The new Enlightenment Age, No. 2
I ended HOA Common Sense No. 1 with a call for the people to strip away their dogmatic views about HOAs and adopt a fresh, common sense approach to understanding the nature and functioning of their community – a local political and social community. It must be asked, Why is an imposed contractual government without the protections of the Constitution better than a local public entity subject to the Constitution?
Consider that the alleged contract signed at the time of purchase can be modified without the buyer’s consent, and without compensation, making the “contract” a meaningless piece of paper. A condition that is not possible under the Constitution, which prohibits ex post facto laws – laws that change the legality of past conditions. Your agreed to CC&Rs can be so amended to alter the terms and conditions of your agreement.
What sense does that make? Why would anyone with any common sense accept this condition? And there are many other questions that cast legitimate concerns of a rational decision by buyers to accept the CC&Rs adhesion contract.
The policy makers, the public and the homeowners must understand that they have been living in a “cave” created by the promotion and mass merchandising[i] of the HOA legal scheme, eagerly accepted in exchange for empty promises of maintaining property values.[ii] As prisoners within the cave, HOA members can only see the shadows of reality cast by the false light of the special interest propaganda.[iii] Those who have escaped the cave and who have gone into “the light” of reality become enlightened.
The difficulty before our society is for the Enlightened to be able and willing to return to the cave, the HOA, and inform the members about the truth of the HOA legal scheme. But, the members reject these arguments as false, because they have not seen the reality. This task of enlightening society in general is a major task. However, “This ‘no negatives about HOAs’ unspoken alliance that has served the industry’s special interests by keeping things under wrap, and not letting the sunlight expose these legal issues that include violations of constitutional law, is collapsing.[iv]
A people, a society, that bases its actions on a false reality will never resolve problems. The underlying assumption is a firm belief that the people want to do what is right and just. The Dalai Lama wrote, “Where ethical restraint is lacking, there can be no hope of overcoming problems.”[v] Where ethical restraint has been replaced with material concerns and especially concerns for money, and with “Me first”, “Greed is good”, and “I want it now!” it is understandable why our government of the people is so dysfunctional.[vi] And that includes HOA private governments.
[i] See “Part 1, The Mass Merchandising of HOAs,” The Foundations of Homeowners Associations and the New America, George K. Staropoli, StarMan Publishing (eBook) 2009.
[ii] Here I make the argument that the people, in general, have been conned. Readers should refresh themselves with Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes.
[iii] See Plato’s allegory of the cave in Book VII, The Republic. For a summary and a simplification of the allegory, see the YouTube video at http://youtu.be/sAu-CNSh9F0.
[v] The Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium, Riverhead Books, 1999.
[vi] Jim Wallis, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street, p. 27, Howard Books, 2010; Ron Brownstein, “America Divided”, The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America, Penguin Books, 2007.