…there was a company called Disney. Its products were aimed at American youth, typically below the age of puberty. The consistent quality and generally uplifting character of those products made it one of the most successful entertainment companies ever formed. Its founding genius, Walt Disney, was the icon of the company for the whole of his life.
Walt Disney passed on to his reward in 1966. Part of his ethos remains, in bits and pieces, at the company he founded:
If you roam the halls of the Imagineering department, you’ll encounter Mickey’s 10 Commandments, a distilling of storytelling wisdom that helps us stay on target when developing new projects.
- Know your audience—identify the prime audience of your attraction or show before you begin design.
- Wear your guests’ shoes—insist that your team members experience your creation just the way the guests do.
- Organize the flow of people and ideas—make sure there is a logic and sequence in your stories and in the way guests experience them.
- Create a wienie—create visual targets [wienies] that lead visitors clearly and logically through the experience you’ve built.
- Communicate with visual literacy—make good use of color, shape, form, texture—all the nonverbal ways of communication.
- Avoid overload; create turn-ons—resist the temptation to overload your audience with too much information and too many objects of interest.
- Tell one story at a time—stick to the storyline; good stories are clear, logical, and internally consistent.
- Avoid contradictions; maintain identity—details in design or content that contradict one another confuse the audience about story and time period.
- For every ounce of treatment, provide a ton of treat—you can educate people, but don’t tell them you’re doing it. Make it fun!
- Keep it up—everything has to work.
These Commandments are complemented by Disney’s “Four Keys.” Every new cast member has these four keys drilled into them from day one: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. For over six decades, the Four Keys and Mickey’s 10 Commandments guided storytelling and experience-making in the Disney parks. These guiding principles have been in place, with only minor alterations, for roughly 65 years—nearly as long as the parks themselves have existed. They have helped a talented and dedicated team of Disney cast members tell stories that appeal across demographic, geographic, ethnic, religious, and political lines.
However, things have changed. The Left, aware of the importance of capturing children’s minds at their most impressionable, made Disney a first-priority target. Appearances suggest that they’ve succeeded beyond their wildest dreams:
During the month of February, much of the media’s reporting about [Florida’s Parents Rights In Education bill] was heavily negative. Vanity Fair flatly described it as “bigoted,” “dangerously anti-LGBTQ+ and hugely harmful to the young people it’s supposedly trying to protect.” This kind rhetoric continued to appear in the press for weeks, and was rapidly adopted by Democratic politicians, late night comedians, and social media influencers as their cause célèbre. Pressure began to build from activists within the company for Disney to take a public line and denounce the legislation, as a number of other companies had done….
In less than two weeks’ time, the company had moved from principled neutrality to open advocacy. This new messaging, intended to mollify the company’s internal critics, accelerated Disney’s meltdown instead. “Brave Space Conversations” are now held at regular intervals—an absurd euphemism for struggle sessions designed to allow activists to vent their frustrations while drowning out dissenting voices. All regularly scheduled company meetings are cancelled to make room for these meetings, and park leadership opens the floor to hours-long performative recitations of grievances by hand-picked cast members. They conclude with grandiose statements about inclusion and fairness and understanding pain and listening, but not a single nonconforming viewpoint is heard, either from those who support the bill or those who think Disney has no business getting involved in this dispute in the first place.
“At Disney,” the company’s website promises, “inclusion is for everyone. We reimagine tomorrow as our way of amplifying underrepresented voices and untold stories as well as championing the importance of accurate representation in media and entertainment.” But, as usual, “inclusion” only protects those who think like DEI activists. “Fairness” only applies to historically oppressed people groups. The only pain worth understanding is that felt by the subsection of LGBT cast members who believe that sex education ought to begin in kindergarten. Listening and seeing is restricted to the approved narratives, and even excludes those LGBT cast members who support the Florida legislation. I know many of them personally, and nearly without exception, they are all parents.
The import of this is self-explanatory.
This is what the Left does. It targets culturally critical institutions, infiltrates and colonizes them, and works from both within and without to capture and twist them to Leftist ends. It will do so for even the smallest of its coalition members, provided they can be “kept in the fold” politically. If some institution proves excessively resistant to capture, the object turns from colonization to destruction.
The Left’s highest-value targets have nearly all been communications-related: educational institutions and media corporations, both in journalism and entertainment. Its successes have far outnumbered its failures, which gives impact to Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics: Any institution not explicitly right wing will sooner or later become left wing. And it is still on the march.
The moral “should” be “obvious.” Do you seek to found an association, a company, a social circle, or some other institution? It doesn’t matter what your goals are. It doesn’t matter whether you can imagine that it could be turned to left-wing purposes. From the inception, you must institute a political filter that will apply to everyone that ever walks through your doors. Indeed, it should be posted on the doors:
May Enter These Premises.
Moreover, you must enforce it as ruthlessly as Tomas de Torquemada or Genghis Khan. Interrogate. Do background checks. Monitor social media! The Left does it; why shouldn’t you? Not only is it perfectly legal; you have no other way of shielding yourself against infiltration.
Be fearless and resolute. Make no apologies and take no prisoners. For once a leftist gains access to your group, time will no longer be your ally.
I have spoken.
I am sad that the need to do this (and I acknowledge the need) says we are not the people the Founders hoped for.
Other than individuals — and every one of them remains a target — please name one failure. Your sentence implies you know of (suspect there must be?) more than one. But allow us to be grateful for one.