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Welcome to Fantasy Island (Glenn Beck Edition)

Via The Lookout at Yahoo:  Glenn Beck announces plans for Independence, USA

Right-wing rabble-rouser Glenn Beck recently announced that he wanted to "go Galt" and create a self-sustaining community, inspired by the philosophy of Ayn Rand’s character John Galt from "Atlas Shrugged."

The community will be known as Independence, USA. If and when it is completed, Independence will produce its own food and TV and film content. There will be homes, baseball fields and a theme park. Think: Small Town, USA, but with a Beckish vibe.

Beck announced his plans on "The Glenn Beck Program." The main entrance to the proposed community will be based on Ellis Island because, in Beck’s words, that’s how most Americans came to the country.

[...]

What’s Beck’s utopia gonna cost? Around $2 billion. Beck says he’s willing to take steps to make his vision happen "one piece at a time."

Where to start? (Well, one place to start: where the frak is he going to get $2 billion?-ed.).

Some practical questions:  why would anyone live there?  Where will the clean water, electricity, etc. going to come from?

Of course, the Ellis Island bit just screams as to what an utter fantasy this is.

You know, I would be at least vaguely impressed if he went out in the middle of nowhere, started from scratch, and showed us all how it should be done, but somehow I don’t see that happening.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. A compound of like minded people (located, according to reports in Texas), what could possibly go wrong???

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  2. @Doug Mataconis: Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. Tony W says:

    If it gets him out of the U.S. I’ll donate!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  4. Nikki says:

    Going wrong is a feature, not a bug. It’ll all go bankrupt and, as usual, the insiders will walk away with everyone else’s dough. It’s still the grift, just on a slightly grander scale.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    But will it be powered by a perpetual motion machine and protected by holograms? If not, it’s not really going Galt.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  6. MM says:

    Maybe they can put it next to the 3 percent citadel and they can fight it out for who is more Galtesque.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  7. How’s the Ayn Rand college doing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  8. An Interested Party says:

    Sadly for Beck, this kind of thing has been tried before…unless, of course, there is some grifter angle he is pursuing…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  9. de stijl says:

    Oh my golly. Glenn Beck wants to cocoon in the warm embrace of white resentment of Randian utopianism. Who could have predicted?

    Do I get a hundred Ayn bucks if I correctly predict that Glenn fancies himself the leader of this rabble? He may have actually lived the grift so hard and so long, that he really believes it now.

    @Alex Knapp:

    You nailed it.

    But will it be powered by a perpetual motion machine and protected by holograms? If not, it’s not really going Galt.

    The thing I love most about Ayn’s fantasyland is that it requires both unpossible physics and hand wave technology to be plausible.

    That this “utopia” is bathed in a repugnant current of barely disguised sociopathology absolutely, positively does not provide any insight to the mental health of the progenitor of said fantasyland.

    Her fiction did not have a single thing to do with her truly effed up childhood. Listen to this Rush song and you will see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  10. michael reynolds says:

    This would actually make a pretty good sitcom. Crazy but charismatic blowhard starts a community. I could see Shatner in the lead role. He’s got two kids, one smart and liberal, the other a sort of mini-me of Shatner. Long-suffering wife. Wacky cult members. Goofy FBI agent assigned to watch them.

    I am totally going to pitch this to CAA.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  11. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MM: I used to live near St. Maries. That is really beautiful country.

    “There are several counties in Idaho that will work equally well for the Citadel Project if Benewah County fails to offer our Citadel Team suitable incentives.”

    Wait… “suitable incentives?” Are these guys just another bunch of pseudo-neocons who want to suck at the teat of the gum’mint while protesting that they “live free and independent lives?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. de stijl says:

    Today’s Tom Sawyer apparently needs $2bn in OPM to get his fence painted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. michael reynolds says:

    Interesting earlier moments on OTB. Jay Tea — currently masquerading as Jenos Indiana Jones Whatever — insists to me that Beck was not being fired from Fox and would have an ongoing relationship with them. Also that Beck was not crazy.

    Anyone seen Beck on Fox since he was “not fired?” Seen any of those specials he was going to produce for Fox?

    And is he now establishing a compound?

