The power and control play an important part in the life of the society but often the power and control is misinterpreted. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the study conducted by Thompson, who researched the activity of the biker gang, which terrorized the population of California. Thompson believed that the gang had the power based on the fear of the population. However, this view on the power and control is challenged by other studies. For instance, Didion argues that the power cannot be based on fear but, instead, the power and control are based on the freedom of individuals in their choices and lifestyle as well as on the power of the people because it is the people, who control the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of power. In this regard, Didion’s view on the power and control is more relevant compared to the view of Thompson because Didion mirrors traditional values of Californian people, who strived for their freedom, rights and liberties, who were eager to defend their interests and rights, but who respected laws and acted in the interest of large groups of people and in respect to their rights and liberties.
Didion stands on the ground of the permanent struggle for power and control that leads to the unrest and uncertainty. At this point, she refers to the 1960s, which were the turbulent time marked by the rise of the Black Panther Party and the social unrest. At the same time, Didion reveals the fact that these groups had a large support of large groups of people. They were not grounded on interests of a few. Instead, these movements represented a large part of the population of California and aimed at the respect of basic human rights and liberties of a large population of the state.
In addition, that time was marked by consistent changes in the society and culture. In this regard, changes in the cultural life were vulnerable to the impact of consistent changes in the development of the society. At the same time, new cultural trends contradicted to traditional views and norms of Californian people but, on the other hand, they represented interests of a large part of the population of the state, which demanded cultural changes. As a result, the society had to accept changes and new cultural trends because they met interests of a large part of the population while California traditionally respected interests and beliefs of individuals granting them with the freedom of choice of their lifestyle.
Didion stresses that the diversity of views and political and civil movements contributed to the change of social values and legal norms. In such a way, Didion depicted the time of consistent changes, which were chaotic and affected consistently the life of Americans. Moreover, they changed the traditional lifestyle and values. However, many people accepted them and they were introduced in the life of the society.