Since the time I read Machinery of Freedom on Professor Boudreaux’s recommendation, I've thought two things: 1. It was be great to have a government/society that did not coerce anyone, but derived its authority from the consent of all its constituents, and 2. there is no way to do this.I made another comment at the Kling link.
Mr. Hinkle tries to use his HOA example to draw a distinction between a government of consent (HOA) and government, which rules without its constituent’s consent. The example is not persuasive, mostly because this case he uses as a jumping point is some kind of anomaly. Owners do not sign a contract to abide by the CC&Rs when they purchase into a HOA; They are bound to the terms of the CC&Rs regardless of whether they assent. You could argue that when a purchaser buys the property that they know is subject to CC&Rs they assent to them. But there is no ability to negotiate the terms of the contract; the purchaser must take or leave the CC&Rs, just as an immigrant must take-or-leave the laws of the country he immigrates to. And what if a person is born to a family living in an HOA and later inherits the property? The person is still subject to the regulations in the CC&Rs. That situation seem no different to me than being bound to the laws of the country you were born in without ever having consented to those laws.
You could say, if HOA's/CC&Rs aren't consent to, then we don't need them! We'll just let property owners opt in and opt out of private law system created and enforced by private companies (the Protection agencies from the Machinery of Freedom.) But HOAs solve property right problems, and their CC&Rs must "run with the land" to do so. If I want to buy property in a neighborhood where people mow their lawns and cannot paint their houses bright pink, these obligations must run with the land. While current owners may agree to those terms, I have no assurance that subsequent owners will likewise comply unless the contract, like CC&Rs, bind future owners, too.
I agree with Professor Kling that HOAs are better than government, because they are generally small, and easier to escape if they get too oppressive. However, on the question of consent, I see no principled distinction between an HOA and government. Both bind all who fall within their territory, regardless of consent.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The single hardest thing for a practising politician to understand is that most people, most of the time, don’t give politics a first thought all day long. Or if they do, it is with a sigh...., before going back to worrying about the kids, the parents, the mortgage, the boss, their friends, their weight, their health, sex and rock ‘n’roll.....
For most normal people, politics is a distant, occasionally irritating fog. Failure to comprehend this is a fatal flaw in most politicians.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I wake up at 5.30am. I have no problem getting out of bed. The first thing I need is a cup of tea, usually lapsang souchong. I dress as lightly as possible. I often wear a shirt open down to under my chest, but not out of vanity. The truth is, I find clothes suffocating. I want to live as much as possible in the open air, in the sun. I’ve never worn a tie in my life. That caused problems a couple of times: once at the Elysée Palace when I was invited to a lunch with the then president, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and once at the Vatican at a private audience with Pope John Paul II. I put my foot down both times. The Vatican let me not wear one on the spurious grounds I suffered from a serious handicap.
I awake, as is my preference. My waking had, as usual, the pleasant quality of surfacing from one world to another, with the gradual abandonment of one state for another, a trading of realms whose various attributes have merits in eternal opposition. In the sleeping state, one might be conversing with Descartes on an iceberg, while walruses provide hors d’oeuvres on the points of their tusks; in the real, physical state, one finds one has wet the bed again. But to wake is to be born, one thinks, and a certain amount of fluid is present in either case.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Update: I originally saw this on Cafe Hayek. He found it through this blog. Of course, the movie isn't about math, not really. It's about trying for the impossible and achieving it. It's also about human tragedy.
Here is one of my all time favorite documentaries, the 45 minute Fermat's Last Theorem made by Simon Singh and John Lynch for the BBC in 1996. I've watched it many times and every time I am moved by unforgettable moments.
The plainspoken Goro Shimura talking of his friend Yutaka Taniyama, "he was not a very careful person as a mathematician, he made a lot of mistakes but he made mistakes in a good direction." "I tried to imitate him," he says sadly, "but I found out that it is very difficult to make good mistakes." Shimura continues to be troubled by his friend's suicide in 1958.