Categories
Patriots

Why We Drink [Video]

Alcohol facilitates human cooperation and creativity on a grand scale, says Edward Slingerland, a philosophy professor at the University of British Columbia.https://reason.com/video/2022/06/30/the-case-for-drinking/——————-“We’ve been looking at alcohol consumption through this very distorted lens,” says Edward Slingerland, author of Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization. “We’ve only been looking at it as a kind of addictive pleasure substance. We haven’t been seeing any of the positive social benefits.”While not minimizing the dangers of overuse, Slingerland lays out a case that alcohol is a cultural technology that motivated humans to create and maintain civilization. “[Alcohol] helps us to be more creative. It helps us to be more communal. It helps us to cooperate on a large scale. It helps to make it easier for us to kind of rub shoulders with each other in large-scale societies that we live in. So it solved a bunch of adaptive problems that we uniquely face as a species because of this weird lifestyle we have.”Alcohol’s effect on the brain’s prefrontal cortex (PFC), Slingerland argues, allows us to be more receptive and creative. “One of the functions of alcohol is to reach in and basically turn down our prefrontal cortex a few notches, temporarily taking us back to being like a four-year-old in terms of our cognitive flexibility but with all the knowledge and the goals and the affordances of being an adult. And it’s temporary,” says Slingerland. “A few hours later, we’re back to being adults again. So depressing the PFC increases…allows parts of our brain to talk in ways that normally they don’t.” Suppressing the prefrontal cortex also makes it more difficult to lie.”In every culture I know, whenever you get potentially hostile strangers or people with potentially competing interests who have to come to an agreement and figure something out, alcohol’s involved. And in places that don’t have alcohol, they use some other substance that has exactly the same function. The same way we shake hands when we need to show we’re not carrying a weapon, if I sit down and drink a few beers with you, I’m basically taking my PFC out and putting it on the table and saying, ‘you know, I’m cognitively disarmed.'” “We have to learn to trust, even though it’s not rational to trust,” he says. “And alcohol’s a tool for helping us to do that, not only by disarming our ability to lie and deceive other people, but it’s also boosting serotonin and endorphins. It’s making us feel good about each other. It’s bonding us.”Produced and edited by Meredith Bragg. Motion graphics by Bragg and Lex Villena.

Categories
Patriots

The Dirty Pictures That Revolutionized Art [Video]

Brian Doherty’s history of underground comix chronicles how Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and others challenged censorship and increased free speech.https://reason.com/video/2022/06/29/the-dirty-pictures-that-revolutionized-art/——————-Starting in the 1960s, a maverick band of young cartoonists like Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Trina Robbins, and Gilbert Shelton starting churning out comic books the likes of which had never seen before. These “undergound” works definitely weren’t aimed at kids and they didn’t follow the exploits of costumed do-gooders or anodyne high schoolers like Riverdale High’s Archie, Betty, and Veronica.Drawing inspiration from Mad magazine and horror comics that had been subjected to congressional scrutiny in the 1950s, the new “comix” were filled with sex, drugs, and violence; ruthlessly satirized mass culture; and drew the ire of crusaders against obscenity and cultural decline. Yet within a decade, underground comix had become recognized as a vital artistic force in America whose influence is still massive and growing in art, music, movies, design, and more.Brian Doherty’s Dirty Pictures: How an Underground Network of Nerds, Feminists, Misfits, Geniuses, Bikers, Potheads, Printers, Intellectuals, and Art School Rebels Revolutionized Art and Invented Comix, is the definitive history of this vital yet underappreciated aspect of American popular culture. The artists Doherty writes about—many of whom whom went on to win Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur “genius” grants, and both mass and critical acclaim—shook up popular culture and the high art world while fighting for radical, creative expression in an age of censorship. The lessons from their struggles are particularly prescient for a contemporary world beseiged by cancel culture and all manner of attempts to shut down speech deemed offensive, triggering, or morally suspect.Doherty is a Reason senior editor and the author of books such as the This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, and Ron Paul’s rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired. Nick Gillespie interviews him about comix, their enduring relevance, and the surprising connections between alternative art and political movements such as libertarianism.This interview was taped live on Monday, June 20, 2022, as part of the Reason Speakeasy series, held monthly in New York City. Go here for podcast and video versions of past events.

