2 votes
Sep 11, 2016

Sometimes, a situation happens when traffic lights are out of order. What happens then, seems to be contrary to situations depicted in for example action movies, where a dependency on authority is exposed in the form of either panic or confusion with deadly outcomes. In reality, people tend to behave more cautiously; aware that this omission of a guiding authority in traffic means that to be safe, people partaking in traffic will have to act by their own judgment based on what their senses perceive (by increased vigilance).

To me, this is what anarchy can mean, when defining anarchy as an "absence of any form of political authority"[1]. Ideally, participants in traffic would conscientiously take eachother into account by either their own standards, or what they have been taught. Taking this thought experiment further, possible collisions would not be penalized by an overarching standard, rather it would be settled by the ones concerned. So instead of relying on authority, people will (have to) rely on honesty and goodwill on an individual level.

However, when defining anarchy as an "absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose", this would imply that in the metaphorical traffic situation, there would not even be a defined road or standardized traffic rules. There would be simply an area of soil, existing to underly whatever number of vehicles will take their owners to whatever destination (if any). By this definition, I don't think anarchy can work. In case of the former definition, I think it would depend on people's patience and (collective) memory.

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