Poll About Bigots Who Own Roads

For purposes of this poll, please assume that there are no publicly owned roads:

Question 1: Would you drive on a road that was privately owned by someone who posted Absolutely No Blacks Allowed signs at his entrance ramps?

Question 2: If you answered “no” to Question 1, would you be willing to pool resources with others to build a road to compete with the bigot’s road? (Note: as an investor, you would share tax-free profits from the road’s income.)

Thank you.

I’ll get things started…

  1. No

  2. Yes

Just so you know, Lib, the situation in Question 1 would clearly violate the federal Civil Rights Act.

Carry on.

Minty Green. For purposes of this poll, assume there is no Civil Rights Act.

Just wanted to clarify that your question hypothetical is implausible in more than one way.

  1. No

  2. Sure, as long as I’m not just pissing away my life’s savings for the sake of making a point.

  3. Now I remember why I’m not a Libertarian party member–you guys are nuts! :slight_smile:

Actually, the hypothetical was posed to me by an antilibertarian. Thanks for your participation. If you decide to do a poll on something or other, I will participate in kind.

[list=1][]Depends. Am I fleeing a natural disaster with all of my family depending on reaching safe harbor for their survival? Am I travelling this road to save the bigot’s family from a fire? Am I [fill in the blank with any likely scenario involving a need to travel quickly from point a at entrance to bigot’s road and point b at the other end.[]Dunno. Is the adjacent strip of land (or a comparably convenient piece of land) on which such a thoroughfare must needs be constructed available for purchase? Are any of my prospective partners conversant with the construction and maintenance of roads? Any of 'em have business sense?[list=1]

I suppose for the purposes of this poll, Lib, that nothing except whatever dollars I happen to have inherited/ gained by luck or earned (subject to the pattern of property rights inherited/ gained by luck/ earned by others) counts? :wink: Then I expect my choices would be dictated by who effectively owns them. Perhaps I would be lucky enough to afford an opinion, but counted as “use road”/“don’t” my opinion means nothing.

For the second question, assuming there were no current alternative: If my belly were full enough to be able to make such a choice I would seek to change the system of road provision or destroy it.

Your setup circumscribes my choice to “agree” and “pay to provide alternative”. I would reject as too narrow as forced upon me (and us) this alternative. At least in the absence of alternatives, the owner of the road has taken something from me and others. Unless my fully informed consent had been obtained for this scheme, I’d be out for change. And if necessary, blood.

I’m not sure that I could answer the question at all in any meaningful way.

My attitudes, beliefs, morals etc have evoloved (or devolved depending on if you agree with me or not :smiley: ) from a combination of my experiences and my ‘soul’ if you will. And, I’m not at all certain which factor influenced what in what degree.

My current senses of “bigotry is wrong” came from in part, the system in which I grew up, ie that certain things, like ‘roads’ were of the public domaine and should be equally available to all. I’m not sure I could extrapolate what my thought process would be in the case that you describe.

(another example, would be “if you’d been born a tall, black, dominately gay male instead of a short, white, dominately hetero female, would you want …” )


No. (Am I to assume that I’m to pay the private road owner for use of the road?) Either way, no, I would not, unless it was a matter of life & death, as xenophon41 states. Sometimes being a moral relativist is OK, I guess.

Yes, within reason. I make monthly contributions to NPR for the privilege of listening to commercial-free radio; similar principle, sort of.

I realise the simplistic way these questions are posed are for practicality. Is there a point you are trying to extrapolate from the answers you get here, Lib?

  1. Depends on the importance of the road. I’ll go a step further than xenophon and say that even in a non-emergency situation I’d use it if it were the only way to get to my job, for example. If there was any realistic possibility of a detour (a five mile detour as opposed to a sixty mile one), I’d use it, but I doubt I’d rearrange my lifestyle to avoid going wherever’s on the other side of the bigot turnpike.

  2. Assuming that the road is at all important, and it’s feasible, then yes (more likely I’d attempt to buy out the bigot’s road with my co-investors). This road will be open to all who meet certain qualifications (don’t speed, pass a test to prove your driving comptetency, etc.). It will be paid for not only those who use it, but by those who would benefit by the increased trade caused by the road, as well as it’s signifigance in case of emergency, and general convenience. In other words, the people of the town/state/nation (depending on the size of the road). A lot like in real life.

