Far-right fund, real estate startup promote enclave in rural Kentucky
Marketed as an "aligned community"
A venture fund and a real estate startup, both associated with far-right organizations, are endorsing a residential development in rural Kentucky as a haven for like-minded people.
Marketed as an “aligned community,” the project aims to provide an escape from the broader societal landscape and spearhead a regional revival, The Guardian reported.
The promotion is part of a broader trend among the far-right to establish geographical enclaves, reminiscent of movements such as the “American Redoubt,” the outlet says.
The “Highland Rim Project” in Kentucky, however, raises questions about the financial dynamics behind the ideological enclave. Critics argue that buyers may pay a premium for living in a remote community, while the promoters stand to make substantial profits with minimal improvements to the land.
The announcement of the development was made on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) and in a special edition of the New Founding by Joshua Abbotoy, managing director of venture fund New Founding and principal of real estate developer Kentucky Ridge Runner LLC.
The community’s governance details are hazy, with Abbotoy mentioning that “most of the leadership is going to be led by Protestant Christians,” The Guardian said.
The vision includes seeking local political influence and expanding to other states.
Experts suggest that it might be more of a money-driven land speculation project with a cultural and ideological angle than a genuine attempt to create a utopian community. Concerns are raised about potential discrimination in land sales based on political views, prompting questions about litmus tests and adherence to federal anti-discrimination laws.
New Founding — known for opposing diversity, equity, and inclusion and environmental, social, and governance initiatives — is prominently featuring HRP on its website. Kentucky Ridgerunner, the LLC associated with Abbotoy, owns the majority of the land for sale and plays a central role in the HRP.
The advertised developments offer various-sized lots at different price points.
One development on a 550-acre farm has 17 lots of about 3.5 acres each, at a cost of about $40,000, while four other lots of between 90 and 125 acre are priced around $400,000 each, The Guardian said.
Another site offers lots of 0.5 to 0.75 acres at a price of between $35,000 and $60,000.
While supporters hail the move as a “safe space” for the far-right, critics question the motivations behind the project.
“It’s not just that some members of this extremist cohort disagree with liberals, feminists, or any number of people who don’t share their views; it’s that they really can’t stand having those people anywhere nearby,” Katherine Stewart, author of “The Power Worshippers,” a book on Christian nationalism, said to The Guardian. “The mere existence of people not like them counts as an insult.”
— Ted Glanzer