French road: Diagnosis 2 – part 7


In fact, some of the advertising in recent years for a certain brand, and more precisely for a certain car, has shown the psychological impact that this can have on the future behavior of the driver and the future buyer of the vehicle concerned. It can also seriously affect the behavior of a certain type of driver who can recognize himself in the advertising even if he drives a car of a different make. Many of you, and I myself, have not forgotten a certain wide-tired sports car which fascinated a whole generation of young drivers and which — those rare examples that have not been scrapped — continues to create mayhem on the road and whose makers pay an advertising firm that has never ceased putting out advertisements carrying an auto-suggestion for causing road accidents.

Advertising has a profound effect on people’s minds, because it can sell a product in a matter of moments, with the person having to respond psychologically to the appeal made to his senses in order to arouse the need, first for passive identification and then active identification with a product. The principle of advertising is in general to create a frustration in the future client in a few seconds so that when he comes to buy and consume the product, his frustration disappears. All this of course is done in such a way that he is unaware of the game he is being made to play or accepts the fact of playing so as not to be depending on his immersion in the system. It has to be recognized that advertisements are fascinating because of the quality and speed of the message they put over, itself due to the quality of the images and the formidable intelligence of those who create them. The power they wield is immeasurable. A film is a distraction in which we are merely spectators: we do not regard ourselves as players since our day-to-day reality is often quite different.

On the other hand, advertisements, especially on the television, involve the viewer up to the hilt from the running of the film to the spiel for the product, with its autosuggestion regarding the final consumption. Hence the need for special surveillance of car advertising or, in the case of certain French brands, a total ban.

However, putting the lives of others in danger and not merely inciting to consume is one of the meanest and most abject forms of disguised terrorism.
The advertisers and the analysts of advertising know all too well that some publicity will never be put out in France, and some French publicity would never be put out in other countries.

Returning to our problem of the general road safety climate and its relation to our way of doing things, however, it is evident that advertising which tends to reinforce the general climate of road insecurity is to be banned, purely and simply. Either that or there should be a boycott of the brands responsible for this type of pernicious action, and, along with them, all the media that lend themselves to this type of vice.

The wheel: lord and master of the universe

Everyone could gain from such a change in terms of safety, as the road is no respecter of social class, far from it: the wheel is a kind of mathematical God, which will never be halted by the laws of man. But men will do its bidding, whether they like it or not, regardless of religion, race or nationality. Man will inevitably submit, as the universe is itself a form of rotation which, for reasons no one can explain, starts and ends with the Earth, which by its fashion of turning in this universe gives life to successive civilizations up to the present in which mankind adores the wheel for his comfort and perhaps his final destruction. I ask every reader to reflect on what the world would be like if the wheel had not been invented a long time ago — probably in Asia — to simply look around him and note all the objects that are directly or indirectly linked with this very particular geometric form. Without it, what would be left?

The reader will very rapidly come to see that if this geometric form had not been noticed by the most observant people, many things would not exist or, if existing, would do so only in extremely primitive form. Any form of commerce would be on a minute scale without any possibility of expansion, economic or otherwise. Moreover, it is highly possible that if this invention had not existed the earth might have seen a quite different form of society. This might have been more intelligent but in any case would not have been in the form we know. I leave it to the more imaginative to think what this other (non-existent) situation might be, as the mathematical God wanted things differently for man and especially for his survival. It is virtually certain that if the wheel had not been invented another form of animal civilization would have taken man’s place on this planet and that it is precisely thanks to the wheel — initially abstract and then concrete — that the materialist world that is now irrevocably linked to man’s destiny exists. And exactly where do the frontiers between the two lie? That is a vast topic of conversation because whoever thinks, conceives, and the limits in this field are incalculable. If a whole population or merely a vast majority no longer accepts road accidents as the result of fatality, but as something normal in the present context, they will all become aware of their real power through respect for regulations and laws and not through submission masked by an impression of power. This material wheel has created so much and is creating all the possible and imaginable differences between man and all forms of life on the planet. What we have is a form of life that is absolutely unique, combining every race and religion, and with this eternal combat inside mankind between good and evil which is constantly evolving in favor of one or the other. There is one in which evil will finally win out, surely because of man’s submission to various forms of materialism and to all possible and unimaginable barbarities that we can faintly discern in the future if there is not a minimum of equilibrium. And above all, if mankind allows itself to be dominated by the material things that are loved so much, a tendency which has always led to hatred, jealousy, killing and destruction over the centuries, to reach levels of violence never seen on the planet, in this past 20th century.

We are now embarked on a new millennium. This is what we are told, because there must be a universal rule although this may not universally be the rule. Will it be pacifist but not peaceful — some form of combat must exist if civilization is to continue to advance. Or will it be peaceful but not pacifist and continue in the hellish path in which it is now engaged?

Practicing the art of movement

Knowing how to move around without risk is an «idée fixe» (fixed and obsessive idea) that has lain deep in everyone’s psyche for centuries out of a pure instinct for survival. This being so, what interest would life have if there were no longer movement?

Without movement, life could not exist! It is strange that we have spent most of our time learning the correct movements with the aim of evolving and advancing, whether it be to obtain something concrete or abstract, from our earliest childhood and even before– strange that man has not transformed himself into consistent matter through long years of study which, depending on each person’s career, will provide social movements that are quite different depending on the chance or non-chance that the movement of the stars in the sky, of dates and places will have adopted for the accomplishment of every one of us. And the result has been to arrive at this present situation of rejection, of moving with a vehicle for the purpose of arriving safely, applying all possible techniques to put a maximum of chance on our side and by applying all the techniques that are contrary to mathematical and material logic of movement. I mean, in other words, wanting to move in a vehicle but without knowing exactly what one is doing and without any reflection, because the mentality associated with driving a car has never evolved since the time when the driving license was introduced.

Nothing has changed as regards the philosophy of the road; no serious education has been provided, apart from the Highway Code and its pretence of teaching how to drive a car, ever since the beginning of the history of the car in France. Some special driving schools adapted to one situation or another and accessible only to a handful of privileged people or those wanting to improve their driving skills exist in France. But attendance at these schools and acquisition of the knowledge gathered by the true road professionals has never been open to the public at large for reasons that I explained earlier. I remain convinced that a vast majority of all the drivers who use their cars merely as a means of locomotion, through to the other extremity of drivers whose only joy in life is living with their car and spending a large part of their earnings on it, would be happy to receive the stimulus and the implantation of a certain sensitivity.

Much in fact depends on sensitivity in the broad sense; especially to be able to drive a car in total safety, to access and possess this new road sensitivity which distances us from the animal world in the pejorative sense of the term.