I read with interest Stefan’s commentary on the prevalent automobile culture under capitalism (March Socialist Standard). An additional point should be made, if it is not evident to the reader, to the effect that the private automobile is the quintessential commodity of the capitalist system. Its development has enabled the disaster of suburban development that has despoiled hundreds of millions of acres of good land, with its endless roads and freeways, given rise to another mainstay of capitalism the single family dwelling with it’s myriad repetitive appliances. The private automobile with its required service networks, parts replacements etc., has been a major market prop offering a seemingly endless source of marketable commodities. The glut of “tin-lizzies” grows like the stuff of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Can the Wizard of Socialism put a stop to the madness? Absolutely.
Bernard Bortnick, Texas, USA (by email)
Reply: We can’t predict how people in socialism will use transport systems, or even what they’ll use them for, but if the safety and clean renewable energy questions were properly addressed, there seems no good reason why cars should not continue to be of use – Editors.