Skip to comments.'Free staters' pick New Hampshire to liberate for sex, guns and drugs
Posted on 09/30/2003 7:24:17 PM PDT by Dan Evans
A libertarian movement promoting "minimalist government", the free market, drugs, prostitution and gun ownership plans to infiltrate New Hampshire to create a breakaway American regime, its leaders will announce today. The Free State Project, which has supporters in the UK and worldwide, will reveal today at a meeting in New York that its members have voted for the small but highly-symbolic north-eastern state as its target to win power.
Project chiefs will now try to persuade 20,000 people to move to New Hampshire and sway the electorate towards blocking federal "nanny" laws and social restrictions.
Jason Sorens, a lecturer in political science at Yale University and president of the project, said he wants to create an "autocratic territory" and the Free State Project will follow the examples of the Mormons in Utah, the French separatists in Quebec, Canada, and the conservative Amish religious communities.
Political sceptics have dismissed the project as the fringe cult fantasies of a disorganised shower of anarchists and internet geeks.
But Professor Sorens claims membership is soaring as people become angry over increasing restrictions on personal freedom, government surveillance of private individuals and greater state power in the justice system.
Membership of the Free State Project rocketed after an article in Playboy this year.
"I think that was a good place to find people who are socially tolerant and wary of government regulation over private behaviour," Prof Sorens said yesterday.
The FSP argues that civil government should exist only to protect life, liberty, and property. Individuals are free to do as they please, provided it does not harm others.
In a "Free State", that would translate as a green light for casinos, brothels, cocaine farms and gun supermarkets. Leaders would also do away with seatbelt laws, limits on gay marriage and most taxes.
"The classical liberal philosophy has a long and respectable pedigree. We see ourselves as a kind of chamber of commerce, promoting the state as somewhere where people will come and live freely and do business," he said.
Schools and hospitals would be entirely privatised. Prof Sorens sees new New Hampshire as having economic parallels with Singapore and Hong Kong, and social parallels to the tolerant Netherlands.
New Hampshire's state motto is already "Live free or die".
A ballot last week had members choosing from a shortlist of 10 states, each chosen on the basis that the FSP had calculated the populations were low enough and federal influence weak enough that moving 20,000 members there would give enough leverage to sway the state legislature.
Wyoming came second in the ballot. Other states on the list included Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Vermont and the Dakotas.
Members must agree to move to the chosen state.
But the New Hampshire Democratic chairwoman, Kathy Sullivan, said she considered the project "sort of a very fringe group that can best be described as anarchists".
A British member, Matthew Hurry, a 24-year-old computer technician from Brighton, was already preparing to move to the chosen state.
"It's one of the few good ideas I've seen actually put into practice with a good chance of success. Freedom is important for people, and the western world is severely lacking in it," he said.
But Francis Tyers, a 20-year-old University of Wales student, who studies in Aberystwyth but is currently on placement with the computer giant Hewlett Packard in Ireland, said Alaska would have been his first choice. "I specified on my membership form that I would move when they had legalised the cultivation of marijuana. I'm hoping that this will be one of the first things on their agenda. And secession from the United States would be great," he said.
It is this kind of radical idea that Prof Sorens emphasises is not the FSP's main thrust. "We have no wish to alienate the people of New Hampshire. We want to win them over," he said.
James Maynard, one of 150 project members who already live in New Hampshire, is currently campaigning as a Libertarian to try to win a council seat in the Keene city elections in November.
"The FSP is a mix of common sense ideas and "thinking out of the box". Within the framework of a real-life state and local politics, a group will not be afraid to try new things and take lessons from the business world to bring New Hampshire a smaller, less expensive, more accountable government," he said.
Project members are mostly men and in their 20s and 30s. Many own small businesses and half of them have a university degree, with 18% possessing doctorates and 40% earning more than £40,000 a year.
What makes a foreigner like you think you can move to America and intrude
on our politcal landscape? Only Mexican foreigners are allowed to do that.
You are certainly correct there. but that seems to be the case with any movement, there are those that don't fit in with the mainstream.
Bottom line: the FSP concept has some issues that have not been addressed, that can adversely impact the chances of success.
Of course. But there is also the 'analysis paralysis' angle on this. There is no way to iron out all the known variables, let alone the unknowns.
The reaction of longtime residents to a bunch of outsiders showing up and throwing their weight around in the political arena is one area that hasn't been examined at all. If it isn't handled with a lot of skill, the newcomers may discover that the pre-existing residents will oppose them out of sheer spite.
You have a good point, but one that is not without precident.
In Colorado there has been so many Californians move in that there were bumper stickers that said "De-Californiate Colorado". The inflated property values in CA allowed people to cash out, buy luxury homes in CO, inflate property valuse and the tax base, and then bitch about how 'back in CA...' they did this or that. These are the same people that buy country homes then bitch about the farm animals. These are the ones that leave a place then immediately try to recreate the conditions that made them leave in the first place.
In Florida, "We don't care how you did it up north". People frequently move in and make no attempt to fit in, but try to make others fit in to their ideas. Trust me, it wasn't the Southerners in Florida that voted to protect pregnant pigs but not pregnant humans.
I wish all FSP'ers well in their experiment and quest. I don't want to be compared to the naysayers that stood on the docks in England mocking the Pilgrims.
Yup, much warmer, and you would be able to walk there. ;-)
Oh for sure! I'm not committed, for personal reasons at the momment, but by the time it really gets rolling, I should be able to get with the program. I have spent all of about one hour in NH, but I liked the people I met. I had to take a ride up there and back last year from Jersey. There was a bar/resturant next to the gas station so I popped in for a quick one before the return leg. At first I got some looks in the small town place when a stranger with a Joisey accent ordered a Sam, but ended up BS'ing about the local fishing scene wih a couple guys sitting next to me.
New Hampshire may not have as good a NASCAR track as Delaware, and the 'Stripuh' season is much shorter, but it was #2 on my personal list, and probably the best one for the goals.