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Thread: The Curious Case of Sebastian Junger

  1. #1
    Sound methods Chlodovech's Avatar
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    The Curious Case of Sebastian Junger



    Let me say right off the bat: Sebastian Junger (American journalist, author, filmmaker, perhaps best known for his ground-breaking Restrepo docu in which he chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley), and who is not related to Ernst Junger as far as I can tell, is a (rightwing) liberal, a democrat and anti-Trump - entirely gullible when it comes to U.S. interventionism, being a big proponent of R2P (Responsibility to Protect) intervionism in the name of human rights, including in Syria, which is overwhelmingly stupid on more than one level. Yet his personality and interests are decidedly illiberal, in that regard he's infinitely closer related to the far right than to SJWs - and he's a reasonable man when it comes to most emancipatory issues. Perhaps he was just raised by liberal parents or maybe a uni environment made him adopt the political stance he has today, but by nature Junger does not belong amongst leftwingers of any flavor. Or maybe it's just his Jewish ancestry, Junger's grandfather was Jewish ...

    When matters of ethnicity or (foreign) policy don't enter the equation, S. Junger can be quite brilliant and I always find myself agreeing with him or being intrigued by him.



    This is Junger talking about his experience with war and why war can be worthwile or even enjoyable to its participants:



    And this is Joe Rogan interviewing Sebastian Junger:



    A cool book he wrote on the importance and necessity of tribe and tribal feeling.



    His website introduces the book as followed: "We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding--"tribes." This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival. Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians-but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today. Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world."

    Jack Donovan's take on the book.

    A darn good article from earlier this year, in which Junger asks "What does it mean to be a man in modern society? Why are men the way they are?": The Anthropology of Manhood.

    Some quotes of his:

    “The point of journalism is to tell the truth. It is not to improve society. There are facts and truths that feel regressive, but that doesn’t matter. The point of journalism isn’t to make everything better; it’s to give people accurate information about how things are.”

    “A grenade launcher will easily take out a tank; a Molotov cocktail placed in its air intake will destroy one as well."

    “Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. It’s time for that to end.”

    “Who would you die for? What ideas would you die for?”

    "The coward's fear of death stems in large part from his incapacity to love anything but his own body."

    "Both the triumph and the tragedy of modern society is that we have eliminated almost every hardship and danger from daily life. For the most part that is a great blessing, but it comes at a cost. The very efficiency of mass society makes people feel unnecessary, and therein lies a profound threat to our dignity. The poor are dehumanized by the menial jobs and shoddy urban housing they often wind up in. The rich are dehumanized by the very privilege and luxury that they use to insulate themselves from everyone else. The middle class is dehumanized by the cookie-cutter suburban homes they have mortgaged their futures for. The old are dehumanized by the speed and complexity of the mechanized world. The young are dehumanized by the wholesale substitution of social media and video games for real human experiences. And every last one of us is dehumanized by a society that uses algorithms and mass communication to feed us the truths we prefer and the lies that we need."

    "The classic story of a man throwing himself on a hand grenade--certain death, but an action that will almost certainly save everyone else--is neither a Hollywood cliché nor something that only happened in wars gone by. It is something that happens with regularity, and I don't think it can be explained by "army training" or any kind of suicidal impulse. I think that kind of courage goes to the heart of what it means to be human and to affiliate with others in a kind of transcendent way. Of course, once you have experienced a bond like that, everything else looks pathetic and uninteresting."

    This is the woke Junger. Yet the sloke Junger retweets the most inane messages about Trump and adds the most unimaginative comments imaginable, giving his followers gems such as "Most bad behavior has an origin, and Trump’s chronic bullying may be evidence of real neglect or abuse as a child". Hence the title of this thread. Maybe there are Skadites who are familiar with S. Junger and know more about him than I do, in that case I would welcome your opinions.
    “Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no-one is too poor to buy.” - C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

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    Senior Member Uwe Jens Lornsen's Avatar
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    Already known to me : Lonelyness is some kind of emptyness .

    Soldiers in the field have to care for their lives ; peace is kind of boredom , in which nothing
    spectacular happens .

    Warfare reduces people to the "simple life" , which is adorable , when one has no chance to climb up the
    ladder , as the media wants to tell everytime about the dishwasher to millionaire .

    War could offer chances to climb up the ladder , but warfare nowerdays is very bureaucratic ,
    depends on huge logistics and therefore the chances are not provided anymore .
    Mk 10:18 What do you call me a good master, no-one is good .

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