Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Political Science in Naples, Italy: The Unexpected

The prominent laissez faire attitude of the Italians, manifested in both the people and the environment, has been quite surprising and inspirational to my desire to see libertarianism in the States. Traffic laws, for example, are simply a suggestion. Motor scooters have free reign to travel through and around pretty much anything that is not another person, and pedestrians are seemingly fearless of being struck. I wonder why they even bothered to paint crosswalks in the first place. Yet, the system works wonderfully, and I have yet to see any major traffic jams. It is a very free market approach to traffic!

Ironically, the people who seem to care least about what is going on are the police, who can usually be found meandering about the streets in pairs talking on their cell phones and paying little to no attention. Barbara noted that one female officer’s uniform was complete with hoop earrings and two-inch pumps. Who said justice can’t be classy?

Of course, this laissez faire approach comes with its downsides, as the city is littered with an enormous amount of trash. This is particularly strange, considering the stringent trash laws that require separation of plastic and metals from foodstuffs. Then again, most of the laws seem voluntary at best, so it shouldn’t surprise me that this is extended to sanitation.

The refugees in my center are not what I had expected. I don’t wish to down play their circumstances, but most of them are not fleeing active combat zones, as I had previously believed. Instead, the majority are economic refugees from West Africa. I wish I had read up on that instead of spending the better part of two years reading about ISIS and the Syrian Civil War. Anyhow, I look forward to getting to know them and hearing their stories. I’m sure there is a lot they would like to get off their chests.

-Tucker Strom

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