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Life After Cars
This article was inspired by a recent Subaru television commercial, and also an insightful observation by the famous author of "Brave New World", Adlous Huxley.The television commercial features a Subaru Outback that has been wrecked and twisted beyond all recognition. During the commercial ,various onlookers viewing the intense wreckage remark in amazement, "They Lived!".But things only get worse when,toward the end of the commercial, a narrator chimes in over the beautiful music and exclaims,"Love,that's what makes a Subaru". It was at this point during the commercial that I began to feel nauseous.
Fact: Since before 1900, people have been getting killed by cars.
Fact: Subaru has been selling cars since 1954.
Fact: The makers of Subaru,just as every other car manufacturer, have known from the very beginning, that an annual percentage of their customers would become traffic fatalities.
Fact: The makers of Subaru,just as every other car manufacturer, have known from the very beginning, that an annual percentage of their customers would suffer traffic related injury and disability.
But that's not all folks! Subaru has a Facebook page entitled "Dear Subaru". Subaru customers who have survived car crashes can post images of their wrecked cars along with heart warming stories of how their beloved Subaru saved their life.Here are some excerpts from a few of the stories that are posted:
Dear Subaru no.1... Lindsay, however, walked away with bruises, a contusion, and inflamed muscles. After seeing the photos of her car, Lindsay's insurance adjuster was not only surprised to be speaking with her but shocked she was alive. My family & I are convinced that by the grace of God & being behind the wheel of her Subaru, which she just purchased two months prior, saved her life. Thank you Subaru, we will be purchasing again!
Dear Subaru no.2... I was taken to a local hospital and did receive some significant bruises on my legs and hands. Yet, I am so happy to say that there is no question that my first Subaru Forester was responsible for saving my life. I picked up my 2nd Subaru Forester exactly 7 days after the initial accident. I will always drive a Subaru and never another type of car. I must also add that the Patriot Subaru dealership was wonderful. ... The sales representatives were all concerned about how I was doing... They were truly interested in how I was feeling. I am happy to say that I am now driving my 2nd Subaru Forester. Thanks Subaru.
Such sincere,yet misguided sentiment, ties in well with Aldous Huxley's prediction of "the final revolution".
Adlous Huxley wrote:
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution”
Nothing exemplifies Huxley's prediction any more than the two previous excerpts.I find it to be quite troubling when I see customers thanking a car manufacturer for saving their life, when it is the car manufacturer's,in conjunction with the state authority,that have placed the life of the citizen in jeopardy; in the first place! Encouraging,facilitating,and profiting from a lethal commodity is nothing less than a crime against humanity. Yet,here we witness the "stranger than fiction" scenario of not only the fox guarding the chicken coop, but the chickens actually thanking the fox!
In spite of the known hazards of driving,not to mention the resultant environmental pollution, freeways and streets across America are daily filled to capacity with commuters.Most of these commuters will live and die, never realizing that the automobile, a symbol of freedom for many Americans,is not only an efficient killing machine, but also one of the most useful and effective tools of oppression ever invented!
Choice and Deception
At this point some readers might argue that people choose to drive automobiles of their own free will, and when they make that choice, they must also accept the risk.They will continue that the automotive industry is not to blame for other people's choices.However,this is a popular misconception.We must examine these so-called choices in the context of the system in which we live.The truth is,most people do not have a choice whether or not they will drive an automobile; unless one considers having a livelihood,a home,and a career vs being destitute and homeless, a choice.
We must also understand that many areas do not have convenient,or efficient mass transit systems. Some areas don't have any at all.This is especially true in many rural areas. The citizen is like a rat who has been placed in a maze,with various paths leading in different directions,but only one which will lead to fulfillment and prosperity.The rat,unable to see the food that has been placed at the end of a particular path,will find it's way to the source by using it's sense of smell.
In this twisted maze that we find ourselves living in today,it is not so much our sense of smell that guides us toward the source; it is our sense of hearing and our sense of sight. Even before we are able to speak,we are bombarded with images emanating from television screens; enticing images that are accompanied by soothing voices telling us what we need, and how we can get it; revealing the path of least resistance that leads to opportunity, followed by success.Through years of conditioning; from the day we are born, until the day that we must die, we are made to understand that the automobile is the key to our happiness, and this dangerous notion is reinforced by all that we see and hear.
