There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.
– Robert Benchley
There are a zillion ways to classify people, and one of the most important is by mental elasticity.
Most of us like to know what’s what. If the picture of the world in our head is a good map to what (and who) goes where, that makes us feel secure. Some of us can tolerate a fair bit of bending, twisting and horizon expanding. Some can’t stand much at all, and have a strong need for the world and their place in it to stay simple and consistent.
And some people, of course, want systems and structures and hierarchies to stay put so they can keep their position at the top of the heap.
So when people start talking to each other from anywhere to anywhere, and cross-fertilising ideas, and doing business by going round established institutions, that generates resistance. It comes from people who rather like the old ways of doing things: clear hierarchies (especially with themselves at the top), people divided into distinct communities, and uniform ways of thinking.
The changing world rubs against their worldview and produces reactions of fear and anger. And they respond by trying to create greater control.
The fact that the world is changing creates cultural forces to enforce structure and lock in vested interest. [Read more…] about The control reaction driving the world