Categories
Patriots

COVID Exposed the Truth About the CDC [Video]

The agency will never be controlled by fact-driven experts shielded from politics.https://reason.com/video/2022/06/28/covid-19-exposed-the-truth-about-the-cdc/——————-The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was once widely viewed as the gold standard in public health, considered an apolitical, science-driven bulwark against all pathogen threats, foreign and domestic.Today, trust in the agency has plummeted because COVID-19 exposed the truth: The CDC is thoroughly corruptible, and federal regulators will never be impartial experts. They respond to political incentives just like everyone else, and a fact-driven, purely technocratic state is an impossible dream.The Trump administration pressured the CDC to narrow the scope of testing so case counts would drop, blocked officials from doing interviews, and edited its flagship scientific reports. The CDC provided a scientifically dubious public health rationale for rejecting migrants at the southern border. President Joe Biden continued that policy, and under his purview, CDC guidance on school closures was surreptitiously written by leaders of the country’s second-largest teachers union.Tom Frieden, a former CDC director, co-authored a 2021 op-ed with three other former agency heads expressing hope that Biden’s incoming CDC Director Rochelle Walensky would “restore the public’s confidence in the CDC’s scientific objectivity,” with its reputation “a shadow of what it once was.” Yet, Frieden endorsed large-scale protests against racial injustice two months after writing in The Washington Post that “the faucet of everyday activities needs to be turned on slowly. We cannot open the floodgates.” Meanwhile, public health officials were keeping people from attending the funerals of their loved ones.And could it be pure coincidence that the CDC chose the Friday before President Biden’s State of the Union address to drop its indoor mask recommendation for the majority of Americans, even though the supporting data were months old?In other words, it doesn’t matter who occupies the White House—political incentives mean that, no matter how dedicated or competent the career scientists who work at the CDC are, the agency will never be controlled by fact-driven experts shielded from the “hurry and strife of politics,” as Woodrow Wilson wrote. After decades of mission creep, the CDC’s role should be strictly narrowed, limited to surveillance and coordination, leaving the heavy lifting to local officials and private and academic researchers who are more reactive to direct feedback from their communities.Written and produced by Justin Monticello. Edited by Isaac Reese. Graphics by Reese, Tomasz Kaye, and Nodehaus. Audio production by Ian Keyser.Music: “Robotic Butterflies” by Evgeny Bardyuzha; “We Fall” by Stanley Gurvich; “Free Radicals” by Stanley Gurvich.Photos: BSIP/Newscom; BSIP/Newscom; Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Newscom; Shawn Thew – Pool via CNP/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Alex Edelman/ZUMA Press/Newscom; SMG/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Simon Shin/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Michael Brochstein/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Adam Schultz/White House/Newscom; Brazil Photo Press / SplashNews/Newscom; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; Polaris/Newscom; Jonathan Alpeyrie/Polaris/Newscom; Aimee Melo/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; Julian Stratenschulte/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; Sven Hoppe/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

Categories
Patriots

The Guardians of Free Speech [Video]

