The average car resembles in its relation to human beings some of the worst qualities of the average human being. Namely that it causes humans to be sedentary throughout their lives, and yet always in a hurry. This joined with religion and systems of management based on force and profit are the height of stupidity in human civilization. To always be in a hurry, always hustling and scurrying towards nothing, and doing nothing of any real consequence to the world or to one’s self while trying to attain this deeply sought after nothing. More products in the stores, a new customer on the pay roll and human civilization is both none-the-wiser and, well, not any wiser or better off in any meaningful or substantive way. The contemporary Man is like a slug, who is constantly moving with all his strength, though he moves or achieves very-little, to produce the salt of his own material and existential (and psychological if you like) destruction.
This is the embodiment of what it means to be a slave. To be enslaved not only physically but mentally. For slavery cannot exist, even in its more contemporary Liberal forms under Capitalism and a supposedly more tolerant Government without the death of the mind. To the extent that the mind exists, human freedom exists – this, and not material conditions, is the barometer for our lot in life. For something that Marxists may forget is how many rich men in their own way are slaves. And their slavery of the mind propagates various forms of slavery just as much as the slavery of the peasantry. For an enlightened soul commits no evil and instead is far-more likely to seek out isolation and seclusion; if the ruling class was enlightened they would collapse upon itself and cease to exist, so they too must be fundamentally ignorant. This was made quite clear in 1984, where the Inner-Party, the ruling group, was the most zealous and insane in their dedication to Ing Soc.
The automobile is the very essence of the evils of Capitalism. Destroying human life not only in its individual form of potential, but the very possibility of human life existing in the future. For not only is there the health and spirit synthesis of being sedentary yet always in a hurry, there is the consumption of resources and pollution of Earth’s environments and of the atmosphere that all environments (even I would assume the lakes and oceans to a lesser degree) share. If we are speaking specifically of environmental ethics, which has a surprising correlation to immoral deeds in relation to fellow human beings or the self (e.g. Capitalists striving for profits pollute the world and produce inequity and injustice; being slothful and taking the easy route not only damns one’s self in potential being and creativity but the world in waste of resources), then it is indeed the greatest sin the average individual can make (rather than supporting Capitalism, State or religion which allow these great catastrophes of the everyday to take place, either directly or through the propagation of ignorance and Groupthink) and should be looked upon with the same disgust as the smoker. For they both possess in themselves a certain kind of psychological Nihilism, not striving towards the good but striving towards the path of least resistance (different than Hedonism being the most pleasurable route) and towards assured self-destruction though it is not self-evident to the driver the same way that it is for the smoker, nor does It affect his health as directly or fundamentally.
So perhaps while the psyche of smoker should be equated to Nihilism totally, the driver’s state-of-mind is only Nihilistic when it comes to the conclusion that in the near-future many will suffer (either through great pain or loss of the life that would otherwise be) and many do suffer today due-to the actions one takes. And yet he astonishingly with ease commits the greatest sin on Earth save from force or consciously deluding the minds of the susceptible; namely to ignore cause-and-effect and be totally apathetic of the consequences his everyday actions will take. It is belief in the goodness of humanity and one’s pursuits today, yet surrendering the world to the evils one’s knows and acknowledges is wrong tomorrow. It is dooming the Earth to intellectual and material poverty through the pursuit of leisure and surrender to the ideals and norms of contemporary society – which the wisdom of the Cynics acknowledges is almost always wrong based on the nature of the Herd Mentality and the systems in place that both indoctrinated them and conformed to their innate modes of Groupthink. Contained in the everyday, thoughtless and seemingly irrelevant (but relevant to many and relevant towards moving to a irrelevant existence cosmologically – if no other sentient life exists) actions of the average man and woman contains the future both in spirit and in material of our reality – it is one not of hope but of acceptance; not of prosperity but of drudgery; and not of autonomy and sustainability but of slavery and inevitable collective death.