Sebastian Junger

What You MUST DO to PROTECT Your FREEDOM | Sebastian Junger

Regardless of where you live, societies are feeling the threat against certain freedoms and are fighting back. Humans innately don’t want to be oppressed or censored by larger, more powerful and dominant groups. But exactly how do you define your freedom? Is your freedom tied to your “rights” or is your freedom independent of that? Sebastian Junger, best selling author, Afghanistan war correspondent and more has authored a new book, Freedom, that will leave you shocked, perplexed and challenged in many ways. In this conversation, he and Tom take a deep dive into freedom, what it means for different societies, how smaller groups are able to give larger groups and armies hell, and are willing to risk their lives for their freedom. Sebastian also shares his 400 mile experience walking through America with a group of friends and reflects on different feelings of freedom. His more recent near death experience will shock you and give you yet another perspective of freedom worth fighting for


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0:00 | Introduction

1:06 | What is Freedom?

2:49 | Defend Your Freedom

6:04 | Balancing Opposing Sides

8:12 | Root of the Word Freedom

10:51 | 10,000 miles for Defense

15:40 | Society Safe in Numbers

20:19 | Value of Physical Strength

25:12 | Small Fighter Advantage

31:14 | Culture of Honor

41:07 | Agriculture Control

48:04 | Autonomy vs Comfort

53:12 | Social Primate PTSD

58:31 | Importance of Physical Contact

1:03:45 | A Weird 400 Mile Trip

1:06:39 | Seeking Out Challenges

1:08:54 | Freedom Along Gender Lines

1:17:00 | Lessons Raising Girls

1:21:31 | Near Death Experience

1:27:32 | Giving Meaning to Death

1:29:04 | Discussing His Next Book

1:32:34 | Relationship to Fear



“it means that you are not unfairly controlled by a greater power. That you’re self defining, within the limits, of course of the laws that bind all of us.” [1:25]


“That’s the eternal human sort of balancing act is to defend themselves but then not wind up being oppressed by their own leaders.” [4:43]


“It’s very clear that armed aggression is very adaptive, that it helps the aggressive group survive and thrive.” [8:49]


“The idea of freedom really only refers to the people within your own community.” [9:25]


“Going into a foreign country to defend oneself, puts the military in the whole society on more precarious moral grounds.” [12:29]


“first thing you need to do in order to feel safe is to be part of a group that has a kind of common agreement to defend itself against any threat” [16:17]


“The really interesting thing about humans is that a smaller fighter, or a smaller group, is capable of defeating a larger fighter or a larger group that size and strength are not the ultimate predictor of victory in combat.” [23:21]


“The small guy in the ring does not have to win, they just have to keep not losing long enough for this for the larger entity to run out of resources.” [26:12]


“We have an instinct for autonomy, we also have an instinct for, you know, not being uncomfortable and being safe and and having our ease” [49:30]


“In an affluent society, individuals need others less to survive. And so they’re able to live more and more individualistic lives that are more focused on their own experience, and less focused on the experience of others.” [54:20]


“As wealth goes up in a society, broadly, the rates of depression and suicide tend to go up and in poorer societies despite the stresses of poverty, rates of depression and suicide tend to go down.” [54:48]


“Where evolution comes from, is testing new things, and evolving physically and psychologically to adapt to them.” [1:07:42]


“Leadership has to be completely selfless, like you need leaders who will die for you. Anything less than that is not a leader. They’re an opportunist.” [1:12:59]


“The meaning that we give to life and the meaning that we give to death. It doesn’t say anything really about the nature of existence, it says something about how we, as humans, create a place for ourselves in the world on this crazy planet we live on.” [1:28:00]


“Some feelings that you get in touch with, prevent you from doing something that needs to be done. Like that emotional denial is absolutely crucial when you’re doing something that is scary or horrifying.” [1:34:04]


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