Because of the social media circus surrounding the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation trial, it was easy to overlook one of the principal—yet least likely—actors in the courtroom drama: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which ghostwrote and placed the 2018 Washington Post op-ed by Heard about surviving domestic abuse that was the basis of the trial.https://reason.com/video/2022/06/23/as-the-aclu-recedes-from-its-core-mission-fire-expands-to-fill-the-void/——————-It’s only the latest example of how the group has in recent years strayed from its original mission of defending speech, no matter how vile. Awash with money after former President Donald Trump was elected, the ACLU transformed into an organization that championed progressive causes, undermining the principled neutrality that helped make it a powerful advocate for the rights of clients ranging from Nazis to socialists.It questioned the due process rights of college students accused of sexual assault and harassment under Title IX rules. It ran partisan ads against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a move that current Executive Director Anthony Romero told The New York Times was a mistake. The ACLU also called for the federal government to forgive $50,000 per borrower in student loans.As the ACLU recedes from its mission, enter another free speech organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE. Founded in 1999 to combat speech codes on college campuses, FIRE is expanding to go well beyond the university and changing its name to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. The group has raised $29 million toward a three-year “litigation, opinion research and public education campaign aimed at boosting and solidifying support for free-speech values.””I think there have been better moments for freedom of speech when it comes to the culture,” says FIRE’s president, Greg Lukianoff. “When it comes to the law, the law is about as good as it’s ever been. But when it comes to the culture, our argument is that it’s gotten a lot worse and that we don’t have to accept it.”Lukianoff tells Reason that FIRE’s new initiatives have been in the works for years, but gained urgency during the COVID lockdowns. “Pretty much from day one, people have been asking us to take our advocacy off campus to an extent nationally,” he says. “But 2020 was such a scarily bad year for freedom of speech on campus and off, we decided to accelerate that process.” Despite 80 percent of campuses being closed and doing instruction remotely, Lukianoff says that FIRE received 50 percent more requests for help from college students and faculty. He also points to The New York Times’ editorial page editor, James Bennet, getting squeezed out after running an article by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) and high-profile journalists such as Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan, and Matt Yglesias “stepping away from [their publications], saying that the environment was too intolerant.”FIRE is also expanding its efforts beyond legal advocacy and into promoting what Lukianoff calls “the culture of free speech.” As Politico reports, it will spend $10 million “in planned national cable and billboard advertising featuring activists on both ends of the political spectrum extolling the virtues of free speech.”He says that people in their 40s and 50s grew up in a country where the culture of free speech was embedded in colloquial sayings and common attitudes. “Things like everyone’s entitled to their opinion, which is something you heard all the time when we were kids. It’s a free country, to each their own, statements of deep pluralism, like the idea that [you should] walk a mile in a man’s shoes,” he explains. “All of these things are great principles for taking advantage of pluralism, but they’ve largely sort of fallen out of usage due to a growing skepticism about freedom of speech, particularly on campus, that’s been about 40 years in the making.”Lukianoff has nothing negative to say about the ACLU (in fact, he used to work there) and stresses that FIRE has worked with the organization since “day one” and continues to do so. But unlike the ACLU, FIRE isn’t at risk of turning into a progressive advocacy organization, partly because its staff is truly bipartisan.That pluralistic pride extends to the groups funding FIRE, too. Lukianoff thinks that despite the rise of cancel culture, most Americans still understand the value of free speech, but they need to be encouraged to stand up for it. FIRE’s polling, he says, reveals that “it’s really a pretty small minority, particularly pronounced on Twitter, that is anti-free-speech philosophically and thinks that people should shut up and conform.”For that reason, he’s upbeat that FIRE will succeed in helping to restore belief in the value and function of free speech. Interview by Nick Gillespie. Edited by Regan Taylor.

Categories
Patriots

Red Cop / Blue Cop [Video]

Keeping the streets safe…for themselves.Partisan cops, forced to work together. But when third parties emerge, Republicans and Democrats join forces to defeat their common enemy.Written and produced by Austin Bragg; performed by Austin Bragg, Andrew Heaton, and Meredith Bragg; camera by Meredith Bragg.

Categories
Patriots

Ron Paul’s Giuliani Moment & the New Libertarian Party [Video]

“Making the Libertarian Party environment friendlier to the larger Liberty movement” is a priority, incoming chair Angela McArdle told Reasonfull text and links: https://reason.com/video/2022/06/21/libertarians-must-be-truth-tellers-says-new-party-chair-angela-mcardle/——————Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.comLike us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reason.MagazineFollow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reason​​​Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.—————-“The main function of the Libertarian Party is to try to make the United States a freer place,” says Angela McArdle, who won her election for Libertarian National Committee chair with an overwhelming 70 percent of the vote at the party’s national convention in Reno Nevada this May. “People disagree on what strategy to take to achieve that purpose. I believe there’s room for both strategies: to send out strong messaging campaigns and to win elections.” McArdle had the backing of the Mises Caucus, whose candidates swept all the leadership positions at the convention. Reason’s Nick Gillespie sat down with her in Reno a day before she became the party’s new chair to better understand what changes she wants to make to the party’s messaging, political strategy and official policies.Produced by Nick Gillespie and Zach Weissmueller; editing by Adam Czarnecki and Danielle Thompson; sound editing by John Osterhoudt; camera by James Marsh and Weissmueller.

