Yves Engler, co-author of Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay spoke at Laughing Horse Books on June 21st. He and his co-author Bianca Mugyenyi documented an anthropolicical tour of the land of Homo Automomotivis and argue for moving beyond the private automobile. Stephanie Potter attended the talk, which was given in a parking lot around the corner from Laughing Horse. She recorded and produced this program. (Music by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com)
In North America, human beings have become enthralled by the automobile: A quarter of our working lives are spent paying for them; communities fight each other for the right to build more of them; our cities have been torn down, remade and planned with their needs as the overriding concern; wars are fought to keep their fuel tanks filled; songs are written to praise them; cathedrals are built to worship them. In Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay, authors Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi argue that the automobile’s ascendance is inextricably linked to capitalism and involved corporate malfeasance, political intrigue, backroom payoffs, media manipulation, racism, academic corruption, third world coups, secret armies, environmental destruction and war. When we challenge the domination of cars, we also challenge capitalism. An anti-car, road-trip story, Stop Signs is a unique must-read for all those who wish to escape the clutches of auto insanity.
Former Vice President of the Concordia Student Union, Yves Engler is a Montréal activist and author. He has five published books: Stop Signs — Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay (with Bianca Mugyenyi), The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (Shortlisted for the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non Fiction in the Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards), Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical and (with Anthony Fenton) Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority and the just released Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.