Forget the FSP. Move to New Hampshire Anyway

With my conflicts with the Free State Project brought back to the forefront, I am again receiving many communications from people who say “I’m not going to move there now” and that sort of thing. I realize, that it may seem like you’re taking my side in a conflict by doing that, and I can appreciate your sentiment. The FSP’s decision was wrong, and their behavior since reflects poorly on the organization. I no longer wish to be a member of the FSP myself.

I also realize that no shortage of the people saying this would never have moved anyway. For a lot of you, any excuse to not leave your jobs, your friends, your family, and your comfort zones will do. I can sympathize with that, it’s not easy. For the rest of you who sincerely would have moved, you should know that this would be an absurd reason to not participate in what I think is the greatest chance we have to find liberty in our lifetimes.

The Free State Project’s board of trustees is little more than a half dozen control freaks who meet 4 times a year. They are not elected by the membership. The only things they have any control over are FSP events like PorcFest, the FSP social networking outlets, and the FSP website. Outside of those things, they have absolutely zero say over what you do with your life in New Hampshire. Additionally, the FSP board is a political entity that seeks favor with the State. We can debate the merits of that all day, but my point is that even the members of it behave differently outside of their official roles. The last time I was in Manchester, I had drinks with Carla Gericke and we’re still Facebook friends. If you really want to get back at them, then sign the pledge to make the move. My understanding is, once they reach 20k signers, the board will be dissolved, and cease to exist.

The FSP Has No Power in New Hampshire, Move Anyway

The FSP Has No Power in New Hampshire, Move Anyway

 

The general consensus with FSP members, and even more so with FSP sympathetic locals, is that I should not have been expelled. Any perception that I’ve been run out of New Hampshire is only caused by a small and vocal minority on the internet, mostly comprised of left leaning people, many who don’t even live in New Hampshire or have any intention of moving. If I decided to go to PorcFest, nobody would be able to stop me from doing that, and I would be welcomed at the vast majority of campsites. I’m just not going to help the FSP sell tickets by being at their event until they rescind their defamation against me. As I go about my daily life in New Hampshire, I am surrounded by friends who care a lot more about freedom, than 501c3 status or political correctness, and you can be too.

Most importantly, if you actually want to help me advance our cause, the last thing you should do is leave me to do it by myself. As some of you already know, I’ve spent a great deal of time in New York as of late for work reasons. I expect that this is about to change, and soon I will be back in New Hampshire full time. When that happens, the best thing you can do to advance our cause is to join me there. For those of you who are interested, I will work diligently to find you work, and lodging.

Seriously, consider it for a moment. We’re talking about taking on the most powerful government in the history of mankind. Did any of you really think there would not be serious opposition to this? Did any of you really expect that men would not turn coward once things got real? This is exactly what is supposed to be happening. What political movement does not have infighting? Since when have principled people not met opposition from those seeking political power?

Ideological inconsistency, pacifism, and political correctness are the least of our problems if we seriously expect to live in a stateless society. We are libertarians because we fight statism, which is the greatest threat, not only to us, but to the survival of our species. This fight is bigger than all of us combined. So when some people get cold feet and freak out, that should be like background noise to us.

Becoming discouraged and dropping out of the fight when opposition arises is no strategy for success. Take it from me, opposition is nothing but a measure of your success. If what we were working towards wasn’t making progress, then nobody would care. If I was as marginalized as some would try to make me out to be, then there would be no resistance. The fact of the matter is, we’re winning, our rivals are terrified of us, and they are trying to stop our advancement. They are failing, miserably. We are an unstoppable force and we are about to come within striking distance of an immovable object.

 

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  • Andrew Criscione

    Great article, Christopher!
    The region known as New Hampshire contains the only ancap communities
    on earth, and it’s a powerful breeding ground for liberty. 10% of the
    population is ancap in the Grafton area, and we only need 3% : ) Of
    course, the FSP board seems to be undermining the whole thing, we can’t
    let them!

