When I made this post about the "poop nazis" at a condo in Baltimore, I knew that some libertarians would jump the gun, and I exactly predicted their letters to me. In summary, a small group of people who like to empower themselves are trying to force people who live in the condo complex to engage costly - and invasive - services for DNA testing their dogs so that the condo association can walk around picking up dog poop and testing it, and then fine the owner after the poop is "matched to their dog."
The control freaks who usually like to head up these types of organizations are said to be doing things "voluntarily" because a condo is on "private property," according to some libertarians. I was told that the people who didn't like the new mandates can just "get up and leave." (That's always my favorite response.) I suppose that comment doesn't take into account trying to sell a condo in this economy? Then I was told that this is private property, and, as is common among libertarians, don't dare criticize something that occurs on private property.
Now the notion of these voluntary property associations can be debated endlessly (and the topic has been beat to death), so I won't open up that entire debate. However, here are some follow-up comments to all of those who missed my point.
People jumped into this Randian-like, dogmatic state and accused my criticism of these folks as being "unlibertarian" or "not respecting property rights." How? Did I advocate passing a law? No. Did I advocate forcing people to do something they did not want to do? No. Did I advocate the trampling of private property? No. I criticized the small group of people at a condo association who wish to mandate DNA testing for dogs in order to "control" the poop problem. So if anyone can write me and clearly spell out where I "turned from my principles" (that was one response to me), I'll gladly re-read my own short blog and search for the invisible words.
My short, blanket answer: separate "voluntary" from crazed, overzealous power mongering/control. If I bought into a "voluntary" condo association, and afterwards they passed anti-blonde laws, you mean that if I feel strongly about not having to dye my hair brunette, I should just pick up and leave? The homeowners did not move in agreeing to pay mega $$$ to have their dogs DNA tested and put under DNA poop scrutiny. A truly voluntary association would have several means before them to control the poop problem - using voluntary cooperation - without resorting to "private" tyranny. But then again, the world is full of pedestrian tyrants who love to spearhead coercion and stir up new bureaucracies because it gives them something to do. These people are typically the state's favorite Useful Idiots.
For example, even in public dog parks they resort to "pick-up" stations and garbage barrels - and this works in every dog park I've ever used. For that poop which isn't covered by such a solution, there are several means that a condo association can resort to, such as voluntary patrols for people who have an interest in the property. Or pay a local service to pick up, or, better yet, engage local kids to do it for pay. Or a combination of all of the above, etc. Many solutions could be engaged that would be more cost effective and far less intrusive and overzealous. I think most rational people know and understand that this problem can be engaged and solved at a basic level without resorting to control feakism on the part of enabled condo association leaders.
Or you can just pass costly, crazed, DNA doggie laws which "respect property rights," such as the article described. And then here's the question: how will you enforce those mandates? By force? If it is truly "voluntary," you can turn your back on the condo mobocracy and refuse their Orwellian mandates.