Halfway to Freedom in New Hampshire


The Free State Project, an interesting experiment to get 20,000 libertarians to all relocate to New Hampshire to reshape local and state politics in a place where those numbers are politically powerful, hits 10,000 committed to the goal. (In order to avoid the "you go first" problem, the commitment is structured so that no one is obligated to go through with it until 20K have signed up. Of course, all that is at stake is your ol' sacred honor.)

From the group's press release, on what it's all about, what the Project might accomplish, and what it already has:

Participants come from many backgrounds but all agree to move to New Hampshire, where they will "exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property." The agreement avoids political labels and allows individual participants to set their own course to reach their goal.

"The Free State Project has no political platform or membership dues", Sorens stated. "We have participants who identify as conservative, classical liberal, libertarian, anarchist, voluntaryist, you name it. The things we care about are: Do you want more liberty and less government? Are you willing to work toward it? Are you going to be a good, neighborly person in your community? If so, the Free State Project may be just what you're looking for."

While no one is obligated to move until 20,000 people have joined, 800 participants are already in New Hampshire. Four have been elected to the state house and dozens more to local offices. Members have founded or supported organizations around issues such as lowering taxes, gun rights, drug law reform, spending caps, homeschooling, marriage freedom, privacy protection, and state sovereignty. They have also started media outlets such as nationally syndicated radio show Free Talk Live, YouTube sensations like The Ridley Report, and print publications like the New Hampshire Free Press.

As linked here on Hit and Run earlier today, even the New York Times has noted that state's rights are a-brewing all across the land again, a nice trend for the Free State Project to slot into.

I wrote a Reason magazine feature on the Free State Project back in its early days, in our December 2004 issue. It still strikes me as one of the more interesting and promising action choices for those for whom political action of some sort is a libertarian imperative.