George Orwell’s 1984 is alive and well in HOA-Land

thought-policeIn 1949 George Orwell published 1984 where the fictional Oceania (formerly known as England) is a totalitarian state that has instituted a new society designed for the survival of the country.  Oceania had introduced methods and techniques designed to protect the government at all costs:  Big Brother is Watching You; Thought Police (don’t speak out or question, or else); Doublethink, creating the ability of the people to hold and accept two contradictory thoughts at the same time; Newspeak, the official language, replacing English, that redefines words and concepts; Ministry of Truth, the agency of propaganda and historic revisionism; and the Ministry of Love, the agency of regulations and enforcement.

Many can see the parallels and extensions of Orwell’s 1984 in the real 1984, and current world, of homeowner associations (HOAs) — authoritarian private governments.  Let’s take a look.

The principles of 1984 can be identified within the HOA regime: Ministries of Love, the boards and HOA managers, coerce compliance with outrageous fines and claims of violations.  The Thought Police, through1984_big brother the HOA vender organizations and lobbyists, use Doublethink and Newspeak to redefine everyday usage and meanings of words. Newspeak, or simply propaganda — lies and half-truths — to advance one’s interests, is extensively employed to defend the HOA regime. And, of course, there is the ever present all seeing eyes of the HOA — Big Brother is Watching You.

Of course, there are benefits to the state, the community and the residents, including the alleviation of irrational fears of the loss of property values.  But at what price?  At what cost?  At the cost of leaving the American Zone (as expressed by Shu Bartholomew in On the commons.com) and the loss of member rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities protected by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The influence and acceptance of Doublethink has people believing that HOAs are democratic and not authoritarian regimes, because residents can vote – like in Cuba and China. That de facto HOA governments are businesses and not quasi-governments, because it is so declared.  That it’s the members’ fault for not making desired reforms to the HOA legal structure, which contains a very high bar to effective member participation in HOA governance. That the members’ are expressing their individual rights and freedoms by surrendering them and accepting that the authoritarian board speaks for them. However, the board is legally responsible to speak for the HOA corporation in accordance with the CC&Rs that do not recognize the rights of individuals as set forth in the Preamble to the US Constitution.

 Welcome to the New America of HOA-Land

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Join the HOA-Land Nation, today!

Read the complete paper at 1984

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] George Orwell’s 1984 is alive and well in HOA-Land […]

  2. the fictional Oceania (formerly known as England)

    In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Oceania comprised not just England, but the Americas (north and south) plus Australia and south Africa. Only England was known as “Airstrip One”, which was a province of Oceania. The explanations I’ve heard for the name “Airstrip One” include (depending on the source)

    — “a reference to the Americans referring to Britain as ‘an unsinkable aircraft carrier’ during World War II when the Nazis had overrun most of continental Europe”

    and

    — “This term seems to show some distain for American influence Europe. Orwell seems to be predicting England’s future in an English-speaking Super-State. It seems that Oceania (America, England, South America, Australia) looks upon Britain as little more than an ‘airstrip’ … a launching ground into the European theater of war.”

    Those two explanations aren’t mutually exclusive, and there may be others.

  3. Well said. It is so in Florida. Unfortunately 1984 applies to our Federal government and society today. Ralph

  4. I agree with you regarding Nevada. Send me your number and I will get you up to speed re: Nevada.RH…………………………………………….


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