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Interactive video lesson plan for: Why "Us Against Them" Politics Is More Dangerous Than ISIS | Sebastian Junger

Activity overview:

America can learn a lot from tribal dynamics. Sebastian Junger says if we wish to be united, we can start by looking at US platoons serving overseas. Junger's latest book is "Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging" (http://goo.gl/k4hEeN).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/sebastian-junger-on-tribalism-and-democracy

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Transcript - I think everything we do is a form of tribalism. We’re evolved for that. We’re wired for that. The question is how big do we want our tribe to be? England seems to be saying we want our tribe and at our choice. All right so that’s a point of view I understand. So it’s a legitimate point of view. Equally legitimate is the opposite point of view where there should be a broader pan European tribe as it were to protect itself and reinforce itself in a dangerous world. That’s also tribalism. It’s just a matter of how big you draw the tribe. At its essence, at its core every individual has to decide whether they’re an individual or are they part of a larger group. Are they part of their neighborhood and are they part of their community. Or do they just exist to serve themselves. What England is facing is something that every single human being in the world faces at some level in their lives about their own personal interests versus the interests of their group.

Personally I think that democracy is a messy experiment and there’s a lot of discourse, a lot of conflict, a lot of argument, a lot of debate and a lot of dislike. I mean we’re not required to like each other. I think about the platoon that I was with in combat, the most stressful environment conceivable. There was a log of dislike within the platoon. There were guys who didn’t like each other at all. But the one thing they never did was speak with contempt about one another. They argued, they fought, they disagreed but they respected each other. And you don’t disrespect someone inside the wire as it were. What’s disturbing right now in this country is that there are very, very powerful people – politicians and media leaders who are disrespecting other people inside the wire. They are speaking with real contempt and derision about their president, about aspects of the government, about segments of the population. You just don’t do that. You never know when you’ll need those people for survival, when your life will depend on those people or you’ll be asked to save their lives. You just don’t know. Read the Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/vriTNo.

Tagged under: Sebastian Junger,tribalism,evolution,England,European,Brexit,community,neighborhood,democracy,debate,platoon,combat,war,contempt,country,president,government,politicians,Isis,Al Qaeda,campaign strategy,citizens,dangerous,dialogue,laws,unfair,work progress,loyalty,common good,religion,Big Think,BigThink,BigThink.,Education,Educational,Lifelong Learning,EDU

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