The Free Staters Go Camping

What happens when you bring together politicos, voluntaryists, and off-the-grid farmers for a week?


Every summer since 2004, hundreds of people belonging to and interested in the Free State Project, an effort to move 20,000 libertarians to New Hampshire, gather at a remote campground in the northern part of the state for a weeklong event called the Porcupine Freedom Festival. The outdoorsy extravaganza, more commonly known as PorcFest, is one of the biggest libertarian gatherings in the entire country.

The libertarian stereotype of the nerdy, balding, middle-aged white guy goes out the window at PorcFest. The attendees are so diverse, one wonders how organizers managed to get everybody together in the same place without burning the forest down in a fit of rage. If you want to see what happens when you bring together libertarian politicos, voluntaryists, and off-the-grid family farmers that love raw milk for a week to celebrate one of the more quixotic elements of the libertarian movement, then you have to go to PorcFest.

For Carla Gericke, the president of the Free State Project, this is her busiest week of the year. She is constantly checking on events, meeting with people, moderating panels, and judging contests. She views PorcFest as one of the best ways to convince people to become Free Staters and make the move to the Granite Stat. Recently her group has tried to attract more families, not just individuals.

"I definitely think we had over a thousand people. We sold 650+ presale tickets and allowed walk-ins. We don't count children, but there were a lot of them. Definitely moved more to a family friendly vibe, which was our goal," Gericke says in an online interview after the event. Gericke was so busy during PorcFest that not only did she not have time to stop for an interview, she lost her voice on the final day.

In years past there have been squabbles, but this year the event was "drama free," according to Gericke.

"People tend to sort themselves according to their noise level tolerance. The families tend towards the quieter zones at the back, and others gravitate to the late night noise area. We did try this year to keep late night noise tolerable, with loud music ending at midnight," she says.

The divide was certainly visible to anyone that took a stroll through the camp on the final full day of activities. Large families gathered in the back of the campground away from the action while younger people stayed closer to the fire and the merchants row, known as Agora Valley, where agorists hawked their wares to festivalgoers. In Agora Valley you could buy a wide variety of food, books, clothing, soaps, tapestries, and (of course) gold and silver. Farmers offered samplings of the fruits of their labor while promoting deals to Free Staters on baskets of fresh produce and meats delivered from their farm straight to their door. Some agorists, like George Mandrick, took a more direct route and set up shop in the main hall, the Shire Society Pavilion.

Mandrick is a full-time personal chef and home cleaner who does some catering on the side. Like many of the people here, he is committed to the ideas of agorism, a philosophy created by anarchist Sam Konkin in the 1970s. This is Mandrick's second year of catering PorcFest and, though he sees the philosophical divides at PorcFest, he doesn't see himself in any camp.

"I am not politically active at all, I have no interest in politics. I am not even an activist, I am really just a businessman. I want to live my life as free as possible and it's much easier for me to do that here because there are people that I can connect with. They also just want to have cash transactions with me," he says.

This is the first time Mandrick has had a 15 minute break all night, but soon festivalgoers start queuing for his burgers. Again. He tightens up his apron and begins to look back at his stand as if encouraging me to wrap up the interview.

"For me, it's about interactions and business dealings between individuals," he says as he heads back to his grill.

In a large tent next to the pavilion, New Hampshire Republican state representative Mark Warden holds court behind a makeshift bar. Warden left Nevada, another state with strong libertarian leanings, in 2007 when the market took a turn for the worse. Warden says one of the reasons he moved to New Hampshire and joining the FSP was the natural beauty of the state. PorcFest, he thinks, is one of the ways to show that off because it is a large outdoor festival unlike other libertarian gatherings that tend to be held at large resort hotels (think Freedom Fest in Las Vegas).

"When you're in Las Vegas at FreedomFest there are two parts: the liberty portion and investments. So you have a lot of people from Wall Street. Here we have more Main Street, more Austrian economics, people that are self-reliant, people that invest in metals, in real estate," he says, adding that the crowd tends to be younger at PorcFest.

