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Cars to go places



Having a car is a great justification of the values that produced it. The having of a car transforms the desire for others to own a car into a societal "need" for which progress is "necessary". Progress snowballs by the dynamics of its carefully crafted needs. The car is of a transcendent order of things, it demands a strongly disciplined society to make cars, and at the same time, society is prepared to knowingly and even happily destroy itself in going places that are, because of the car, no longer really worth going to. The car has consumed its destination, by making that destination accommodate it, with wide roads and parking lots. The car, to help the economy will ultimately destroy it.

Progress is not driven not by the desire to exploit helpless minorities and underprivileged masses. The over privileged are just not clever enough. Exploitation is the business of the stupid and the coarse. Progress is driven by the aesthetics of health and wholesome work, of activity, of doing, absorption and a genuine idea that things can be made better. Relevant questions are always veiled by the God of the moment. A progress is a powerful god that does not like questions. Conviction and unquestioning response is wholesome, work is wholesome; it allows us to gather the world into our being, so that we swell with possessions and substance. It is this that makes our architecture so generous, so large. This gathering of the world into our being through irreducible work is an aesthetic phenomenon of the highest order, not because it defines or describes desirable qualities but because it blinds us to qualities and makes them silent. The world of progress is circular.

The promise of rest for example, of spare time, or eternal holidays, is expanded or reduced to a dream by the busy. It is a crude and completely imaginary reward, thought up by ourselves and seducing us into the direction of that progress we imagine as an improvement: cars will save time, washing up machines will save time, washing machines, telephones, everything saves time. We are promised more time, but have always the same amount, the amount we take and claim. The ease that progress promises is withdrawn by progress. It can never be given. To rest is to die; rest is mere laziness and slothfulness, the image of the apocalypse. Progress is the slave of our addiction to work, the absorption that work affords. We rest to work, we work to lose ourselves. Progress is what allows us to do this without a guilty conscience.



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