Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Reflections on "Cars and Their Enemies"

Robert Phillipson at Troopship Berlin reminds of James Q. Wilson's superb essay in the July 1997 issue of Commentary entitled "Cars and their enemies." Wilson's basic point is that "even if we do all the things that can be done to limit the social costs of cars, the campaign against them will not stop."

And why is that? "It will not stop because so many of the critics dislike everything the car stands for and everything that society constructs to serve the needs of its occupants," Wilson argued.

In essence, what critics of the car hate is not the vehicle itself, but rather the freedom it embodies for the individual to move about as he or she pleases whenever and without sufferance of anybody else.

Put another way, cars represent the antithesis of the regimented, face-less, color-less and life-less collectivist society favorably envisioned by the many statists of our day. The Commentary piece requires a registration charge but is well worth it.