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View Diary: Cars Cause Republicanism (338 comments)

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  •  Great Diary (4.00)
    Conservatives or better stated the corporate elites that designed this economy had exactly this in mind. The idea is to create a society that's made up of people who are pre-occupied by their daily needs to own specific material goods in order to feel better about themselves and ignore the plight of others around them and forgo all self development for this need to continuously consume.

    The perfect example in this country can be seen in the difference between Northern and Southern states. I have had the pleasure of seeing life in several southern states that are very car centric communities. Rich or Poor you can not get around efficiently without a car, it is done to keep people separated and closed off in their neighborhoods. These communities revolve around one thing shopping, strip malls abound with little to no public transportation.

    My girlfriend and I had a conversation with a man that is living in the Richmond VA area and works for the school system. We got into a discussion about how to revitalize the city of Richmond which for the most part is a dump. The main thing that he talked about was how they were building all these new housing developments and shops to attract young people to the city. Currently, everyone that has any monetary means lives outside of the city in the surrounding suburbs and spend the majority of their time shopping in the various malls.

    We proceeded to explain to him that if you want to attract young smart college grads that would make Richmond home and not move to say northern Virginia, D.C. or Maryland you need more than just shops. The operative word is "Culture" we explained. Young college grads that will come and stay do not want to spend their Saturdays driving from one mall to another to shop for the latest gadget so they can keep up with Jones. They want Art, Music, Theater, etc. they want to get up in the morning and know that city offers more that just the latest Bloomindales to shop in.

    The current political elites are served well by the way this society is setup. If we are to win this battle and create a society that values the individual and celebrates an inclusive community we have to speak to the misplaced priorities of the system.

    •  Your comment made me think... (none)
      In my experience, the most desirable and alive places that I've found in cities and large towns - both in and out of the US - are those places that are off-limits to automobiles.

      Closing a street or area always seems to be opposed. Until it happens, then almost everyone wants to live, work and shop in the area. And such areas almost inevitably become an oasis of culture.

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