“The battle against single-family-residence communities is a national one,” writes David Cole in Taki's Magazine. [1] Cole's column focuses on AB 670, a new California state law that nullifies all CC&Rs(Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) that limit “accessory dwelling units,” but as the article notes, similar proposals are being made throughout the country; in 2019 the Oregon State legislature also passed a law banning single-family requirements throughout most of the state. This trend should be especially disconcerting to libertarians. Not only do these laws entail an alarming centralization of state power, but they're an attack on the very institutions and arrangements that make a libertarian social order feasible. Despite this, these laws are regularly championed by self-proclaimed libertarians at Reason magazine, most notably the Cato Institute's Ilya Somin, who has been one of the most persistent foes of local zoning and even celebrated AB 670. It should be apparent that neighborhoods governed by homeowner's associations and CC&Rs have resolutely libertarian implications. Why, then, would self-proclaimed libertarians celebrate a law that nullifies these voluntary arrangements and centralizes state power? In light of this trend, it's become necessary to clarify the proper libertarian position on covenant communities, proprietary neighborhoods and voluntary zoning. As we'll see, the arguments advanced by Somin and others in the pages of Reason have nothing to do with libertarianism proper, which we'll henceforth refer to as paleolibertarianism. [2] To the contrary, their position can best be understood as a symptom of the left-wing disease plaguing the broader libertarian movement.

To begin with, left-libertarians hold “freedom of movement” up as one of their fundamental ideals. Indeed, by forcing open neighborhoods, these left-libertarians are following open borders towards their logical conclusion. Yet, this “freedom of movement” is contrary to the private property ethic, which makes such movement contingent on the wishes of private property owners. For this reason, Rothbard concluded that the “freedom of movement” championed by left-libertarians really constitutes a compulsory opening of neighborhoods and borders by the state against the wishes of property owners.

“However, on rethinking immigration on the basis of the anarcho-capitalist model, it became clear to me that a totally privatized country would not have "open borders" at all. If every piece of land in a country were owned by some person, group, or corporation, this would mean that no immigrant could enter there unless invited to enter and allowed to rent, or purchase, property. A totally privatized country would be as "closed" as the particular inhabitants and property owners desire. It seems clear, then, that the regime of open borders that exists de facto in the U.S. really amounts to a compulsory opening by the central state, the state in charge of all streets and public land areas, and does not genuinely reflect the wishes of the proprietors.” [3]

Despite Rothbard's sound reasoning, this “freedom of movement” seems to be the highest ideal to many left-libertarians. The increased crime and destruction of property values, communities, nations and cultures that would result from unlimited migration matters little to left-libertarians. To the contrary, they often embrace this destruction as it furthers their left-wing cultural goals. This sort of mindset led Rothbard to memorably dub them “nihilo-libertarians.” Additionally, the compulsory openings, anti-discrimination laws and affirmative action quotas—often tacitly supported by left-libertarians—have made forced integration ubiquitous. Whereas left-libertarians have a distinctly utopian mindset that denies or seeks to eliminate racial preferences, paleolibertarians acknowledge the persistence of ethnic antagonisms and see absolute private property rights as uniquely capable of dealing with this reality. As Hoppe explained:

It is precisely the absolute voluntariness of human association and separation—the absence of any form of forced integration—which makes peaceful relationships—free trade—between racially, ethnically, linguistically, religiously, or culturally distinct people possible. [4]

However, left-libertarians seldom defend this right to separation even in theory, much less consider it could serve a valuable purpose. In practice, they're supporting more forced integtion in the form of open borders and now, the opening of neighborhoods. As we'll see, much of the left-libertarian support for these anti-zoning laws is motivated by explicitly egalitarian sentiments. Egalitarianism is ultimately in conflict with private property and natural order [5] meaning left-libertarians will eventually have to choose between the libertarian private property ethic and egalitarianism. In our case, the left-libertarians at Reason showed themselves to be left-wing egalitarians above all else by favoring state intervention over private property rights in pursuit of their egalitarian ends.

Given our subject matter, it scarcely needs to be said that the atomistic individualism promoted by some libertarians must also be rejected. Realistic libertarianism requires an understanding and acceptance of man as he is and the world as it is. [6] With this in mind, Aristotle's famous observation that man is, by nature, a social animal, is sufficient to demonstrate that atomistic individualism is woefully inadequate. Rather than the proper libertarian starting point of property owner[s] vs. non-owner[s], hyper-individualists think exclusively in terms of individual vs. group and reflexively side with the former in any conflict, leading to errors such as their opposition to CC&Rs.

