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Free State Project comes to Wyoming
Casper [WY] Star-Tribune ^ | Sunday, May 18, 2003 | MATTHEW VAN DUSEN Star

Posted on 05/19/2003 9:40:30 AM PDT by archy

Free State Project comes to Wyoming

By MATTHEW VAN DUSEN Star-Tribune staff writer

One might compare the dining room of the Szechwan Chinese Restaurant in Casper where Libertarians met to discuss the Free State Project Saturday, to the reading room of the British Museum where Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital.

In both places, political thinkers were trying to find a different way to govern people. Still, it's best not to mention Marx around adherents of the Free State Project.

The project, devised by Yale doctoral student Jason Sorens, aims to have 20,000 liberty-minded people move into a sparsely populated state and renounce big government through incremental political action. The group rejects violence as a means of change.

Debra Ricketts, a project board member, met with a group of about 15 Libertarians, including former gubernatorial candidate Dave Dawson, to talk about the project Saturday in the dim light of the restaurant.

Project leaders have identified Wyoming as a potential candidate because of its low population and libertarian sympathies. The project is not formally affiliated with the Libertarians, but the groups share similar interests.

Ricketts said that among those who have signed on with the project, "Wyoming certainly seems to be one of the front runners. It gets a lot of talk." New Hampshire is also high on the list.

Dawson said he had seen ideas like this before, but "this is the first one I've seen that is well organized and actually has legs."

The plan, however, has lots of foggy bits.

How, for example, will an economy the size of Wyoming's absorb 20,000 people, most of whom are not oil and gas workers, over five years?

Ricketts, a technology worker in Las Vegas, said some members are already looking at the job markets, and many of them are entrepreneurs. Those already in the state could ease the transition for others who would follow.

Once people get here, the blueprint for change remains unclear. Ricketts was not troubled by that, saying the project's goal is to get 20,000 people into a state and the rest comes later.

Movement leader Sorens had put some thought into the matter.

Based on a rough analogy to the sovereigntist movement in Quebec, Sorens calculated that 20,000 people, half of the paid membership of the United States Libertarian Party, could exert up to 62 times that much voting influence. Sixty-two times 20,000 equals 1.24 million, more than double the population of Wyoming. The 20,000 activists could mobilize much of a state's population and win government majorities, Sorens believes.

The group would then roll back gun and drug laws, privatize utilities and limit the government to securing the freedoms laid out in the Bill of Rights.

Project supporters reject the idea the end of big government would lead to a cruel society without programs to support the poor or elderly.

"I would rather fall through the cracks than be pounded through collander," said Wyoming Libertarian Party chairman Dennis Brossman.

Carol Ann Remington of Missouri was so eager to get the project started she has even dropped off a few job applications while in Casper.

"This is not a whim and a fancy," she said.

But mobilizing 5,000 members by September 2004, and 20,000 by September 2006, as is Sorens' plan, will not be easy.

The frequently-asked-questions section on the Free State Project Web site, reads, "I am interested in joining the FSP, but I wouldn't be willing to move to a place like Wyoming or Alaska. What do I do?"


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: casper; chinaeconomy; freestateproject; freestaters; fsp; libertarians; porcupines; wyoming
Free State Project Homepage and info *here*

FSP Wyoming State discussion group *here*

1 posted on 05/19/2003 9:40:30 AM PDT by archy
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To: archy
FSP bump!
2 posted on 05/19/2003 9:45:50 AM PDT by Under the Radar (Women's lib gave women the ability to pick up the check for their own abortions.)
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To: archy; AAABEST; claidheamh mor; EBUCK; Esjay; exodus; gnarledmaw; Katya; newt; pocat; steve50; ...
Porcupine ping!

Anyone wanting on or off the Free Republic *Porcupine Ping List* for news and info regarding the Free State Project, just give me a FReepmail or post to one of the *Porcupine Ping* response threads.

-archy-/-
3 posted on 05/19/2003 9:52:06 AM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: archy
An influx on that order had better bring their checkbooks if they want things like roads, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure sufficient to support such a radical, sudden change in demographics. Political considerations have nothing to do with it.

Many attempts to model this potential activity in terms of similar influxes to rural areas ignore the fact that these people aren't moving there for either the work - it doesn't exist - or the retirement. Moving there strictly as a means of expressing political power is profoundly threatening to the present inhabitants, and if reassurances aren't made and followed up on right away concerning stability of existing institutions, then this essentially libertarian-motivated movement could well find itself ironically forced into a position of authority that is anathema to its own philosophical underpinnings.

4 posted on 05/19/2003 9:52:30 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: *libertarians
Ping
5 posted on 05/19/2003 9:56:38 AM PDT by jmc813 (After two years of FReeping, I've finally created a profile page. Check it out!)
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To: Billthedrill
...if reassurances aren't made and followed up on right away concerning stability of existing institutions, then this essentially libertarian-motivated movement could well find itself ironically forced into a position of authority that is anathema to its own philosophical underpinnings.

Agreed, and it's an observation I'll post at the Wyoming FSP group board for further consideration and discussion.

I think it'd be more of a factor in some of the eastern goal state possibilities, New Hampshire being the most frequently mentioned, but Maine and Vermont are also in the running, and I'd agree that either insular Maine residents or the hippie community of decades past that populated Vermont with their own FSP-type migration [an admitted predecessor and example to porcupine activism] would be far from thrilled at the prospect.

And in the West, whether Montona, Wyoming or Idaho, among other possibilities, I expect employment will be a major factor, as it already is in the consideration of which state it'll be.

-archy-/-

6 posted on 05/19/2003 9:59:56 AM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: archy
bttt
7 posted on 05/19/2003 10:05:01 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: archy
bump
8 posted on 05/19/2003 10:47:33 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: archy
i believe the ideal location for the fsp is delaware...

small and manipulative and in essence, a peninsula with a part of maryland and virginia could form the new nation of delmarva.... or atleast a state.... coastal to prevent landlock and attractive with many local industries some of which have nothing to do with killing chickens...

i am pulling for delaware as the place....

teeman, libertarian and waiting to taste freedom...

9 posted on 05/19/2003 2:06:06 PM PDT by teeman8r
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To: archy
add me please
10 posted on 05/19/2003 2:10:39 PM PDT by Kwilliams
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To: archy
Ping me please. My wife and I are thinking about it.
11 posted on 05/19/2003 3:15:34 PM PDT by Beck_isright (When Senator Byrd landed on an aircraft carrier, the blacks were forced below shoveling coal...)
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To: Beck_isright; Kwilliams
add me please

Ping me please.

You're both added!

12 posted on 05/19/2003 3:50:48 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: archy
Thank you.
13 posted on 05/19/2003 4:24:04 PM PDT by Beck_isright (When Senator Byrd landed on an aircraft carrier, the blacks were forced below shoveling coal...)
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To: archy
One warning about Casper. The winters are cold and windy. Very windy. I grew up there and it takes a special group of folks to endure the winters there. But the summers are truly awesome.
14 posted on 05/19/2003 5:48:04 PM PDT by microgood (They will all die......most of them.)
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To: microgood
One warning about Casper. The winters are cold and windy. Very windy. I grew up there and it takes a special group of folks to endure the winters there. But the summers are truly awesome.

Agreed. I recall some houses around Newcastle with doors on the second floor as a means of dealing with high drifts. And it's sometimes said in that part of the state that the State flower is a rock, the state tree is a rock, the state bird- well, you know.

-archy-/-

15 posted on 05/19/2003 6:31:02 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: archy
bttt
16 posted on 05/19/2003 6:39:14 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight)
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