    Yep. Game, set, match. The only thing I missed was that I thought Beck was on his way to rehab. Just one more sign of our broken mental health system.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  14. ernieyeball says:

    I suspect $2 Billion Beck Bucks would buy the Biosphere…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2

    He could then rename it the…Beckosphere!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    On the plus side, it would take a decent number of wackos out of general pop and into a segregated unit.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  16. matt says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: If I thought he was serious I’d donate some.

    It’d be money well spent to get of him and his followers….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. Kylopod says:

    @Nikki:

    Going wrong is a feature, not a bug. It’ll all go bankrupt and, as usual, the insiders will walk away with everyone else’s dough.

    That is exactly what I was thinking. Along with the whole Goldline fiasco, it’s one thing that makes Beck a touch worse than the old Limbaugh-style demagogue. Limbaugh is an obnoxious, racist, lying propagandist, as are many of his heirs (Hannity, Levin, Savage, O’Reilly, etc.), but Beck seems to have introduced something new to the game, which is a spectacular capacity for bilking his own supporters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  18. James H says:

    You know, I would be at least vaguely impressed if he went out in the middle of nowhere, started from scratch, and showed us all how it should be done, but somehow I don’t see that happening.

    That’s the thing. If people are going to do something like this, they actually just pick up and do it. People like Beck just like to make a lot of noise about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. Rob in CT says:

    Grift.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. grumpy realist says:

    There’s a wonderful thread over at Balloon Juice about the Citadel’s plans…Doug, you might want to link to it. Absolutely hilarious. It’s like what’d you’d expect if a bunch of actual historians did a fisking of one of the so-called “historical analyses” regularly vomited up by the Doughy Pantload.

    And for the Ayn Randites, I of course have to link to this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  21. scott says:

    I love these ideas. Here is what will happen. These islands of freedom will be formed, people will move to them, and then they will start complaining about all the restrictions on their freedoms. These are just Homeowners Associations on steroids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  22. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Kylopod:

    Beck seems to have introduced something new to the game, which is a spectacular capacity for bilking his own supporters.

    Bilking one’s supporters is part and parcel of the radio personality game. Take all the personal endorsement advertisements and the “talking up” of products (or songs before that).

    What Beck has perfected is a seamless integration of content and advertising delivered with the conviction (and tears) of a televangelist. He presents evidence for the fall of the world economy and follows it up with an advertisement for gold and survival seeds. And everything is delivered on an agony and ecstasy roller-coaster where every point is punctuated with tears and a “from the heart” honesty.

    Glenn Beck knows you pain, he’s felt your pain, and he’ll sell you a fix for it, one that he promises will work because it worked on his pain first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  23. carpeicthus says:

    Does he know where Ellis Island is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @carpeicthus:
    Sure he does. Just as he knows that, when people passed through Ellis Island’s doors, they were immediately and magically purged of icky foreignness. Through the blessed divine blood of the founding fathers, those dirty immigrant masses were transfigured into English-only speaking, god fearing, red blooded conservative Americans.

    Baptized in freedom and the constitution, Ellis Island was where the wretched masses yearing to breath free were re-christened with waspish names (in many cases their skin tones also lightened too) and welcomed with open and always accepting arms by the loving city of New York.

    Some how this all changed in the years immediately following World War II (in the same way that smoking suddenly stopped being good for you and drunk driving and spousal abuse were no longer funny). I’m told it had something to do with the rise of liberal Hollywood and Liberalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  25. @Kylopod: Limbaugh, Hannity, and most of the others also advertised Goldline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Timothy Watson:
    Correct, but the others don’t integrate it into their content in the same way Beck does. Nor does it fit their overall message as comfortably.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. rudderpedals says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    On the plus side, it would take a decent number of wackos out of general pop and into a segregated unit.

    Kind of a South Carolina but with better inmate control?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  28. @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation): Good point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. EddieInCA says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Beck occasionally appears on O’Reilly’s show.

    That’s the only one I know of, but Im guessing he’s probably been on the morning show once or twice as well.

    Ed

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. Tyrell says:

    Don’ t they already have places like that in Utah ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. jd says:

    @ernieyeball: “He could then rename it the…Beckosphere!!!”
    And a Republican candidate will refer to it as “Uzbecko-becko-sphere-sphere”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I believe it reads more plausibly with the following changes:

    The community will be known as Independence, USA North Korea. If and when it is completed, Independence will produce its own food and TV and film content. There will be homes, baseball fields and a theme park. Think: Small Town, USA, North Korea but with a Beckish vibe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0