At PorcFest, you won't see much white hair.

"It's very diverse. You see some dreadlocks here, you see some Occupiers here, you see some Tea Partiers here, you see some straight laced non-drinking Christian businessmen here, you see it all," he says.

Warden attributes the congenial nature of the event to the natural libertarian aversion to force.

"Libertarians tend to be pretty tolerant. Most people here think their way is the best or the right way but they won't force other people to do it their way. They want the competition for ideas to flourish and for the best way to run things to be settled on the battlefield of ideas," he says, as someone offered us cigars.

Despite the remoteness of the campground and nearly nonexistent internet access a web based radio station, The Liberty Radio Network, managed to broadcast from the site all week. The station's program director, Ian Freeman, moved from Florida to New Hampshire as part of the FSP in 2006 after growing increasingly frustrated with Libertarian Party there and the level of activism. Freeman is one of the more unique individuals at PorcFest because he has participated in activism across the libertarian spectrum.

"I do whatever activism I can do. Creating media, outreach, civil disobedience, noncooperation, whatever it is I can do I am involved," he says sitting with me at a table inside the Pavilion on the last day of the festival. 

Freeman programs and hosts the nationally syndicated libertarian talk show, Free Talk Live, something he considers not only a job but a calling.

"It's business first and foremost but it has a benefit of spreading the ideas," he says.

Despite his aversion to the cold weather as a Florida native Freeman knew that New Hampshire was where he had to be. When Freeman packed his bags for the Granite State he did not stop in Concord or Manchester or Portsmouth, he went straight to Keene, a place many consider to be a hub for hardcore libertarian activists.

"Political candidates don't do civil disobedience so my experience had not been anywhere in that realm. I just thought 'This is the most exciting thing happening in the liberty movement that I've ever seen.' So I had to be a part of it," he says.

NEXT: Steven Greenhut on California's Latest Misguided Effort to Fix the Housing Crisis

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  1. How much litter was left behind?

    1. Probably less per capita than Earth Day festivals.

      1. I remember when I went to see Phish up in Limestone, and when I left my camping area was a lonely green patch in a sea of loose trash.
        (the guy I went with – a coworker whose ride bailed the day before, so I drove in exchange for a ticket – was like “What the fuck are you doing? Let someone else clean it up!”)
        It’s truly pathetic how disrespectful some people are.

        1. “What the fuck are you doing? Let someone else clean it up!”

          Yes…the credo of todays modern lefty.

          1. They litter… for the children.

        2. Don’t you see you were depriving someone else of a job? (Littered Campground Fallacy)

      2. My mother was at the first Earth Day in NYC. She said after it cleared out there was so much litter she immediately went to herself “this is completely hypocritical and retarded”. Not in those words, of course, but the meaning was the same.

        1. You should have seen the national mall after the national Jon Stewart retard march. It was disgraceful. Is it that hard to fucking pick up after yourself?

          1. Did you see the aftermath of Glenn Beck’s gathering of glib?

            1. I am pretty sure they left the place spotless. Or maybe it was the Tea Party that left it spotless. But one of the right wing marches did. The lefties always fucking trash the place. The inauguration made Woodstock look well kept.

  2. Is the idea to move libertarians to New Hampshire based on the fact that New Hampshire is decidedly un-libertarian, and therefore an injection of libertarianism will do the most good?

    Sort of like Jesus hanging out with the leppers and prostitutes?

    1. What are you basing that on, Paul? Mercatus likes NH, and from my memory, there is a sizable contingent of basic leave-me-the-fuck-alone sentiment there.

      1. This, and it’s relatively small population. NH has a total population of 1.3 million. It’s easier for a small number of activists to make a noticeable difference, compared with, for example, California at 37.7 million and a decidedly un-freedom friendly electorate.