Categories
Patriots

‘By Our Fruits, You’ll Know Us’: The Mises Caucus Mastermind [Video]

“[Libertarians] need to push forward our own culture, our own vision, our own language, our own narrative” and change “the way people think,” says Mises Caucus founder Michael Heise.Full text, links, and credits: https://reason.com/video/2022/06/16/by-our-fruits-youll-know-us-the-mises-caucus-mastermind/——————Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/ReasonTVLike us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reason.MagazineFollow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reason​​​Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.—————-“The foundation of our strategy is nullification and decentralization,” says Michael Heise, founder of the Mises Caucus and the leading strategist behind the group’s takeover of the Libertarian Party at its 2022 convention in Reno, Nevada.The caucus fashions itself as the Ron Paul movement 2.0, with a message focused on ending wars, ending the Federal Reserve, and ending what it calls the “COVID regime.”Heise formed the Mises Caucus after the 2016 presidential run of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.”Gary Johnson: 4.3 million votes, highest vote total ever. [But he created] no lasting movement, no return on investment on those votes,” says Heise.Heise won the backing of influential libertarian podcasters Tom Woods and Dave Smith and began the methodical work of getting his allies into leadership positions in the majority of Libertarian Party state affiliates. By 2022, the Mises Caucus controlled 37 state delegations. With that control, Mises Caucus–endorsed candidates swept the national party’s entire leadership slate at the convention, which means that big changes are coming to the Libertarian Party.Reason sat down with Heise to talk about the party’s new strategy, how to measure success, and his response to critics who say that the Mises Caucus is damaging the party and the wider libertarian movement.Produced by Nick Gillespie and Zach Weissmueller; edited by Adam Czarnecki; sound editing by John Osterhoudt; additional graphics by Regan Taylor

Categories
Patriots

Inside the Mises Caucus Takeover of the Libertarian Party [Video]

Supporters say they want to “make the Libertarian Party libertarian again.” Critics say they’re shitposting edgelords who will destroy the LP from within.Full text, links, and credits: https://reason.com/video/2022/06/15/inside-the-mises-caucus-takeover-of-the-libertarian-party/——————Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/ReasonTV?sub_….Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reason.Magaz….Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reason​​​Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.—————-The Libertarian Party (L.P.) is under new management, tweeted Angela McArdle, shortly after she became the National Committee’s new chair at its 2022 annual convention in Reno, Nevada, which was attended by more than 1,000 delegates from around the country.”We’re obviously at a crossroads right now,” McArdle said during a debate for the chair position. “I hate to sound like a scumbag politician…but we are going to move heaven and earth to make this [party] functional and not embarrassing for you. We are going to change the country.”McArdle, who won her election with about 70 percent of the vote, is part of the Mises Caucus, which swept all the national leadership roles and is now in complete control of the nation’s third-largest political party.Mises Caucus supporters say they want to “make the Libertarian Party libertarian again,” that it should no longer be concerned about offending progressives or Beltway types and shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to the coalition that elected former President Donald Trump. McArdle says that the party faceplanted during the pandemic by failing to take a strong stance against lockdowns and vaccine mandates and that its messaging is far too tame and conventional to counter the power of the authoritarian state.”If something like a lockdown or a vaccine mandate happens [again], we won’t whiff the ball and humiliate ourselves and alienate everyone out there,” she said in her acceptance speech.Critics say they’re shitposting edgelords who make controversial statements just to attract attention and that they have no interest in running viable candidates for office.Produced by Nick Gillespie and Zach Weissmueller; edited by Danielle Thompson; additional graphics by Regan Taylor; camera by James Marsh; sound editing by John Osterhoudt.Photos: Keiko Hiromi/AFLO/Newscom; Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Paul Hennessy/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Jeremy Hogan/Polaris/Newscom; Albin Lohr-Jones; John Lamparski/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Brian Cahn/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Tim Evanson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; tedeytan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Ludwig von Mises Institute, via Wikimedia Commons; LvMI, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Stefani Reynolds/CNP / Polaris/Newscom.Music: “Abstract Emotion” by Stefano Mastronardi via Artlist / “Bang the Drums” by Rhythm Scott via Artlist / “Born Tough” by Falconer via Artlist / Coriolis” by REW via Artlist / “Counting the Money” by Ian Post via Artlist / “Deep Blue” by Stefano Mastronardi via Artlist / “Galaxy” by Sunny Fruit via Artlist / “Glass” by Claudio Laucci via Artlist / “Hajimari” by Searching for Light via Artlist / “Pistol” by Phototaxis via Artlist / “Poetic Sushi” by Amparo via Artlist / “River Runs Deep” by SLPSTRM via Artlist / “Roar” by Peter Spacey via Artlist / “Slow Down” by REPINA via Artlist / “Vendetta” by AlexGrohl via Artlist / “Voyager” by Vis Major via Artlist / “Yes I Am” by Zach Sorgen, The Wildcardz via Artlist