  • John

    The idea that the FSP board will just go away at 20k signers is pretty humorous! Organizations don’t commit suicide.

    • Richard Onley

      Once they have the 20K signers, they STiLL won’t have them. There was an attempt to contact signers for follow-up, and out of the first hundred or so calls, about half didn’t even remember signing. I doubt that was pursued–“too negative” an outcome for the prevailing orthodoxy–but it shows another flaw in the foundation of the theory.

  • Manley Caughell

    I considered signing on at one point, then came to the conclusion that if I do move there, it won’t be as a member of some organization. My one motivation for moving would be to be around a community of freedom minded individuals, not whether there’s some organization trying to take the credit.

  • Don Duncan

    My wife & I signed up before a triple digit list existed. I was astounded at the choice of NH over WY. We moved to WY in 2009 at retirement. It is a great improvement over CA. and probably most states.

    After all I read about the FSP board I concluded they are trapped in a collectivist mindset. For example, did they take a survey on banning Chris? I doubt it. They probably spoke for everyone based on their own politics. But who says a majority can morally keep a minority quiet? The FSP started out as a decentralized group of freedom seekers. Has that changed? Or is that change just in the minds of a few board members?

    I hope Chris shows up at PorcFest unannounced and hosts a debate on the strategy of violence. Remember, even Gandhi used the threat of violence by groups he was not affiliated with to motivate the British.

  • Sam Cru

    Mr. Cantwell, you clearly need to be interned in an FSP reeducation camp where you will receive proper instruction on pacifism and deference to libertarian authority figures. There you should remain until you renounce your ideology of violence.

  • Bill Bochynski

    “. . . My understanding is, once they reach 20k signers, the board will be dissolved, and cease to exist.”

    Yeah, well, we’ll see. I hope you’re correct, but they’ve got Steiger’s Law and the 501(c)3 thing to overcome.

    (“Steiger’s Law”: “People involved in a structure spend more time and energy maintaining that structure than in working toward its goals.”)

    For me, application for the 501(c)3 was a real shock.

    Continued good luck, Chris.

  • Scott Robart

    Perhaps we need to start a BFSP (Brutal Free State Project) in NH or even another state which has more freedom-minded people. I wouldn’t say that NH is particularly free, despite its motto of “Live Free or Die”. I suspect that there ARE other states which not only have smaller populations, but which have far more people who are rugged individualists who would support Libertarians moving to their state to make it even MORE free. Many of the western states have a much different mentality than the east coast states, when it comes to individual liberty.

    Whether the movement could withstand two competing movements, I don’t know, but you have the clout to get the word out and see if there’s any interest. I do know that the FSP doesn’t seem to be precisely what I am looking for, personally, as I am an anarchist and a voluntaryist, not a minarchist. Minarchy is wholly unacceptable to me, as it violates my core beliefs. I don’t believe that we will ever accomplish the goal of liberty in our lifetime by appeasing government officials to the level that the FSP does. Of course I’m not saying we should initiate force against them either, so please don’t misunderstand me. I just believe that this is an **evolution** of hearts and minds, not a revolution against government, per se. The government is firmly entrenched and it’s unlikely that they’re going to give an inch, the same is true of diehard statists. So our first step should be to go to a place and LIVE FREE, live an anarchistic life, as far removed from government as possible. We could pay their tribute (taxes) if that is what keeps them off our back and allows us to BE FREE. Once people see that it’s POSSIBLE for a community to live PEACEFULLY without government and they SEE with their own eyes that it’s POSSIBLE, changing statists’ beliefs will be much easier. Besides the “muh roads” argument, the other main problem people have with anarchy is that they believe everyone will be taking advantage of everyone else. We can show them that anarchy isn’t a dog-eat-dog world, but statism IS. All it takes are a few dozen or hundred people who are committed to voluntaryist principles in the same place at the same time, living harmoniously with each other.