Libertarianism Creating a Free State—Filmmaker Christina Heller on Building a Libertopia in New Hampshire


Tired of waiting for a libertarian United States of America? Maybe the answer is to start small.

Filmmaker Christina Heller, along with co-producer Craig Goodale, made the documentary Libertopia , which follows the journeys of three individuals who decided to move to New Hampshire to participate in the Free State Project. Heller sat down to talk with's Ted Balaker about the project and says that the passion and principled nature of the Free Staters inspired her and may just have changed her from a liberal into a libertarian

The Free State Project was proposed by a Yale PhD student in 2001, and the goal was to convince 20,000 pro-liberty activists to commit to moving to New Hampshire in hopes of transforming the state's politics back to its "Live Free or Die" roots. So far, the project reports that there are more than 10,000 participants, and almost 900 "early movers" have already settled there.

The documentary follows one man who is walking across the country to raise awareness about the Free State Project, another who already moved to New Hampshire and works as an advocate for medical marijuana patients, and a Ron Paul-inspired high school graduate who decides to leave his friends and family in California to live in New Hampshire. 

Interview by Ted Balaker. Shot by Zach Weissmueller, Hawk Jensen, and Alex Manning. Edited by Weissmueller.

Approximately 9 minutes.

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  1. Freestater here, living in Concord. The project is gaining tractions, especially in Keene, but the problem is that most citizens in NH view us as looney-tuners. They say we are anarchists who don’t want to pay our taxes, etc, etc. The good news is, NH is still one of the best places in the US to live if you believe in liberty.

    1. Get off our lawns!

    2. Isn’t the concept of a homeland for a self-selected group of people kind of, er, nationalistic? Or does that only go for self-selected groups whose criteria for selection doesn’t meet the “blessed” list?

      1. Yeah this totally makes sense to me. Libertarians are dumb. Awesome job.

      2. Precisely. You must never conspire to congregate with like minded people nor should you seek to live somewhere your vote might count for something. Stay put Socrates! And drink the hemlock! The majority has spoken!

        1. your vote might count for something

          Since when do we vote? Voting is for statists.

          1. What? That doesn’t make any sense. It’s vote or fight the US military. Watch where you point that “we” cowboy.

        2. Then, presumably, you would take no issue with white nationalists establishing a White State Project?

          1. Um, what’s your alternative to allowing people to move and live where they please?

            Should we require papers to move to wherever we want? And we should be shot if we do it without the gov’t’s permission, I’m assuming.

            Not to mention the fact that there’s a Constitution that’s supposed to limit government from becoming a tyranny, not that that counts for shit anymore.

            In short, are you stupid?

            1. Trains..lots and lots of trains..

              Now stop crying and get in the cattle car.

          2. I would take issue with their racism, otherwise they can associate freely and vote how they want.

    3. great idea freestaters!

      1. Wow, the trifecta of stupid. We have slappy, PFC dipshit, and the pickler of cunts all in one place. Nuke this page from orbit…

        1. Here’s some stupid from another thread, cap:


    4. NH is still one of the best places in the US to live if you believe in liberty

      And if you’re not gay, Muslim, Wiccan, etc. The first priority of the new “tea party government” there was to attempt to revoke the marriages of people they don’t like — that’s some real liberty there!

  2. A lot of Libertarians are computer programmers? Get out!

  3. no shit it turns out a lot of libertarians are computer programmers

    Can you say autism-spectrum disorder

    1. Can you say dissociative-MPD

      When I say it’s all about ME ME ME, there are many MEs!!!!!

      1. Interesting use of a med term, Dr. ?

        1. Now if we want to cure you I’m only going to respond to one personality, so which one is it going to be?

          1. hiding in plain sight, interesting…I’m not so sure I should be the patient

            1. Doctor-have you pulled a Houdini?

                  1. BTW, it’s hard to ignore you-you’re fucking obvious

    2. Can you say people who have extensive training and experience in analyzing and designing complex systems looking at government and recognizing all of the signs of a bug-ridden, overly-centralized system?

  4. ” … which follows the journeys of three virgins who decided to move to New Hampshire…”

    1. lol
      STEVE SMITH seems to get a lot of tail-he can give them dating tips

      1. lol
        I gave STEVE SMITH my tail-I’ll give you the tits

      2. STEVE SMITH was my daddy.

  5. The Free State Project was proposed by a Yale PhD student in 2001, and the goal was to convince 20,000 pro-liberty activists to commit…almost 900 “early movers” have already settled there.

    Less than 5% of the goal after 10 years.

    1. Nice use of ellipses to cut out the 10k.

      There is no “requirement” to move until they hit the 20k.

      1. And only 900 have moved in 10 years. 10,000 promises are worth 10,000 Facebook friends.

        1. WTF is so hard to understand here? No one is supposed to move until all 20K have signed up. Are you retarded?

          1. Yes. Of course it’s retarded.

          2. You seem to be very sensitive. Please don’t take it personally. I understand the 5% success rate perfectly well, and I don’t particularly care whether you agree with my assessment. Please make a note of it.