Categories
Patriots

America Would Be Better Off If Bitcoin Became the World’s Reserve Currency [Video]

It would force us to “live within our means,” says Avik Roy, the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.https://reason.com/video/2022/06/09/avik-roy-america-would-be-better-off-if-bitcoin-became-the-worlds-reserve-currency/——————————Can bitcoin really become the world’s reserve currency if it doesn’t displace the dollar, the euro, or the yuan as an everyday medium of exchange? Why isn’t its price increasing as inflation rises to levels not seen in 40 years? What sorts of regulations—if any—would best facilitate the wide scale adoption of bitcoin not just among the wealthy but the unbanked of the world?Avik Roy is the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, an Austin, Texas based think tank that focuses on economic growth and mobility. He says that bitcoin improves on the ability of gold as a non-state-backed store of value and has shown itself to be effectively uncensorable—qualities that will allow it to act as a game-changing restraint on the worst actions of governments and central banks.Reason spoke with him at the Bitcoin conference in Miami in April.Produced by Nick Gillespie; edited by Adam CzarneckiPhoto Credits: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy/Flickr/Creative Commons

Categories
Patriots

Hong Kong Is a ‘Wake-Up Call for the World’ [Video]

Former ‘Apple Daily’ writer Simon Lee says China’s crackdown reveals the CCP’s ambitions for global authoritarianism.https://reason.com/video/2022/06/08/hong-kong-is-a-wake-up-call-for-the-world/——————————“For a very long time, we thought we could leave China alone, and China would leave the world alone,” says Simon Lee, co-founder of the Hong Kong–based free market think tank, the Lion Rock Institute, and a former columnist for Apple Daily. “But [the 2019-2020 government crackdown in Hong Kong] shows the world that China cannot just be itself in that middle kingdom, surrounded by walls. They want the world to accept the fact that China has a better system, a better way of doing things.”Apple Daily was the second most-read news site in Hong Kong until the police raided its offices, seized its assets, and arrested and imprisoned its founder, Jimmy Lai. He was eventually charged with committing “foreign collusion,” organizing unlawful assemblies, aiding a dissident in an attempted escape to Taiwan, and committing fraud by subleasing the newspaper’s office space.The site has stopped publishing, and its archives are now only accessible via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, though a Taiwan-based version of the publication is still live.Meanwhile the 74-year-old Lai—an entrepreneur and activist who points to F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom as the inspiration for his fight—remains in prison, where he might stay for the rest of his life.Lee sat down with Reason to discuss his ex-boss’s legacy, the history of Apple Daily, the future of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, and how libertarians should think about the increasingly strained relations between China and the U.S.He started by telling us about Lai’s warning to him in the weeks preceding the raid of Apple Daily’s offices: That he should leave Hong Kong immediately.”Jimmy texted me and he said, it is not safe anymore. You better go,” says Lee. “He knew it very well. Hong Kong was not safe. He knew that he [was] in danger, but he chose to stay.” Produced by Zach Weissmueller; edited by John Osterhoudt and Adam Czarnecki; graphics by Regan Taylor. Photos: Yan Yan Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; TOM WALKER/UPI/Newscom; Ju Peng Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Xie Huanchi Xinhua News Agency/Newscom;  Dickson Lee/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Sam Tsang/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Chan Ho-him/SCMP/Newscom; Sam Tsang/SCMP/Newscom; CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom; Post Staff Photographer/SCMP/Newscom; Winson Wong/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Keith Tsuji/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Leung Man Hei/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Huang Jingwen Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Geovien So / SOPA Images/Sipa US/Newscom; Felix Wong/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; MARTIN CHAN/SCMP/Newscom; Winson Wong/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Artyom Ivanov/ZUMA Press/Newscom;Dominic Chiu/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Martin Chan/SCMP/Newscom; Perry Hui / SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Newscom; CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom; Michael Ho Wai Lee/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Michael Ho Wai Lee/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

