Thursday, November 4, 2010

48. No such thing as a free ride

Memories of hitchhiking date back to the early 90’s, when making friends with strangers was an act of amusing experience. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath opens with a hitched ride and Aamir Khan gets thumbs down for attempting a hitch in Mahesh Bhatt’s Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin: both reminders of a historical common practice worldwide.

Thumbing as a means of hitching a ride has been on the decline ever since, Automobile growth, economic upswing and safety concerns may have contributed to this decline. Who would risk hitching a free ride when mutual trust is such a scarce commodity?

Mutual trust is scarce because shared values are missing; shared values are missing because mutuality has disappeared; mutuality has disappeared because economic inequality has been enforced; and income inequality has been enforced because capitalist model of economic growth has been embraced.

When income differences are bigger, social distances are bigger. When social distances are bigger, exalted egos are bigger. As the notion of `no such thing as a free ride’ gains widespread credence, gestures like hitchhiking become `smaller' and begin to disappear unnoticed.

1 comment:

max martin said...


Interesting idea, though I disagree with your rather broad sweep of logical progression of capitalism.