        1. Then why isn’t it the Free County Project or the Free Small Town Project?

          1. An attempt to take over Loving County, Texas was thwarted with fraud and intimidation. I know one of the guys who tried it.

            1. There are plenty of counties in this country that are damned near empty.

              1. A lot of decisions are made at the state level. Why not choose a state the size of a county in a bigger state? I live in Sacramento County, in CA, and the population is 1.4 million. Even if libertarians could take over the county leadership, the state legislature would still be the lefty cluster that it is. NH seems like a fairly decent choice, except for the weather.

                1. But I think they plan on eventual secession. Why not try to get a county to secede from a state? Why try to get 20k people to take on a whole state with over a million people in it?

                  1. But I think they plan on eventual secession

                    I have never heard that.

                    1. Ok, I looked it up.


                      Sorens pointed out that the objective of the Free State Project is not really secession at all. …
                      Talk of secession has been used as a bargaining tool by Scotland and Quebec in order to obtain greater self-determination; the Free State Project is willing to use similar tactics if necessary. Yet secession would only be considered if necessary and approved by a majority in the state.

                      So they wouldn’t necessarily secede, but they would if they had to.

          2. There’s Free Keene –

          3. Ultimately because there is not enough power left to city/county governments for it to make much of a difference.

            Sure, you’d get control over the zoning laws which would be nice but you couldn’t even implement any serious structural changes in law enforcement or education even though the police and teachers would nominally work for you because the laws governing how those bodies work are controled by the state.

            On the other hand while the Federal government has been consistantly eroding state power for quite a while now States still have quite a bit of control, in fact in some ways they have more control over peoples day to day lives than the Federal government does.

      2. Largely based on past discussions here on HR about the New Hampshire regulatory environment and how it seemed un-libertarian?

        Didn’t we have some New Hampshire-ites complaining about that very same thing?

        I’m doing some google searches now to link back to this concept, but here’s the first one I could find. Minor, but it has been discussed here before.…..du5IKD6loY

        1. New Hampshire is not perfect from a libertarian standpoint, however taken as a totality there are really only 2 or 3 other stats which can even come close to it, Nevada and Montana.

          New Hampshire however offers a significant benefit neither of the other two do, a real economy. Montana is great if you want to live on a ranch 6 miles away from your nearest neighbor but in their cities there is not really a significant diversity of employment opportunities and Nevada is pretty much limited to working in the Tourism industry. Southern New Hampshire is a mere hours drive from Boston and has quite a bit of industry that has moved north of the border (Nashua, Portsmouth, Manchester) as well.

          1. “Southern New Hampshire is a mere hours drive from Boston”? Not in rush hour.

        2. I live in NH and I’m getting tired of the place. It’s mainly the winters. I don’t like snow. The cold temperatures are OK.

          I started disliking snow before I moved to NH. I moved because I got a job in MA and felt the alternative (no job) was worse. I couldn’t bring myself to move to MA so I moved to NH.

          There actually is an income tax here (the interest and dividends tax). Real estate is expensive, though not as bad as MA.

          Gambling is restricted (state lotto and slot machines at racetracks).

          The last state AG (Ayotte) cracked down on prostitution. She was involved in helping shut down the Craigslist adult services section. I don’t know what the new AG is like concerning prostitution.

          The liquor commission has a list of alcohol that’s approved for sale in the state. Retailers are only allowed to sell what is approved.

          I’ve heard the business climate is actually good, but I’ve only heard that in comparison to MA, which is like being the tallest midget. I know there are many professions that require licenses.

          The gun laws are nice. There is no sales tax or tax on salary. Gas is generally cheaper here than in MA.

          If I had to stay here, I could make it work. There are worse places. But I look south at MA and see the rot spreading. There is a Puritan streak here too like in MA. I’m tired of the snow. I would like to leave sooner rather than later.

