Viva PorcFest and the Free State Project! Now With More Ice Cream!

Updated July 4, 2014, 11:00am (see below)

Last weekend, I traveled to speak and hang out at the Free State Project's annual hootenany, which is called PorcFest (short for Porcupine Freedom Festival). It was a great and excellent time and I hope to write up something about in the next few days.

Here's a nice writeup of the event and the FSP by The Economist's Emily Bobrow:

In the jovial atmosphere of PorcFest, where idealists bond over their shared mistrust of rules and big institutions, the prospect of a future New Hampshire that can do without such things seems far-fetched. Tech geeks (who still dominate the Free State movement) enjoy home-made “bananarchy” ice cream while prattling on about the power of crypto-currencies. “Bitcoin can topple governments and end war,” gushes one fan.

Others are more realistic. “I’m an incrementalist,” explains Jason Sorens, the subdued intellectual who dreamed up the Free State Project while he was getting his PhD from Yale. Now a lecturer at Dartmouth College in Hanover, he is eager to use New Hampshire to test libertarian theories about enlightened self-interest and reciprocal altruism, small government and large networks of voluntary institutions. “We don’t have all the answers,” he says, “but it’s worth the experiment.”

The "Bananarchy" ice cream was pretty damn fine, btw, but even better was the "Who Will Build My Rocky Road."

Read the whole thing.

Here's an account by C.J. Ciaramella of the Washington Free Beacon. A snippet:

For a first-timer at Porcfest, walking through crowds of armed anarchists and clouds of marijuana smoke is like sneaking into an R-rated movie when you’re a kid—a world only hinted at is suddenly right before your eyes.

As keynote speaker and libertarian activist Nick Gillespie would tell the crowd later in the week, “You’re a demonstration project for what it’s like to live in a way that’s less uptight.”...

At Porcfest, 1,500 heavily armed libertarians, tea partiers, anarchists, secessionists, and doomsday preppers got together in the woods for a week with a large amount of alcohol, illicit substances, and children, and no major incidents were reported. I did not see a fight, or even a hullaballoo. A couple of kids were separated and reunited with their parents. A topless woman was asked to put a shirt on after several complaints and complied, despite the statist encroachment on her individualism. One guy couldn’t handle his hallucinogens and got stuck in the bathroom repeating over and over, “I am a god. I am logic. I am a perfect machine. I am forever.” The volunteer security eventually got him back to his tent. The peace was kept.

I plan on going back to Porcfest next year—if they’ll have me back after the publication of this article—not because I’m an anarcho-capitalist, but because I made a bunch of friends and had a blast. 

Read the whole thing.

In my experience, PorcFest wasn't so trippy, though it was a delight on every possible level, especially intellectually, where the speakers across the board were smart and engaged with the audiece. Buzz's Big Gay Dance Party was great, too, featuring wonderful music, dancing, and come-as-you-are attitude that the world always needs more of.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Tak Kak||

    I hear the FSP has already began to eat itself and is booting more "extreme" members.

  • Jeff_NH||

    I hear that most keyboard libertarian warriors are so afraid that something might succeed that they will pounce upon the most trivial events surrounding mild successes and declare things as dead.

  • SteveC||

    Your hearing is selective. In its 13-year history the FSP has only "booted" two people among its 15K+ participants for violating one of its few rules, not promoting violence or bigotry. That says a lot about the quality of the participants. The FSP has no "members" and cannot stop anyone from moving to New Hampshire or using non-FSP infrastructure, so "booting" is mostly symbolic.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I don't think it would be paranoid to expect that DHS or some state agency would have infiltrated several agent provocateurs into this seditious group. That only two people have been "booted" is an astounding record.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They should throw out anyone wearing an 'antiwar'.com button.

  • Libertarian||

    Why?

  • Redmanfms||

    Because Cyto is a chickenhawk who has never seen a war he didn't want America to fight.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "As Many Scoops As The Market Will Berry"

  • Hurricane Eye||

    They're welcome to boot the one truther I saw.

  • Paul.||

    Alt text: Episiarch, Sugarfree and Warty (denim shorts) enjoy PorcFest.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Jeans + shorts = Jorts.

  • Paul.||

    but even better was the "Who Will Build My Rocky Road."

    Ok, that's pretty good.

  • ||

    Would have been better if it were "Rocky ROADZZZ!!!" or even "Muh Rocky Road", but you take what you can get.

