online: 29 january 2006
modified: 29 january 9 february 2006

28 january 2006 the wish to control

14:23 ...icy cold today - almost too cold to sit in the outdoor cafe (where i've just consumed a welcome bowl of soup)...

...a boy of about 12 is directing a model car through a radio control... he holds the aerial a few centimetres from the car so as to keep it to on course despite the relatively huge obstacle of irregular paving slabs...

Our wish to control things - it reminds me of our replacing the taboo wishes of early childhood by socially acceptable substitutes - of which controlling toys, pets, people, even words, are examples that leave me uneasy.

Is my dislike of control a quirk or personal weakness - or is it a part of a profound cultural change that has been evident throughout the 20th century (or even since the 18th)?

...i believe it's a cultural change, a reaction against mechanisation, and that the wish to control can be given up only in the present era in which, because of the presence of automation, we need no longer depend upon mechanising ourselves ('becoming cogs in a machine')...

...and i believe there is a huge resistance in many of us to giving up control... to overcome that resistance is, i believe, the challenge of our time!

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