20 votes

A Brief Note From Argentina On Spontaneous Order

Good afternoon to all of our liberty loving readers across the land! As many of you may know, I spent the last several weeks traveling through Argentina and Uruguay. I make a concerted effort to travel outside of the country every year for several reasons, the biggest of which as a liberty activist is to just “get away from it all”. Leaving the country also helps to get some great perspective on how other societies function, and how their citizens view the world.

Many Argentinians, despite having a popularly elected, verifiably socialist President, have a generally skeptical view of government, largely stemming from the economic collapse of 2001. I will have a full report on the current goings-on with the Argentinian economy, and what we can learn from it, later this week. But first, a brief note from something I witnessed in the quiet town of Puerto Iguazu, which serves as the staging area for tourists looking to visit the spectacular Iguazu Falls.

While having dinner in the center of town, we noticed something strange about the 6-way intersection where all of the main roads leading into town came together: there were no traffic signals whatsoever. No lights. No stop signs. No “caution: crazy-ass six way intersection ahead” signs. Zero, zip, nada. By typical statist logic, the lack of a government intervention to create traffic lights and/or signs in this area would of course result in complete chaos. We should have seen cars ablaze and the mangled corpses of pedestrians everywhere!

But alas, there was no such chaos....

Instead, we saw an orderly procession of cars that, upon seeing an intersection coming up, would slowly approach while checking their surroundings for other vehicles or pedestrians, and cautiously proceed in their chosen direction. This is what F.A. Hayek referred to as “spontaneous order”. It is the idea that man, lacking a central governing body in any given area, will spontaneously create it’s own order out of self-interest. People generally do not desire to crash into other cars or run over pedestrians. Therefore, when approaching an intersection, it is perfectly natural for drivers to remain cautious and to orderly take turns passing through.

Continue Reading



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Food for thought

Thank you!

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Y..vn.

Y..vn.

your welcome

Glad I could provide a quick snack!

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Town in England turns off

Town in England turns off traffic signal with surprising results (maybe not so surprising to us)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwHfibl1AoI

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” -George Bernard Shaw

But, what about traffic laws

But, what about traffic laws and speed zones? Spontaneous order in 1906 San Fransisco:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHxuUNKWwmY&feature=player_em...

But

Who will build the roads?!?!

Or

Who will build the waterfalls???

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

And who will create the spontaneous combustion engine?

To drive this 6 spoke traffic thoroughfare?

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul