MOBILITY CULTURE

The sense of "just passing through" desensitises a human being and can facilitate the most callous of behaviour. The essence of this desensitisation is one of dissociation, feeling that what happens doesn't matter as it will soon be left behind and have no consequences.

Hit and run pedestrian slaying is a salient modern example, but history is replete with examples. Cultures that adopted mobile forces became some of the worst terrorist states on record. Ancient Assyria, with war chariots, slaughtered whole populations, the Vikings with their longboats are legend for brutality, the Mongol horse archers of Genghis Khan settled nowhere and slaughtered as they went, they almost formally adopted the policy of complete depopulation of the lands they held (perhaps half the world population of the time) to free up pasture for their horses, but were dissuaded by economic arguments. This has a correlate in the car culture spreading roadspace and car based suburbs on the land of third world subsistence farmers. Hitler and his panzers hardly need description. The US fell into the same behaviour with its Vietnam helicopter cavalry, the Mei Li massacre being infamous, but also in herbicide use. Recently depleted uranium has been shot around by their passing planes with reckless abandon. Genocidal brutality isn't exclusive to mobility culture, Stalinism was a quasi-genocidal terror system; but mobility culture seems to ensure it.

This desensitisation is being generalized in modern society through the car culture; in the act of motion itself and the armoured shell in which it encases people, luring the senses to attribute no more reality to a view through a windscreen than through a television set. An irresponsible subliminal platform for behaviour and attitude is set, a psychopathic attitude within a car's armoured impunity, balanced by a timorous and delicate lack of robustness in glazed insensate "reasonableness" in other human interaction; fleeing from difficulty and dismissively assuming all negative consequence can be left behind. Car culture psyches typically fluctuate between "preciousness" and violence and deal evasively with the intermediate interactions, stand up arguments etc., wherein humanity has historically resolved most of its conflicts. This attitude is having its worse effect on the environment, modern behavioural norms hold the definite implicit expectation that when Earth is trashed humanity will just move elsewhere.

The car is the icon, but desensitisation is the product of mobility and is deliberately used, capitalism's managerial class is highly mobile, flitting from job to job, country to country for no other real reason than to allow callous exploitation to be practiced without affecting their sentiments, they move on before forming attachments to their workforce or environment.

Happily no mobility culture has been sustainable, all fell apart or merged into the background in very short historical times; Assyria, the Vikings and Mongols only lasted a couple of centuries each, the Third Reich collapsed and the US lost Vietnam within 12 years of beginning. Mobility cultures are also ephemeral cultures, by implication the car culture should fall this century.

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