Litter

in liberty •  2 years ago  (edited)

I hate litter. Always have. There's just no excuse for it that holds up for me. I have never intentionally or knowingly littered. And I have picked up hundreds (maybe thousands) of pounds of litter over the course of my life- just because, if I won't do it, who will? As an anarchist, I accept the responsibility willingly.

When I see someone litter, I think the worst of them immediately. Sometimes bordering on hatred. I see them as lazy, irresponsible, self-centered cretins. I have even muttered rather nasty things about them, possibly where they could hear. It may not be reasonable, but that's how it is. I never claimed to be perfect.

However...
I don't support "laws" against littering, nor "fines" imposed on those caught littering. I suspect some amount of littering is actually just to thumb a nose at those attempts to manipulate people by making it "illegal". Is it less than the littering that is prevented by those "laws" and "fines"? I have no way to know, and it doesn't matter.

If someone's litter isn't trespassing on your private property, it is not within your rights to do anything to the litterer. If someone's litter keeps ending up on your property, due to the wind, then you may have to work that out with the litterer. They may owe you restitution; they owe government nothing.

It is possible to oppose something- even hate it- and not want government to intervene.

Statists ought to try it sometime.

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Just a couple minutes' effort
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Thanks for picking up litter. :)

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

I believe anti-littering laws act as a strong deterrent and the result is our American landscapes are for the most part litter free. I've traveled in countries where litter and all kinds of garbage was all over the place, seriously making the landscape ugly, and I suspect part of it may be that there are no consequences for getting caught littering. Those countries also tend to not have Adopt a Highway programs. I've seen the same effect (or lack thereof) from municipal noise ordinances. Where there are no ordinances, the noise level is astounding.

There is a line, somewhere, at which government's attempt to save us from ourselves becomes too overreaching. Where exactly that line is, though, is kind of hard for all to agree on. I have to add that I do agree with you that it is possible to hate something and also not want to have a law against it.

Naive interventionism. Where someone without a good understanding of things decides they have to "do something". This is what all government relies on... that and theft and aggression.

The "laws" don't stop people from littering. The culture, however, does. (Culture and the State/government are not the same thing.) Many Americans have come to see litter as unhealthy, unsightly, and sometimes, dangerous. They wouldn't litter more even if the "laws" vanished overnight. People in cultures where survival is more of an uncertain gamble, have other things on their mind besides litter. And they haven't come to realize that the litter, while a symptom of their troubles, is also a partial cause.

Those are good points. I hadn't considered the survival angle, but it makes sense. If someone is focused on surviving because it's more uncertain, keeping their environment clean would be lower on the priority list.

Do you know of any examples where something like littering went down (with no laws) as living conditions went up?

Not personally, but I do know higher standards of living seem to generally correlate with less litter and pollution. Which causes the other, or is some third thing/condition causing both? It might be an interesting area to study!