specifics.
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the gentle man that you wereme mentioned as gregory gomez from the apache nation and he's a vietnam veteran. they would slip behind enemy lines and they didn't even have a medic. i just wanted to see how i would do. speaking of national service, i did that. i wanted to see how i would do when i joined this thing called the peace corps.
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when i joined the peace corps, the fact right in the and of the military band had a budget in the peace corps. i was out there by myself and so there was no camaraderie. it was harder. it's always about the veterans service and i was neede needed s which greatly provided me the feeling of being needed. something like a quarter of. peace corps volunteers struggle
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with depression when they come home. for the society to the small village in cameroon or yemen once you make the transition you are living in a tight communal society and the transition home is brutal and you get dropped off in the american suburb and peace corps volunteers slide into depression and one of theuz puzzling things right now is a far greater percentage in combat only 10% experienced combat and ptsd is more widespread than that. one of the things i talk about in my book is the possibility that what they are actually experiencing as the trial of transitioning home to modern society and if that is the casee
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then we were all experiencing the trauma. and with this, during my book tour. it got her through it and she said i beat the odds and now i miss being sick because she misses people and it's like the soldiers missing the war. the question is can we somehow regain the connection without the catastrophe can we do it and maintain the wonderful benefits of this amazing society.
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thank you all for coming. [applause] please visit printers row with r [inaudible conversations]


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