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bumper-sticker propaganda

December 14, 2012

A friend of mine was driving to work today when they saw a pickup/SUV crossover with a bumper sticker that said “Fuck Your Prius!” They said, “I get that many people are gratified by driving large vehicles, even though I don’t get it. But how do you spite fuel economy?” That’s a good question. In my opinion, it’s due in part to an ideology that holds consumerism and individualism sacrosanct — an ideology that’s been fed to us for generations from all directions — and the idea that we consciously consider how our actions affect society (i.e., the dreaded ‘collective’) is entirely anathema to this.

It’s the Other, the boogeyman, the things we’ve been taught since children to fear and fight against even though it often doesn’t make any logical sense to do so. Part of this is because it’s what drives our economy. It’s the ideology of consumption, growth, and private ownership—the ideology of capitalism. It’s the same reason we have a society where many people are coaxed into thinking it’s better to buy their own car than fight for more efficient and comprehensive public transit systems, that it’s their right even. It’s why many chose to turn a blind eye to global climate change, or deny it completely, instead of fighting for more alternative energy research and forcing large corporations to limit their greenhouse emissions.

Or maybe not. It’s something to think about, at any rate.

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