      3. I should read the comments before posting links.

      4. Their gun control looks pretty identical to Washington’s which is good, but not earth shattering.

        1. Some of New Hampshire’s positives are:

          No income tax
          Good gun laws
          Fewer regulations, supposedly
          Proximity to Maine for summer vacations

          The negatives include:

          High property taxes
          Proximity to Massachusetts
          It’s northern New England, so the winter is cold

          1. Proximity to Mass ain’t a totally bad thing. Boston’s a fun place to visit.

            1. Oh, I agree, I have been there hundreds of times, my cousin lives there, and I have friends there. I was speaking more in the “I have to drive through Mass to get to a beach where the water is warm enough to swim in” sense. Maybe I should have said “partially boxed in by MA”.

          2. Also, no sales tax, but yes, the property taxes are New England insane. Also, the liquor stores are state owned, but they seem to have avoided the worst features of most state owned businesses.

            To Paul’s link, their legislature passed the MM bill. The asshole governor is the only hold up.

            1. Lynch fucking sucks. A decrim bill probably could have passed too without his threat of a veto. And the house has passed a bunch of stuff, especially on gun regs, recently.
              The state liquor store thing is kind of weird, but prices are very good and the hours are reasonably convenient. Plus you can buy beer or wine anywhere.

              1. Lynch fucking sucks.

                Lynch’s veto stemmed from the fact that he’s the Police Union’s bitch.

            2. They get you either way. The no income or sales tax just means that the government(s) get their money from other taxes.

              I always hear from family in MA that I should take a job in MA and can live in NH. This seems like the worst of both worlds. I would basically pay the full price to live in NH via property tax and the taxes on vehicles, prepared food, etc. AND pay MA’s state income tax on top of that.

              At least with two income tax states, you can generally get some sort of break where you just pay the difference ie., MA is (pulled out of ass) 6% and CT is (out of ass) is 4%, then I would only have to pay MA 2% if I live in CT and work in MA. It beats paying NH 0% and having to pay MA the full 6%.

              Since I would want to carry a a gun, the permit would be $100/year for a non-resident (may issue) MA permit. Not much, counts towards the real price of working in MA and living in NH.

              1. I note my property taxes work out to be about the same as a friend who lives just across the border in MA. Even though the tax rates in his town are lower, his house (very similar to mine) has a higher valuation and so the property tax works out to be about the same.

                Also note, that folks that don’t reside in MA are only taxes on MA wages and salary for those days they work in MA. If you are able to work from home occasionally, keep track of those days and apportion your income appropriately.

          3. The Commonwealth is awesome and I love Boston. It’s a positive. Come on.

            1. Sorry, Garrett, but it’s kind of hard to shake my Connecticut-bred aversion to some aspects of Massachusetts. Like Boston accents.


              1. How are the Whalers looking next season?

                1. That’s low.

                  And besides, CT residents just pick either NY or Boston teams.

                  I chose NY.

            2. I live in the “Other Massachusetts” also known as the western part of the state. It is awesome here but it would be much better for everyone if boston (everything in the 495 loop) was it’s own deal and let the rest of us keep to ourselves.

              Overall Boston is ok to visit but the level of Progressive Suck D-tude there kills the whole state in my eys.

            3. Boston ain’t so bad if you can afford it and manage to ignore the government for the most part.

              I grew up here (Lowell), moved away 15 years ago (Atlanta and then the midwest) and just moved back a couple of months ago and overall I’d rather live here than anywhere else I have lived. It doesn’t hurt that I am living in Newburyport either.

            4. When is the next Reason Mass. gethering?

              1. Good question.

          4. NH taxes interest and dividend income. There is no income on salary or other wages. There is no capital gains tax. Many folks look at the last two, ignore the first, and claim NH has no income tax. It’s just not so.

        2. WA has some surprisingly loose laws for it’s political leanings (as I view them anyhoo).

          Differences from NH:
          -No possession outside home by people under 21
          -No NFA weapons after 1994
          -No carry in schools, liquor establishments
          -Permit is 21+ and $60 vs NH 18+ and $10 for residents
          If I understand NH law, the only place you can’t carry is a courtroom.

