What does "inaction" mean?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The term "inaction" refers to not taking any action or the absence of action.  It can be applied to any particular realm, but I like its political implications.  "Inaction" could be a calculated and deliberate political response to a situation.  For example, the movement of isolationism in America and throughout the world pre- World War II was an example of political inaction, where nations did not want to embroil themselves in another protracted conflict.  The world's lack of authoritative and decisive action in the situation in Darfur could be considered another form of inaction.  Sometimes, the concept of "inaction" takes on a domestic form when leaders have to forgo the pursuit of legislation because of political resistance or the lack of political capital.  In the mid 1960's, President Johnson had to take the stance of inaction towards his agenda of "the Great Society" as the conflict in Vietnam increased in both intensity and scope.

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