Brian’s Column: Free State Liberty Forum 2012

Glimpse the future of freedom in Nashua, 2/23-26
by Brian Wright


Liberty Forum 2012It’s possible I’ve laid down more words of review, panegyric, and general documentation of the Free State and the Free State Project from which it sprang than any single person.[1] I mean, of course, the Free State of New Hampshire and the Free State Project conceived by Jason Sorens, who spelled out the basics in a Libertarian Enterprise column of July 2001. A lot of water gone under the bridge since then… and so many people moving hither.

All right, so the Liberty Forum this year is going to be a winner and everyone should go. I’m not going to overanalyze or try to kill the natural buzz that most people—especially those who have never been to a Free State BIG EVENT (Summer = Porcupine Festival; Winter = Liberty Forum)—will feel upon congregating with so many unique individuals whose names are Freedom. It takes a special breed to pull up stakes and move to a new geography, but as I write in New Pilgrim Chronicles (NPC):

… It’s a giant step for anyone to leave friends and family to start over. I shed a tear in my beer every time I consider who I’m leaving behind. But I also feel I’m “coming home” to New Hampshire. I’ve come to make a difference, help make history, help kick some major statist buttski.

Think for a minute what the early American immigrants had to endure to achieve a freer life. First they had to scrape together everything they owned, negotiate passage across the ocean, fight disease and bad weather, and eke out a meager existence often looking starvation in the face until they accumulated enough to take a breather.

Many pushed west into unprotected wilderness. No unemployment insurance, no healthcare benefits, no takeout Chinese. The common man in those days had to be uncommonly independent of mind and iron-like in claiming rights of property and person… primally connected to freedom. Though we can be proud for putting our freedom where our feet are, our ancestors make us look like tourists.

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When I wrote that in 2005—reflecting on the early days of my actual move to the old town of New Boston, then a year later, Amherst—I certainly had a fire in my belly to make a difference… play my position on the diverse, though uncommonly focused, A-Team that was forming, by actually doing something for liberty. And I did. NPC is a personal record of that activity. But it’s also a semi-gonzo account of the several activists young and old, Early Movers and Natives, from every walk of life and circumstance, chipping in together. We were FAM-A-LEE. At least, it felt that way during our signature success of turning back the first attempt at a smoking ban.

I remember (NH Native) Don Gorman confiding to Keith Murphy in the Barley House tavern across the street from the capitol that day we stopped the Health Statists: “This is the first time we’ve affected the policies because of the influx (of Free Staters). And it will only get better. God, it feels good to WIN!” It was heady. It was certainly my finest hour, at 57, in politics. Of the perhaps 20 to 30 persons who showed up to citizen-lobby for liberty in the Concord statehouse, I can rattle off five Free Staters among us WHO ARE NOW STATE REPRESENTATIVES!

Advice borne of experience…

Even the Sovereign-<Insert Name and/or Symbol>[2] ones or the Blessed Runners thru Downtown Manchester Smoking Dope for Jesus brigade will concede that making the above kind of impact on the political process is soooo significant. Which brings me to one of the bigger issues facing the Free State now: the ‘my way is not only better than your way, your way sucks’ schism. This suggests a lot of egoic mind (EM)—to use a term from Eckhart Tolle’s book, the Power of Now. Yes, EM is more often found in extreme form in young men [just as ED is found more in us older guys. :)].

Anyway, I don’t want to open the Politicos vs. CDs vs. <roll your own approach to freedom> can of worms now, tho I do want to say the ‘your way sucks’ ‘tude presents a substantial problem to the Free State today. We had better learn to all hang together vs. being hanged separately.

I remember when I was young and had all the answers—fashioning myself as John Galt or Howard Roark—I was EM to the Umpteenth Power! Wasn’t until my 40s that reality and good sense finally began to penetrate the barrier of hormone/alcohol-driven mental compulsion that had taken me over. So a word to the youthful Alphas coming to the FS to make their mark while dissing the ‘Previous Ones:’ lighten up, be respectful. And to the Previous Ones: same advice.

The feds are coming! The feds are coming!

For those who will attend Liberty Forum 2012[3], whether as someone considering immigration or old hands seeking to be among their people, I urge mindfulness of the dire political context we face. The 900-lb. gorilla has definitely entered the building, what with all the newfound Intolerable Acts—NDAA indefinite detention without trial, presidential extrajudicial killings, Internet blacklist bills (and treaties, e.g. ACTA, enacted w/o Senate approval), TSA groping your junk everywhere, FDA assault on food supplies and nutritional choices, ad infinitum. Paul Craig Roberts points out in a recent column on Infowars that if Ron Paul does not win this year, the US—barring massive popular resistance—will be in a condition of complete and utter tyranny before the next presidential election… that won’t happen.

So let’s celebrate the Free State and normal life of making our work effective here, enjoy the many fine speakers and events, the literature and music and discussions into the wee hours. It definitely will be one for the books. But as Alex Jones points out, and recent events confirm, we are in End Game USA. The feds have come! It’s basically down to our only human choice: to take our Constitutional liberty if Ron Paul wins (best option) or if he loses. By whatever means necessary, the time is now. We are Spartacus!


[1] Especially if you consider a recent effort—aborted after roughly 50 hours of setup and writing—that would have produced a promotional publication for the Project (like one finds at elegant entry-point Interstate rest stops you find in some states). [It may one day be rekindled.] But to list some of my Free State related pubs:

[2] Not being too flippant, because my mature bones have completely reconciled to lower-case ‘sovereign individualism’ and do see the best purely political solution as exercising freedom of choice of governments in real time: aka panarchy… or radical, do-it panarchy. But I’m comfortable with successful ‘less than the best’ political solutions (e.g. stacking the NH legislature with libertarians), too.

[3] Alas, I am unable to attend this year for ‘ailing mother’ care reasons. But I’ve developed an author profile and have made arrangements with Jim Dodson of Liberty Books in Concord and Dan Stuart to contribute to the Liberty Forum 2012 Free State author feature organized by Tom Ploszaj. Thank you, gentlemen, and my best wishes to all my fellow Free Staters and freedom warriors on this occasion in these bellwether days.

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