Counter Question:
Bob Hypothetical is a lower middle-class Black man who lives way out in the woods with only one road connecting him to greater civilization. When he moved there, the road’s owner let him use it (for a toll, of course), but your bigot was since bought him out. Bob cannot use the road. He cannot afford to build a road himself, and another road connecting his house to town wouldn’t be profitable enough to garner outside investors (let’s say that the other side of the road would be more convenient for the general public, so the above posters all go for that plan). Bob is effectively trapped. What does he do? If the answer is move, wouldn’t placing someone in such a situation violate property rights more so than common ownership of such “natural monopolies” as roads ever would?


Um…I assume you mean me since I posed the question over here, in which case, I’d appreciate an apology. I very much resent being characterized as an “antilibertarian” simply because I asked a question about the mechanics of Libertaria.

I am by no means anti-Libertarian, unless you’re using the term to mean “Anyone who asks a question about Libertaria is an antilibertarian”. I firmly believe in the principle of non-coersion, up to a point and I support a number of the Libertarian Party’s goals. I am very sympathetic to the Libertarian cause and principles, but I don’t think the political party, as it now stands, is viable. Being supportive-to-neutral is hardly “anti”.

One of the reasons I asked was that this echos back to one of the flaws I see of the Libertarian Party: it assumes humans are perfectable OR it assumes that political principles are more important than individuals. I’m perfectly happy with the government grabbing this hypotheical road-owner’s land if it’ll allow people the freedom to leave their houses. I don’t want any principle taken as an absolute.

In any event: in answer to your question:

  1. No, unless there was no other road available.

  2. I suppose so. I might not have a choice. If the road that connects to my driveway is the road in question, unless I do, I’m stuck.

Let me add a question:

  1. If that road was a suburban street, bordered with houses and there was no room for another road without knockng down a row of homes to make a parallel road, would you tresspass, or be kept a prisoner in your house?


Fenris, I apologize.

Honestly, yours isn’t anywhere near the strangest hypothetical I’ve encountered. The strangest one was from a man who eventually became a libertarian himself. He asked me what would happen in Libertaria if giant sentient squids arose from the ocean floor and produced title to the land now claimed by those who live on it.

If it’s a private road, the guy should be able to set his own rules as well as others have the right to disagree with them. Sure, his hatred of blacks may be morally wrong, but he still is the owner of the road.I feel He’s allowed to his rules on his private property.
Just because I disagree with his position doesn’t mean I’m going to let it interfere with my convienance. I disagree with the phone companies liberal stance on gun control and gay rights, but I’m not going to give up my phone service over it. Some people feel so upset over something someone else is doing that they are compeled to protest it, in this case the protest is a boycott of the road. I understand those that feel that stongly about things like this. What I want others to understand is that just because I don’t join the protest/boycott, doesn’t mean I neccesarily support the road owners position. A person has to pick his battles, and in this instance I choose not to fight.

I would drive on the road.

I would need a lot more details to be certain but…

Yes and Yes.

  1. Yes.

Being the type of person to frequently challenge authority (especially when I find the authority to be a moron) I would drive on the road with a load of black passengers. As long as I knew that the means of enforcing the ‘whites only’ rule was something akin to Uncle Cletus (the bigot road owner) riding around in his '57 Chevy.

Let’s assume I am black. What is the penalty if I’m caught? If we are assuming that there is no Federal Civil Rights Act (no anti-bigot laws), then don’t we also have to assume that there are no pro-bigot laws? If I keep going in this vein, I’ll eventually reduce the argument down to an ‘every man for himself’ philosophy. Eventual outcome: anarchy.

  1. No.

Why spend money on my own private road when I can use Uncle Cletus’s roads and all I have to do is break some stupid rule?

I feel like I’m falling into some kind of trap here.

1.) No
2.) Doubtful
3.) Hi Opal!
4.) I would move to Canada.

If a large corporation uses sweatshop child labour in order to make fashionable running shoes:

  1. would you buy them?
  2. would you start your own ethical running-shoe factory?


  1. Yes, if it was the best road for the trip. I may not agree with the road owner’s rules, but I respect his right to dictate how his private property is to be used.

  2. Yes, if I was sure I could make a profit from it.

Yeah, I’d ride on it (assuming that I was riding on for some purpose to begin with and then along came the no blacks rule) and perhaps I would pool resources for an alternate road.

  1. No.
  2. Yes.

As a Lib, there are few (precious few) things I am happy to pay taxes for. Roads are one of them. The community road is something I would gladly pool for and expect nothing more than my right to use it.

But I don’t want a speed limit :wink: