"With all their speed forward [automobiles] may be a step backward in civilization--that is, in spiritual civilization.
It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men's souls. I am not sure. But automobiles have come, and they bring a greater change in our life than most of us suspect. They are here, and almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They are going to alter war, and they are going to alter peace.
I think men's minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles; just how, though, I could hardly guess. But you can't have the immense outward changes that they will cause without some inward ones, and it may be that . . . the spiritual alteration will be bad for us.
Perhaps, ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in men by that time, I shouldn't be able to defend the gasoline engine, but would have to agree . . . that automobiles 'had no business to be invented.'"
The Magnificent Ambersons (1918)