Every day, as soon as the computer is switched on, it says, how it is, how hot it is going to be, the air quality, the feels like and so on. It probably doesn't mention what many would like to know the most: what is the state of the traffic jams, how heavy it's going to be and if its ever going to ease a bit and if so when. Or is it that no one wants to know anymore?

The problem is, traffic jams have lost their status as significant elements of our daily life. It has become normalized and we see it as its integral part. It's like a hijab. Once it was unusual and many would comment on seeing them. However, with time, with so many wearing it, it's normalized and as common as, say traffic jams. So no one comments, no one is surprised. As the old Beatles song would go: "Whisper words of wisdom, let it be."

That doesn't mean that the various elements of traffic jams including its philosophical angles should not be discussed. While one hears that its bad governance and so on are behind it, no one really takes it as a serious issue. This is sad. After all, with so much traffic jam on, one could have easily taken the topic global and made a name for oneself even while sitting in an unmoving traffic jam in Bangladesh.

Foucault on traffic jams

This eminent French philosopher who was a paedophile rejects the position that it's only the rich with large cars who cause traffic jams. "Instead he suggests that in the modern world, it is spread throughout society. You and I are just as many causes of traffic jams. We should end up policing ourselves and other people, whether we realize it or not. We all act as unwitting enforcers of the power structure."

This is very truly important. It means the big cars and trucks are not only responsible for traffic jams but so are the pedestrians. As Foucault's states, same-sex desire has always existed, but the establishment of the category "gay" made a big difference to the way in which vast numbers of people understood their lives. That means, traffic jams have always existed but it was only after we mentioned it as a cause of urban management that it came to exist as a reality in our life.

It has made my life eminently simple as I realize that traffic jams are of various kinds and can be related to sexuality. So next time if we come across jams, we can always feel that we are in a slow motion activity of that kind.

Derrida on the same topic

Jacques Derrida critiqued traffic jam and reliance on centers and binary oppositions. He also questioned ontology and demonstrated the emergence of Truth regimes and developed new ways of thinking about traffic jams.

In 2002, when the philosopher was asked what he wanted to know most about Kant, Hegel or Heidegger, he responded, "their sex lives". What the philosopher was trying to say is that traffic jammers forget that they are very interesting as far as both sexuality and link with philosophy is concerned.

Are traffic jams feminist or patriarchal?

This debate has recently emerged with the rise of feminism as a global applied and philosophical force. It is also being supported by the UN who has sent experts to assess the gender aspects of traffic jams and what can be done without it.

Prof. WTF James who is leading the study and teaches philosophy at Harvard University says, "We clearly see a difference between male and female gender based jams. Firstly, the vehicles need to have gender identities and we need to identify male and female vehicles. Once that is done, we can then look at the preponderance of male and female vehicles which can allow us to define the nature of inputs. To gain gender balance, we may have to ensure that some sort of equity is critical and equality should be preferred."

Prof James however has also mentioned that one way to ensure gender balance is to organize "trans-gender vehicles' to enhance the balance. "Trucks and large vehicles (male) can be stripped down and turned into limos which are female. It's a very practical way to resolve the problem and end patriarchy in traffic jams."

Clearly, the potential to analyze and prescribe jams have opened up many possibilities. When asked, an expert who once worked with the IMF said, "It's something we should not ignore. We are accepting jams as normal and this will cause a major disaster leading to collapse of the economy, many laundering, energy shortage, democracy, good governance, balance of payment, patriarchy, migration and the playing form of the Women cricket team. This should not be allowed and we ask that the Government intervene immediately with the help of civil society actors."

Viva traffic jams.

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