Freedom in Our Lifetime: A New Strategy

Want to live in a state with no income or sales tax and a government committed to protecting life, liberty, and property? Today this is not a dream, but a sound, practical strategy known as the Free State Project.

Those of us who admire and advocate the ideas expressed in Ayn Rand’s works have a problem: There are not enough of us.

The critical mass of people needed to turn the tides, politically and socially, is just not there.

Consequently, we end up with the current state of affairs in the United States — of growing taxes, regulations, intervention, collectivism, and relativism.

But what if a new strategy were employed, one that brought both immediate and long-term benefits? Such a strategy exists today, and it's called the Free State Project.

The Free State Project (FSP) is an organization whose purpose is to persuade 20,000 pro-liberty activists to migrate to New Hampshire. By “pro-liberty,” it means participants believe the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.

But why New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is the freest state in the country and offers immediate benefits to those who move there.

New Hampshire has no general income or sales tax.

In 2008 New Hampshire was rated the safest and most livable state in America — and the second healthiest as well.

It has constitutional protections against redistributing private property through eminent domain. It has beaches, mountains, farmland, and cities, all within short driving distances.

New Hampshire is not a nanny state, and does not require adults to wear seat belts or motorcycle helmets.  It also offers one of the most friendly environments for doing business.

The state is governed by an accessible citizen legislature of 400 members, whose annual salary is a mere $100 each.

Philosophically, New Hampshire has the state motto — and attitude — of “Live Free or Die (for death is not the worst of evils).”

There are plenty of other reasons to love New Hampshire as well. Overall, by simply moving to New Hampshire, you will enjoy having more of your rights respected than you could find anywhere else in the country.

The Free State Project’s strategy, however, is not merely to get people to move to New Hampshire, but also for these people to become part of a larger community of activists working to protect and advance liberty even further within the state. To wit, the project’s own motto is “Liberty in our Lifetime.”

In only a few short years, participants in the FSP have already been elected to state and local office, started television shows, newspapers, and radio programs, developed new successful businesses, been critical in the defeat and passage of numerous laws, created voluntary alternatives to government systems, and built the most vibrant, successful pro-liberty community in the country.

It is through these united efforts, in a state already receptive to such strategies, that true liberty in our lifetime will be implemented, lived, and demonstrated — to the United States and to the world.

That, in a nutshell, is the Free State Project. It is a simple strategy that already is successfully achieving real, positive change.

For more information, there are plenty of resources on the internet, but the best way to learn about New Hampshire and the FSP community is by coming and seeing it for yourself.

Towards this end, each summer the FSP hosts a festival known as the Porcupine Freedom Festival, or “PorcFest,” for short.

This year's PorcFest will be held the week of June 9th at Gunstock Mountain Resort and Campground in Gilford, New Hampshire. Whether you can attend the whole week or only part of it, you'll have a great time.

The festival offers tours around the state, outdoor concerts, panel discussions with participants, trips to indoor and outdoor shooting ranges, exhibitor tables from many different organizations, group hikes, evening bonfires, team sporting events, and many other fun, social, and informative activities.

By the end of the week, you'll have an excellent idea whether New Hampshire and the Free State Project are a good fit for you.

So far over 8,300 people have joined the Free State Project and, by the end of 2008, more than 1,000 of them will have relocated to New Hampshire.

As you can see, the Free State Project is no utopian, pie-in-the-sky endeavor, but rather a sound, pragmatic strategy that is already paying real dividends, both immediate and long-term, for its participants.

Even if you can’t be a part of this exciting project, keep your eye on The Granite State — for it is there that the tide will be turned back in liberty’s favor.

Rich Goldman is the head organizer of the Free State Project's Porcupine Freedom Festival and a Ph.D. student in Information Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). His favorite Ayn Rand novel is The Fountainhead.

10 comments from readers  

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This is an excellent overview of the Free State Project. It has been a few years since I thought about it seriously. But this article actually has me reconsidering what state my wife and I should go to when we move later this year....
Mr. Goldman: Never heard of your group before but sounds wonderful, sort of like a real "Galt's Gulch." I have been an Objectivist going back to 1960 so as a Canadian Senior (80) it would not be a practical consideration to re-locate to another country, but if I were Younger... Isn't NH the first state to be tested in the primaries? How did it vote, Dem or Rep? Sounds like they have the ideal Government. You understand the people who join such a government are doing it for the perfect reason, not perqs and agrandizement. Keep up the good work, Frank Toplin
Wow! That sounds like an amazing geopolitical movement -- just the kind of group activism the liberty movement needs. If the FSP can hit critical mass in New Hampshire, it will spread elsewhere.
I believe NH has taxes interest and dividend income. Also property taxes are high. Still ...
Right idea.

Wrong state. To make mathematical sense, it would have to be Alaska or Wyoming, the two lowest population states. (And yes, I know that it was decided by a sacred "democratic" vote) Alaska is the best, because they elected 4/44 state legislators as Libertarian (whereas NH elected 4/220 as LP, with vastly too many tiny State legislative offices to ever have a majority there), and have zero gun laws, so if Galt's "force and mind" approach is necessary, it won't be a foregone conclusion, given the nature of reality now (read "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross, pub. Accurate Press, for more on this subject). Libertarians are terrible at simple math and strategy, or they're broke "povertarian" petitioners. (Since the LP's petitioners are typically the few people who have some idea of what the non-libertarian public is actually thinking.)

BTW, to make a big difference overnight, simply explain jury nullification of law, (and "lasting through 'voir dire'"), to ALL of your friends and family. That will stem the tide of tyranny immediately, and it only costs you a few minutes of "intellectual philosophy" time. Google FIJA for more info on the subject, (if you want to replace Hank Rearden's and Roark's jurors with the true voice of liberty...)
Hi Warren. Yes certain taxes are higher in NH, but the overall tax burden in NH is (one of) the lowest in the country.
Great job! I encourage your group to target activist liberals of college age, if you do not already do so. The libertarian message is tailor-made for them, given their circumstances.
I'm a libertarian and I appreciate you giving witness to the world of the great works of the Free State Project!!! Keep up the good work!!!
Sounds good to me.
Hey Richard way to go, great write. Chris here, the guy that climb Mt. Liberty with you a couple years back (I wear teh tilley with the red ban). In Chicago now but still working in that directions.
To post comments, please log in first. The Atlasphere is a social networking site for admirers of Ayn Rand's novels, most notably The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In addition to our online magazine, we offer a member directory and a dating service. If you share our enjoyment of Ayn Rand's novels, please sign up or log in to post comments.