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Epicurus discouraged his followers from involvement in politics, which in turn inevitably involves the pursuit of power.

The value Epicurus assigned to power is decidedly very limited: power is only good insofar as it gains one security; this "re-evaluation" is outlined in Principal Doctrine 6.

Yet power is also infinite, and the desire for it insatiable. All too often, Epicurus suggested, one gets caught up in a rat-race, expending ever more effort in the pursuit of political power, while gaining no additional pleasure or benefit thereby.

In this respect, Epicurean ethics stand in diametrical opposition to Stoic ones: whereas the Stoics advise one to become involved in politics, except when extenuating circumstances make involvement impossible or at least imprudent (e.g. in the time of a repressive and violent dictatorship), Epicureans are advised to abstain from politics, except when extenuating circumstances make involvement necessary (e.g. when one's personal/family security is threatened, and political will must be mustered to launch some appropriate defense).

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