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Headlights

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I was on the ol’Twitter the other night and this came up:

The brightness of modern headlights have bothered me for a long time. Of course, that’s mostly when I’m being blinded by some asshole behind me. But I think it’s much deeper than that. Headlights that blind other drives is a symptom of a sick society. My long held theory here is that the rise of these headlights is the sign of an individualist society where people just don’t care if others die so long as they feel good in their tank/SUV. It’s the idea that the only people who counts is me and my children. I can drive my gigantic tank and screw anyone who gets in the way. That includes pedestrians or bikers or small car owners run down by my tank. That includes anyone blinded by my headlights. Anyway who gets in the way of what I want to do deserves nothing but my indifference.

I find this excessive individualism everywhere in our society, very much including in our politics. We’ve turned “freedom” from something collective (see FDR’s Four Freedoms for example) to something exceedingly individualistic where I can reject any politics that are not specifically mine. We’ve turned solidarity from something about collective action for the working class to a word I use when I want you to do something for me, with nothing from me in return. We saw this over mask mandates in an especially toxic way. The headlights is just one of a million examples. I understand that the infrastructure bill will help with this, but these murderous headlights are going to be on the road for a long time.

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