How September 11th Impacted American Values Article Review by scribbler

How September 11th Impacted American Values
An analysis of Don DeLillo's article, "The Ruins of the Future", on American ideology after 9/11.
# 153191 | 1,283 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 05, 2013 in Political Science (U.S.) , Hot Topics (Terror and 9/11) , Philosophy (General)

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The paper reviews DeLillo's central thesis in his article, "The Ruins of the Future", that as a result of the 9/11 attacks, Americans must redefine the purpose of the nation in a moral, rather than in an economic sense. The paper discusses DeLillo's point that the terrorist has all the self-knowledge he needs, namely the will to die for his cause, but we lack the understanding as a nation to comprehend why someone would be willing to die for an abstraction. The paper then explains DeLillo's argument that the best way to circumvent the project of the terrorists is not through prejudice, or easy American truisms about patriotism, but by acknowledging our diversity and individualism. The paper points out that this does not refer to Nietzsche-type individualism, but an individualism of community and humility that must replace American values of pure capitalism and the worship of corporate, global industrialization.

From the Paper:

"According to Dom DeLillo's article "The Ruins of the Future," the purpose of the attacks on the World Trade Center wwas to demonstrate that American ideology was neither omnipresent nor inescapable. DeLillo's central thesis, articulated in an essay written just after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, was that as a result of the attacks Americans must redefine the purpose of the nation in a moral, rather than in an economic sense. Before the attacks, prosperity and wealth were seen as proof of American superiority, in the triumph of capitalism over communism in the wake of the Cold War, the climbing Dow Jones average, and the spread of industrialized globalization. The terrorists tried to destroy all of this, but what was left was a faith in American individualism, diversity, and community.
"Before the attacks, Americans were content and somewhat over-confident in their superiority. "Just as every porter wants to have an admirer, so even the proudest of men, the philosopher, supposes that he sees on all sides the eyes of the universe telescopically focused upon his action and thought" (Nietzsche 1). American hubris, and the strength of the economy, caused Americans to forget how they were perceived in less affluent areas of the world. September 11th was a critical reminder that neither buildings nor prosperity are indestructible, the only thing indestructible is America's faith in the integrity of the individual."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • DeLillo, Don. "The Ruins of the Future." Harper's. December 2001.
  • Nietzsche, Friedrich. "Our truth and lies." [February 10, 2011]

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