The Traffic Power Structure (Paperback)

The Traffic Power Structure By Cover Image

The Traffic Power Structure (Paperback)


The modern traffic system is ecologically unsustainable, emotionally stressful, and poses a physical threat to individuals and communities alike. Traffic is not only an ecological and social problem but also a political one. Modern traffic reproduces the rule of the state and capital and is closely linked to class society. It is a problem of power. At its core lies the notion of “automobility,” a contradictory ideal of free movement closely linked to a tight web of regulations and control mechanisms. This is the main thesis of the manifesto The Traffic Power Structure, penned by the Sweden-based activist network was founded in 2001 to fight for free public transport. Thanks to creative direct action, witty public interventions, and thought-provoking statements, the network has become a leading voice in Scandinavian debates on traffic. In its manifesto, presents a critique of the automobile society, analyzes the connections between traffic, the environment, and class, and outlines its political vision. The topics explored along the way include Bruce Springsteen, science fiction magazines, high-speed trains, nuclear power, the security-industrial complex, happiness research, and volcano eruptions. rejects demands to travel ever-longer distances in order to satisfy our most basic needs while we lose all sense for proximity and community. The Traffic Power Structure argues for a different kind of traffic in a different kind of world.

The book has received several awards in Sweden and has been hailed by Swedish media as a “manifesto of striking analytical depth, based on profound knowledge, and a will to agitation that demands our respect” (Ny Tid). is a network of local organizations fighting for free public transport. It was founded in 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden, by activists from Sweden's Syndicalist Youth Association. Apart from engaging in public debate, direct action, and guerrilla media, the network administers the “P-kassa,” a solidarity fund covering fines for people commonly known as fare-dodgers, although they are more aptly described as passengers in public transport engaged in an anti-fare strike.
Product Details ISBN: 9781629631530
ISBN-10: 1629631531
Publisher: PM Press
Publication Date: September 1st, 2016
Pages: 96
Language: English
"The group's efficiency in evasion has created an enviable business model." —Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times

"We could build a Berlin Wall around the metro stations, and they would still try to find ways to get around it.” —Jesper Pettersson, Spokesperson, Stockholm's Public Transport Services

"Not a sentence without a message, not a word in the wrong place.” —Lars Wilderäng, Cornucopia


"Well written, well informed, and well conceived.” —Swedish Arts Council

"The Traffic Power Structure gives us an analysis of why the car is always prioritised by governments in financial and spatial resources, while pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users languish at the bottom of the traffic hierarchy." —Andrea Needham, Peace News

"On a much smaller scale, a group in Sweden has been advocating for free transit across cities for almost two decades. Formed in 2001, Planka encourages people to dodge fares, helping members pay any penalty fees through a group fund. Private companies want to replace public transport. Should we let them? They share videos offering guidance to citizens in Stockholm and Gothenburg on how to jump barriers and keep watch for ticket inspectors. 'Mobility and class are tightly linked,' the group writes in its book The Traffic Power Structure. 'A society based on the current mobility paradigm... contributes directly to the increase of economic and social injustice.'” —The Guardian (UK)