Glenn Beck Building Ayn Rand-Inspired Utopia

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-102732350/stock-photo--fairy-tale-princess-castle-from-dreams.html?src=4db602c2a24036b007efa6e7e6a253a2-1-56">Elena Schweitzer</a>/Shutterstock.com; Pete Marovich/ZumaPress.com

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Glenn Beck has a dream. On Thursday, the former Fox News host, gold bug, survival-seed guru, movie star, and bestselling author unveiled plans for a new planned community—inspired by the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged—to be built at an undisclosed location somewhere in the United States*.

No, really:

Glenn believes that he can bring the heart and the spirit of Walt’s early Disneyland ideas into reality. Independence, USA wouldn’t be about rides and merchandise, but would be about community and freedom. The Marketplace would be a place where craftmen and artisan could open and run real small businesses and stores. The owners and tradesmen could hold apprenticeships and teach young people the skills and entrepreneurial spirit that has been lost in today’s entitlement state.

There would also be an Media Center, where Glenn’s production company would film television, movies, documentaries, and more. Glenn hoped to include scripted television that would challenge viewers without resorting to a loss of human decency. He also said it would be a place where aspiring journalists would learn how to be great reporters.

Across the lake, there would be a church modelled after The Alamo which would act as a multi-denominational mission center. The town will also have a working ranch where visitors can learn how to farm and work the land.

Independence would also be home to a Research and Development center where people would come to learn, innovate, educate, and create. There would be a theme park for people to recharge and have fun with their families.

People would also have the option to live in Independence, with a residential area where people of different incomes could all come together and be neighbors.

Beck estimates the city-theme-park will cost about $2 billion to build, or roughly .002 trillion-dollar platinum coins, or .178 Fox News blue whales.

Correction: This post originally stated that the city would be in Texas. Beck hasn’t specified which state he’ll build Independence in.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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