            1. You seem to be very retarded. Please don’t take it personally. I understand your retardation perfectly well, and I don’t particularly care whether you agree with my assessment of your retardation. Please make a note of your retardation.

            2. I don’t particularly care whether you agree with my assessment

              Then why take the trouble to type it out and post it?

              1. Then why take the trouble to type it out and post it?

                I’m speaking to the majority of visitors who are not narcissists and serial commentators. It’s perfectly fine with me if you don’t respond.

                1. So you’re “speaking to” people that you don’t expect a response from; that’s not narcissistic in any way whatsoever. Don’t forget to leave the pond to eat.

                  It’s a good thing that you are wise and humble, because all of that intelligence and insight would go to the head of a mere mortal.

                  How many kilos of bullshit do I have to swallow to experience total ego death like you have, oh sage handleless one?

                  1. We promise we’ll move there. Honestly! Check out my Facebook page!

            3. You’re right. With only a “5% success rate” the results are obvious. Only 3% or so of the New Hampshire House of Representatives are people who have moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. That doesn’t count all the people elected that believe in the same ideals who didn’t move as part of the FSP. Before you could show up to various gatherings here and see a lot of interesting pro-liberty personal license plates. Now you can see a lot with house of representatives plates.

  6. One correction about the video…gay marriage is already legal in New Hampshire, and with the new Republican majority, there is a push to ban it.

    Also a couple of things to add…car insurance is not required, as long as you haven’t been in a serious accident, and though there are no sales or income taxes, property taxes are not small.

    1. There are also huge eminent domain abuses and serious zoning laws that have prevented construction of private religious facilities on private property.

      1. I thought New Hampshire banned eminent domain? Please check and cite your assertion.

        1. Correction: for private use and development. But still, please give me some examples.

          Can’t speak to the zoning laws.

  7. Once again, Nick G., the link to this video doesn’t work.

    Has anyone checked to see if your links work with Mac computers?

  8. Why would anybody move to New Hampster when Vermont is right next door?

    1. Why would anyone move to Vermont when NH is right next door?

      1. Vermont has everything New Hampshire has, PLUS sales tax and income tax! Yay!

        1. Uh, and medical marijuana.

          1. And Nectar’s. Phish aside, it’s good stuff.

            1. Hey, Junta was good shit.

              1. You know what? From a punk/garage/indie/metal/hip hop fan…it was good shit. I liked that album.

                I woke up one morning in November and realized that I love you…

                1. And still is. I was emphasizing the fact that it is indeed enjoyable, not the tense.

  9. While we are waiting to reach 20,000, how many liberals have moved in from Massachusetts and other states? Seems to me that NH has been getting steadily bluer for years. Maybe it should be Wyoming that’s the target state?

    1. You are a decade late to that argument…I think the losing point for Wyoming was lack of a city of any reasonable size.

      1. So start a fucking city, what the hell. I think enough of us have played SimCity1/2k/3k/4 to figure it out. And who wants some pre-built, central-planners-dream-piece-of-shit city anyway?

    2. Seems to me that NH has been getting steadily bluer for years.

      Actually, that’s not true. NH just voted in a veto-proof majority of Republicans into the legislature. The liberals that move here come from other states, not Massachusetts. The southern towns, the ones closest to the border, are the most conservative in the state. More like a refugee situation.

    3. We just elected republicans to control the state house and senate. That’s not blue, my friend. No sales tax, no state income tax. Yep, still not blue.

      1. And got rid of Paul Hodes and Carol Shea Porter, both D’s.

        1. Thank goodness Shea-Porter is out of my district!

    4. Wyoming was the runner up for their state. They selected in late 2003. For the reasons,

  10. I used to make fun of Cow Hampshire with their Yarn Barns, snowmobile & chainsaw culture, but not after the last election when we here in Marxachussets re-elected every incumbent Demacrat back to DC.

  11. I just moved to New Hampshire.

    1. I might in a few years. I’ll have to see what opportunities open up where.

  12. Love the idea of this project, but the wife and I have too many ties to Texas. I do hope to move to Austin, though; I hear there’s a sizeable group of liberty-lovers there.

    1. That’s true! The bad thing about Austin is that it has a pretty large population of government-teat-suckers too.

      1. Too true. I lived there ages 9-18 (23 now, and my folks don’t live there anymore) so I was there during my apathetic years, but what I remember in light of what I know now confirms that.

    2. Austin tends to vote Dem…so probably not what you’d call liberty-lovers. But chances are, if Libertarians were to effect changes in the Democratic party, I’d bank on it happening there first.

      Plus the food’s good.

  13. Does the movie cover how native New Hampshireers feel about the free staters?

    1. Well…seeing as (according to the website, today) only 891 have actually moved, the majority is probably pretty apathetic.

  14. How about we create a libertopia of free-minded people valiantly fighting for the rights of self sovereignty somewhere warm? Like maybe down in the Florida Keys somewhere? I know of some nice houses within walking distance of the Green Parrot.

