…Roads?…What ABOUT the Roads?

Don't worry, people: it gets better.

Don’t worry, people: it gets better.

An interesting story has recently come to my attention from our friends in Germany. I know we in the “liberty movement” always think of Europe as the Enemy, a teeming hive of nanny-staters–and for a lot of things that may be true–but we musn’t forget that there are also some interesting experiments in spontaneous order going on in ol’ Deutschland these days. Take this small town of Bohmte, in Lower Saxony. They decided to remove all traffic signs and revoke all traffic laws, merely advising drivers to give way on the left. Surely the streets devolved into utter chaos, right? There must have been dozen-car pileups at every intersection, what with no street lights, signs, or traffic cops to order motorists around, right? At the very least, pedestrian casualties must have doubled or tripled, right?

Well, Voluntarydactyl is here to answer your burning questions, my statist friends. It just so happens that we have video. Are you prepared for this, Internet? Are you prepared for this horrific spectacle of human suffering?

BEHOLD!

…um…

…that seems…pretty normal and peaceful, actually.

Well, never fear, because I have another one for you, which I’m sure will terrify you all with its terrible carnage!

…erm, well, y’see…

…y’know what? Nevermind…

This to me just proves the primary point of the libertarian: order doesn’t have to be imposed by force. Most people, when left to their own devices, are perfectly capable of running their lives and peacefully coexisting, even in a situation as stressful as driving.*

Another thing this does is that it helps poke more holes in the tired old statist cliche: “but how will we build the roads without the government?”

After all, if we can handle modern traffic intersections without laws to tell us what to do, I’m pretty sure we can figure out how to build a flat place for cars to drive across.

*Oh, don’t laugh. I find driving incredibly stressful. Just the thought of controlling a roaring chunk of steel powered by liquid fire moving at sixty miles an hour freaks me out a little. If you’re smart, you should be freaked out as well.

UPDATE: Apparently, Bohmte got the idea from the urban planner Hans Monderman, who is Dutch. Something about that doesn’t surprise me at all. The Dutch do love themselves some freedoms.

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