|I apologize for the cross-posting - I seldom fall victim to it - but I just put some of this on MSK's Objectivist Living in a similar topic thread.|
Florida's problematic gated communities
By Bonita Burton, Special to CNN
updated 9:59 AM EDT, Wed March 28, 2012
"Be as paranoid as possible!"
The screed from our homeowner association manager arrived in our mailbox printed inside a cheery holiday border. The message continued: "Our neighborhood is as safe as we make it. Make no mistake about it, you must be on your guard! Report suspicious behavior or individuals that do not belong in our community."
The call to arms echoed the strident sentiment of neighbors left nervous by the robbery of our home the day before. While we slept unaware at the back of an upscale gated community in Windermere, Florida, intruders came through the front door, took our big-screen TV, laptops and all of the presents from under the Christmas tree.
No matter that we hadn't activated our security system and most likely forgot to lock the door. Hysterical efforts to fortify the perimeter were in full swing.Fenced in against their own insecurity, residents living within the perimeter revere active vigilance. Those who want to play border patrol and muscle outsiders around can easily do so unchecked.
"When you discourage drive-through traffic and pedestrians, it becomes abnormal to see someone walking. And now you've created a situation where two people alone are hazardous to each other because there's no one else around, no cars driving by, no eyes on the street, " Harris added
DECEMBER 19, 2001
When Police Power Goes Private
On January 2, 1998, Miguel Valdes, a private security guard working for a Florida bank, shot a customer for double parking. Nobody would disagree that Valdes went way over the line. In contrast to public police, private police enjoy only a clearly circumscribed set of powers to enforce public laws. They have the power of citizen's arrest and the capacity to eject trespassers from private property. But beyond this, private police may not use physical force, pursue, detain, search, or seize. Overzealousness may be a constant temptation for what some people derisively call "cop wannabes," but we usually know overstepping when we see it. But now reverse the private-public arrow, and consider another problem: public police enforcing private rules. Put away the image of a liveried private security guard brandishing a gun at you for double parking, and imagine instead a uniformed police officer coming to your door and telling you to mow your lawn. This actually happens.
But policing remains a special case: it engages laws or rules, which are social constructions, and force and space, which are physical entities. Each can be either public or private; but here blurring of the lines is not so easily done, and the social consequences are potentially far greater. It is not physically possible for a police officer to wear two kinds of uniform—public and private—at the same time, even if she is enforcing two different sets of laws. Nor is it possible for two different sets of laws to govern the same physical space, even if both a public government and a private government have jurisdiction over it.
As Fred and I discussed the traffic flows in Europe and Bangladesh, no laws can protect you against a culture of disuse, abuse, decadence and decay. Ayn Rand insisted that politics is the last thing to worry about. Get the metaphysics and epistemology right, and the rest will follow.
German town removes traffic signs.
Ipswich, England is among half a dozen others
But as Fred pointed out, it depends on culture, because in Dhaka, Bangladesh, they just step over the bodies...
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 7/27, 11:18am)