Contrary to these hyper-individualists who believe neighborhoods are nothing more than separately owned, adjacent pieces of property, Rothbard correctly noted, “Paleolibertarians, unlike nihilos, are not opposed to the concept of community; we simply insist on narrowing it to the voluntary actions of property-holders.” [7] Rothbard found agreement from Paleoconservative Howard Phillips, who stressed the idea of community as a voluntary contractual or covenantal community of neighborhood property owners. [8] In addition to the social benefit of allowing people to live among neighbors with similar values and preferences, neighborhoods provide essential economic benefits by facilitating exchange and protecting property values. [9] In this way, neighborhoods and communities are a logical outgrowth of private property. However, neighborhoods—like any investment—involve risk.

One obvious risk is a bad neighbor moving into the neighborhood or a formerly good neighbor becoming obnoxious and/or failing to maintain their property. Consequently, it's in the interests of neighborhood property owners to enact restrictive covenants forbidding actions and behavior that could decrease property values or undermine the community. As Rothbard explained, property owers can agree to any sort of neighborhood contract that suited them and restrictive covenants can deal with any number of problems that aren't necessarily criminal, such as drugs, or the aforemetioned obnoxious neighbor:

In a country, or a world, of totally private property, including streets, and private contractual neighborhoods consisting of property-owners, these owners can make any sort of neighborhood-contracts they wish. In practice, then, the country would be a truly “gorgeous mosaic,” (in the famous words of New York Mayor Dinkins), ranging from rowdy Greenwich Village-type contractual neighborhoods, to socially conservative homogeneous WASP neighborhoods. Remember that all deeds and covenants would once again be totally legal and enforceable, with no meddling government restrictions upon them. So that considering the drug question, if a proprietary neighborhood contracted that no one would use drugs, and Jones violated the contract and used them, the fellow community-contractors could simply enforce the contract and kick him out. Or, since no advance contract can allow for all conceivable circumstances, suppose that Smith became so personally obnoxious that his fellow neighborhood-owners wanted him ejected. They would then have to buy him out—probably on terms set contractually in advance in accordance with some “obnoxious” clause. [10]

These neighborhoods are often founded by a single proprietor who “leases” property to residents. [11] In other words, he may sell all of the rights to the land, except for the right to use it for non-residential purposes, or the right to build a house of a certain design(e.g., non-single-family). The proprietor is an entrepreneur like any other; he seeks profits by satisfying consumer demand. In our case, that means providing the best environment for a residential community, although proprietary neighborhoods can also be composed of businesses or a mix of businesses and residencies. In order to fulfill this task, the proprietor must decide what the land will be used for; plan, supervise, and coordinate construction and discriminate based on compability when selecting residents. [12] Because property is immobile, much of its value is predicated on its surroundings, which makes effective planning and coordination essential; however, proposals will affect different pieces of property unevenly making disputes and disagreements inevitable. The proprietor's leadership will be particularly important for settling these disputes because he has an interest in the success of the community as a whole; however, as Hoppe adds, the proprietor needs the support of the majority of the community, and specifically, the community elite:

Clearly then, the task of maintaining the covenant entailed in a libertarian (proprietary) community is first and foremost that of the proprietor. Yet he is but one man, and it is impossible for him to succeed in this task unless he is supported in his endeavor by a majority of the members of the community in question. In particular, the proprietor needs the support of the community elite, i.e., the heads of households and firms most heavily invested in the community. In order to protect and possibly enhance the value of their property and investments, both proprietor and the community elite must be willing to defend themselves by means of physical force and punishment against external invaders and domestic criminals. But second and equally important, they must also be willing to defend themselves, by means of ostracism, exclusion and ultimately expulsion, against those community members who advocate, advertise or propagandize actions incompatible with the very purpose of the covenant: to protect property and family. [13]

In distinct contrast to the egalitarian vision embraced by left-libertarians, we see that leadership and hierarchy are vital to the success of proprietary neighborhoods and covenant communities. Spencer MacCallum is an anthropologist of proprietary neighborhoods and the author of The Art of Community. MacCallum noted that proprietary neighborhoods are not unique to the modern world and they evolved from a distinctly hierarchical, family-oriented structure. “Within households, in the primitive world, land is commonly administered by an elder male in the line of property succession. For groups of households, it may be administered by a clan or lineage or other group head who is commonly an elder male of the kin group of widest span.” [14]

