So much of what we suffer, worry about is created and exacerbated by isolation. Human beings need human relationships we do not run like machines, we have emotions. If we live in isolation we become unsure, frightened and our personal isolation leads to political isolation. Even in an era of advanced communication networks the technology becomes a form of isolation as it takes up more and more the place of physical contact and in some cases completely obliterates it.

In some of the worst slum conditions in the world, communities have survived through solidarity and collective creativity. They could never survive working in isolation. In the western industrial countries we have learned to see as our savour that which isolates us most. Our village square to the shopping mall, our meeting spaces to our isolated boxes watching television, our politics to the discussion of last nights viewing.

The problem is not television, the computer, the mall, football. It is how we use these things and how they become the answer to everything. How we use them to address emotional problems and to forget our problems. The liberating technology is also the deliverer of distraction and the dehumanisation of politics.

We live in boxes, work in boxes, communicate in boxes and start to think in boxes, Human beings are sociable animals. Living in boxes helps to make them fear each other. We need to live, as well as think, outside the box.


The opposite of isolation is solidarity