Glenn Beck recently announced the creation of a libertarian-themed news network, drawing the ire of Ron Paul fans who correctly believe that libertarianism doesn't need any more crazy-person stigma than it's already got.
But Beck isn't going to stop at a mere re-branding and network launch. He's also announced plans to "go Galt" and create a libertarian community inspired by a bizarro combination of Disney World and Galt's Gulch of Atlas Shrugged fame. Though Beck estimates the project will cost $2 billion, it's an efficient fantasy, since we know Beck can serve as the mayor, town fool and, of course, town crier.
Called Independence, USA, the city will feature a marketplace occupied by small business owners, a media center, farms and workshops aimed at making the development self-sufficient, at least as far as Kool-Aid production is concerned. A religious mission based on the design of the Alamo would dominate the city center, while the front gate to the city would be modeled on Ellis Island. The community will also include residential developments, which just sound like delightful places to live.
It's a vision that should seem eerily familiar to anyone familiar with the work of liberal-leaning urban planners:
We advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.
That right there is a description of New Urbanism, a design movement promoting walkable, mixed-use communities over haphazard strip-mall development that became popular after World War II. And it sounds exactly like what Beck is building.
Which is odd, because a media celebrity like Beck building a community based on left-ish urbanist principles is exactly the kind of conspiracy Beck is supposed to be uncovering.
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Tags: Ayn Rand, Glenn Beck, Libertarian, Television