We must also disabuse left-libertarians of the suicidal notion that a libertarian society is obligated to be tolerant. This spurious view can be seen in a blog post written by Ilya Somin titled, “Zoning Locks People In. We Should Free Them.” [15] Characteristic of left-libertarians, this suggests a libertarian social order would more or less maintain itself. Fortunately, Mises suffered under no such illusions. As he put it, “as human nature is, society cannot exist if there is no provision for preventing unruly people from actions incompatible with community life.” [16] It scarcely needs to be said that crime needs to be defended against and punished. [17] What, then, is the provision for dealing with other actions that are incompatible with a libertarian community? We happily find the answer in private property itself. “It is the very purpose of private property,” Hoppe writes, “to establish physically separate domains of exclusive jurisdiction in order to avoid possible conflicts concerning the use of scarce resources.” [18]

In order to maintain property values, a high standard of living and the libertarian private property ethic, it's imperative that the community remain a separate and exclusive jurisdiction. Vigilance will be required to keep Communists, cultural Marxists and socialists of all kinds, gangs, thieves, welfare recipients, bums and other anti-social types physically distant (i.e., physically removed). Barring Communist and socialist agitators and thugs like Antifa and Black Lives Matter is particularly important because their agitation alone is sufficient to disrupt a community, but their assaults on private property make them intolerable for all of civilized society.

Interestingly, Somin inadvertently touched on the solution to incorrigible criminals, anti-social types and agitators by opposing the solution. That is, for covenant communities to expel them and isolate them leaving confined or “locked in” to their own area away from responsible property owners and family-oriented communities where their crime and behavior can only affect each other. Unconstrained by political correctness and democracy, private property and private law would enable communities to deal with career criminals and incorrigible agitators far more effectively than the state has or will. Being presented with the choice of assimilating and enjoying a high quality of life or being expelled from civilized society will be a very powerful motivator. As MacCallum notes, maintenance of communities has always involved exclusion and exile, “On all levels of society, both primitive and modern, exile is the natural and automatic remedy for default and fraud.” [19] Unfortunatey, private property owners have been stripped of much of this protection and as Hoppe explains, the lack of this protection has encouraged bums and the ill-behaved leading to a deterioration of civilization:

To exclude other people from one's own property is the very means by which an owner can avoid “bads” from happening: events that will lower the value of one's property. In not being permitted to freely exclude, the incidence of bads–ill-behaved, lazy, unreliable, rotten students, employees, customers–will increase and property values will fall. In fact, forced integration (the result of all nondiscrimination policies) breeds ill behavior and bad character. In civilized society, the ultimate price for ill behavior is expulsion, and all around ill-behaved or rotten characters (even if they commit no criminal offense) will find themselves quickly expelled from everywhere and by everyone and become outcasts, physically removed from civilization. This is a stiff price to pay; hence, the frequency of such behavior is reduced. By contrast, if one is prevented from expelling others from one's property whenever their presence is deemed undesirable, ill behavior, misconduct, and outright rotten characters are encouraged (rendered less costly). Rather than being isolated and ultimately entirely removed from society, the “bums”–in every conceivable area of incompetency (bumhood)–are permitted to perpetrate their unpleasantries everywhere, so bum-like behavior and bums will proliferate. The results of forced integration are only too visible. All social relations–whether in private or business life–have become increasingly egalitarian (everyone is on a first name basis with everyone else) and uncivilized. [20]

The type of anarcho-tyranny [21] increasingly prevalent in cities like San Francisco, Portland, Chicago and Seattle is a consequence of private property owners being stripped of this right and would surely be the result of Somin's suggestion to “free” those “locked in.” As Hoppe points out, a libertarian social order without discrimination would quickly degenerate into welfare state socialism:

[T]rue conservative libertarians—in contrast to left-libertarians—must not only recognize and emphasize the fact that there will be a sharp increase in discrimination (exclusion, expulsion) in a libertarian society wherein private property rights are fully restored to the owners of private households and estates; more importantly, they will have to recognize—and conservatives and conservative insights can be helpful in achieving this—that this ought to be so: that is, that there should be strict discrimination if one wants to reach the goal of a private property anarchy (or a pure private law society). Without continued and relentless discrimination, a libertarian society would quickly erode and degenerate into welfare state socialism. Every social order, including a libertarian conservative one, requires a self-enforcement mechanism. More precisely, social orders (unlike mechanical or biological systems) are not maintained automatically; they require conscious effort and purposeful action on the part of the members of society to prevent them from disintegrating. [22]

Far from being regrettable, exclusion and discrimination can therefore be embraced as civilizing forces. [23] Of course, Hoppe is quick to clarify that more mild disruptions may only require ostracism rather than expulsion:

The enforcement of a covenant is largely a matter of prudence, of course. How and when to react, and what protective measures to take, requires judgment on the part of the members of the community and especially the proprietor and the community elite. Thus, for instance, so long as the threat of moral relativism and egalitarianism is restricted to a small proportion of juveniles and young adults for only a brief period in life (until they settle back into family-constrained adulthood), it may well be sufficient to do nothing at all. The proponents of cultural relativism and egalitarianism would represent little more than temporary embarrassments or irritations, and punishment in the form of ostracism can be quite mild and lenient. A small dose of ridicule and contempt may be all that is needed to contain the relativistic and egalitarian threat. The situation is very different, however, and rather more drastic measures might be required, once the spirit of moral relativism and egalitarianism has taken hold among adult members of society: among mothers, fathers, and heads of households and firms. As soon as mature members of society habitually express acceptance or even advocate egalitarian sentiments, whether in the form of democracy (majority rule) or of communism, it becomes essential that other members, and in particular the natural social elites, be prepared to act decisively and, in the case of continued nonconformity, exclude and ultimately expel these members from society. [24]

These prohibitions must extend beyond mere actions and to advocacy of ideas contrary to the purpose of the covenant. Just as the Catholic Church would never tolerate a member inveighing against Catholicism, a libertarian community cannot tolerate advocacy of ideas that are incompatible with the private property ethic such as socialism, communism and egalitarianism. [25] Of course, these specifics will vary depending on the particular community and the purpose of the covenant. As Hoppe hastened to add, the social and cultural conformity within a community should not be confused with conformity between communities: “To avoid any misunderstanding, it might be useful to point out that the predicted rise in discrimination in a purely libertarian world does not imply that the form and extent of discrimination will be the same or similar everywhere. To the contrary, a libertarian world could and likely would be one with a great variety of locally separated communities engaging in distinctly different and far-reaching discrimination.” [26] Ultimately, restrictive covenants and discrimination allow for a greater variety of communities and as Rothbard explained, these requirements for residence are an alternative to state prohibition:

With every locale and neighborhood owned by private firms, corporations, or contractual communities, true diversity would reign, in accordance with the preferences of each community. Some neighborhoods would be ethnically or economically diverse, while others would be ethnically or economically homogeneous. Some localities would permit pornography or prostitution or drugs or abortion, others would prohibit any or all of them. The prohibitions would not be state imposed, but would simply be requirements for residence or use of some person’s or community’s land area. While statists who have the itch to impose their values on everyone else would be disappointed, every group or interest would at least have the satisfaction of living in neighborhoods of people who share its values and preferences. While neighborhood ownership would not provide Utopia or a panacea for all conflict, it would at least provide a "second-best" solution that most people might be willing to live with. [27]

We could also expect the restoration of private property rights and restrictive covenants to lessen racial, ethnic and religious tension. Unlike left-libertarians, paleolibertarians recognize that forced segregation and forced integration are wrong for the same reason. [28] As Lew Rockwell explained, a free society would have male organizations, Polish neighborhoods, black churches, Jewish country clubs, and white fraternities. [29] Social engineering aspirations [30] and disdain for the in-group preferences shown by all groups may represent left-libertarian's biggest failure to understand and accept man as he is. Indeed, as Jared Taylor has detailed, many blacks have been open about their desire to keep their neighborhoods black:

A black journalist wrote about a backyard gathering in an affluent, black Atlanta suburb. The party suddenly went silent when a realtor's car, bearing a white couple, cruised slowly down the street. “I hope they don't find anything they like,” said one of the guests; “otherwise, there goes the neighborhood.” ... Azurest is a seaside community of 119 families near Sag Harbor, New York. It was established in 1947 as a vacation retreat for blacks who were not welcome in white resorts. It is now the preferred summering spot for wealthy blacks who could afford to go anywhere but prefer to vacation among other blacks. Those who have owned property in Azurest Earl G. Graves, publisher of Black Enterprise magazine and Alma Brown, widow of Ron Brown, who was commerce secretary in the Clinton administration. “This is a historically black community,” said Lynn Hendy, president of the property owners association. “I'd like it to stay that way.” [31]

These preferences could be accomodated under our model of covenant communities. It's also interesting to note that the residents of these neighborhoods took it for granted that a neighborhood will change as the people change, while Somin—like libertarian advocates of open borders—seems to believe that the inner-city poor will miraculously turn into the suburban middle class simply by moving. While a property owner does not have to justify the decisions he makes with his property, the sentiments expressed by the blacks of Azurest and the aforementioned Atlanta suburb are completely ordinary and entirely rational. As Taylor pointed out, despite more than half a century of integration, most Americans still view racial tension as a problem and significant numbers of people have a pessimistic view of future race-relations. [32] The studies he cites on the effects of diversity on communities are particularly germane to our subject. For instance, Robert Putnam of Harvard studied 41 American communities that ranged from the homogeneity of rural South Dakota to the diversity of Los Angeles and found a strong correlation between homogeneity and levels of trust. [33] Among the effects of diversity he found were lower confidence in local leaders; lower likelihood of giving to charity or volunteering and less expectation that others will give to charity or cooperate to solve problems voluntarily; less happiness and lower perceived quality of life; fewer close friends and confidants; and more participation in protest marches and social reform groups. Putnam's findings are consistent with other research into the effects of diversity:

Dora Costa of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Matthew Kahn of Tufts University analyzed 15 recent studies of the impact of diversity on social cohesion. They found that every study had “the same punchline: heterogeneity reduces civic engagement.” [34]

At the very least, we can conclude that these effects make it much less likely a community will resist a more distant government in favor of local autonomy, much less restore private law and natural order. Despite this, left-libertarians take it as a matter of faith that homogeneous societies are somehow deficient and inferior to diverse societies. Characteristically, Somin has celebrated the increased diversity he expects to result from anti-zoning laws. [35] Furthermore, Somin's repeated use of “exclusionary” as a negative suggests implicit opposition to private property for private property is necessarily exclusionary. [36] Interestingly, he also argues that this will lower the price of housing in these communities, and this is exactly what many property owners hope to avoid with restrictive covenants and zoning. And yet, in Orwellian fashion, Somin argues this will somehow strengthen property rights. It's the prerogative of property owners to take measures to ensure their property maintains its value, including agreements with other property owners. Contrary to Somin, one has no right to property they don't own and limiting an actual property owner's control over their property to make property cheaper and more available to would-be buyers is not strengthening property rights, but a clear violation of property rights. By using the state to nullify voluntary agreements between property owners and limit their control over their own property, non-owners will benefit from cheaper housing prices, but property owners will lose equity in their homes and they'll lose the neighborhoods they paid to live in and maintain. In other words, Somin proposes using the state to redistribute property and wealth away from property owners to non-owners. Not surprisingly, by Somin's own admission, most of the support for these anti-zoning laws is on the left. Also characteristic of Beltway libertarians, Somin treats man as a purely economic animal; much of his case is predicated on the alleged increase in average wealth that would occur. It's beyond the scope of this article to dispute Somin's economics [37], but it's instructive to remember how Hoppe applied the subjective theory of value to immigration:

To libertarians of the Austrian school, it should be clear that what constitutes “wealth” and “well-being” is subjective. Material wealth is not the only thing that has value. Thus, even if real incomes rise due to immigration, it does not follow that immigration must be considered “good,” for one might prefer lower living standards and a greater distance to other people over higher living standards and a smaller distance to others. [38]

Left-libertarians don't seem to consider the likelihood that many who fled the inner-city will flee again if the inner-city is forced into their neighborhoods, as was the case with forced busing. [39] Similarly, Rothbard's analysis of the school voucher program—championed by many left-libertarians—is particularly interesting in this context.

“[A]n egalitarian assault on suburbia on behalf of the inner-city poor is one of the major points of the school voucher program. For one of the monstrous aspects of the “school choice” scheme is that it serves as a substitute for the old failed forced busing program: Part of the Left libertarian agenda is an attempt to centralize, to destroy pockets of local self-government. Many suburbans having fled the crime, welfare, and rotting housing of the inner cities, have managed to carve out for themselves decent schools, even though they are public. For these schools have been more or less under local parental control and local taxing authority. Welfare egalitarians have been trying for many years to destroy suburban “segregation” and to force them to coalesce with the inner cities and suffer their problems; school “choice,” which will tear down separate suburban districts, is a sinister method of accomplishing this very goal.” [40]

Rothbard's observation that left-libertarians intend to destroy “suburban segregation” has proven to be particularly prescient. Indeed, Somin and his left-wing allies have leaned heavily on racial demagoguery and “segregation” was explicitly mentioned as a motivation for Minnesota's anti-zoning laws. [41] In other words, with much of the country forced into the left's diversity experiment, Somin and his left-wing allies wish to make it impossible for the remaining part of the country to avoid it if they wish. More importantly, we see the left-libertarians at Reason don't hesitate to substitute government intervention for the private property ethic in pursuit of “diversity.” As with other policies championed by Beltway libertarians such as vouchers, NAFTA and “free immigration,” advocates claim anti-zoning laws will increase freedom, but the result will necessarily be more centralized government control. Indeed, the centralizing effects of Somin's agenda were made even more explicit in a 2011 paper in which he argued in favor of federal courts assuming jurisdiction and ruling on local zoning regulations. [42] Once again, this is the polar opposite of the position taken by Rothbard, who specifically cautioned against empowering the Supreme Court and attempting to use it for one's own ends. Instead, Rothbard insisted that the Supreme Court should be minimized and rolled back as much as possible:

Pending total privatization, it is clear that our model could be approached, and conflicts minimized, by permitting secessions and local control, down to the micro-neighborhood level, and by developing contractual access rights for enclaves and exclaves. In the U.S., it becomes important, in moving toward such radical decentralization, for libertarians and classical liberals-indeed, for many other minority or dissident groups-to begin to lay the greatest stress on the forgotten Tenth Amendment and to try to decompose the role and power of the centralizing Supreme Court. Rather than trying to get people of one's own ideological persuasion on the Supreme Court, its power should be rolled back and minimized as far as possible, and its power decomposed into state, or even local, judicial bodies. [43]

Even if we stipulate that some local zoning laws are far from ideal, they can only be corrected at the local level. As Hoppe explained, anything else will represent a dangerous centralization of power:

Libertarians, Rothbard stressed in this connection, must be opposed, as are traditional conservatives (but unlike social democrats, neo-conservatives, and left-libertarians), on principled grounds to any and all centralization of state power, even and especially if such centralization involves a correct judgment (such as that abortion should be legal, or that taxes should be abolished). It would be anti-libertarian, for instance, to appeal to the United Nations to order the breakup of a taxi-monopoly in Houston, or to the US government to order Utah to abolish its state-certification requirement for teachers, because in doing so one would have illegitimately granted these state agencies jurisdiction over property that they plainly do not own (but others do): not only Houston or Utah, but every city in the world and every state in the United States. And while every state, small or large, violates the rights of private-property owners and must be feared and combated, large central states violate more people's rights and must be feared even more. They do not come into existence ab ova, but are the outgrowth of a process of eliminative competition among originally numerous independent small local states. Central states, and ultimately a single world state, represent the successful expansion and concentration of state power, i.e., of evil, and must accordingly be regarded as especially dangerous. [44]

Incredibly, another Reason writer named Christian Britschgi approvingly cites Emily Hamilton, also employed by a Kochtopus think tank, to argue that state governments are justified in expanding their jurisdiction into matters of local zoning because local governments are allegedly too beholden to property owners:

Moving these kinds of decisions to the state level also means routing around local governments where anti-development voices have greater influence, says Emily Hamilton, an urban policy expert at the Mercatus Center. "Homeowners tend to live in one jurisdiction longer than renters and tend to vote more often than renters," says Hamilton. "Local policymakers are very beholden to those homeowners and land use policies tend to reflect home voter preferences." Because more supply brings down the price of existing homes, this makes homeowners, and by extension local governments, far more likely to oppose new home construction. [45]

You read that correctly, a supposed libertarians arguing that the problem with local government is that it represents the wishes of property owners too much! Once again, we see that Rothbard was correct to identify the destruction of local self-government as part of the left-libertarian agenda. Needless to say, the proper libertarian view is that the least harmful government would be the one that most reflects the wishes of property owners. Somin, Britschi and Hamilton clearly believe local residents cannot be trusted to make good decisions and they further believe that this justifies them and the central authorities they hope to influence in making these decisions for them. With this in mind, we should heed Jeff Deist's prescient warning about libertarian universalism:

Universalism provides the philosophical underpinnings for globalism, but globalism is not liberty: instead it threatens to create whole new levels of government. And universalism is not natural law; in fact it is often directly at odds with human nature and (true) human diversity. [46]

In sum, we can conclude that covenant communities, proprietary neighborhoods and voluntary zoning are the basis of a realistic libertarian social order. Because governments will not reform themselves, much less dissolve themselves, libertarians must think and act locally more. Of course, secession will ultimately be necessary, but that's putting the cart before the horse as strong local communities where property owners enjoy considerable autonomy is among the most fundamental prerequisites for secession and radical decentralization to be successful. This alone is a sufficient enough reason to defend planned communities like Cole's against the centralizing efforts of the state government. Perhaps even more importantly, with property owners paying dues to their HOA to establish their own rules and informed consent of the CC&Rs required to move in, neighborhoods like this fuction similarly to our libertarian model. This being the case, libertarians should be the most ardent defenders of neighborhoods like this. By championing planned communities, libertarians also have a useful approximation of how libertarian principles can work in practice for critics who charge libertarianism with being impractical. Moreover, the inexorable growth of the federal government has made libertarianism seem irrelevant to populists concerned with their day to day lives, as too many libertarians focus exclusively on the federal government. By contrast, this issue has an obvious impact on day to day lives and libertarians will be defending the things that matter most to people: the ability to protect and maintain their quality of life, the neighborhood they moved into and the equity in their homes as well as the right to exercise local control. It's imperative that paleolibertarians vigorously oppose Beltway libertarians and left-libertarians on this issue. Not only because their position leads to more centralization, violates property rights and moves us away from a libertarian social order, but also because the position taken by Somin and Reason completely misrepresents the libertarian position and reinforces numerous negative stereotypes about libertarians as out of touch, elitist, supercilious and more concerned with applying their ideology than the real world effects. On a final note, I was struck by the fact that there was nothing in Cole's column that couldn't be embraced by paleolibertarians. This issue shows once more that the champions of liberty won't always be self-proclaimed libertarians, though threats to liberty can indeed come from self-proclaimed libertarians.