          NH does require a permit to carry in a vehicle, which comes off as absurd relative to the rest of their laws.

          I’d take NH’s $10 permit over any of the no-permit-required states due to those states’ near laundry list of off-limits places. Schools and school property in AK, VT, day care facilities and their property in AK, state institutions AND their property in VT. AZ and AK require the carrier to be 21.

          1. The permit is also “shall issue” and you get it in about a week. I think they should just get rid of it, but it is pretty decent as far as permit requirements go.

            1. If you don’t have a permit, you can’t get reciprocity from other states. This is a problem for Vermonters, though New Hampshire I believe issues them one for New Hampshire upon request. That’s why Alaska doesn’t require them, but will issue one if you want.

          2. There is no (or at least quite recently used to be no) minimum age limit for the NH carry permit.

      5. Oh, and lastly, what’s the history of the New Hampshire primaries? Does New Hampshire regularly pick super-freedom-ey candidates in their primary?

        Understand, I’m merely asking the question, because I’ve heard over the years from others about the disconnect between the state’s motto and their actual political climate.

        1. They went with McLame in ’08 iirc.

        2. Oh, and lastly, what’s the history of the New Hampshire primaries? Does New Hampshire regularly pick super-freedom-ey candidates in their primary?

          Speaking from someone who has seen it from the inside, I wouldn’t trust the results of the N.H. primary to accurately reflect the will of the people. The Sununus do their best to make sure only the “right votes” are counted. Surprisingly, this time it meant Romney, which is a bit of a headscratcher as Paul is right in line with their pet project of lessening U.S. ties to Israel.

        3. Ron Paul did pretty well this year in the NH primary. But no, they don’t elect freedomy candidates much. They usually vote for the eventual republican nominee.

        4. A large part of the discrepancy comes from people who are originally from Mass who have moved across the border into Souther New Hampshire.

          Realistically Everything in the State from Manchester South can be considered a Boston Suburb (even though Nashua, Manchester, and Portsmouth are all good sized cities in their own right) with significant quantities of Massachusetts liberals in them.

          North of that however is pretty solidly libertarianish republicans.

    2. It’s because New Hampshire’s House (?) has a huge number of reps in it, the most of any state, and it was felt that moving 20,000 people into the state could actually, potentially get them enough reps to make some difference. Something like that. I’m currently too busy to look up the exact details.

      1. That’s pretty much right. The house is huge. Towns of 1000 people have their own rep.

        Another cool thing about NH government is that every state level elected office is up every two years, and there is a two year budget cycle.

      2. The N.H. legislature is the 3rd largest legislative body in the world, behind India’s Parliament and the U.S. Congress.

        1. The N.H. legislature is the 3rd largest legislative body in the world, behind India’s Parliament and the U.S. Congress.

          I thought that was interesting, so I looked it up.

          With 424 members, the General Court is the largest state legislature in the United States and the fourth-largest English-speaking legislative body in the world, behind the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of India, and the United States Congress.

          Pretty cool.

          1. When did the fucking Brits get ahead of us?

    3. I’m not sure how libertarian NH his, but they’re ranked #1 by Mercatus as far as freedom goes.

      1. I take those rankings with a grain of salt. I have lived in Missouri the vast majority of my life and can tell you that it should b nowhere near the #5 ranking. Seriously, Rick fucking Santorum got like 50% of the vote in the MO primary in February. Last year, strip clubs were regulated out of existence. Many towns, at least in the Kansas City area, are decidedly anti-gun.

    4. NH is less decidedly un-libertarian than most states.

    5. I think the Free State Project would have worked much better with Hawaii. How much arm-twisting would you have to do to get people to move?

      1. Well, there’s a little issue with the fact that real estate in Hawaii is super-retarded expensive.

      2. High taxes, Washington DC style gun laws, 47th on that Mercatus freedom index everyone likes, Utah-like laws on gamnbling.

