As I write this, the Free State Project has topped just over 10,000 signers.
The goal of the FSP is to recruit 20,000 liberty lovers who agree to migrate to New Hampshire and see what happens. There is not much more to it, but it could have major social and political influence.
The idea is credited to Jason Sorens, then a Ph.D. student at Yale in 2001 who studied the historical impact of American migration patterns. He concluded that the reason libertarians had failed so miserable was that they were too dispersed among the population. He proposed that the solution would be to concentrate our numbers.
New Hampshire — the “Live Free or Die” state — was chosen by a wide margin for its general pro-liberty disposition and its relatively small state population, only 1.3 million. New Hampshire has the lowest local and state tax burden in the continental United States, the lowest record of violent crime per capita, and the second-lowest dependence on federal spending. There is no seat belt law for adults, no mandatory car insurance, permit-free open carry.
As a FSP signer, I have agree to move within five years of the FSP reaching its goal of 20,000 signers. The only goal of the FSP is to move liberty activists who believe the “maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.” Approximately one thousand have already made the move. The population of New Hampshire and its citizen legislature reduces the burden of entry for political activists. Several “Freestaters” have been elected to the state legislature and several more have been elected to local office.
Several others have worked outside the conventional political process in promoting liberty. Notably, Free Keene, with the tagline “Peaceful Evolution,” is focussed on promoting a stateless society. One of the earliest movers, Dave Ridley, has long documented just such an evolution.
The FSP hosts two major social events annually. The New Hampshire Liberty Forum, which features leading speakers from around the world, is taking place this weekend. The Porcupine Freedom Festival (PorcFest) takes place one week during the summer. Why the porcupine? Because its quills do no harm unless it is being aggressed against.
Anyone looking to achieve “Liberty in Our Lifetime,” no small feat, should give the FSP a look.