I’ve been repeatedly stunned by how skimpy and ideological my competition is in the area of automotive sociology/history. Today, this surprise has reached another level, yet again. In my ramblings as I try to complete a book I can live with on the topic, I came across this hugely important, but — so far as I can tell, completely unpursued by English-language researchers — quote from Gottlieb Daimler:
“I have created the basis for an industry.”
The 1961 volume that conveys this quotation refers to a biography published in German in the highly ramified year of 1941. Its title — no author given by its English citation-maker — is Gottlieb Daimler: Ein Revolutionär der Technik.
Luckily, I made the mistake of taking German in HS and college, so I stand a chance of being able to read that tome, should I ever see it. Meanwhile, if any Germans or German-fluent people have access to that biography, I would be eternally grateful for your help!
I encourage other cars-first critics to pursue this hot lead, or at least not forget it.
At the upcoming Washington Auto Show, Automotive News will be presenting its Lifetime Achievement Award to none other than Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of the spectacularly over-estimated Henry Ford, who, contrary to ruling mythology, invented neither the automobile nor the assembly line and who did not want to make sure workers’ incomes kept up with capitalists’.
At a time when the car corporations are hyping their alleged “innovation” harder than ever, this award provides yet another angle from which to comprehend the profound decrepitude of this, corporate capitalism’s beating heart.
What has Edsel B. Ford II done to merit anybody’s lifetime achievement award, other than squarely occupy his inherited overclass perquisites? Nothing whatsoever, rather obviously.
Interestingly, it seems that our friend Ralph Nader accepted the 2010 version of this award. Would any hen accept a Henhouse Management Award from the fox journalists cheering vulpine henhouse raids?
His latest gesture is even nuttier than the windmill tilt against the Keystone XL pipeline. Now, the proposition is to get universities to “divest” from “fossil fuel” corporations.
ROFLMFAO, Bill. Divesting from things that depend on subsidies and special treatment — things like the not-so-great state of Israel — makes powerful sense. Divesting from the world’s most internally profitable organizations is, well, a pointless gesture.
It’s also, of course, a misdiagnosis. Fossil fuel corporations are where they are today not because of simple corruption, but because of the reign of cars-first transportation policy. To peddle the notion that you can somehow do something about the former without fighting the latter is just plain stupid. It is also, alas, the hallmark of McKibbenism.
“Do the math” indeed. This kind of shallowness and misdirection — C. Wright Mills called it, aptly, “liberal practicality” – is worse than good old inaction. There is only so much time and energy available for organizing and political action. To spend that time and energy in ways that are patently hopeless and silly is a major sin against the future.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!