Obfuscation Through Clarity

another Step right up, suckers, er, “consumers”! The overclass continues to lavish more of its booty on material and symbolic propaganda to disguise from the public the extreme dangers of the impending near-term death of its core product, the personal automobile.

The latest advance in this expanding shell game is yet another instance of that latest and greatest of unrecognized oxymorons, a “green car” — the Honda Clarity.

Orwell’s Big Brother would have creamed his Levis over this “Clarity” name, as the entire reason the “new” vehicle exists is to further trick you into hoping against hope that science will soon find a way to suspend the laws of thermodynamics that confine Earthlings to living with finite supplies of usable energy, thus magically/entrepreneurially rendering our autos-über-alles transportation order sustainable.

The Clarity, you see, is (breathe a baited breath!) an actual hydrogen-fuel-cell car! Oh, the rapture!

If you bother to investigate this phony breakthrough, however, you will see reality: Clarity and its “green car” cousins exist not to provide any viable answers to our energy-supply gathering troubles and the capitalist technological dictatorship that insist on ignoring them, but rather to convincing you (and perhaps also the more gullible among Honda’s investors) that hydrogen is somehow a new “alternative” source of energy. Of course, it is not, as admitted by none other than Jerry Hinkle, the president of the National Hydrogen Association:

“Hydrogen can be produced from a wide range of sources including natural gas, coal, water, wind, nuclear power and biological methods,” Hinkle says.

There’s exactly where the body is buried: Hydrogen, you see, is not lying around, ready to burn, in the ground or sky or anywhere else. On the contrary. For reasons of elementary chemistry and physics, hydrogen must always be stripped away from the other elements to which it inherently binds, at very high energy cost. To “liberate” hydrogen for burning in cars, it takes the same old quantities of the same old stuff — “natural gas, coal, water, wind, nuclear power and biological methods.” Those old energy sources, of course, are now both peaking and being very rapidly squandered. Hence, hydrogen cars are dead letters.

Nevertheless, if you’d like to ignore this simple inconvenient truth and help Honda and other corporate capitalists parade their murderous “green car” distractions, you can apply to be one of the lucky few to obtain a heavily subsidized lease for a Clarity. All it will cost you, after the subsidy, is — $600 a month, or a mere ten times the wage of a corporate factory worker in Nicaragua!

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Ingyu Oh
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Ingyu Oh

Honda, in fact, is losing the war among car companies in the green car industry, a seemingly slow move by car manufacturers that championed product diversification (a strategy GM introduced and Toyota perfected). It is Toyota that is leading the new war against all concerned environmentalists and anti-car movement groups. GM, Ford, Nissan (Renault), and other European car manufacturers are also investing heavily in hybrid engine R&D. Consumers can be educated not to purchase a hybrid as an alternative to gasoline consuming cars, but can we think of any other systematic programs of fighting and stopping car and oil companies… Read more »

Ingyu Oh
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Ingyu Oh

Toyota Corolla is the best selling car in Japan. I guess Japanese, indeed, know the truth of it all, when it comes to automobiles. But in the old days, I mean old days, C Wright Mills used drive his own motor bike. As we speak of it, more and more Japanese, like their counterparts in the West, are buying Toyota hybrids. In the end, Toyota Corolla will be another hybrid model.

Princess de Leon
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Princess de Leon

Nice article about hydrogen powered cars. It reminds me of the film, “Who killed the electric cars?” Did you discuss this car issue in your book?

Michael Dawson
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I’m actually still finishing my book, Princess. But, yes, I will be mentioning electric cars. They are a decent alternative for the richer European and Asain countries where autos are dominant but not mandatory. In the USA, they will never work, because the roads are all built for huge-sized cars, so riding in a kei-car is suicidal. And they are also doomed anyway, because it would take a huge new source of energy to make all the electricity it would require to convert the world to electric cars. Alas, geology dictates that there is no such source available. The people… Read more »

Princess de Leon
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Princess de Leon

Thank you for clarifying your position on this issue. That is a good vision. From what I read, I thought you did not include any vision for the future in your book. So is “the consumer trap” not out yet? My friends love that “Electric Car” movie, and they are eager to show that film to the whole world. If not for its discussion on the evils of capitalism, I wouldn’t like that movie. I am glad that I am not alone. Yes, I believe in the reconstruction of cities around walking and biking. Cities built without the antagonistic relations… Read more »