The Freedom To Text by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 04-11-2009

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Here’s is a great post about the moronic regulations that move through government, and how they user our lack of trust in others to take away freedoms.

We all want freedom for ourselves, but many people have doubts about the way others might use their own freedom. Under these conditions, the state is there to help. Get enough people to favor enough restriction, and the state is good to go, administering every aspect of life.

Every day presents more cases, but the most recent case is stunning. It turns out that 97% of people polled support a universal ban on texting while driving. Half of those surveyed say that the penalty should be as severe as that for drunk driving. Among these, how many do you suppose do text and drive but don’t want to admit it to a pollster? Probably plenty. And yet I couldn’t find a single online defense of the practice anywhere on the web.

The truth is that it is not necessarily unsafe to text behind the wheel. It all depends on the situation. If you are in a traffic jam, and are late to an appointment, the ability to text can be a lifesaver. Or if there are no cars around, you can do it. On the other hand, it would probably be a mistake to attempt it while doing 80mph around slower traffic.

How can we know the difference between when it is safe and when it is not? The principle applied on American roads is that the driver himself makes that decision. If this principle didn’t make sense, there would be no way that the roads themselves could work.

Think of this the next time you are in a big city, zooming around curves and between lanes along with thousands of others, doing top speeds. Here we have 4000-pound hunks of steel barreling down the road without aids other than a dotted yellow line. These are real-life death machines in which one wrong move could cause a 100-car pileup and mass carnage. We do it anyway.

What’s remarkable is not that there are so many wrecks. The miracle is that it works at all and that, for the most part, people can get to where they want to go. And consider too the demographic behind the car: old, young, abled, disabled, experienced, inexperienced. Some people have a facility for driving and others do not. Some people have spatial agility and others do not.

How does it all work? Don’t tell me that it is due to central planning and the police. The police aren’t driving every car and controlling every wheel (much as they might like to). Our human volition on the road, and the decisions we make that affect other drivers, are nearly 100% our own.

And yet it works, and why? The reason is that it is not in anyone’s interest to get in a crash. It is in everyone’s interest to get to where you are going in one piece, and to do it efficiently. Roll together tens of thousands of people with the same broad goal, and you get spontaneous cooperation. Something that people normally think could not work does in fact work. Looked at from that angle, the orderliness we see on the roads is a general expression of the capacity for human society to work in the context of self-interested individualism.

via The Freedom To Text by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr..

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