Monday, September 24, 2012

The Wonderful World of Disney

By, Chris Rossini
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I just returned from a great vacation in DisneyWorld.

My libertarian senses were taking everything in during the trip. The first thing that struck me were the pristine roads. There wasn't a blemish in sight. How can millions of people travel on these roads without making them look like our local neighborhoods that have patches and potholes everywhere?

Well, many of the roads are privately owned by Disney. Imagine that.

We visited 4 parks and they were all packed with people, yet (maybe) I saw 5 security guards while walking through each one. In other words, there were thousands of people, all marching to the beats of their own drums, going every which way...

Yet, no "police presence". Wouldn't there have to be in this chaos of individual decision making?

Disney has its own private security. Imagine that.

I am not kidding when I say this -- I'll say that about 1/2 of the people at the parks were speaking a language other than English. There were people from all over the world. Surely there were lots of people who are supposed to hate each other according to their governments. But no, there was cooperation as far as the eye could see.

There were thousands of people, from all over the world, cooperating without "UN Peacekeepers" with machine guns. Imagine that.

When the parks closed, the sparkling clean Disney buses were packed to the limit. They were so full that some pencil-pushing government bureaucrat would have had a field day finding some kind of violation.

But after a long day at the park, people just want to get home to rest. The clipboard toting regulators can take a hike.

Now, Disney is not without sin. I do recall going on several rides and being propagandized about the environment, sustainability, etc...etc...You could almost feel the political tentacles trying let you know that they still exist while you're enjoying living your life in this wonderland.

So Disney does play ball with leviathan. I'm sure the State bribes them with A so that Disney could do B.

But putting the token propaganda aside, DisneyWorld is a small glimpse of what's possible when you roll back (or better yet, eliminate) government presence.

It's truly an inspiration.


  1. Except of course that Disney is a bigger Nanny State than the UK, with surveillance and data mining you'd have to see to believe.

    1. You mean "surveillance state", not "nanny state", which means a state that makes you do things for your own good. Still, the "surveillance" is privately done. On their private property (presumably). I would hope they are not x-raying people without their knowledge; that would be invasive. I'll be they "profile" to keep out some troublemakers. How can one object if they keep it within libertarian bounds?

  2. Fred Foldvary covers exactly the example of Disney World in Chapter 9 of his book "Public Goods and Private Communities."

  3. Not to mention the vision for EPCOT was a libertarian one - a self-sustaining city predicated on market based innovation.

  4. Yes! I've been saying this for a long time. Every time someone tries to denigrate the idea of anarchy by saying "Somalia", I reply with "Disney World". Armchair, it's all voluntary. That means it's not any kind of state.

    1. I don't necessarily know that I agree with it being 'voluntary'. It's voluntary in the idea that 'if you don't like, don't visit the park', right? How is that any different that the Statist argument, 'if you don't like our rules, you're free to move out'. That's not really a valid argument.

    2. It's fundamentally different because Disney's ownership of the land is justified by it's ability to make a profit. Not visiting the park means that they lose revenue, and if enough people don't go there they'll have to close down. Disney Land doesn't expropriate people. By not using force it's necessitated that they provide a product that's attractive to people in order to persuade them to visit their park voluntarily. Whereas government takes your money and if you don't like it they send people with guns to your house.