Can you imagine a better proof of excessive wealth’s delusional effects? That this thing actually got built is enough to make every cat in town laugh for an hour. Mind-blowing, though not for the reasons feigned by the technophile (read: money-worshipping) commercial press.
The National Safety Council has just revealed an astonishing fact: In the year 2020, the number of people killed in U.S. automobile collisions increased. This, despite the SARS-CoV2 crisis causing a 13 percent drop in total miles driven.
Unlike SARS-CoV2, the age profile on car-crash deaths skews young, rather than old. So, the loss of life-years involved is probably quite comparable to the society-closing crisis through which we are now living and about which we are now being asked to take frequent moments of silence.
Of course, when it comes to the carnage inherent in cars-first transportation, the silence we’re encouraged to maintain is silence about the cause, rather than the effects, of the disaster.
By “we,” I mean America at-large. As for “nice things,” I don’t picture self-driving cars, hovercraft backpacks or laundry that does itself. Instead, I mean the basic aspects of a high-functioning society: well-funded schools, reliable infrastructure, wages that keep workers out of poverty, or a comprehensive public health system equipped to handle pandemics — things that equally developed but less wealthy nations seem to have.
McGhee reviews the ways in which white racial ideology prevents this movement toward reason, comfort, and social democracy.
Here at DbC, we would endorse this but add that cars-first transportation is also a major reason we in the USA remain stuck on our continent of kooky, harmful, maldistributed geegaws. With kindest apologies to Adam Smith, it seems that, upon completion, building human societies to maximize the sale of goods and services is not quite the same thing as building human societies for the maximum benefit of all.
When you prioritize the money-seekers’ values, the end results are not, in fact, all that similar to those that maximize the general welfare. Commodities and human thriving are not, it turns out, the same thing. However much the world might have disguised this point back in the 1770s, in the 2020s, it is getting pretty hard to miss.
Here’s what the State of Maine’s Department of Transportation — not its Department of Automobiles, mind you — just tweeted out. Shows what the public’s servants perceive their roles to be, even at this rather late date:
If you’ve been reading DbC, you’ll know that we have long been interested in car corporations’ efforts to implant the idea that cars are somehow still high technology, and also that we stand at the brink of a great new era of automotive ease, safety, and ecological sustainability. (Not exactly a new effort, admittedly, but one that carries a new urgency in our obviously endangered times.)
This is quite interesting. It comes extremely close to being a direct admission of the cynical managerial intention behind such macro-marketing endeavors.
Indeed, it begs the question: Why is GM letting this cat out of the bag right now?
Here at DbC, our hypotheses on this are two:
Thanks to the remarkable sanctity of the automobile in our public culture, GM has decided that the odds of any journalist or politician reporting that haloware is being perpetrated on the American public by the makers of our epoch’s most important and dangerous product are close to zero.
This is a ploy to signal investors that GM will do whatever it takes — even such extra-shameless lies — to keep its ROIs flowing for as long as humanly possible.
And while you’re at it, take a look at how hep good old Design Chief Simcoe looks here — the retro glasses and haircut, the boutique duds! What a cool daddy-o! Next stop, the Red Planet, no doubt!
It will be interesting to see if GM keeps being this honest about this increasingly important aspect of car-selling. There is some distinct topical danger in doing so. If people ever figure out that the multiplying forms of automotive haloware are indeed haloware, things could get a bit bouncy for TPTB.
Automobiles are inherently childish objects. If our descendants luck out and somehow retain civilization, they will understand that these wildly wasteful and unsustainable machines were the apotheosis of our species’ prolonged adolescence.
In hopes of preserving the evidence of how our overclass pushing these objects on us, DbC hereby presents, as part of its new series, this typical example of toddler-level flattery, which was used to sell pickup trucks in the year 2020:
You give us your time. You give us your courage. You soldier through and make us proud.
Despite its ecocidal nature and its howling crudity, this type of indoctrination worked on enough people to justify itself, and, as it did so, also went entirely uncriticized by the wider society.