III Arms, a firearms manufacturing company that makes a AR-15 rifle similar to those used in the recent shootings in Newtown, Mass., and Webster, N.Y., is planning to build a fortified, self-sustaining, community in Benewah County, Idaho. At the same time, media personality Glenn Beck has announced that he will build a community based upon "Galt's Gulch," the libertarian community featured in Ayn Rand's fictional work, Atlas Shrugged (1957).
III Arms calls its project the "Citadel." The community will exist, its website claims, for people who share their views about "patriotism, pride in American exceptionalism, liberty as defined by the Founding Fathers, and preparedness to survive man-made or natural disasters."
"Marxists, socialists, liberals and establishment Republicans will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles," the website states.
III Arms anticipates breaking ground on the community of 3,500 to 7,000 this summer. It hopes to purchase at least 2,000 acres and build multiple walls and guard towers around and within one square mile of the property.
Revenue will come from a III Arms manufacturing facility, some hotels and RV parks that will be built for visitors, and whatever other profitable enterprises are brought by new residents.
Anyone who wishes to participate in the community is invited to fill out an application on the website. The community will not be defined by any racial or religious barriers.
"We care not from which part of the globe you or your ancestors originated;" and, "space will be limited within the walls of the Citadel for building houses of worship. There will be plenty of space outside the walls," the website states.
It also states that the Citadel is primarily designed to withstand an "economic collapse scenario," but would not be able to withstand an attack from the U.S. military.
By comparison, Beck's concept sounds more like Disneyland than a walled fortress. Beck's planned $2 billion community, dubbed "Independence Park," would produce its own food, power and water supply as well as a surplus to generate revenue for the community.
The community would dovetail with Beck's plans to build a global media company to promote libertarian principles. All of the company facilities would be located in the new city, along with other entrepreneurial enterprises that he hopes will settle there.
All of the architecture in Independence Park will be modeled after other iconic buildings, such as Ellis Island. The housing will be designed to break down class barriers, Beck said, by putting affordable housing next to high-priced homes. It will also be designed to encourage greater socialization with common park areas in front of the homes.
"It's a way for us to interact with our neighbors, not bury ourselves in our hidden backyard," Beck explained on Blaze TV.
The facilities will also contain an underground library, archives and learning center that David Barton will be helping to design. Barton is a Christian author and political activist. His books are mostly about American history. Last year, Thomas Nelson publishers decided to no longer publish his book about Thomas Jefferson after several Christian historians complained that it contained numerous inaccuracies.
The learning center, Beck explained, will be a place where parents can send their kids to "show them the truth" and "de-program them."
Beck has not said where Independence Park would be built, but has looked at three potential sites and spoken to two governors about his plans.
While Citadel and Independence Park are different in many ways, they also share some similarities. The both appear to be responding to two common trends: a perceived loss of community and degradation of what both might describe as "traditional American values," and concerns about disasters and/or an economic and governmental collapse. The second theme is especially pronounced in the recent popularity of movies and TV shows depicting the aftermath of such a collapse, such as AMC's "The Walking Dead," NBC's "Revolution," "I Am Legend," "The Book of Eli," "The Hunger Games" and "The Road."