Requiem of Detroit, Part 4 ~ the Jewel of the Midwest

Continuing our series in the BBC’s Requiem of Detroit we learn about the post war growth of the auto industry.  During this era Detroit was known as the Jewel of the Midwest.

The materialism prevalent in our society to this day was greatly influenced by the marketing approaches of automakers – motivate people to constantly want the latest & the greatest.

The car was now seen not so much as a practical form of transportation for getting people to one place to another but as dream machine to give substitute satisfactions to people who couldn’t find it in other places in their lives….What’s good for GM became good for America. Increasingly the rhythm of American life became set by the obsolescence engineered in Detroit which would transform America to a new consumer utopia where a buyer’s dream could be turned to cash.

In this clip you will take a haunting walk through the massive & dilapidated Fisher Body Plant. The segment also traces the birth & growth of suburbia.

The post war period saw Detroit pioneer the great American escape from the cities to utopia but to get there Detroiters needed cars & freeways to drive there. The creation of the freeway system into the heart of the city literally ripped apart neighborhoods.

Whether you agree or not with the conclusions of these videos the information provided is informative.

And remember, what began in a garden is going to end in the ultimate city, the New Jerusalem!

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