As early as 2019 I began examining the relationship between the decaying national culture and that of the political and social culture of HOAs in HOA-Land. I came to the conclusion that the HOA social and political dynamics are identical as we have witnessed on the broad national scale. I am not sure as to what came first, the chicken or the egg? To what extend has the HOA independent principality mentality and legal scheme contributed to the national scene? Or are the HOA dynamics just a reflection of the broader culture in America today functioning in parallel with the national malaise, are the private government HOAs?[i]
In “Part 1, The Cultural Dynamics of HOA-Land” of my HOA-Land Nation, I present my analysis of the forces at work dominating the politics within the HOA private government.
“Basically, the HOA legal structure and scheme is authoritarian in nature: strong central power, limited political freedoms, no accountability, and under the rule of man, not law. The authoritarian nature of HOA-Land is masked by a thorough indoctrination that presents a false picture of the real estate subdivision as democratic, inappropriately named a community, simply because the members are allowed to vote, as meaningless as it is“.[ii]
Last month The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) conducted a poll on the decline in American values since 1998, just 25 years ago.[iii] The University of Chicago interviewed 1,019 adults and revealed a decline that is reflected in the HOA culture as well. In other words, Americans have changed their values to disregard the democratic values of our Founding Fathers. And the private government CC&Rs constitution played a big part in this reshaping of America.
The WSJ findings reveal the interplay between the two cultures in several important aspects.
- Community involvement … Dropped from 47% to 27%. This finding supports HOA lack of involvement, non-volunteering members, the apathy, and failure to support substantive, well documented complaints by other members that is rampant throughout HOA-Land. HOA details can be read here HOA defect: volunteers & boards of directors.
· Patriotism . . . Dropped from 70% to 38%. How can it be explained? The prevalent conduct by the vast majority of HOA members who unquestionably accept the acts of the board of directors. When these actions are outright black and white violations of the Constitution, state laws and obligations of the HOA governing documents. In short the HOA operates with impunity in regard to American values and beliefs, reflecting a lack of US patriotism and a preference for the HOA “constitution.” HOA details can be read here:HOA Common Sense, No. 1: The New America of HOA-Land.
- Money . . . rose from 31% to 43%. The cultural messages over the last several decades have clearly been: greed is good; it’s all about me; and I want it all, and I want it now. Paraphrasing the Reverend Wallis,
Do we want [property] values to prevail everywhere and in all things? Are there some areas of life where [property] values should not determine what is most important — personal and family relationships, ethics and religion, community and public service and social justice? Are there certain things degraded when [property values] are allowed to be the ultimate measure? Are there certain social values and practices that are higher than market values?[iv]
· Religion . . . Dropped from 62% to 39%. Each of the above drops in the conduct of Americans, also found in HOA-Land, portrays a decline in the ethical and moral values and guidelines that were previously provided by institutional religions. “God id dead” is the watchword of federal government that has not provided a substitute code of conduct. In America today, Rev. Jim Wallis wrote in 2010 (Rediscovering Values), “What has been deliberately and carefully made ‘socially acceptable’ was, not too long ago, thought to be irresponsible – both financially and morally.” See also, God is dead, and so, too, are our unalienable rights.
[i] See Did HOA-Land contribute to the national disregard for democratic America?
[ii] George K. Staropoli, The HOA-Land Nation Within America, StarMan Press, 2019.
[iii] WSJ/NORC Poll March 2023.
[iv] Jim Wallis, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street, p. 27, Howard Books, 2010;