The Government Hates Your Private Automobile
How Blessed Is the State That Thus Destroyeth the Car
by Jeffrey A. Tucker
The modern state was born and built with the idea that it would bring material progress to the world.
How things have changed! Now the same state works to reverse progress in every possible way and even brag about the glorious things it is doing to make our lives more miserable.
It even has the chutzpah to tout that it alone can beat back our constant struggle to have a better life, and it expects us to thank our masters for this – and pay for the privilege.
These are thoughts that hit me as I read the New York Times report “Across Europe, Irking Drivers is Urban Policy.” Yes, that’s right: policies are not trying to make driving easier and less of a problem but harder and more of a problem so that people will abandon their cars and hoof it just like life before the invention of the wheel.
Now, truly, the ability to hop into a driver-directed steel contraption that can take us wherever we want to go at 200 miles per hour has to count as one of the great accomplishments in the history of mankind. The unleashing of human volition! For 100 years now, wherever we find progress, joy, and human fulfillment, we find the car. The car has very nearly conquered the great problems presented by the existence of scarcity of time and space, and made us able to achieve essential tasks. We work, live, shop, and travel where we want and get to each place in a fraction of the time it took our ancestors.
So what does the state do? It tries to stop it all. European governments are “creating urban environments openly hostile to cars,” says the Times. “The methods vary, but the mission is clear – to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.”