Live free or ... move
|Title:||Live free or move|
Live free or moveBy Globe Staff 10/27/02
ON OCT. 16, THE Taxpayers League of Minnesota accused the Democratic Socialists of America of plotting to smuggle thousands of leftists across state lines to swing the state's senatorial election. The leftists indignantly denied the charges. But just a few days earlier, several newspapers had reported on an even more ambitious and unabashed effort at the other end of the political spectrum. The Free State Project, as it calls itself, is an effort to recruit 20,000 "liberty-oriented" individuals to move en masse to a low-population, "pro-freedom" state and dominate its electorate.
FSP founder and president Jason Sorens, a political science graduate student at Yale, realized that a truly radical free-market candidate can't win a federal office. Instead of dropping off the grid, last year he began asking "libertarians, classical liberals, [and] constitutionalists" to sign the FSP's Statement of Intent, a collective agreement to move to what Sorens calls "a target state that has a native culture conducive to the values of liberty." The top candidates, we hear, are New Hampshire, Wyoming, Alaska, and Delaware; some 1,500 people have signed up so far.
The Libertarian Party's candidate for Massachusetts governor declined to comment on her ideological brethren in the FSP. "Carla Howell is running for governor to make Massachusetts's government small," Howell's spokesperson said. "We have no interest in the other project." FSP Vice President Elizabeth McKinstry, in town this week to address the freedom-minded Boston Objectivists, was more forthcoming.
IDEAS: The FSP claims that Americans today "are more oppressed than they ever were under King George." Will ours ever be a free society?
MCKINSTRY: Probably not. However, I believe that through the Free State Project, people who feel the way I do about liberty can come together to elect a state government which stays out of both bedrooms and boardrooms, allowing us to explore our personal and economic potential without burdensome taxation and regulation or other undue interference.
IDEAS: According to your organization's Web site, Jason Sorens favors a "stealth-libertarian strategy." What does that mean?
MCKINSTRY: It's a phrase Jason has used to describe strategies that tend toward libertarian outcomes even though they don't themselves deal with the size and scope of government. If we defend the autonomy rights of Native American tribes, for example, that would help the cause of liberty for others.
IDEAS: Why did the FSP choose a porcupine for its logo?
MCKINSTRY: We like the "Don't Tread on Me" snake, but wanted
something more original and friendly. In Native American traditions,
the porcupine symbolizes defense when threatened, and allowing others
This story ran on page D3 of the Boston Globe on 10/27/2002.
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