Intersections and Government

Intersections and Forms of Government

4 way stop: Democratic/Capitalistic
There’s a general structure of underlying rules and people are, more or less, fair to each other. The first person to show up goes first, and drivers tend to pass the right of way back and forth regardless of the driver or type of car. If anyone blatantly disobeys the public’s expectations, they are honked at and shouted at by the public or sued in court.

Two road intersection w/ yellow and red blinking light: Plutocracy

A rule by the wealthy where the wealthy refers to the fast. If you’re stuck at the red blinking light you might never get out, because the yellow light folks have a distinctive right of way advantage.

Intersection with traffic cop: Totalitarian
State regulation of all aspects of traffic behavior.

Intersection with Traffic Lights: Authoritarian
Government without the consent of those being governed. You show up at the light and do what you’re told, regardless of how many cars are lined up one on street vs. the other.
This does not apply for Traffic Lights with magnetic car sensors.

Rotary: Anarchism
Lack of order. Complete confusion.

Help me finish my list! I’m trying to think of good intersection examples of:

Aristocracy – government by a ‘superior’ group
Dictatorship/Monarchy – government with a head of state
Tyranny – harsh rule over the people

9 thoughts on “Intersections and Government

  • 6/6/2007 at 8:41 am

    I would contest that a Rotary would be the proper example of Anarchy.

  • 6/6/2007 at 8:44 am

    That was meant more as a joke. I think a real example might be Kelly’s Corner in Worcester. Does anyone have any idea what’s suppose to happen there?

    Usually I just close my eyes and hit the accelerator.

  • 6/6/2007 at 9:11 am

    Funny that’s what I do in rotaries.

    Actually you make a great point about intersections that just lack lights and signage.

    There is one near work that comes to mind if anyone has been to Bellmont Center, it’s a wonderfully odd intersection that you feel like you’ve just cheated death whenever you have to navigate it.

  • 6/6/2007 at 10:00 am

    Have you ever ridden a bike through Kelly Sq. at rush hour? I assure you, it is more thrilling than a roller coaster.

  • 6/6/2007 at 12:23 pm

    Aristocracy: You are riding a bike.

    Dictatorship: Crossing guard.

    Tyranny: The “one car per green” at the entrance to freeways.

  • 6/6/2007 at 12:40 pm

    Aristocracy: Something with a yield sign, where you do not have the right of way, like a highway on ramp.
    Dictatorship: Busy intersections in big cities during rush hours often have a traffic cop with a whistle that overrules the traffic lights
    Tyranny: Construction zones! It’s like they can make you merge to one lane at will just by using orange cones (pieces of flare)

  • 6/6/2007 at 2:51 pm

    In Seattle, we definitely have an aristocracy when it comes to freeway driving in rush hour.

    On the onramps during rush hour, the “one car per green” rule is in effect for one lane, while the other lane is wide open, reserved only for city buses and high-occupancy vehicles (HOV). Everyone else has to wait and wait, but those carpoolers get right on!

    Therefore, for evening social activities, I find myself carpooling all the time!

  • 6/6/2007 at 2:59 pm

    Also, on a similar note, here’s something I’ve always thought of here in Seattle…

    The homeless people here like to hang out with their cardboard signs at highway offramps. It’s a pretty regular thing. I wonder how lucrative their begging business is?

    Anyway, if I were homeless, what I would do, is I would hit up the highway ONramps instead. My sign wouldn’t say “please help”, it would say “I”ll be your carpool buddy for $5″.

    Traffic is so bad in Seattle, that the carpool lanes save a bunch of time, easily $5 worth. I’d live under a bush on the fringes of the city, stake out a prime onramp location, get paid $5 for a ride downtown, and do the same thing in the afternoon. That’s an easy $10.

  • 6/7/2007 at 10:33 am

    you know…
    i heard about a guy doing this recently…

    i don’t remember where it was though…


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