Stoicism and 9/11: a different response

I always thought that a better response to 9/11 would have been to ignore it. Not that that would have been a good response, mind you, but it would have been better than all the counterproductive flailing we’ve been engaged in (e.g. occupying Iraq. WTF?). Sullivan has a good post on the virtues of stoicism, and the response of the people of India to the recent bombings there. I agree with Andrew’s assessment that Americans are not well practiced in stoicism. One of its principles is a realization that we really have very little control over the world. What is important to focus on is one’s own conduct and moral duty, despite the inevitable misfortunes that come. This administration is the exact opposite: it thinks it can change anything, control everyone, and that in doing so it can do whatever it pleases, standards of conduct be damned.  

Now ultimately, I think we as people and as Americans do have more control over things than stoic philosophy assumes. I think we wield immense power. So I am not actually a stoic. But I do think stoicism is a better reaction to 9/11 than what we are doing now.


grishnash said…
Or they could always bomb Islamabad International Airport. That would solve everything.

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