Sebastian Junger is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of THE PERFECT STORM, FIRE, A DEATH IN BELMONT, WAR, and TRIBE. Sebastian joins the show for the second time to talk about his latest book, FREEDOM. Sebastian discusses our common quest for two cherished ideals: community and freedom. We value individuality and self-reliance, yet we are utterly dependent on community for our most basic needs. Listen in as Sebastian shares what lies at the heart of what it means to be human.
As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world and received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film Restrepo, a feature-length documentary (co-directed with Tim Hetherington), was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
[4:35] Despite writing multiple books, Sebastian’s book, Freedom, has been on his mind since the very beginning of his writing career.
[7:30] Sebastian first had to define freedom.
[9:15] Humans do not survive alone in nature. We get our safety from others, and without safety, we have no freedom.
[11:50] Freedom is not a solitary thing that only one person can obtain. Part of freedom means that if you need help, you have people to help you. This gift goes both ways.
[14:40] What makes an autonomous underdog group successful is when leaders are eager to embrace the same risks and hardships as their people.
[17:20] Freedom can be hard for people to understand, especially if they’ve never lived with serious threats.
[20:15] In a safe society, it’s good to put yourself in situations you’re not in control to build an appreciation for your freedom.
[25:15] To maintain your freedom, you must successfully fight an enemy that’s larger than you and more powerful than you.
[29:35] The people who run this country — politicians, government, police, etc. — all the laws we have today equally apply to them as well. This was not true in past societies. If you were a nobleman, you were often above the law.
[35:30] When under massive amounts of stress, the body holds up fairly well, it’s your mind that you have to tackle and control. This is why pacing, especially in grueling situations, is critical to success.
[39:50] Sebastian would like to see or at least feel like his leaders would die for him. He wants his leader to have, and stand for, core principles.
[43:00] Think carefully about what freedom means to you, and the trade-offs you’re willing to sacrifice to obtain that freedom.
[43:15] Listener challenge: To be free of oppression does not mean to be free of obligation. You must give back.