We see the busy city streets,the freeways,the highways,and the byways.We see successful people from all walks of life chasing their dreams in an automobile.We see successful doctors and lawyers driving their shiny automobiles to the yacht clubs,and to the golf courses. As the light of the moon shines down upon us,we see expensive automobiles parked outside of fancy restaurants. But the automobile has not only become a symbol of the affluent professional.
We see the working class commuting to work in their automobiles,and we can see that they live in comfortable homes,and that they never go hungry, as many have memberships with Jenny Craig. We also see that their children grow up, get into their own automobile , and go off to college. We see the working class on the weekends, on their way to the shopping mall, or to enjoy some recreational activity. And so we come to understand that all of the good things in life are somehow related to the automobile. The fiction of the television commercial that I focused on earlier, is reinforced, and so appears to be a reality.
Even after a friend or a loved one has become a traffic fatality,we will not blame the automobile. Instead, we will blame the drunk driver; we will blame the weather; we will say that it was a horrible freak accident, but we will never blame the automobile. Because our minds have become so thoroughly twisted and conditioned, it is almost impossible for us to accept that what we perceive to be a stairway to heaven, has always been just a roll of the dice, a gamble that could just as easily lead us to a plot in the local cemetary. I believe I have now clarified, that what many mistakenly believe to be simply a matter of choice,is actually a matter of deception. For anyone who might need further clarification, I suggest reading "The Emperors New Clothes",by Hans Christian Andersen.
Elements of the Automotive Industry
• maintenance and repair
• service stations
Millions of Americans directly profit from various aspects of the automobile industry, but we cannot consider this justification for the status quo. We cannot put a price on human, life or limb.
In print media,on television, and online,aside from the marketing of new cars ,Auto-Insurance is the most visible aspect of the automotive industry.Insurance companies like Geico,State Farm,Progressive, and All State, enjoy a steady rotation during popular broadcasts.The general message is that,"We are cute","We are funny",and "You can't live without us". But in the world of men,I have found that the greatest of all evil usually comes with a smile, along with kind assurances that,"We are here to help you."
The Auto-Insurance Industry
On paper, the concept of automobile insurance is very appealing. If something goes wrong ,an insured individual will either be financially compensated for a loss ,provided with financial assistance,or protected from costly lawsuits.
Many car owners will tell us that without automobile insurance, they would not have been able to replace or repair a vehicle that had been severely damaged in a collision.Considering all of the obvious benefits,one might reasonably ask,"What is wrong with automobile insurance?"
"Imagine a mother and her son.Now,imagine that the the son requires his mother to pay him a yearly premium as insurance against future sickness or disability.Once the premium has been paid and kept up to date,the mother can count on her son to provide for her should she become ill, or unable to look after herself.
Of course,I have concocted this ridiculous scenario in order to make a point. In a loving relationship between mother and son,such an arrangement could never exist.The very idea is shameful. But we have been taught that when dealing with the world at large,it is acceptable to operate at a different frequency; that love,mercy,or compassion cannot supersede the conditional authority of a dollar. This is a deception that serves to create divisions among men; keeping one individual separated from another; each motivated through selfish intention. When determining the moral character of a society,the loving relationship between a mother and her son is an immovable standard.
The concept of insurance,as we know it today, would not exist in a world where the primary function of government was to insure the happiness and well being of each, and every citizen. Furthermore,in such a society,the primary concern of each citizen would be the welfare of their families,friends,and neighbors. A citizen would not be allowed to "fall between the cracks". In such a world,there would be no need for insurance,relief agencies,or government programs, because each citizen would be an agency unto themselves.
But we can clearly see that this is not the world that we live in.In our world,if the citizen can pay the premium,then they will be well taken care of,and they will be generously compensated for whatever losses they may incur. If they cannot pay,then at some point they may become destitute. Once they have lost everything,including their self respect, and perhaps even their will to live,the government will intervene with a token gesture of assistance.
Because of our reliance on fossil fuels for heating and other uses,the oil industry would still exist without the automobile,but it would only be a ghost of it's former self. However,if a nationwide mass transit system ever becomes a more popular option than the automobile, many companies whose products and services are directly related to the auto industry ( car dealerships,auto repair,service stations,etc.) would soon go out of business.True to Huxley's prophecy,millions of Americans willingly contribute to their own servitude,risk their lives, and contribute to the destruction of the environment; not only for the sake of convenience,but most significantly, because they have been lead to believe that it is the right thing to do.
