Issues & Insights

The Elites’ War On Cars

No human invention has expanded liberty like the automobile. That’s one of the reasons that the Western ruling class wants to end private ownership of cars. The other reason is just as insidious.

The main theater in the war on cars being waged by the elites is in California – of course. There, Gov. Gavin Newsom, with the support of the unelected state Air Resources Board, has outlawed the sale of new cars that run on fossil fuel. Beginning in 2035, all new automobile sales in the state will have to be powered by batteries.

This is unsustainable for a number of reasons, including the likelihood that there will not be enough energy for all the charging that will be needed, particularly as the state makes a foolish transition to an all-renewables electric grid. EVs are expensive, as well, out of the reach of many.

California has also put its drivers on a “road diet,” a shameleess and “aggressive push to herd as many Californians as possible into mass transit,” and continues to move forward with its “vanity high-speed rail project” that is hopelessly behind schedule, far over budget, and quickly becoming a monument to the state’s can’t-do-won’t-do backward-looking mindset. 

California policymakers have not been shy about trying to “make it easier and faster to build sustainable transportation projects that help get people out of their cars,” even though there has been no upswell of pleas from drivers asking for the government for any such help. Street parking is being reduced, lanes closed and entire streets have been shut down, and fuel tax revenues are routinely diverted to projects with no relation to car travel.

Outside of California, the World Economic Forum has suggested the world shift from “ownership to usership” of vehicles as a way to “to reduce demand for critical metals.” The WEF wants to impose on the world a “mindset” that is “needed to redesign cities to reduce private vehicles and other usages.” Media “fact-checkers” gaslight us with claims that the WEF is not “explicitly” advocating “for an end to car ownership,” with “explicitly” being used as a weasel word. The WEF’s objective is clear to any open-minded person.

Further evidence that the elites are at war with automobiles includes:

  • One British city’s effort to use traffic filters, in which “private cars will not be allowed through” unless the drivers have the proper permit, “to reduce unnecessary journeys by private vehicles and make walking, cycling, public and shared transport the natural first choice.”
  • A warning to drivers in Ireland that “they will be forced off the roads.”
  • Agitators in the UK who want to limit car ownership to one per family.
  • A Spanish town that “stopped cars crossing the city and got rid of street parking.”
  • And a screed in the New York Times, which is unfortunately still influential, written by a couple of professors who describe cars as “tightly sprung debt traps,” “turbo-boosted engines of inequality,” and “in general” vehicles for “accelerating the forces that drive apart haves and have-nots.”

While the elites aggressively guard their freedom to move about the world as they please, such as flying private jets to conferences where they grouse about the carbon footprints of those they believe to be beneath them, they want the rest of us to have more restrictions on our travel. There is a strong authoritarian strain among them that wants to control their “subjects” and there’s no better way to achieve that than to remove them from their cars.

The elites’ crusade against the automobile is also motivated by the same reason they’re waging a war on food. They are convinced Earth is running out of resources and they want to hoard as much as they are able for themselves. The most efficient method to guarantee that their bellies remain always full, and the tanks of their jets, yachts, limousines, and luxury cars are filled with fossil fuels, is to restrict consumption by those “common people” who make up the middle and lower classes.

It’s the story of status-seekers and effete rulesmakers vs. the deplorables. The former are akin to those who ordered the tanks into Tiananmen Square in 1989, the latter those whose lives are not considered important enough to care about.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Electric car batteries are about a thousand pounds of toxic materials mined from the earth, but rely on lithium for the energy transfer. My camera battery is also lithium, and it stops working in cold weather. I have heard that electric trucks run at greatly reduced speeds in cold weather, compared to conventional trucks. Expect a lot of collateral damage of all sorts from the California crazies and communists following the WEF’s agenda (whose roots are in pre-1945 National Socialist Germany).

  • It is time to find another word for the autocratic, ruling class. “Elite” has a positive connotation, as in ‘elite’ athlete. That is someone at the very highest physical skill level. Using that same term for those in the self-appointed, pro-censorship, rule promulgation and enforcement class is inappropriate. Please work on coming up with a more appropriate label for those folks. Perhaps a reader submitted re-naming contest? Anyway, “Elite” is much too kind a term.

  • Ending all use of Fossil Fuels over a totally fake Crisis those Nit-Wits from Just Stop Oil frankly they all should be made to live in Grass Huts and Walk to all their meetings and little events. Newsom is a Pinhead

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