[Marxism] Who Killed the Electric Car?
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 7 11:01:58 MDT 2006
Although I dont recall hearing the word capitalism mentioned once in Who
Killed the Electric Car?, it is hard to imagine a recent documentary that
makes the case against this irrational system as well. Like the documentary
Mondovino that makes the case against monopoly capital by examining the
wine industrysomething not usually associated with multinational
depredationWho Killed the Electric Car? deals with a seemingly innocuous
case study. Why should anybody care that General Motors produced an
electric car in the early 90s and then decided to cease production? It is
to the credit of director Chris Paine to not only explain why we should
care, but to provide a concrete example of why the capitalist system is so
inimical to the long term interests of humanity.
Using the investigative journalist techniques of a television show like
PBSs Frontline (producer Jessie Deeter is a veteran of the show), as
well as its somewhat prosaic style, the film interviews a range of
transportation experts as well as people who owned the GM EV-1. Among the
first group is Ralph Nader, who is as eloquent as ever. The second group
includes director Chris Paine, who owned an EV-1 and has never gotten over
what amount to a GM seizure of his leased car.
From their testimony, one is left with the inescapable conclusion that the
automobile industry in the USA is subject to irreconcilable contradictions
between the industrys drive for profit and the ordinary citizens need to
enjoy clean air and to get from point a to point b efficiently.
Furthermore, although the film does not explicitly deal with the current
crisis of the automobile industry, it certainly suggests that it was
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