  • Paul.||

    I wondered the same, but I would suspect the person who made the ice cream would have had to be a Hit Undt Run regular to be in on the 'ROADZ' meme.

    I mean, as much as I like to think we are, I suspect that we're not the center of the libertarian universe. All 22 of us that is.

  • Free Society||

    Every libertarian(ish) forum on the interwebs is intimately familiar with the roadz meme.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    “I’m an incrementalist”

    HERETIC!

    (peanut gallery)

  • amelanchier||

    PorcFest was a blast. I'm still going through withdrawal. How long 'til the next one??

  • SteveC||

    Just six months until the New Hampshire Liberty Forum!

  • Brandybuck||

    I was so disappointed when I found out Porcfest wasn't about banging broads, but something to do with porcupines...

  • Mr Whipple||

    There were plenty of broads at the big green dome (or whatever they called it).

    God, even stopped by for a visit.

    https://freestatechronicles.com/w/PorcFest_XI

    There was a little something for everyone.

  • WDATPDIM!?||

    Nudity? Bralessness?

  • ||

    During the, "I am God! Forever! Forever! Forever!" rant, one member of the security team stated, "But I don't believe in God." With a look of confusion, the tripping man asked, "Forever?" and immediately snapped out of his psychedelic loop.

    Buahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  • ||

    Also I am a bit disappointed you mentioned "plenty of broads" then provided a link with not one image of said broads.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    There were plenty of broads at the big green dome (or whatever they called it).

    So TIWTANLW is a lie?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    It sounds like a blast but I'd be reluctant to attend an event called Porcfest. Might as well call it SausageFest and get it over with.

  • ||

    “I am a god. I am logic. I am a perfect machine. I am forever.”

    How can he say that when i am god and logic and a perfect machine and am forever.

    Nerve of some people.

  • Libertarian||

    Don't diss Obama. I give him credit for going.

  • ||

    got together in the woods for a week

    Sure seems like there are far too many mowed lawns, basketball hoops, and power poles for it to be "in the woods"

    Also isn't this in New Hampshire? I would think they would have actual woods there to distinguish between woods and some soccer field in a county park....

    Then again the east coast is weird. I mean over there they actually think Appalachia is a mountain range....who the hell knows what they think 'woods' are.

  • Brandybuck||

    There are some west coasters just as ignorant of mountains. For example:

    "We're going to the mountains this holiday weekend!" [returns with pictures from Lompoc]

  • ||

    Not ignorant. They can see the Sierra Nevadas from the Santa Ynezes...

    It is California delusion. You know like how they blame everything on Republicans when there are no Republicans.

  • Edwin||

    The FSP project would be more attractive if all its members weren't fucking insane.

    The first radio station they get and immediately the host starts talkin about how it's OK to diddle kids, or for example said gabriel giffords brought the shooting on herself
    And the rest of the movement is otherwise populated by extremists who think they can murder anyone for any slight provocation ("initiation of force" and all that)

    Isn't Texas already the already- and growing- libertarian state? Pro-business, actually-PROGRESSive (for example, making college cheaper for one thing), cheap living costs, expanding economy partly because of natural resources but also the free business environment, easy gun laws, and a strong state pride that also reeks of secessionism/ anti-federal -ism

    No?

  • Mr Whipple||

    This year, a local libertarian blogger named Chris Cantwell was banned from Porcfest for advocating killing cops, among other incidents.

    “The answer, at some point, is to kill government agents,” Cantwell wrote in response to a request by the police chief for funding to purchase a Bearcat armored vehicle. “Any level of force necessary for anyone to stop any government agent from furthering said coercion is morally justifiable.”

    The Free State Project board expelled Cantwell from FSP-sponsored events, saying his views “exceed the right of self-defense.” After all, the porcupine was chosen as the symbol for the FSP because it only uses its quills in self-defense.
  • Mr Whipple||

    The FSP is also a humorous form of geopolitical trolling. One of the places the Free Staters have targeted is Grafton, a small town of about 1,100 with no zoning laws. The influx of political malcontents—about 40 or 50, some of whom now sit on the planning board—led one citizen to stand up in a town hall meeting and declare: “You’re not going to move here and shove freedom down MY throat!”
  • Mr Whipple||

  • Christophe||

    The nutters are always the loudest. Just get used to it.

    Texas sucks on social liberties/war on drugs stuff, which matters a lot. They also have a ~6% sales tax (as opposed to NH's 0%).

    Also, since the plan is tom make the state libertarian by moving there, Texas' huge population is an obstacle.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement