The libertarianism of cycling

From one of our regulars here an attempt to show that cycling really is very libertarian.

I wouldn\’t say that I\’m entirely convinced of that argument as we\’re into in the streets and frightening the horses territory there.

As is of course this but then with this I entirely approve.

7 comments on “The libertarianism of cycling

  1. As I said in the comments, “many cycling advocates campaign for more stringent legislation and enforcement for motorists, which isn’t exactly very libertarian, is it?”

    Surely no activity is per se libertarian – it’s your attitude towards those activities you don’t do personally that defines how libertarian you are.

  2. As a fair-weather cycle commuter along country lanes, I find nothing worse on the road than the packs of lycra louts who tear along the road on a summer’s evening, being less considerate of other traffic than all the buses and combines.

    Then there’s this other dilemma — you’re pedalling along and encounter this girl in lycra going just that bit slower than you are : do you overtake, or do you ease back and enjoy the scenery?

  3. Some of his arguments, such as the lack of registration and insurance, and the consequent relative immunity to the risk of being held liable for damage and injury, don’t seem very libertarian to me. Getting away with taking liberties, isn’t libertarianism is it?

    On several occasions I have witnessed the aftermath of accidents caused by cyclists, who were never brought to account for their carelessness. In one case, a victim (elderly pedestrian) died in hospital the following day.

  4. Hi chaps, thanks for the comments and thank you very much to Timmy for giving my little blog a mention.

    Curmudgeon – is this not where we look for the border between libertarian and anarchy? An anarchist might say any traffic laws are bad, a libertarian might appeal for laws that balance freedoms and protect equally.

    Monty – I admit part of my argument was poorly made, forgive me, it’s been best part of 15 years since I really wrote any prose. Anyone who causes harm should be able to be held liable. The chances of causing significant harm on a bicycle are much lower than in a car therefore you are less likely to ever find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

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