Recently I hosted war reporter, author, TED speaker and filmmaker, Sebastian Junger to discuss his book Tribe: On homecoming and belonging and his National Geographic documentary, Hell on Earth about the Syrian civil war. This is a two part talk, the first part is on Tribe, and part 2 regarding the Syrian Civil war will be released later this year.
I’ve read the book Tribe twice and it’s an incredible book that talks about the struggle for finding belonging in our society and the importance belonging plays in our psychological health. Probably one of my favorite quotes of all time comes from this book. In 1915 an earthquake killed 30,000 people in Italy. Some towns almost lost their entire population. The earthquake didn’t discriminate on how to kill. Rich, poor, educated, and uneducated all died the same. A citizen from one of the ruined cities said, “An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain…the equality of all men.”
If you would a free chapter of Tribe, you can find it here.
His talk covers the following topics:
- Why did some early European settlers flee western society to live with the native people?
- Are humans built for tribal living?
- Why does a crisis bring out the best in people?
- Why did PTSD rates and murders drop after 9/11?
- Is there a link between economic prosperity and depression?
- Is political partisanship more harmful to our democracy than terrorism?
- Leadership styles and gender roles in a mining disaster
- The tribal roots of liberal and conservative ideologies and their importance to our democracy.
- PTSD rates and what we can do to help our veteran population
- And much more!
If you liked this talk, and you don’t want to miss any other great talks, you can find my other interviews with Tim Ferriss, Gad Saad, Ryan Holiday, and many more here. and make sure to subscribe to my newsletter!
Topics covered in the talk:
[00:20] Why did Sebastian write Tribe
[01:50] Why europeans fled the modern to live in the communal
[03:00] Prosperity and suicide rates
[03:30] Why are modern PTSD rates increasing when casualty rates are lower than ww2?
[06:20] Why do tragedies bring us together?
[08:00] What happened to the murder rate, PTSD, and depression after 9/11?
[09:00] Sad irony of modern society – the country never asks anything of us.
[10:00] How divisions, identities, political parties, melt away when a tragedy happens
[11:57] The beauty and tragedy of safety
[18:00] Political parties – in the business of division
[23:00] Politics in britian after the blitz
[24:39] The coal mining disaster in Canada and the different leadership styles
[30:30] The Iroquois’s leadership (Sachems) – peacetime and wartime leaders.
[34:50] The tribal roots of liberal and conservative ideologies and their importance to our democracy and genetic influences on political ideology
[38:30] How partisanship is destroying america and why it’s more dangerous than Al-Queda
[42:40] Different types of courage: Risking your life and Moral Courage
[47:00] Veterans and reintegration into society
[51:00] The psychological cost of technology and depression rates between Nigeria and the US
[54:00] How can find our own tribes?
[1:00:40] How can we better support our troops when they return home?