French road: Diagnosis 1
Those who sow the wind, reap the whirlwind (the consequences end up being greater than the deed itself)! They operate a system of divide and rule, but this is a two-edged weapon and on the road especially can be regarded as razor-sharp. Racism is not merely a rejection of a different skin color or a different religion. It is also one aspect of this subjectivity which makes it easy to refuse to understand an event, or the way other people live, so as to be able to live better oneself or to derive greater benefit. The subjectivity present in the French mentality, and hence in French behavior on the roads, is the cause of our problem. Our leaders and not our dealers must succeed in eradicating this mind-set or at least reducing it as much as possible. Otherwise, we shall be the «rednecks» of Europe.
Granted, the French road system has its imperfections, but in general it is extremely good. As for our car makers, they may be on the costly side, but they build cars that are technically of very high quality, especially in regards to road-holding and brakes.
The more numerous we become, the less possible it becomes to live in a certain former anarchy and the greater our need for a police force to ensure respect for regulations and laws. Naturally, this should not imply dictatorship, but a civilization whose pillars are order, respect and a minimum of discipline. The motto «every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost» that is applied on our roads makes our foreign visitors think we are Neanderthals.
There is a paradox in the awareness that technology has left us all behind, in that we, or rather a handful of geniuses, were the inventors of this same technology.
It is extremely easy in France to flout all rules, especially speed limits. What makes this easier is that the radar controls are always in the same place, and often in operation at the same time of day — why not a neon sign half a mile ahead of each control? This is quite a paradox for a country with 8000 deaths a year, often due to excessive speed. I have in my youth often driven at over 120 mph on the Paris inner ring road, in cars making this technically possible, in broad daylight, and naturally I have never had the slightest problem with the law. Those who know this road are well aware that it is bursting with cameras linked to a center (I shall not say where), where police officers observe or record, as they wish, everything that goes on. Much the same occurs in other parts of Paris and elsewhere in France. The police are therefore witnesses to all the redneck behavior. Our dogmatism regarding the roads is so deeply entrenched that a majority of the officers find it perfectly normal — especially the young recruits still suffering from a certain brainwashing. It has been highly paradoxical to find the police virtually absent from our roads in recent years. The same cannot be said of the activity surrounding parking lots. Work it out for yourself!
In France, there is an arsenal of laws that are systematically flouted and ignored, especially on the roads. Who was it said: «silence is the sincerest form of contempt»? This is exactly what I am not doing in this book. One day, our grandchildren will think of us as we think of the people in the Middle Ages or earlier. In fact, has man changed so much since then, apart from his belief in a certain freedom to have access to goods that are not already his because they have not been paid for? Given the behavior of far too many Frenchmen on the roads, the answer must be no. Turning to a period much closer to our own, namely that of the French Revolution, there is still a gigantic gap between the owner and the owned, because the owner has always managed to persuade the owned that he too owns something. This «thing» in France, is freedom. But what sort of freedom? The freedom of the other person stops where it threatens to interfere with mine, and so on to the last man on earth. This being so, what incredible cynicism, worthy of the times of royalty, to have the populace believe that it is free by letting it do as it likes in order to keep it more tightly under control. Manipulation being a form of intelligence, I respect it on condition that it leads to man’s evolution and not his decline to a state of lobotomized slavery.
Can it be normal that in France, for many years, advertising specific to a certain brand has literally put the notion of having a road accident in the minds of the public through a form of autosuggestion?
If things are to change in France, on the roads in particular, there has to be a change in mentality, in the climate of insecurity in which we find ourselves whenever we move around. This is true of all forms of transport except aircraft (and even here some rednecks manage to have punch-ups in mid-air) — yet another reflection of the sociological state in which we live and whose foundations have been implanted, insidiously but surely, over several years.
Intelligence is always impossible to situate and define. This is true when it takes the form of a masquerade which yet again serves economic and social interests. For people to live together there must be rules. However, might the greatest form of intelligence not simply be kindness and tolerance? We see before us the proof that all forms of violence lead only to the decline and fall of human kind. Let us never forget that for thousands of years, man has lived off man, as Karl Marx demonstrated. Fortunately, things have moved on a little since then, but history is still where it was and will certainly remain so to the end of time. Material things are for the service of man and this marvelous and constantly evolving technology must improve our conditions of life and not lead to our massacring each other like a bunch of primates wanting to grab each other’s peanuts — the peanuts in our case being various material goods. The difference between man and the animals lies precisely in the fact that no animal needs equipment to survive. Animals live in a kind of stationary state where they are probably very happy because, unaware of their destiny, they will remain so in all certainty until the end of time. By contrast, man has always tried to evolve by creating goods and, since the dawn of time, trying to create more comfort, more amenities for living and, in general, to distance himself as far as possible from the animal kingdom.
It is in fact material equipment that has enabled man to distance himself from the animal. Now, however, he is moving back in that direction in the name of materialism and submission, as the process has slipped beyond his control. And the greatest invention of all time, without which our civilization would not be what it is, is nothing other than the wheel. There is something of a pathological paradox in the fact that man is dominated by all types of equipment when it is he that should dominate it. This is particularly true in the field of cars, where the acute observer might wonder whether it is man that drives the car, or is driven by it, especially in France. In this respect, it is no longer a question of social class, of level of education or purchasing power or I don’t know what, which intermingle and form the patterns studied by sociologists. All we have is a person in a psychological state of materialistic submission.
Life is a theatre and the name of the play is paradox! Granted, we shall move towards a better distribution of culture, goods and wealth — and, above all, greater respect for, and more openness to, the understanding of others. I am not in favor of equality for all in the sense expressed by «give me your watch and I will give you the time». Otherwise, we shall continue to go on as we are doing at present, in this atmosphere of perverse diplomatic super-violence where even the word love in its purest and noblest sense ends by being distorted by materialism.
The redneck and human capital
Can the redneck mind-set be said to be responsible for this? Yes and no, because one should not lose sight of the fact that the international redneck is a vital element in the performance of our society and the day when this primate disappears from the industrialized countries, those who remain will probably live either in a hell or in a paradise, as all our social rules will be altered.
Perhaps the start of a new millennium will mark the beginning of improved social distribution of intellectual wealth, material wealth and know-how, which will open the door to happiness for all and not just the minority living off the majority.
Perhaps this new era will see the end of the adoration of the materialistic wheel in favor of the spiritual wheel which is the extreme opposite of the one that lies hidden from the whole world – like the apple that was eaten by Eve before she noticed there was a worm in it!