Categories
Patriots

‘Can you be TOO SMART to be a police officer? Yes, you can!’ [Video]

Fuzzy talks to his neighbor, Officer Dale.https://reason.com/?post_type=video&p=8187964Do you have questions about law enforcement? Like, a lot of questions? Maybe for some reason you’ve recently been desperately searching for answers?Well Fuzzy and Officer Dale know a bunch of cool facts about police! Facts like:•Police officers have no legal obligation to protect you from imminent harm!​•You can be too smart to be a police officer!•Cops aren’t required to know the law even as they arrest people for breaking it!Fuzzy and his friend cover everything from overtime and pensions, to police training and qualified immunity! They even take time to talk about doggies!Written, edited, and performed by Austin Bragg. Camera and graphics by Meredith Bragg.

Categories
Patriots

What DeSantis Did to Disney’s Dream City [Video]

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to end a wildly successful half-century experiment in municipal governance.https://reason.com/video/2022/06/01/the-death-of-walt-disneys-private-dream-city/—-Once upon a time, a man named Walt wanted to build a city—nay, a kingdom—in Florida swampland.In 1964, the Disney company began secretly purchasing 27,400 acres in small parcels and stitching them together to form a landmass roughly the size of Manhattan. Walt Disney wanted plenty of space to keep the type of tacky tourist shops that encircled Disneyland—plopped in the middle of Anaheim, California—from encroaching on his new kingdom.”There’s enough land here [in Central Florida] to hold all the ideas and plans we could possibly imagine,” Disney said in a filmed presentation that was aired for local lawmakers as part of a bid to convince them that his extraordinary dream required extraordinary powers: Total control over the land so that politics couldn’t interfere with Disney World’s development.The centerpiece of Disney’s pitch was EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, which a narrator in the presentation describes as a “dynamic, urban center” featuring a “variety of activities found only in metropolitan cities,” which would eventually be home to 20,000 residents.Though he passed away in 1966 before the plan came to fruition, Walt Disney got his wish. The year following his death, local lawmakers approved the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a remarkable experiment in private governance that has thrived for the past 55 years.Enter Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.”Disney should not run its own government,” Florida’s governor said at an April 25 press conference. In March, Disney CEO Bob Chapek issued an internal memo stating that the company opposed a law that was recently passed in Florida banning public school classroom discussion or instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3.DeSantis, whose office didn’t respond to our interview request, reacted by dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District as of June 1, 2023, which would bring this half-century experiment in semi-privatized governance to an end.Produced by Zach Weissmueller; edited by Danielle Thompson and Weissmueller. Photo credits: Paul Hennessy/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Douglas R. Clifford/ZUMA Press/Newscom; https://www.flickr.com/photos/8363028@N08/; Paul Hennessy/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Oliver Tsang/SCMP/Newscom;  Inti Oncon/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; Pietro Recchia/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Douglas R. Clifford/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Splash News / Duke Energy/Newscom; Orlando Sentinel File/TNS/Newscom; Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images/Sipa/Newscom; Douglas R. Clifford/ZUMA Press/Newscom.Music: “Aquarium” by Wolf Samuels via Artlist; “Ganymede” by Yehezkel Raz via Artlist; “Morning Sunbeams” by Yehezkel Raz via Artlist; “Lost on Earth” by Marek Jakubowicz via Artlist; “Ripples” by Tamuz Dekel via Artlist; “Machina” by Jameson Nathan Jones via Artlist; “Signals” by Jameson Nathan Jones via Artlist; “High” by Audiopanther via Artlist; “Distant Worlds” by Theatre of Delays via Artlist; “Leopard’s Stalk” by Hans Johnson via Artlist