        Gee, I can’t imagine why liberty minded people wouldn’t pick HI as the place to try and reform.

        They’d probably have better luck in NYC or Maryland.

        1. But it’s Hawaii. Worst case scenario, the project is ineffective and you’re stuck living in Hawaii. Beats the hell out of an ineffective political movement leaving you stuck living in New Hampshire.

          1. Stuck in Hawaii would be much worse then stuck in New Hampshire in my opinion.

            I’m stuck in NH-it’s cold, but there’s no income or sales tax, guns are easy to buy and carry. I can pack up and DRIVE to another state if I find a new job.

            I’m stuck in HI, I’m in a high tax, highly regulated state where I have to have everything ferried back to the mainland to get out of here.

            I’ll take the chance of being stuck in NH over HI any day of the week.

      3. Actually quite a bit. The reason more people don’t move there already is because property values are not in synch with incomes and pretty much no one who is not independently wealthy can afford to move there.

    6. Ok, ok, everyone made some good points. But what about the fact that once you moved there, you’d be living in New Hampshire? What about that?

    7. As someone who lives in MA, NH seems like an absolute libertarian haven.

    8. I take it you didn’t read their web site for the very clear explanation of why they chose NH?

    9. Live in MA *ducks*, work frequently with a customer in NH. My company employs a guy who was laid off from a large conglomerate a couple years ago who lives in NH and he basically works full time at the customer in NH. This guy is full blown Republican, but he is damn proud of the lack of seat belt laws in NH. He’s the type of NHite who could probably be easily persuaded to vote for a Ron Paul type of candidate in a state election, especially if the candidate was an R.

  3. What happens when you bring together politicos, voluntaryists, and off-the-grid farmers for a week?

    Wasn’t Kruschev kicked out of office for that?

  4. Can’t libertarians try to take back one of the really nice places liberals have ruined, like say Portland or Monterrey, rather than Cow Hampshire?

    1. When liberals ruin something, the damage is permanent.

      1. I guess Cow Hampshire is the front line for fighting the national Masshole infestation.

        1. As soon as I am able I plan to move to NH.
          As a matter of fact I’ll be going there tomorrow with the wife to spend time with her family (and stock up on tax free booze).

          1. I actually like Vermont better. But liberals have totally ruined that place.

            1. Vermont is fucking gorgeous. It’s also one of the more xenophobic places you can visit. You get the “stranger stare” if you go into any town that isn’t a tourist destination. And they do that to fellow New Englanders, I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone else.

              1. It is this weird mix of that and totally over the top New York lefties who moved up there in the 60s. The kind of people who think Bernie Sanders is a moderate.

                And yeah it is gorgeous.

        2. It is rough. At this point I think NH should just cede the SE corner of the state to Mass. and build a wall.

          1. “It is rough. At this point I think NH should just cede the SE corner of the state to Mass. and build a wall”

            Nah just just bulldoze it and start over.

    2. “Cow Hampshire”? I’ve never really understood that. There aren’t all that many cows anymore.

      And New Hampshire is really nice, but only partly ruined by liberals.

      Also, there is nothing to stop someone else from starting a new free state project somewhere else.

      1. It is nice. Vermont is even nicer, which makes me all that more angry the liberals moved out of New York and Boston and fucked it up.

      2. “Also, there is nothing to stop someone else from starting a new free state project somewhere else.”

        Other than the lack of success of the first one?

        1. I choose to be happy that Paul came in second. No one is trying to claim that NH republicans are majority libertarian.

          1. Was that in the promotional material for the Free State Project? “With your help we can get a pro-liberty candidate to finish a distant second in a presidential primary.”

            It’s awfully hard to ask people to uproot themselves for that level of effectiveness. Particularly somewhere like New Hampshire.