1 See David Cole, “'Chaotic Diversity' in My Backyard,” Takimag.com [January, 21<sup>st</sup>, 2020].

2 For the two works this author considers the definitive paleolibertarian books see Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001) and The Irrepressible Rothbard Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard, Llewelyn H. Rockwell Jr., ed. (Center for Libertarian Studies, Burlingame, California, 2000); for another representative collection of paleolibertarian essays see also Ilana Mercer, Broad Sides: One Woman's Clash With A Corrupt Culture (Curva Peligrosa Press, 2009); for a concise explanation of paleolibertarianism see Rockwell, “The Case for Paleo-Libertarianism,” Liberty 3, vol. 3 [January 1990]: 34-38; for more noteworthy paleolibertarian essays and articles see Justin Raimondo, “Libertarianism's Divergent Roads,” Taki's Magazine [June 11<sup>th</sup>, 2008]; Jeff Deist, “For a New Libertarian,” Mises.org [July 28<sup>th</sup>, 2017]; Joseph Sobran, “The Reluctant Anarchist,” Sobran's [December 2002]: 3-6.

3 See Murray N. Rothbard, "Nations by Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State." Journal of Libertarian Studies 11, No. 1 (1994): 1–10.

4 See Hoppe, "The Case for Free Trade and Restricted Immigration." Journal of Libertarian Studies 13, No. 2 (1998): 221–233.

5 For more on egalitarianism see Rothbard, Egalitarianism as a Revolt against Nature, and Other Essays (Auburn, AL: Mises Institute, 2000).

6 See Hoppe, “A Realistic Libertarianism,” LewRockwell.com [September 30<sup>th</sup> , 2014]: Hoppe writes: Hence: just as every logician who wants to make good use of his knowledge must turn his attention to real thought and reasoning, so a libertarian theorist must turn his attention to the actions of real people. Instead of being a mere theorist, he must also become a sociologist and psychologist and take account of 'empirical' social reality, i.e., the world as it really is.”

7 See Rothbard, “The New Fusionism: A Movement For Our Time,” Rothbard-Rockwell Report 2, no. 1 [January 1991]: 9.

8 See ibid.

9 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), p. 213.

10 See Rothbard, “The New Fusionism: A Movement For Our Time,” Rothbard-Rockwell Report 2, no. 1 [January 1991]: 9-10; see also Hoppe, Introduction to The Ethics of Liberty (New York University Press, 1998), p. x1i; as Hoppe explained, this could also provide a solution to abortion: “The right to have an abortion does not imply that one may have an abortion anywhere. In fact, there is nothing impermissible about private owners and associations discriminating against and punishing abortionists by every means other than physical punishment. Every household and property owner is free to prohibit an abortion on his own territory and may enter into a restrictive covenant with other owners for the same purpose. Moreover, every owner and every association of owners is free to fire or not to hire and to refuse to engage in any transaction whatsoever with an abortionist. It may indeed be the case that no civilized place can be found anywhere and that one must retire to the infamous "back alley" to have an abortion. Not only would there be nothing wrong with such a situation, it would be positively moral in raising the cost of irresponsible sexual conduct and helping to reduce the number of abortions. In distinct contrast, the Supreme Court's decision was not only unlawful by expanding its, i.e., the central state's, jurisdiction at the expense of state and local governments, but ultimately of every private-property owner's rightful jurisdiction regarding his own property it was also positively immoral in facilitating the availability and accessibility of abortion.

11 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), pp. 214-215.

12 See Spencer H. MacCallum, The Art of Community (Menlo Park, Calif.: Institute for Humane Studies, 1970), pp. 63, 66, 67.

13 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), p. 216.

14 See MacCallum, The Art of Community (Menlo Park, Calif.: Institute for Humane Studies, 1970), p. 69.

15 MacCallum, The Art of Community (Menlo Park, Calif.: Institute for Humane Studies, 1970), p. 69.

16 See Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2008) p. 90.

17 For more on this, see Hoppe, The Private Production of Defense Journal of Libertarian Studies, Winter 1998-99, 14(1), pp. 27-52. idem, (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009).

