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A different argument against automobiles

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Dec. 2nd, 2001 | 01:02 pm

So I keep pulling closer to the idea of buying a car. Yet buying a car supports an inherently evil system of transportation.

Not only are cars bad for the environment they're also classist, ageist and ableist. (And probably racist, too.)

I've met a number of people who for no fault of theirs cannot drive cars. A common cause that I've run into is epilepsy.

Then there are the many people who cannot afford cars because of our societies classist and racist economy.

These people are marginalized, these people are prevented from participating in social activities, they are effectively imprisoned in their homes, because our society has completely chosen the car over any alternative.

Take children for example, by forcing them to be driven by their parents instead of having an effective mass transit system (or even letting them use bicycles.) They become imprisoned to their parents. Their parents gain a vast level of control over their kids activities outside the home through this, and the kids have no recourse unless they're one of the lucky ones who can afford a car.

For me since I got a bike when I was a kid, and since it did increase my ability to escape my dysfunctional family, when I finally got my first car, I could see its aspect as enslavement to wage slavery.

The estimates I've run across is that only about one-third of the population can safely and legally drive a car, the rest are either too young, too old, have health problems, or can't afford a car.

Me spending money on a car is my economic vote that cars should be the dominant form of transit. And given how deeply our elected leaders are in bed with corporate money, economic votes are likely to be the most meaningful votes left.

Not to mention that their rather expensive and I could use that money to either escape from wage slavery or support progressive causes.

The people I look up to as heroes are the ones who've risked their lives and their freedom to stand up for what they believed was right.

Shouldn't I be able to accept some inconvenience for what I believe in?

Just wanted to mention that this argument against cars doesn't require the elimination of cars, unlike the environmental arguments. It just requires that an effective alternative transit system also exist. Of course having both is difficult, but conceivable.

And as far as I'm concerned it makes it easier to phase privately owned cars out later.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Dec. 3rd, 2001 01:22 am (UTC)

Yes, though wasn't the mass transit in both locations built before the automobile became popular?

I'm not sure if the affluent middle and higher classes are as concerned about building a system that they think would be mostly used by lower classes.

(At least in my memory of being an affluent middle class person I tend to see buses as being filled with the poor and impoverished.)

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