So Stockholm is the latest scene of what is beginning to look like a 5 act Shakespearean tale. The whole city locked down, people staying in hotels, walking home in what at times looked like a Great Trek, major television events cancelled, frenetic social media activity with all manner of response from the sublime to the superfluous(telling asylum seekers to go back to where they came from). And for what? For terrorism whose aim is to disrupt the peace and freedom of people who have absolutely nothing to do with the cause the terrorists claim they are fighting for. The question becomes: what kind of play are we witnessing, a tragedy, a comedy, a soap opera? Of course there were tragic consequences of the action in Stockholm but actions are defined by their intentions. If the object of terrorist action are people who have nothing to do with what is going on in the Middle East this scene is not tragic it is meaningless. Witness the actual consequences (barring the tragic loss of the victims and their families), strangers meeting and spending the evening together in bars or in hospitable homes. What did the terrorists imagine would be the actual consequences? Well I am sure if they imagined people actually coming closer together, societies actually bonding more tightly together because of their action, they might well wonder themselves what the point of their action is.
I have written elsewhere in this blog about my amazement at the reaction of the USA(and Russia) to , relatively speaking a handful of poorly armed terrorists. This “War on Terrorism” response is trickling down to all levels in the world. The amount of media time spent on this issue at all levels is quite disproportionate to its magnitude. This fact indicates that the terrorists actions and speech acts do not meet Aristotle´s definition of a tragic action which is an action of a certain magnitude. ISIS deliberately waits over 24 hours before taking credit for the acts because we overreact for approximately 24 hours to the events which occur. Compare this event to the bus accident with school children this week, a really tragic accident with approximately the same number of casualties(3 children) and compare the amount of attention given. In my mind the cause of both events are equally meaningless, if the cause of the bus accident turns out to be mechanical failure without any negligence involved.