18 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), p. 226.

19 See See MacCallum, The Art of Community (Menlo Park, Calif.: Institute for Humane Studies, 1970), p. 70.

20 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), p. 211.

21 For more on anarcho-tyranny see Samuel Francis, “Anarcho-Tyranny, U.S.A.” Chronicles [July 1994]: 14-18.

22 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001),, p. 213.

23 For a defense of discrimination see Walter Block, The Case for Discrimination (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010).

24 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), pp. 217-218.

25 See ibid, p. 218: “In a covenant concluded among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one’s own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism.”; The concept of free speech, like other rights, only makes sense in terms of property rights. For more on this see Rothbard. The Ethics of Liberty (New York University Press, 1998), chap. 15, p. 113: “the concept of "rights" only makes sense as property rights. For not only are there no human rights which are not also property rights, but the former rights lose their absoluteness and clarity and become fuzzy and vulnerable when property rights are not used as the standard.”

26 See ibid, 212n.

27 See Rothbard, "Nations by Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State." Journal of Libertarian Studies 11, No. 1 (1994): 1–10.

28 See Rockwell, “The Case for Paleo-Libertarianism,” Liberty 3, vol. 3 [January 1990] 37: “State-enforced segregation, which also violated property rights, was wrong, but so is State-enforced integration. State-enforced segregation was not wrong because separateness is wrong, however. Wishing to associate with members of one's own race, nationality, religion, class, sex, or even political party is a natural and normal human impulse.”

29 See ibid.

30 See Jeff Deist, “For a New Libertarian,” Mises.org [July 28<sup>th</sup>, 2017]: Deist succintly explained why the non-utopian nature of libertarianism is one of its strengths: “But libertarians believe in free will, [Rothbard] points out. People mold themselves. And therefore it’s folly to expect some drastic change to fit our preferred structure. We hope people will act morally, we believe liberty provides the right incentives for moral improvement. But we don’t rely on this to make liberty work. In fact only libertarianism accepts humans as they are, right here right now. It is in this sense that Rothbard sees liberty as 'eminently realistic,' the 'only theory that is really consistent with the nature of man and the world.' So let’s understand — and sell — liberty as a deeply pragmatic approach to organizing society, one that solves problems and conflicts by muddling through with the best available private, voluntary solutions. Let’s reject the grand visions and utopias for what will always be a messy and imperfect world. Better, not perfect, ought to be our motto.”

31 See Jared Taylor, White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21<sup>st</sup> Century (New Century Books, 2011), p. 42.

32 See ibid, p. 108.

33 See ibid, pp. 126-127.

34 See ibid, p. 127.

35 See Ilya Somin, “Minneapolis Strikes a Blow for Affordable Housing by Slashing Zoning Restrictions,” Reason.com [December 8<sup>th</sup>, 2018].

36 See idem, “Progress on Exclusionary Zoning, Regression on Rent Control,” Reason.com [December 25<sup>th</sup>, 2019]; see idem, “Progress in the Struggle Against Exclusionary Zoning,” Reason.com [December 25<sup>th</sup>, 2018].

37 See Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty, chap. 26. Rothbard noted, “utilitarianism scarcely suffices to make a case for liberty and laissez-faire.” (p. 202).

38 See Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), p. 138.

39 For more on forced busing, see Thomas E. Woods Jr., The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Washington: Regnery, 2004), pp. 200-205; see also Jared Taylor, Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1993), pp. 202-207.

40 See Rothbard, “The Big Government Libertarians: The Anti-Left-Libertarian Manifesto,” Rothbard-Rockwell Report 4, no. 12.

41 See Somin, “Minneapolis Strikes a Blow for Affordable Housing by Slashing Zoning Restrictions,” Reason.com [December 8<sup>th</sup>, 2018].

42 See idem, “Federalism and Property Rights” (April 30, 2011). University of Chicago Legal Forum, Symposium on Governance and Power, pp. 53-88, 2011; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 11-33.

43 See Rothbard, "Nations by Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State." Journal of Libertarian Studies 11, No. 1 (1994): 1–10

44 See Hoppe, Introduction to The Ethics of Liberty (New York University Press, 1998), pp.x1i-x1ii.

45 See Christian Britschgi, “Oregon Proposes Ditching Single-Family Zoning Statewide,” Reason.com [December 18<sup>th</sup>, 2018].

46 See Deist, “For a New Libertarian,” Mises.org [July 28<sup>th</sup>, 2017].