The acceptance of Privatopia and the New America of HOA-Land

In his recent interview on OnTheCommons, Evan McKenzie suggested that his new book, Beyond Privatopia, is a collection of his past papers. If so, I believe the following gives a glimpse into what the reader can expect.

In 2004, Arizona advocates had a tough fight to get HB 2402 passed into law. It was to eliminate HOA foreclosures, but we had to settle for no foreclosures for fines, retaining foreclosure for assessments.

McKenzie gave his views on HOA foreclosure and the need for HOAs to survive during this hard fought battle in his Privatopia Papers Blog of March 12 and 13, 2004. (Scroll down and read the March 12th entry, “The plain truth about HOA foreclosures…”, then read his defensive entry of the 13th, “More on foreclosure.” I, too, took offense to his views.

McKenzie’s comments were not at all helpful to the people suffering this gross injustice of this law. His statements reflected the views of the legal-academic aristocracy that the state must survive, that the state comes first. And by “state” I mean the HOA. That the New America of HOA-Land is a legitimate government of the people.

An excerpt from this lengthy entry sums it up,

A third [objection] is the lack of any alternative [by advocates] that would allow HOAs to continue functioning, and advocating instead for positions that would almost certainly destroy common interest housing and leave millions of people in major financial trouble. . . . HOAs would end up competing with all the other creditors–credit card companies, tax collectors, etc.–for the money they need to fix the roof this month. Net result: the existing owners bear the burden for the non-payers. . . . That is a completely unsustainable situation.

I’ve always been against associations having dictatorial power. I’m also against going to the opposite extreme and leaving them powerless. If we go from banana republics to failed states, most people won’t like the latter any better than the former, and somebody will have to pick up the pieces of failed CIDs. Who will that be?

McKenzie presumes that the status quo preserves the HOA, and that susbstantive reforms will only leave the HOA powerless and lead to its inevitable failure. As a political scientist, he does not address the questions that maybe, just maybe, with their current defective legal scheme that HOAs should be allowed to fail. He avoids “muni-zation”, creating special HOA “taxing districts” as public entities, as an alternative. He does not address the question as to why HOAs deserve government protections to foreclose for failures to pay “taxes” as if it were a public entity. The HOA has no hard cash outlays to recoup as a lender does.

Perhaps he fears that real democracy will destroy the HOA that needs strict enforcement of “laws” and an unquestionable obedience to its often arbitrary and capricious objectives in order for it to survive. That public government intrusion is worse than today’s unaccountable private HOA government intrusion. He no longer speaks in the same terms of the constitutional arguments as he did in the 1994 Privatopia.

History shows that successful social and political change involved both an intellectual group to guide and show the way, and an operational group to make their thoughts a reality — working together. You just need to look at the American Revolution, the Irish and Indian independence movements, and the rise of communism in Russia, China and Cuba. There are no intellectual leaders for HOA reforms, and that is a prime reason why the “pink flamingo groups” are not united.

In Gandhi’s dealings with the British Raj for independence, the Brits reminded him that India was a British Colony. He replied, “India belongs to the Indians.” 

In America today, America belongs to the people, not to the HOA regime.

Published in: on May 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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