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Effects of Automobility Analysis

Loren Lomasky is a well-known author in the field of the criticism of the modern way of life. Accordingly, her essay on the balance between the positive and negative effects of the wide use of automobiles in the modern society is a valuable source of knowledge in this topic. Thus, according to Lomasky, positive effects of automobility are much more numerous than the negative ones. To illustrate her point of view, the author discusses such concepts as movement, personal freedom, right of a person for privacy and solitude, access to work-place, increased educational and other knowledge-getting opportunities (Lomasky, 1997).

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In more detail, the argument by Lomasky starts with the discussion of the idea of movement as seen by the Ancient Greek philosophers like Aristotle. According to this scholar, the ability to move themselves is a dominant feature differing animals from plants. Human beings, as the most advanced animal species in respect of intelligence, have this ability in two forms – they move in their intellectual development and in the physical sense as well. Accordingly, the Ancient Greeks and the modern scholars consider the ability to move to be one of the basic freedoms of the human being. Moreover, the globalized world of today demands higher mobility from people who reside far from their work-places. The use of automobiles is a measure to make the human life more convenient and encourage the technological progress. Also, the wider range of educational opportunities presented by automobiles is an advantage of this kind of transportation. In other words, one can drive and see a phenomenon instead of reading about it for years. Finally, a car is a private place for every modern person where he or she spends a considerable amount of their time daily. Drawing from all the above points, Lomasky concludes the vital significance of the automobiles for the modern human beings (Lomasky, 1997).

On the contrary, the arguments presented by another prominent scholar in the field of globalization and issues of the modern world, stress the dangerousness of the automobile and the need to fight its overall expansion. Matthew Paterson dedicates a considerable part of his “Automobile Politics: Ecology and Cultural Political Economy” to the issues of globalization and the role of cars in it. Further on, the author’s argument embraces such spheres as politics and economy in this issue (Paterson, 2007).

In more detail, Mr. Paterson (2007) exemplifies his argument with an article from “The Economist” describing the opening of the Chinese economy for the world. According to the author, this “opening” consisted in mere introduction of more automobiles in the streets that was to demonstrate that China is ready to buy cars produced abroad and sell its products in exchange. Thus, the country planned to become integrated into the globalized economy of today (Paterson, 2007).

However, the Chinese authorities, as well as the US Government and the capitalist countries of Europe, leave the ecological and socio-cultural impacts of their aggressive and financially-motivated technological expansion behind their attention. Thus, according to Mr. Paterson, the global warming, increased emissions of CO2 in the air, decrease of ecological standards in cities and densely populated areas are all the consequences of the uncontrolled use of automobiles for the purposes that demand it, as well as for those that do not (Paterson, 2007). So, Paterson’s argument is opposite to the one by Lomasky in its view of automobility as a threat to the existence of the mankind.

Works Cited

Paterson, Matthew. Introduction: (auto)mobility, ecology and global politics in Automobile Politics: Ecology and Cultural Political Economy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 91 – 161.

Lomasky, Loren E. “Autonomy and Automobility.” The Independent Review, v.II, n.1, (1997): 5 – 28.

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