Many Americans will adamantly defend their "right" to own and drive an automobile.They are apparently oblivious to the environmental pollution that surrounds us, and apparently undaunted by the staggering rate of traffic fatalities. They have been brainwashed into thinking that without the automobile, the human race would be forced to return to the "dark ages",and that human progress would somehow come to a screeching halt. Harmful automobile emissions,oil spills,and the harmful effects of fracking (earthquakes,ground water and air contamination) are considered by many to be the unavoidable cost of human progress.The acceptance and the defense of a toxic commodity such as oil,as it relates to the automobile, is a testament to how easily the human mind can be manipulated with the promise of pleasure, convenience, and money.
In March of 2003,The United States rushed into a war with Iraq under the pretense that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.This specious excuse has since been exposed as an outright lie; a deadly work of fiction created by Dick Cheney and George Bush. However,the disturbing list that I have compiled here is not a work of fiction.What I have provided here are verifiable facts. It is ironic that after all of the killing in Iraq,the greatest weapon of mass destruction that continues to threaten the United States, and the world, is the automobile.
According to the World Health Organization:
• Based on the NHTSA and FHWA statistical report: Motor Vehicles Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rate, between 1899 and 2003 there were 3, 240,140 traffic fatalities in the United States.
• There are 1.3 million annual global road deaths.
• Globally,automobile related fatalities are the No. 1 cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 to 24.
• Annually,approximately 260,000 children die in car accidents
•Every hour, 40 people under the age of 25 die in road accidents around the globe.
• Air pollution kills an estimated 1.3 million people each year, and 70 to 90 percent of fatal pollutants,such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, originate from automotive traffic.
According to the World Life Expectancy website,in their list concerning leading causes of death throughout the world, traffic accidents rank number 10.
An article by Tom Hundley and Dan McCarey published by "The Pulitzer Center" states: " ... the global death toll due to automobile fatalities is expected to reach 3.6 million per year by 2030".
ASIRT has reported:
- Road crashes cost low and middle-income countries USD $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance.
- Unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
A Word About Automobile Accidents
The first reported car fatality occurred in Midlands Ireland.On Aug.31 1869, 42-year-old Mary Ward,an Irish scientist, was killed instantly when she fell out of a steam powered car as it rounded a turn.Her neck was broken by a car wheel that rolled over her neck.
I am particularly annoyed when traffic fatalities are referred to as accidents. A soldier who is killed in the line of duty is not considered to be the victim of a "War Accident"? It is expected at the beginning of a war that a certain number of soldiers will unfortunately die. An accident is something that happens unexpectedly. A predictable event that occurs at regular intervals cannot be correctly interpreted as an accident.Such a predictable event is either a function of a mechanism,organism,society,substance, or a circumstance that occurs as a result of said function.Statistics show that since 1963, in the United States alone, an average of 40,000 traffic fatalities have occurred each year.
It only follows that there is no such thing as an automobile accident. These so-called accidents are not accidents at all, but only the predictable cost of doing business. Whether intentional or not, becauase of the frequency, magnitude, and predictability of traffic fatalities, they can easily be seen as a modern form of human sacrifice.
Stop And Think
Considering all available statistics,the Automobile Industry has not been a blessing to mankind.We must stop viewing traffic fatalities as declining percentages and take the position that one traffic fatality in one hundred years,is still one too many.For instance, the following is a headline and an excerpt from an article on the CDC website:
Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999 Motor-Vehicle Safety: A 20th Century Public Health Achievement
"The reduction of the rate of death attributable to motor-vehicle crashes in the United States represents the successful public health response to a great technologic advance of the 20th century--the motorization of America. Six times as many people drive today as in 1925, and the number of motor vehicles in the country has increased 11-fold since then to approximately 215 million (1). The number of miles traveled in motor vehicles is 10 times higher than in the mid-1920s. Despite this steep increase in motor-vehicle travel, the annual death rate has declined from 18 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1925 to 1.7 per 100 million VMT in 1997--a 90% decrease ."
