“Control is not discipline. You do not confine people with a highway. But by making highways, you multiply the means of control. I am not saying this is the only aim of highways, but people can travel infinitely and ‘freely’ without being confined while being perfectly controlled. That is our future.” — Gilles Deleuze, Two Regimes of Madness, pg 322
I am plowing through the collection Deleuze’s writings and lecture/interview transcripts, Two Regimes of Madness and…
What a line!
Am I surprised that Deleuze uses a highway to exemplify what ‘our future’ will be in control societies? No. I make precisely the same connection in my Getaway in Stockholm essay published last year in M/C Journal, but about the road safety industry being an institution within the control societies. This is a much more specific point than that of Deleuze above. He needed a language that allowed him to express the freedom of the highway more accurately, and this is the language of ‘automobility’, and then about the way automobility is regulated.
Maybe a Road Safety Industry/Control Societies essay is worth writing?