Posted by prideinmadness
‘for whose sake is the self brought under control?’
The hidden doublespeak of willpower and self-control
Who do we control the self for?
It is suddenly in vogue to talk scientifically about willpower. The funny thing is that psychologists have been talking about something like willpower scientifically for decades. With the exception of Walter Mischel (the mastermind behind themarshmallow test of willpower in five year olds), the rest of us have been calling it self-control as long as I can remember. Although willpower and self-control both refer to the same mental process, the nuance implied by each is difference. Willpower is a muscular Nietzschean word for our ability to overcome whatever gets in our way through sheer personal force of mind. Self-control has more Orwellian doublespeak connotations. Self-control can be read as the ‘the self that is in control’ but it can also be read as ‘that which brings the self under control’ which begs the question ‘for whose sake is the self brought under control?’ To answer this question, lets consider two scenarios.