The Safety Control Delusion

The Safety Control Delusion

imageOne of the profound realizations of parenting is that you cannot control your own children. One of the stark realizations of marriage is that you cannot control your partner. Yet, here is Safety pushing all this delusional nonsense about ‘controlling’ others.

There is a massive contradiction in the rhetoric of Safety. The mythology of ‘safety is a choice you make’ is in direct contradiction to the idea that people can be controlled. This yearning and wishing for control, even to the eugenics practiced by certain companies and preached by organisations in their quest for zero is a denial of the fundamental reality of human autonomy.

As much as we might wish humans were behaviourist rats in a cage, such a model of humanity is delusional. Half the time we don’t even know ourselves why we do things that are irrational and impulsively illogical. Sometimes an unconscious urge seems to take hold and we later reflect and wonder, ‘where did that come from?’ Safety needs to sit down sometime and have a good hard look at itself and wonder where all this is going.

I see with interest this growing interest in Safety with neurophysiology and suroepsychology. Maybe this is the grand hope to control those dysfunctional computers on top of those mis-behaving bodies. Of course, Safety doesn’t stop and interrogate the anthropological assumptions of this ‘science’ or what it proposes for human identity. Critical thinking is in direct opposition to compliance thinking.

And now we see an attraction to the delusion of the prediction of human behaviour:

Are we about to see the insurance and gambling industries go out of business? Not likely. Both those industries know much more than Safety about fallibility, mortality, vulnerability and risk.

Why is someone not standing up and questioning the ontology of this silly language of ‘prediction’ and showing its trajectory? I will tell you why. Safety would rather believe the delusion of control than the reality of autonomy. Like the delusions of zero in denial of fallibility, Safety marches deeper into dream world than real world. Next step in the trajectory of safety is transhumanism ( I wrote about this in my book on fallibility (

One of the real life realizations about parenting and marriage is that if someone goes with you, it’s not because of your control but because of a dozen other factors beyond your control.

The attribution of control of others redefines the nature of policing. Who on earth wants to police their partner or children? If you seek to, what does that say about you?

Why would we need policing if people can be controlled? Why is it that our gaols are full of the same people who exit and re-enter if they can be controlled? The whole nonsense language of ‘prediction’ and ‘control’ is based on a behaviourist paradigm that doesn’t match reality. I’m sure the government would love to know how to ‘re-program’ terrorists who aren’t predictable and cannot be controlled. Maybe that’s why government avoids connecting with the safety industry, you simply can’t be a profession and believe any of this prediction and control nonsense.

Dr Rob Long

Dr Rob Long

Expert in Social Psychology, Principal & Trainer at Human Dymensions
Dr Rob Long
PhD., MEd., MOH., BEd., BTh., Dip T., Dip Min., Cert IV TAA, MRMIA Rob is the founder of Human Dymensions and has extensive experience, qualifications and expertise across a range of sectors including government, education, corporate, industry and community sectors over 30 years. Rob has worked at all levels of the education and training sector including serving on various post graduate executive, post graduate supervision, post graduate course design and implementation programs.

9 Replies to “The Safety Control Delusion”

  1. And in the dismal science of economics Adam Smith’s invisible hand from The Wealth of Nations is described as……….Unobservable market forces enabling the supply and demand of goods in a free market to reach equilibrium.

  2. I’ve just read the synopsis of his talk, what a lot of twaddle. My question is “Is he talking about the prediction of robot’s behaviour?” If he was half way right then lets use his model to predict the next set of winning X-Lotto numbers!

  3. In Real Risk (now free online I tell the story about a group called the Order of the Star of the East who predicted that Jesus Christ would walk on the water between Sydney Heads for his return in 1924 (pp.10, 11 and 12).
    One might like to think that such predictions are the stuff of crack pots but the cult purchased land at Balmoral and built an Amphitheater for 20,000 pounds (about $8mill in 2019) so they could witness this event. The book has all the pics and details about it. My Dad told me about this when I was a little kid in Sydney and we lived nearby, he saw it.
    Isn’t it funny how Safety would rubbish such fanciful religious predictions and yet fall for the delusions of similar omniscience under the guise of science. The language of prediction and fallibility don’t match. Just because you want zero, talk zero, pray to zero and worship zero, doesn’t mean it make sense unless you are in the safety cult.

  4. Dear Rob,

    A quick look at the $pon$orS for the UWA BusineSS $chool, the UQ $u$tainable Mineral$ In$titute, Mona$h Univer$ity and CQU corroborates your comments.

    As soon as government funding is slashed the establishments turn to private enterprise for financial support and the regulatory or policy capture process compromises integrity.

    The only notable omissions from the UWABS alumni are Bernie Madoff, Laurie Connell, Abe Saffron, Ray Williams, Rodney Adler, Warren Anderson, Tom Domican, Tony Mokbel and the late Christopher Dale Flannery.

    Money doesn’t talk it swears – Bob Dylan

  5. I haven’t even mentioned any of the chthonic politicians or public serpents from the Moonlight State although I would probably exceed the permitted number of prescribed characters.

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