    1. Objection. It is warm in New Hampshire, just for only a week or so each year. Just like it is merely warm in Florida for about a week or so each year.

    2. The only problem is that, while the people in Key West and the Keys are socially liberal, and would have a lot to gain from a strong libertarian party, they generally don’t appear to be the kind of people inclined to that sort of political thinking. Besides, New Hampshire is a whole state, while the Keys are part of one (despite the whole Conch Republic affair).

  15. I don’t believe in a libertopia, but I love Free Staters. To be in their company is to remember what life was like when it was fun and people liked people.
    They’re not like Reason Commenters, they’re fun. Oh crap, now I’m a Reason Commenter.

    1. what life was like when it was fun and people liked people

      Hit & Run was like that a few years ago. Check the archives if you don’t believe me.

    2. And we ran with our toes in the grass, sensing that our twenty year-old selves would feel these sensations for only this brief, fleeting moment?

      That comment was so passive-aggressive, I’m not sure how you really feel about either the commenters, never mind the commenting.

      1. * either

  16. ‘So far, the project reports that there are more than 10,000 participants, and almost 900 “early movers” have already settled there.’

    Ten years after the project started, 900 people == 90 people per year. By 2101 libertarians will be able to take over the Concord Board of Selectmen!

    1. More likely by 2021, sine they already have 10,000 people willing to move when 10,000 more people sign up.

      1. Thy name is libertarianism.

          1. I didn’t even know you could do that (comment without text, I mean).

  17. Cosmodisc, all the back and low back pain for people, designed to reach active ??z?m.Bu universal comfort, fully adjustable and suitable for use with clothing … Cosmodisc a vital investment for your health! Reliable, efficient

  18. Libertarianism is EVIL.

    The West has already tried it. It went by another name: feudalism

    Come to think of it, libertarian health care would resemble the health care back then: blood letting

    The poverty created by libertarianism would make it the only health care option people could afford.

    1. You’re a male nurse, right?

    2. Is there a point or intelligent argument you’re trying to make, cuz I’m not seeing it. Feel free to try again, though.

      1. You’re right, of couse, I apologize.

        I glanced at the name, thought it read Fwank, and made an awkward and cruel presumption.

        I promise to do better.

    3. Ah yes, despotic rule by a decentralized set of aristocrats who possess their positions by birthright or by pleasing the likewise hereditary monarch. Yup, sounds like limited government philosophy to me….

      I hope you caught the sarcasm there.

    4. Feudalism and libertarianism are about as opposite as positive and negative numbers. As for the rest: seriously?

  19. Ha ha. Look at the leading lights of glibertarianism per this film:

    – a programmer who walks on public roads (that he conveniently now opposes the building of)

    – a middle-class white child from a comfortable nuclear family

    – an academic washout

    If these are who made the cut, can you imagine what kind of toothless, tiny-cocked gun enthusiast gomers didn’t?

    Ha ha.

    1. The public roads argument drives me up the wall and across the ceiling. We’ve never had an environment (politically) were people could establish and run private roads properly. That’s the problem with most every criticism of libertarianism. We’ve tried your system. You haven’t tried ours.

      And considering the amount of taxes that we pay for other people’s benefit, I’d say he earned the privelege of walking on those roads. And without the kind of state that runs roads, the gesture would be unnecessary.

      1. Ha ha.

        “Reagansm wasn’t real conservatism. Conservatism didn’t fail.”

        Ha ha.

        “The Soviet Union wasn’t real communism. Communism didn’t fail.”

        Ha ha.

        “Deregulation isn’t the real free market. The free market didn’t fail.”

        Ha ha.

  20. The LIO has been registering Libertarian communities for decades and has been sponsoring a project in Florida as a pilot for every country. See:

  21. Why couldn’t they pick a warmer climate state?

  22. Hey guys! Come to New Hampshire and help us defend our right to fuck little kids! Or Listen to Free Talk Live for all your pedo-rights talk radio!

    1. Even for an incorrect ad hominem attack, that was bad.

  23. From a well known blog:
    “And here I disagree with John Holbo: this Freeman sense of libertarianism has everything to do with serfs. That’s how serfdom got started. The Roman Empire collapses. The legions go away. You have a bunch of small farmers with their land who used to pay taxes to the legions. You have a bunch of local notables with land. You have some barbarian soldiers (or ex-Roman soldiers) with military equipment. The local notables marry their daughters and sons into the barbarian military lineages and become lords and the farmers contract with the lords, “hiring” them to provide local protection and arbitration services. That’s the origin of feudalism: in a series of libertarian contracts made by autonomous property-owning individuals who found themselves in a libertarian state-of-nature vis-a-vis each other.”

    And the only thing that prevents a libertarian from selling his children into slavery is Socialism.

    1. Yay for minarchism!!

  24. Since there is an apparent lack of women in this documentary I wonder; where are all the Ron Paul babes that were making youtube videos in 08?

    1. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the reason that women are less likely to be libertarians is that they’ve been conditioned (or brainwashed, if you prefer) longer than males to be dependent.

  25. Let’s face it, Ann Coulter has that transvestite look.

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