We can clearly see from the excerpt above that this article is measuring success based on percentages. If we were discussing commodities,I would find no fault with such an assessment,but we are not! The percentages alluded to here are the lost lives of human beings; friends,loved ones,and family members; infants and children.To suggest that the the "motorization of America" is a "great technologic advance of the 20th century", is no less disturbing than suggesting that the rise of the Third Reich was a great socio-political achievement; unless we are defining greatness from the perspective of a tyrant, or a cancerous disease.
Another revealing article appears on the "Inside Indiana Business" website.From the best I can ascertain,the article was written during 2008. The author,William Rieber Ph.D.,speaks about the pros and cons of further developing mass transit throughout the state of Indiana.Keeping in mind that at the end of the previous year (2007),the state of Indiana reported a total of 896 traffic fatalities, it is quite telling that not once during the article does Rieber figure this into his assessment. Although a reduction of traffic fatalities is an obvious benefit of mass transit,apparently Rieber didn't consider it worthy of mention.But in all fairness to Mr.Reiber, he is not alone in his apparent indifference toward traffic fatalities. The two articles I have presented in this section clearly illustrate that there are many who have been deceived.Through programming,repetition, and other forms of mind control,many have accepted the false notion that traffic fatalities are a fact of life; just as easily as one might accept puberty,menopause, or old age.
A Move Toward Mass Transit
Advocating tougher laws and higher safety standards may not be a total waste of time,but it is like trying to legislate a safer rattlesnake.The only way to make a safer car is to remove the wheels.After over 100 years of "safety improvements",and with the death toll continuing to rise, I suggest that perhaps this would be a good time to abandon ship.
But first,let's look at some more numbers: The United States sent $37,680,000,000 worth of foreign aid overseas in 2012.The National Defense budget for 2012 was a whopping $682 billion! According to the Peter G Peterson Foundation , "The U.S. spent more on defense in 2012 than did the countries with the next 10 highest defense budgets combined."
When we consider these numbers,it is not unreasonable to expect that the government could set aside some of this money to develop creative, and efficient mass transit systems; nationwide systems that would significantly reduce environmental pollution while saving millions of American lives. Since the very beginning, automobile manufacturers have been unable to mass produce a safe automobile. How many years must pass; how many innocent people must die,or suffer permanent disability, before the majority will accept that the automobile is a toxic, killing machine?
Unfortunately,even with widespread public support,any action that might negatively impact the auto industry will be met with stiff resistance.Automobiles generate enormous amounts of revenue,not only for manufactures,but for everyone along the gravy train.Car dealerships,mechanics,oil companies,service stations,advertising agencies, etc..Every state in the union collects millions of dollars each year in the form of taxes,licenses,and traffic fines.Last but not least, the automobile is an effective control mechanism that will be difficult to replace.Until the ruling elite can find an acceptable substitute, the status quo will remain unchanged.To give the reader an idea of what's at stake for car manufacturers,insurance companies,and the oil industry,the table below provides some interesting figures.
According to the Fortune 500 Top 500 Companies of 2013:
Automotive Industry Profits: 2013 Figures ($billion)
State Farm: $65.3
General Motors: $152.3
Exxon Mobile: $449.9
Liberty Mutual: $36.9
Ford Motor: $134.3
Phillips 66: $169.6
Valero Energy: $138.3
Marathon Petro: $76.8
In the above table I have only listed a handful of companies that profit from the automotive industry.However,we can easily understand from this abbreviated listing that these are the kind of numbers that a capitalist would consider worth dying for.Especially when it is someone else who is doing the dying.
Mass Transit Alternatives
• The Navia All-Electric Driverless Shuttle from Induct Technologies: first commercially available driverless vehicle in United States.
•The Shweeb Human-powered monorail : Innovative concept uses pedal power.
• China's "Straddling Bus" glides over traffic.
• In 2010, a California-based company called Sunpods Inc. developed the first solar bus. Read about it here:Sunpods Solar Bus
There is a well known anti-drunk driving slogan that goes,"Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk".I have upped the ante, and co-opted the phrase so that it now reads as as follows: "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Cars".
An abrupt shift toward mass transit could be a game changer.The first major hurdle is the de-programming of the masses.
• Can this be done at all?
• Can this be done in time?
• Can the majority be made to see that there is Life After Cars?
© 2014 Ronnie wrenchBiscuit