Eric the .5b wrote:What are "libertarian results"? Hell, what are "statist results" in this context? I may rant about statists, but I know they aren't generally against information exchange, creative collaboration, apple pie, etc. If they were, we wouldn't still have the internet.
At risk of speaking for thoreau, I think he means a general live and let live attitude (leave me alone and I'll leave you alone) rather than worrying about whether the process came about by legislation vs. a contractual agreement where people then vote in a process almost exactly the same as the current one. The reason many of us are attracted to libertarianism has to do with the fact that we believe that if we are left alone and leave governance to the areas where there are genuine conflicts over externalities* that things would be better overall. We are not attracted to it because we think bad rules are made better just because someone signs a contract agreeing to democratic governance. I suppose what irks us is the outcomes of the HOAs, which are supposed to more closely resemble libertarian governance, is that they end up being just as, if not more, petty and nannyish as bog standard democratic governance.
I don't get what's so "libertarian" about HOAs. As pointed out, the idea of private contracts and agreements predates anyone calling themselves libertarians. A bunch of libertarians could start an HOA if they wanted to, I guess.
To me, the ability to be left alone includes the ability to agree not
to be left alone on some matters. You make an agreement to pay back a loan or abide by some rules to live in an area. Being that most of the people making, enforcing, and signing into
these HOA agreements aren't libertarians, the terms simply aren't going to be as MYOB as we would like. If they're too intrusive, then you don't move into their territory. Mine's been pretty useful without causing me any inconvenience, but it does have rules about excessive noise and people climbing around on rooftops (it's a townhome complex, so it has continuous rooftops and common walls). There's probably a rule against having open bonfires in our 10'x10' backyards, and I'm willing to sacrifice that to avoid suddenly being caught in a housefire.
When we talk about externalities, we generally think that should be limited to what we
consider serious harms. These HOA rules are people agreeing upon a lower threshold of harm when it comes to externalities, in order to avoid loss of market value to their homes. I think people have a right to make such agreements, and I think we should leave them alone
even if the terms of the agreements don't suit us.
Hell, one of the old ideas I used to see thrown around a lot is that in a libertarian system, "socialists" or anyone who wanted a more restricted way of life could make a private agreement to live in a commune or whatever they wanted. This is what that looks like.
Or from another angle. Maybe tenure changed this, but before getting that, Thoreau made a private contract to work as his university, but he has to know when not to say things that will overly offend the left-wingers he works with, or else he'll get grief in some form. Is that an un-libertarian
result showing the "fuzziness" of the free market or having the right to seek your own employment ? I don't think so, and I doubt that "not offending left-wing twits" is even a requirement in his contract.
I can understand balking at the "The boss wants to bang you - you can quit if you don't like it!" or indentured servitude extreme-edge-case stuff, but this isn't anywhere near that. This is "some jobs suck"-level stuff. Especially in this economy, it's not even a first-world problem, it's a "well-situated middle-class guy" problem.