Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Freedom works

I seem to recall having mentioned this before here, but maybe not. I definitely recollect having read about it elsewhere…but God knows given the way the Alzheimers seems to be progressing (a supposed-to-be-humorous excuse I get more and more mileage out of as the years wear on), I could be wrong about that too.

In this fascinating public experiment, a German town wanted to see what would happen to traffic flow if they got rid of street signs, lights and other restrictions.

Guess what happened next. Go on, guess. Hint: if you guessed chaos, carnage, violence, and death, you just might be a Progressivist. Eric adds:

I saw exactly the same thing in San Francisco immediately after the 1989 Earthquake. I was stuck there overnight because of the Bay Bridge collapse (I was on it at the time), and while I expected huge traffic hassles, once I managed to get off the broken bridge and back into San Francisco, I was very pleasantly surprised to see virtually all the drivers behaving in an efficient and polite manner, everyone taking turns. All lights were out, and no cops were anywhere, yet the traffic just flowed quite efficiently. Kind of renewed my faith in humanity.

What if people are better off not being unnecessarily herded? Why herd them? Simply to please the herding class?

Nah, that can’t be right. It wouldn’t make sense.

It never does. But that will never stop them from insisting on it anyway.

Update! Related? Oh, yes.

You’re talking about Congress! All it ever does is eat tax dollars and shit out red tape and misery. How you thought they could help is beyond me.

Well, in a left-handed defense of the authoritarian swine, they’re not really trying to help; they’re trying to herd. They use that feigned “concern” for cover, but for the overwhelming majority of them it doesn’t really have a lot to do with their true intentions at all.

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3 thoughts on “Freedom works

  1. Of course they are trying to herd. That’s what leaders do. They tell the followers what to do.

    Unfortunately (as I’ve mentioned over at CV a number of times), there are far too many who like being herded. And they keep voting in the shepherds. And getting fleeced.

    Back to the traffic lights, though, I’ll add my anecdote to Eric’s – after hurricane Charley smashed us back in 2004, we had NO traffic lights for miles around. The traffic actually flowed better than normal, until the city cops got out and started directing.

    PS – I don’t have to sign up with google or facebook or disqus or whomever to comment here? AND there’s a preview button! I may comment again. OTOH – there are all those odd ads on your sidebar. Hope they make you some cash.

  2. Hey, Kat, long time no hear from! You comment as and when you like; the privilege is mine, and I’m more than pleased to have ya. As for the ads, yeah, they make me a little, but not near enough. Which is a familiar enough story these days, I reckon.

  3. Indeed it is. Good luck with them.

    I did find this story interesting because I’ve found (not just Charley) that in anarchic situations, people don’t react badly – they work with each other. Once “authority” comes into the scene, that ends, as everyone reacts to the authority, rather than each other.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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