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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Why Does Glenn Beck Hate the Gap?

Posted by on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Yes, so Glenn Beck says he's "Going Galt" and setting up a self-sustaining libertarian commune somewhere. (For the moment, let's ignore the fact that in Atlas Shrugged, nobody ever announced that they were going Galt; they just disappeared so the helpless takers wouldn't try to ruin everything for them.) But Slog tipper Marc points out that Beck doesn't seem to understand what libertarianism means:

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...."There's not going to be a Gap here. There's no Ann Taylor. You want an Ann Taylor, go someplace else," Beck said in a video announcement. The marketplace, Beck says, will be a place for people to create their own businesses and learn from others.

This is a serious problem for Glenn's Gulch. The whole definition of libertarianism suggests that people and businesses should be able to spend money unimpeded, without rules or regulations getting in the way. But if Beck gets to determine who spends their money and where, that's not libertarianism—it's despotism. Strangely, I think Beck's fans won't have a problem with that.

 

Comments (32) RSS

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Ballard Pimp 1
There's a compound near Waco that's available.
Posted by Ballard Pimp on January 15, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this
dirac 2
More BioShock fantasies.

Ignoring the fact that libertarianism is more than the caricature that Americans--including/especially self-professed libertarians--make it out to be, I don't think they'd initially have a problem with Beckian despotism.

Didn't you see they shell out money for a "University" class ($9.95/month!)? Someone buys those fall out shelters too...maybe.
Posted by dirac on January 15, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
seandr 3
It's an interesting glimpse into the right wing mind. I don't think there is an "ism" that captures what these folks seem to be longing for.

I think the essence of it is a simple world - one in which you don't have to do the work of accommodating or negotiating with ideas and values that you don't share, where problems have simple, quick, and obvious solutions, where you don't have smarty-pants college educated people asking you tough questions and thinking they know better, and where you don't have poor indigent people asking for handouts or stealing them from you.

I read Erich Fromm's Escape From Freedom way back in the day, where he describes the protestant middle class of pre-Nazi Germany, and their anxiety at the drastic changes in Germany following the first world war. Might be time to pick up that old classic again.
Posted by seandr on January 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
4
So in other words it's going to resemble not a free market, but a naive fantasy of what free markets would look like, crossed with a naive fantasy of what small-town 1950s America looked like? Sounds about right.

It will be perfectly in step with Ayn Rand's own fantasy world, which reflects zero understanding of the capitalism of her own era and a creepy nostalgia for her misremembered vision of the age of the great steel and rail barons.
Posted by Proteus on January 15, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
dangerousgift 5
I think this is a fabulous idea. The argument against free market capitalism will be informed and strengthened through Glenn Beck's colossal failure
Posted by dangerousgift on January 15, 2013 at 1:28 PM · Report this
chinaski 6
Let's not discourage them.
Posted by chinaski on January 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Gurldoggie 7
One assumes they'll have free access to drugs, no cops, and lots and lots of guns. I say have at it.
Posted by Gurldoggie http://gurldogg.blogspot.com on January 15, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 8
I like the idea of buying local, but why does he always have to make everything so creepy?

Also, as a utility wonk, I wonder about infrastructure. Are they going to produce their own power? How? How will they handle things like load balancing and spinning reserve?

What about water and sewer? Will they internalize their pollution, or will they try to palm it off on the rest of us?

Just by the nature of it, it would have to be either someplace in the south or the Inland west. But where? All of the settle-able land has already been settled.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on January 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM · Report this
COMTE 9
Can't wait to see their "Stop Wal-Mart!" campaign.
Posted by COMTE on January 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM · Report this
10
@3 How about "separatism"? Basically, we're dealing with a growing cult of paranoid conspiracists. After Beck builds his little kingdom, I propose we build a West Bank -style wall around it, to keep them in, and come back in 1000 years and see how they did. I'm guessing Morlocks.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
11
I say we let them do it. Let all the right wingers go live there. When the last one enters, we lock the gate behind them and drop a "stupid bomb" on them. The fall out from this bomb will create electrical waves that will scramble their FOX news signal. In the process, it will also rewire their synapses so they can think for themselves, the result being that they slowly gain self-awareness (I say slowly because if they had a blinding flash of insight or enlightenment, they would probably just want to kill themselves). Eventually they will realize what fools they are and be so offended by their own behavior that they will be driven to go out and make a difference in the world instead of being bullheaded, divisive assholes.
Posted by grateful74 on January 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 12
I'm not sure which will kill them first: the elements or starvation. Either way, good luck, have fun, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 15, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 13
Let's pass a voter approved initiative to raise tax dollars to help fund this...and see if Glenn refuses the money
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on January 15, 2013 at 1:48 PM · Report this
LogopolisMike 14
Glenn Beck and company and Independence USA is the new Jim Bakker and PTL and Heritage USA. Same type of huckster, different type of snake oil.
Posted by LogopolisMike http://logopolis.typepad.com on January 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
@1, too many restrictive laws in the US. There's a camp in Guyana that would work. Maybe there's still Kool-Aid left!
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 15, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
16
By the way, if the subject comes up, like if they ask for it, I suggest we grant them full independent nation status. Otherwise, they'll be living on food stamps, SSI disability, farm crop supports, Medicaid, REA and rural telephony money, and voting in our elections. Their independence should be part of some deal where the have to renounce their US and state citizenship and right to any entitlements.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 15, 2013 at 2:11 PM · Report this
17
The ism you want is Nemoism, after Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

