Questions about Covenants

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Questions about Covenants

  • Marco den Ouden

    I recently read Hoppe’s Democracy: The God That Failed and it brings up a number of questions. I sent him an email with these questions and am still waiting for a reply. But I thought I’d put them out there in this group as well. There are five series of questions and this is the first batch.

    Is a covenant community binding for all time? Or can a member of a covenant society secede from it just as he ought to be able to secede from the state? Can the terms of the covenant be changed in the future and if so how? Can the covenant specify that all rules and restrictions covered in the covenant can be changed through democratic means – in other words through voting? And if so, can they do specify that this be done by simple majority rule or other ways as specified in the covenant?

    Further to this – am I correct in assuming that the terms of the covenant inhere to the property and not the person?  For example, I own property in a strata development which is covered by such a covenant. It binds me to the bylaws of the Strata Corporation and these rules can be changed by the members democratically at a meeting. The strata council enforces the rules, manages the budget, etc. I also pay strata fees which are analagous to taxes if this were a municipality. (The strata fees are actually more than the municipal taxes I pay, though the city provides a lot more services.)  And these rules inhere in the property, so if I sell it, the buyer is bound by the covenant. But I cannot secede from the covenant.

    In effect, a covenant community is really a mini-government, but organized as a contract rather than as a political entity. But in practice, is there really any difference?

    I have written on my blog about this a few times. Most notably here: http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.ca/2015/10/private-government.html and here: http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.ca/2015/10/consent-of-governed.html and here: https://jollylibertarian.liberty.me/is-consent-a-sufficient-condition-for-a-society-to-be-considered-libertarian/  The latter contradicts the first two as I have had some change in thought on this. Feedback appreciated.

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