As many of our readers may know, fellow Pilei Jason Sorens was the founder of the Free State Project (if you don’t know much about it, here is the project’s website). Thus it was with some interest that I opened David Weigel’s piece at Slate on the movement that Jason founded.
Unfortunately, all I got was a rather sensationalist account that focused primarily on an offshoot of Free Staters, the Free Keene project. I’m still making my mind up about the Free Keene folks, their “voluntaryism,” and their more radical tactics.* But Weigel does a real disservice to the FSP’ers by not painting a broader picture of the movement in a piece that suggests it is going to introduce us to this interesting but not well-known experiment in liberty. I’m not an expert on FSP’ers, but I’m guessing that there is a bigger range in that group than we see on display in the Slate piece. I think I might have to go to PORCfest or another of the movement’s gatherings and see for myself what those committed to “liberty in our lifetime” are really like – though even this may only represent a certain type of Free Stater.
*My adherence to a form of “virtue libertarianism” and the importance I place on prudence in politics suggests my take is going to be mixed, but I’m open to going either way once I get to know them a little better.
UPDATE: I think it is worth noting that I am not currently a member of the Free State Project because I cannot commit to my satisfaction to move to New Hampshire within 5 years of 20,000 people joining the movement. However, I am in full agreement with the goal of the rest of the FSP’s statement of intent: “I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the state of New Hampshire. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.” And I would certainly join and move if I could get a decent equivalent position in my chosen profession (or a job for which it was worth leaving my profession).