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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
lucky_p Whatever became of the country? (49) RE: Whatever became of the country? 12 Aug 04

I'd just like to add my voice to this conversation with one thought: don't underestimate the power of the automobile and the political decisions incumbent thereto, which fostered the development of workplaces far from one's home along with shopping malls far removed from communities and the overall erosion of the public space in favor of the private world (my car, not our bus; my private home, not our cooperative or apartment; my great private school for my kids, not a great public school for all our kids). This exacerbates class divisions and fear (you no longer live near the "stranger"; your car enables you to move to the suburbs while the poorer "stranger" who can't afford a car, sits in a relatively abandoned apartment in the wasteland where there are no more quality goods and services or jobs or psychologically healthy people since all who could got in their cars and fled.) This ultimately has eroded communities in general, and certainly community spirit, a sense of interdependency, and an overall sense of trust. So now, we lock our doors.

I suggest everyone read E.B. White's seminal essay, "Here is New York" which tells you in absolutely elegant prose what life was like in New York (and all cities probably), before the cars took over.

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