            1. Well, better than nothing I suppose. And why does everyone keep talking about NH as if it is some unpleasant place to live. Unless you really hate winter, it’s pretty nice. But I’ve always lived here, so who knows?

              1. Most people don’t understand how nice summer and fall can be in New England. They think it’s super cold all the time.

                1. There is no place in the world better to be than New England (especially New Hampshire, Vermont, or Western Ma) in early October and that includes Hawaii.

              2. “Unless you really hate winter”

                And if this describes you perfectly? I’ve never known anyone to say, “gee I just hate 80 degrees and sunny.”

                1. Actually I do hate 80 and sunny.

                  80 is far too hot for my comfort, I like 65 better and would choose 55 over 80.

      3. As someone who grew up in Lowell let me explain.

        See back in the late 60’s/early 70’s when the Massachusetts technology corridor was first being built the folks on the Mass side of the border considered themselves superior to their more rural northern neighbors and hence the birth of the “Cow Hampshire” monniker. That New Hampshire is now just as technologically advanced as Mass and has pretty much always been more advanced than it’s other 2 neighbors is rather irrelivant because Southern NH and Northern Ma have made a rivalry out of it so the names will probably live on forever.

      4. There is actually a pretty strong libertarian contingent here in Idaho as well. The Idaho Freedom Foundation is a largely libertarian organization that has pretty solid ties at the statehouse, and I am also working on building a network of libertarian attorneys here to establish a libertarian litigation organization along the lines of the Institute for Justice and the Goldwater Institute.

        I am hoping that Idaho can become the western version of the FSP as people flee places like CA.

        1. Good luck with that. The Californians brings the stink of their stupidity.

          I like Idaho, especially the Treasure Valley, a lot but it’s moving in the wrong direction. Look at the recently passed massage therapist occupational licensing. The aridness is a bit much at times, too.

    3. Can’t libertarians try to take back one of the really nice places liberals have ruined, like say Portland or Monterrey, rather than Cow Hampshire?

      Come up here and say that, punk. *cracks knuckles*

      Besides, aren’t there more cattle in Texas?

      1. More in Florida.

        1. It’s not nice to call old people that, John. Yes, dementia leaves one a little ‘bovine’…but, still.

          1. Do you know what a cracker is?

  5. I never understood what “off the grid farmers” stuff has to do with libertarianism. Ditto for paleo diets, micro houses, etc. I have no problem with people being involved in these movements, I just don’t see what they have to do with libertarianism.

    1. Nothing beyond the sense that it should be a free country and they can do whatever they want.

      1. Yeah, I understand that. But with the exception of raw milk, none of these trendy libertarian lifestyles are remotely illegal. They’re minor rebellions against vague cultural norms. Group housing for example (I used to live down the street from Tortuga). Why should an ideology that praises private ownership attract those who are into communal living?

        1. p.s. I have several voluntaryist friends who have moved to Keene and started a commune. I just don’t get it. They’re not rebelling against the government, they’re rebelling against society itself. In fact, I think rebelling against society is their main cause.

          1. Well, doesn’t the values of a society influence the system of government and how it governs?

          2. I think it is more that the kind of person who is likely to be libertarian overlaps a lot with the kind of person who wants to be completely self reliant.

    2. I never understood what “off the grid farmers” stuff has to do with libertarianism.

      Because self-reliance is a necessary element for liberty?

      1. Yeah, but as we previously discussed, NH is a bad place to farm anything other than apples, dairy, maple syrup, or potatoes.

        1. We have plenty of deer forest vermin to hunt, though.

          1. We call ’em wood rats in Michigan.

          2. Venison is the best red meat imo

    3. It’s sort of like the things that get lumped together in the major parties. Free(ish) market economics has no connection to opposition to abortion, for example, but you’d think it did if you talk to mainstream republicans or democrats.

    4. About the same thing as IT work, Atheism, and Science Fiction fandom have to do with it. It is not that those issues are in any way directly linked to libertarianism it is just that there is a huge overlap between libertarians and people into all of those other areas.

