THE RADICAL POSITION
The dominant ideology is so strong that it is not recognised, even by the establishment. People will behave and think along lines laid down by the governing classes, even when they are against their own real interests. You have what amounts to a system of thought control set up by the education system and fed by the mass media.
It is hardly surprising that the establishment, who already have most things biased in their favour, are reluctant to see any analysis of this kind that shows how the system works. So they are generally anti-intellectual and particularly hostile towards the social sciences.
It is clear that the establishment does not even need to win in conflict with other groups. There are, unfortunately, whole sections of the population who will accept what they are told in deference to their ‘superiors’ — sometimes because they believe the others know better, other times because they rally to patriotic appeals which line them up behind the governing interests. And simultaneously there are huge areas of political debate — like a fairer distribution of national wealth — which are set aside and never seem to appear on the agenda for discussion.
The Radical motorway
Society seems prepared to meet any demand of the private car. There are even government subsidies for city highway construction which indirectly act as subsidies to the private car manufacturer. Yet less than half the adult populations even in Western countries are car owners — why should they be so favoured? The fact that inner-city residents lack political skills is the result of generations of apathy, resignation and deference. They are used to being pushed around.
There are a whole string of important questions, central to this issue, which are not even on the agenda for discussion:
I. Why is private transport being promoted instead of cleaner and more economic public alternatives?
2. What right does any group here — even when they are in the majority — to pollute the environment where others live?
3. Why are there no really serious efforts being made to find out what the local people want?