Stop the Stop Sign: Traffic Enforcement and Imperial Conditioning by Bill Buppert


I hate and despise stop signs in America and the indiscriminate and totally ineffective placement thereof throughout the US arterial systems for vehicles. I am a big fan of yield signs and roundabouts and fascinated by some of the Netherlands experiments in removing all road signage completely. That just so happens to be the norm in countries around the world. The veritable abundance of signage and direction is almost exclusively a First World disorder that is led by the US and the UK.

Aside from the impossibility of ever seeing a police car come to a full stop at a stop sign, the veritable abundance of these control signals not only serves a vital revenue function for the police state but it informs and reinforces an almost Pavlovian response to traffic signals universally and reinforces the obedience to remote authority. One can go on very few rural thoroughfares and far fewer urban arterials without receiving a bombardment of detailed road instructions on just how fast you can go and just how much you must stop. One can only speculate on the untold waste of fuel and time over decades that has been exacted on human productivity by yet another vestige of central planning and control by the corrupt rulers in the central government and their puppet regimes in the states.

It has also provided a vital service to fat cops everywhere by provisioning a risk-free business opportunity to exploit the scofflaw who dares to refuse a full stop at two in the morning on a deserted rural four way stop. Much like drunk driving, a non-crime the state can exploit to fill its coffers and increase the insurance premiums of its victims with the maximum physical exertion on the part of the cops to be a short stroll from their vehicles to the latest extortion victim of bad laws.

A slight detour: Rant on. If fat cops are not an epidemic, why would it be profitable for LA Police Gear, one of the many purveyors of tactical chic for the thin (in name only) black and blue line, to sell pants with a 60 inch waistline? 60 inches! There is a reason so many were clinging desperately to the outside of the armored vehicles for the shameful display of police arrogance in the wake of the Boston bombings, they could not possibly fit inside the confined spaces of most military vehicles unless crane-lifted into the back of a five ton cargo truck. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a five-foot circumference around the middle much like the overweight statist employees in the government teachers unions when they go on strike and gather in pods around political edifices desperately waving signs bearing the message that all of us need to pay even more for the sludge they fill children’s heads with across the fetid plain. Surely there are genetic markers for obesity but the lion’s share of the cause is a lack of discipline and the inability to control food intake. Rant off.

There is a more sinister element to all of this nonsense in the land of the free and that is the government conditioning of its subjects that permeates everything the state touches and the traffic regulations are an artifact of the burgeoning Soviet/Stasi state in the US. One would be hard-pressed to find any human transaction in the land of Old Glory that is not regulated if not taxed. From the automaton response to bell ringing in the state indoctrination camps to the absurd travel impositions by Thugs Standing Around at transport nodes to the square miles of metal signage adorning the nation’s thoroughfares, the whole lot of it stinks of imperial conditioning.

How many times have you been in conversations with a colleague where they lower their voices to say something politically incorrect? How many times have you been on an American-flagged airline and you feel more like an inmate than a customer with sour-faced airline employees and discovering your luggage rifled and theived on arrival at your destination? How often have you been in a DMV or other forced licensing or tax apparatus where the collection agents are rather imposed upon by having to actually do their pathetic and un-American jobs?

Stop signs are old school industrial-age thinking, they are a solution that has seen its time. In fuzzy logic or gray area thinking, roundabouts and yield signs would leverage contextual thinking instead of the Sovietized thinking that has you waiting a four-way traffic light for green when there are no other cars in sight. Of course, one reason for this is the government monopoly on provisioning roads which naturally is big on socialized and collectivized constructs that punish everyone with a system saddled with inefficiency and poor outcomes. That system rewards political outcomes that distributes resources via a spoils system instead of market effectiveness and responsiveness. As a matter of fact, that is government in action. Period. It provisions the framework of society at the point of a gun.

Having spent considerable time in both Afghanistan and the Philippines in the past year, I can attest to the brilliant spontaneous order and self-interest that informs driving in Third World countries. Even Indonesia closely matches the apparent chaos but keen fluidity and carefully choreographed traffic behavior in traffic-signal sparse countries. Much like the idiotic notion that the FAA is the only barrier between airline safety and the sky showering airline parts and pieces, the government continues the mythos that humans are self-destructive in their self-interest and absent a traffic signal or signage every few feet, the roads would be cluttered with wrecked vehicles and maimed and killed humans scattered about the countryside. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The roads in poorer countries will be packed with cars as much as ten abreast along with the swarms of two wheeled conveyances that swim in and out of the multi-axle traffic. Do accidents occur? Of course they do but at rates perfectly tolerable for human societies that wish to form around cooperation and non-violence instead of the stick method of hyper-policing so popular in First World countries. Freedom comes with risks and I would not suggest that these Third World driving habits lead to better safety or less fatalities. In the US, one could reduce the national speed limit to five MPH and make all drivers and passengers wear helmets but that would be absurd. The cost benefit analysis for traffic safety in America must take into account the more philosophical damage the incessant signage and regulation is doing to freedom and liberty at the individual level.

Stop signs and Sovietized traffic control regimes are simply a symptom of the deeper and more important problem: the notion that a central planner can envision all the best outcomes and enforce them through the threat or use of actual violence to make everyone safer. The same perverse notion that informs officer safety with cops where all of a sudden the lives of the protector are far more important than the potential victims of the thousands of unjustified lethal encounters and police vehicle induced maiming and manslaughter that is so prevalent in the news.

Stop signs are not about safety much like speeding laws are not about the prevention of accidents. They are revenue devices and conditioning regimes to take the Milgram Experiment known as the Federal government and make it a more effective control mechanism for the population that labors under it.

Gary Johnson claims that the man who runs the stop sign at a four-way stop at two AM in the morning on the desolate rural intersection has crossed the libertarian Rubicon because they come to realize that safety is the lie and control is the truth.

Use the stop sign as a veritable liberty divining rod to get at the truth of everything you take for granted or have been spoon-fed by the statist education-media complex. From the history you have been taught to the endless sophomoric and moronic bleating from the mainstream media, government is never about your well-being, it is simply a plantation owner hiding behind the curtain in the Federal Oz.

Imperial conditioning is simply a clever control mechanism to make you act before you think and stop you when you aim to misbehave. Yet another means to make you yield to a master you do not consent to.

Resist, your self-ownership depends on it.

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