In The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, Ellen Reiss, Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism wrote: 
"As car doors are opened and engines are turned on, millions of people, including well-behaved people, feel deeply, 'Now some power is in my hands.  This world that confuses me and seems so often to thwart and stop me, I can literally ride over now--I can step on this accelerator and feel I'm finally unobstructed, having my way.  As I go over this road fast, maybe cut in and out of traffic as I please, I feel finally I'm conquering the world, I've beaten it out....The victory of contempt people can go after when driving is completely different from another feeling they can have in a car, which is respect for the world..."
Animated Highway

 Aesthetic Realism & How Our Nation's Highways Can Be Safe at Last! 


by Eve Lustig

I worked for a highway engineering firm doing reconstruction on the Prospect Expressway in New York City, which includes a Traffic Command Center using ITS technology.  This included Variable Message Signs (VMS), a Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) station drivers can tune to, and a toll-free telephone system, all of which have a kind purpose: to have motorists be aware of changing road conditions and rerouting as the highway is being reconstructed.  Every day my respect grew for the knowledge and care of the persons involved in this complex project, wanting travelers (175,000 a day) to reach their destinations safely and with as much ease as possible. And there is kindness and efficiency as ambulances are dispatched and arrive within minutes to help people who have been hurt in a highway accident, along with dedicated tow trucks to assist their vehicles and keep traffic moving. 

Along with this crucial work, I am also very much affected by the fact that highway accidents and deaths are on the increase across America and in other countries. A recent report by the U.S. National Transportation and Safety Board stated that over 41,000 men, women and children died on our roads last year. I want persons, including everyone in the highway engineering field, to know what I learned from my study of Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by the great historian and critic, Eli Siegel, and taught in New York City: that along with mechanical failure and hazardous road conditions, there is a state of mind in people that is making for accidents and deaths on the highways of our land. 

Aesthetic Realism taught me that how a person sees the whole world affects every decision he or she makes, including behind the wheel of a car.  Every person, Aesthetic Realism shows, is in a fight between two opposing desires: our deepest desire, which is honestly to like the world, and the hope for contempt, the ďdisposition in every person to think he will be for himself by making less of the outside world.Ē Contempt can be as ordinary as not listening to a person when they are speaking; it is also the cause of racism, and taken far enough - of war.  Contempt can also be in the mind of a driver. 

In the international periodical, The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, Ellen Reiss, Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism explains: 
 

We need to know, when we get into the driverís seat, that we have already had a tendency to feel this world itself is something we should drive, and to be angry we havenít been able to run and manage it to suit us.  As car doors are opened and engines are turned on, millions of people, including well-behaved people, feel deeply, 'Now some power is in my hands.  This world that confuses me and seems so often to thwart and stop me, I can literally ride over now--I can step on this accelerator and feel I'm finally unobstructed, having my way.  As I go over this road fast, maybe cut in and out of traffic as I please, I feel finally I'm conquering the world, I've beaten it out.  I don't have to think about it--zoom, it just yields to me!  What's more I can make it yield to me: if I want to get into the next lane, even though that other guy seems heading to where I want to go, I can get there anyway--I can show him!' 

      Miss Reiss also describes why people love to drive and, I believe, the ultimate goal of highway engineering and reconstruction at its best: to have a person feel as they drive they are in a world they can like.  Miss Reiss writes: 
 
The victory of contempt people can go after when driving is completely different from another feeling they can have in a car, which is respect for the world: the feeling that there is a deep friendliness between themselves and the earth as they travel upon it; the feeling that a structure--an automobile--made by other people is assisting themselves, adding to themselves; that they are experiencing reality as rest and motion at the same time and this oneness of rest and motion seems beautiful; that they are expressed and at ease being affected by what is not themselves--a road, other drivers, pedestrians, traffic rules come to through the thought of people, a busy and composed world. 

      This is the feeling people across the country most hope for and through the study of Aesthetic Realism they will - and our highways will be safe at last!  The reason all the men, women and children who live and travel on our land have not yet met the knowledge they so need and deserve is that the press has boycotted Aesthetic Realism because they have been angry there is something new and large for them to learn about themselves and the subjects they write about, and they canít feel superior to it.  But I am very happy to say that this is changing as there have been almost 3,000 articles and letters printed in the last six years in newspapers and journals throughout the United States and around the world on Aesthetic Realism and how it sees the most important matters of our time. 


Eve Lustig has worked in the engineering field for over ten years and is studying to teach Aesthetic Realism in classes taught by the Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism, Ellen Reiss. 


To read more about the cause of highway accidents visit:
I learned from Aesthetic Realism that "When High Profits Drive Trucking Accidents Happen"-
-by Timothy Lynch, Head of  Teamsters Local 1205
 
And about the history of the New York subway
The New York Subway: A Century
--by John Stern, Aesthetic Realism Consultant

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