Thursday, February 05, 2009

" Things that work satisfactorily come to be thought of as right"

"Things that work satisfactorily come to be thought of as right", this quote stated by Paul Starr in his introduction so appropriately addresses the thought process of our current society. As it is widely known our country is in a state of economic downfall, along with other problems within our government. While many people simply complain about such things as ever fluctuating gas prices, the results of global warming and the corruption and financial struggles, it seems as if a small amount of people are actually working to make change to these issues. As Starr states " Laws, methods, and systems that appear to be successful become the basis of standards, often gradually appearing to be natural and inevitable, as if there could be no other way" ( Starr, p, 5). These methods and systems often serve as a comfort zone for American citizens.
A great example to prove this quote true is in the issue of global warming. Since the early 1900's, with the first invention of the automobile, we have been using gasoline powered engines to run our vehicles. This system of having a car and using gasoline powered engines seems as second nature to us as Americans. In the past decade, with the issue of global warming on the rise, and the main link being the CO2 emissions and the burning of fossil fuels, automakers have turned to trying to produce more " fuel efficient" and " clean pass" or hybrid cars. These cars, which are technologically altered to either use up less fuel , or in some cases run on both hybrid electric power or gasoline, are being offered by more and more automobile industries. Some of the biggest auto manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota and Chevy have produced models such as these, and even though they have attracted many consumers, especially over the past few years with gas prices soaring to record highs, still not enough people are comfortable with the idea of switching over to an alternative system.
The only problem goes back to the statement made by Starr about change becoming almost inevitable. We as Americans have become so used to filling up our cars with gasoline, that we don't see a hybrid or even the electric or fuel cell vehicles as an option ( this is of course, forgetting about the high price tags automakers put on these vehicles). We have become so accustomed to the idea of pulling up to a gas station to the point where change is almost impossible, unless we were all literally given no other choice.
Unfortunately for our society this "fear" or "rejection" of change does not limit itself to only alternate gasoline options, but to other issues as well. Hopefully before it is too late, we will come to realize our own ignorance to change.


At 10:34 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post, even as it strays away from the mass media and into alternative energy.

Starr's hypothesis is that once a constitutive choice has been made, a path of development chosen and entrenched, then it can eventually be seen as 'natural' or even 'inevitable' rather than as a result of human decisions. He is not saying that change is inevitable, rather he believes that once entrenched in regulations, law, bureaucracy, the built environment, etc., then change becomes very difficult.


Post a Comment

<< Home