Collectivism and Social Engineering

Rope Street, Brasov Photo: Ileana Johnson 2015
A friend asked me recently if I found any similarities between the collectivist Home Owners Association (HOA) in the U.S. and living in communist Romania in cinder block apartments the size of the average hotel room. We did have a different HOA in these reinforced concrete high rises, the Residents’ Association (Asociatia Locatarilor). Its governing board was chosen from the least outspoken residents who sometimes doubled as informers to the Security Police, reporting on the comings and goings of the residents and on their political statements made accidentally in ordinary conversations with neighbors. Continue reading

Choose Your Poison, Communism or Other Dictatorship?

I live under the dreaded Home Owner Association rules. The person in charge of checking yard compliance is the worst offender – his back yard looks like it was overtaken by the nearby forest weeds five years ago and he has given up. Since he lives next door to me, I wish I could rent a goat and let it loose on his property until she eats all the knee-high weeds.
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