    5. Reason did an interview with farmer and author Joel Salatin (…..singlepage ) regarding his approach to farming. Among the books he has written is “Everything I want to do is illegal,” which details all of the ways state and federal laws and regulations prevent him from growing and raising foods in the manner that he and his customers would prefer. Basically he thinks that he could make healthier and better food if the government would leave him alone, hence the libertarian connection.

    6. There were several farmers at the event that I talked to. They are challenging the state in their own way: resisting agricultural departments. One guy I spoke to told me this story of how local farm agents came to him and offered free inspections of his livestock and he turned them down because of the epic headache it would cause. The guy next to him took the offer and regretted it because it resulted in an endless paperwork nightmare.

      There is strong agrarian element to New England libertarianism.

  6. That looks like its gonna be pretty slick dude.

  7. Statement of Intent

    I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the state of New Hampshire. Eventually. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.

    Pledge #1: You first.
    Pledge #107: Nuh uh. You first.

  8. It’s cold. It can’t work. NH is not free….

    Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.

    1. Who’s in your way?

    2. How am I in your way? By not packing up all my stuff and moving somewhere I’m certain I would not enjoy?

      1. Neither the Free State Project nor NH is for everyone. My point is that these people are doing something (I am not a Free State Project Participant) and are making a difference but a disturbing number of comments here are focused on all of the reasons why this can’t work, won’t work, should not work.

        1. “My point is that these people are doing something (I am not a Free State Project Participant) and are making a difference”

          Are they? I would think asking that question is perfectly valid.

          1. Especially since, after all this time, barely 5% of the stated goal of 20,000 participants have actually moved there. That’s about 100 a year. At this rate, they won’t make their goal till the year 2200.

            If none of the original or subsequent settlers dies, that is.

            1. Actually, they are 50% of the way to the stated goal of the
              project (which is 20,000 people sign and then 5 years they move – The 1000+ that are here already are ‘early movers’ that have moved ahead of the pledge”).

              There are 13 current state reps that are free state project participants. There are more who are ‘inspired’ by the FSP.

              Jenn Coffey (an early mover and state rep) got our knife laws changed so that they are now among the best in the country (none).
              The state budget went down last year.
              The Republican controlled house/senate passed medical marijuana (but yes it was vetoed by the Democratic Governor).
              Passed school choice.
              Passed Fully Informed Jury (FIJA).
              Reduced (actual reduction) state spending.
              Upheld gay marriage (yes, would have been better if the separation of marriage and state bill had passed).
              Killed Real ID.
              Open carry (always legal in NH) is now somewhat common and the police (in general) get it.

              There have also been failures (constitutional carry bill, no repeat of occupational license)

              However, the success are real and people are doing things. I am quite glad that the FSP picked NH. I don’t know if they will ever hit 20,000 movers but I also don’t think it matters. I’ve seen what 1,000 can do.

          2. Stop harassing these nice people and get back to picking on the leftists at BTF.

            1. I pretty much never do that. I like to talk baseball there. This cuts down on my posting there severely…

    3. Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.

      And I’m not saying it can’t be done, I was merely asking “why New Hampshire”?

      I admit that the responses do make it look like it’s as feasible there as anywhere else.

      1. As insane as it might sound, I’d be much more inclined to join up if they’d envisioned an intentional community in California and then let it grow into a hotbed of intellectual exchange and the welcome cultural weirdness variety that libertarianism always entails.

        As it is, though, I’m not living anywhere I can’t have a garden and year-round citrus. A man has his limits.

  9. What is it with you people and disgustingly hot tropical climates? WTF is appealing about living year round in a place like Hawaii or Florida? NH isn’t that fucking cold, and they have fun shit to do like ski, snowboard, snowmobile, ice fish, snow shoe, fuck in front of a fireplace on a bearskin rug…

    Y’all are a buncha candy asses.

    1. +1

    2. +1

    3. +1

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