I vaguely remember a Roland Barthes essay on the Nautilus as a parable of bourgeois ego-centrism. Maybe Charles can help me out here - that kind of thing seems right up his alley.
Posted by Alden on January 15, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
18
I always thought that Johnston Atoll would be a great location for that kind of thing. It forces them to self-sustain, except from scratch. REEEEALLY from scratch.
Posted by Jennysayquah http://www.thisoffbeatlife.com on January 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 19
He's trying to ape the model of Celebration, FL.,except since it is supposedly liberatarian, they will be unable to make use of the often ridiculously specific rules used in most planned communities to enforce homogenity and keep property values high. Somehow I doubt most Libertarians will give up their rights to have brightly colored curtain linings.
Posted by thatsnotright on January 15, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
20
I disagree. Libertarianism is about freedom from the government. It's the belief that if you want to set up your own wackjob colony, with your own wackjob rules, filled with all of the wackjobs you know, you should be able to--that's your club. The important distinction is that Glen Beck is NOT asking the US Goverment to create laws that force all Americans to live by his wackjob rules. Smells like freedom.
Posted by RFSUP on January 15, 2013 at 3:28 PM · Report this
21
@20: Except the "club" being set up in utopian schemes like this one functions exactly like a government. So it isn't really about "freedom from the government" at all.
Posted by Proteus on January 15, 2013 at 3:42 PM · Report this
22
Get a camera crew there and you will have some awesome reality television.
Posted by judgemental on January 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
23
Enh you could have done better than to make your headline include a store that's going to be closed nationwide.
Posted by Gap's pulling out of US, for starters on January 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 24
You can't define libertarianism. Or SUV. Or quesidilla. Or assault weapon.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 15, 2013 at 5:23 PM · Report this
LEE. 25
interestingly, I was just checking out a website for another one of these libertarian paradises earlier today...

The Citadel

this one is going to be in northern Idaho and entirely gun-centric. I believe a gun manufacturer is setting it up as a matter of fact. also, it's totally walled in with plenty of sharpshooter towers around the perimeter. pretty awesome for the 11 year old in all of us!

Posted by LEE. on January 15, 2013 at 5:52 PM · Report this
26
It'll be exactly like what Ayn Rand did, then. This can end only two ways: hilarity or horror.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on January 15, 2013 at 9:13 PM · Report this
sirkowski 27
But libertarianism is despotism. Beck is just ahead of the curve.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on January 15, 2013 at 9:46 PM · Report this
kylembelltown 28
maybe they can take over this abandoned space?
http://www.tommyandjames.net/heritageusa…
Posted by kylembelltown on January 16, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this
29
Another peculiarity of his idea that popped out at me from the article.
"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."
Actually, most Americans came to this country through a vagina. So, if he really wants to make the main entrance similar to the way most people came to America...
Posted by Root on January 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
30
Also, isn't he the one that's always crying about how the government is going to round up conservatives and throw them in internment camps? So his solution is to round up conservatives and put them in an internment camp? Also, he's always worrying about how if the government knows who has guns they'll know where to come and get them. Well, the government certainly would know there were guns here.

Also, I'm curious to see what will happen when a factory sets up camp upstream and makes the river they're using for drinking water undrinkable, or else uses up all the water leaving them none. Will they call on the feds to save them or just storm the factory?

Someone's already asked my other main question. What about electricity? We all know renewable electricity is evil so is he going to build a coal fired power plant in his city?
Posted by Root on January 16, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Report this
31
@30 Municipal power??? THat's COMMUNIST! No, everyone has to make their own power, chop their own wood, tend their own steam engines, harness their own horses to their own mills. Like God intended. Cooperation and central power are tyranny! Liberty uber alles!!

Oh, and fuck Glenn Beck and the asp he rode in on.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 16, 2013 at 6:57 PM · Report this
32
Glenn Beck is not a Libertarian.
Posted by Daveh2120 on January 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM · Report this

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