Comment 29333

By LL (registered) - website | Posted March 05, 2009 at 00:20:59

Where are all the anti-valley politicians and their apologists? Here is a solid, well-sourced article that flatly refutes ALL the arguments that plowing a sprawl highway through a nature park is a great idea. Do you folks even read?

schmadrian: I'm totally with you on finding deeper root causes to the mass motoring problem. But I reject the notion that "car culture" is just an aggregate of individual preferences, or that a lack of intelligence is what's driving it.

One historical factor in mass motoring that nobody on this site seems to talk about is Fordism - the ruling class strategy of bottling class conflict through relatively higher wages and mass (I would argue compulsory) consumption.

The ruling class abandoned Fordism a long time ago, and have been chipping away at real wages for years, even though they continue to push the mass consumption part (hence the debt problem). One could easily see this crisis as a final cataclysm in that era of capitalism.

Can mass motoring really continue under these conditions? How long do you think it'll be before working people start to create car shares, ride bikes, etc. in lage numbers? I have a hunch that forced car dependence is one of their weakest links.

In short, anti-car propaganda has to work as an aspect of a greater popular struggle, not just an environmentalist lecture. You want sexy? Emphasize that a collective abandonment of the costs of car dependence could result in a shorter work week. Celebrate the freedom and individuality of the bicycle.

Sure the car industry is one of the biggest spenders on ad propaganda. But they're looking pretty foul right now. It's times like this that activists need to shine. Don't throw up your hands in despair.

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