Beyond the gates

Some folks prefer to live behind them. I’m not quite sure I want to.


  1. paulsmos »

    10 April 2010 · 9:33 pm

    I’m all for gated communities. If you are not part of my “tribe”, I wish not to associate with your ass and will sequester/cloister myself accordingly. I’ve been all over this world and I haven’t the need or desire to understand your “culture”. Gated communities are a bulwark against multiculturalism. Mi Casa Su Casa….. WRONG!!!

  2. Jeffro »

    10 April 2010 · 10:04 pm

    In short, gates reduce the opportunity for social contact, and without social contact, this nation becomes less likely to fulfill its social contract.

    I demand to see that contract. What part of the Constitution is it in again?

  3. McGehee »

    10 April 2010 · 10:21 pm

    Gated communities look not a little like medieval burghs — though obviously there are striking differences, such as the fact a burgh tended to have its gates open a lot so the things people inside needed, like food, could be brought in.

    Still, the relationship between a gated community and the local government is very burgh-like; the prevailing authority permits the place to exist, and it relieves said authority of some of its responsibility, freeing (and of course providing, in its own turn) resources for other things.

    I wonder if there were malcontents and social Luddites in medieval times who frowned on the granting of royal city charters. Other than, you know, brigands and bandits.

  4. Kirk »

    11 April 2010 · 9:02 am

    If, as seems increasingly likely, the social fabric of this country continues to unravel, gated communities could in fact become virtual medieval burghs. The pseudo-security they produce now could be replaced by actual security, to the extent that the then-residents of these communities (who are, by the way, completely unlikely to be the current residents) choose to defend the walls by force. And why would the current residents not persist in these communities? For the simple reason that they have already chosen to delegate the critical matter of security into the hands of a hireling.

  5. Tatterdemalian »

    11 April 2010 · 8:41 pm

    Modern gated communities are as likely to become medieval burghs as a pig is to sprout wings and fly, even if you drop the pig off a cliff to encourage it. Gated communities simply are not built to provide all the necessities for life that even a simple walled village could. There are no wells for water, no masonic or carpenters’ workshops for the repairs the wall itself will need, and seldom even a power generator on the property sufficient to operate the gates. Like everything else constructed after the early Industrial Age, gated communities are built on the assumption that everything they need to exist can be easily purchased from any of dozens of local stores and supermarkets. If those all shut down for good (as they inevitably would if society truly does collapse), only the most absurdly overengineered gated communities will actually survive the conversion into walled villages. The rest will become death traps that slowly kill off the people huddled within, and eventually ghost towns scrounged for parts to build proper cities from.

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