Spontaneous Order In Action

This morning, my city suffered a rather large power outage.  Seeing as I couldn’t do anything at home (my kitchen and heat are electric), I decided to go out and do some errands.  But, wouldn’t ya know, the electric traffic lights were out, too.  Some of these lights were at fairly major intersections.  But here’s the interesting part: traffic was flowing pretty freely.  There were no accidents.  There were no issues.  And each intersection had its own rules, too.  Some intersections had a “first come, first served” style.  Others had a nice rotation where one car from each part of the intersection would go, and then it would move around the circle.  Everyone navigated this issue with no problems and went along their way.

This is an example of this “spontaneous order” I like to talk about.  Out of this chaotic mess of traffic, rules developed to govern the situation without any kind of forceful hand needed.  Each person’s desire to get through the intersection guided them to play by the rules no governing body set out, but rather arose naturally.

Ordo ab Chao!

3 thoughts on “Spontaneous Order In Action

  1. It’s as if drivers were guided by an invisible hand! 🙂

    I’ll bet traffic flowed at just about the same speed it would have with the lights working. I’m a big fan of roundabouts for smooth traffic flow.


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