Celebrate a milestone in the quest for liberty
|Title:||Celebrate a milestone in the quest for liberty|
|Author:||Mary Lou Seymour|
Celebrate a milestone in the quest for liberty
by Mary Lou Seymour 10/07/03
Last week we in the freedom movement celebrated a milestone, the long-awaited announcement of the chosen state for the Free State Project. I say "we in the freedom movement," even though some of my own friends and cohorts have not signed up for the FSP, for varying reasons,because even for those in our movement who are NOT members, Oct. 1, the day of the announcement of the winning state, marked an important first step in our quest for "liberty in our lifetime".
A group of "no name" libertarians got together around 2 years ago, and, within 2 years had put together a nationwide organization of libertarians, anarchists, constitutionalists, Christians, atheists, pagans, gun lovers, homeschoolers and yes, even Republicans and Democrats who had one goal in common: to move 20,000 liberty lovers to a single state, a small state where 20,000 would have an impact, to realistically affect the electoral process, win state office, and actually be able to "prove" government can be drastically reduced by peaceful means.
I was an "early adopter" (member #36, to be exact). As I explained in my column earlier this year (Taking a new look at the Free State Project), I "joined up" because, after 20 years of trying to change the culture one person at a time and 15 years of trying to get libertarians elected to office, while the police state grew every year and the dependent mentality of the citizens grew even faster, I wanted to give it one last try, to see if it was even possible to stop the descent into tyranny by peaceful means, by targeting one small state and using the tools of cultural change and the electoral system. Maybe this time, we could "get it right," we could peel back the state a layer at a time, back to bare bones constitutionalism ... and then, perhaps, keep on going. Maybe it's impossible, maybe incrementalism only works in expanding the state rather than reducing it, but this project gives us the chance to try.
Most folks laughed at us, to begin with. We didn't have any "big names" spearheading the movement, we didn't have any "big donors," we didn't have the backing of any big think tank or organization. We were called naive dreamers, we were told over and over and over again the old saw "organizing libertarians is like herding cats," we were told we'd never even get 1,000 members, much less the 5,000 needed to vote on a state, much less the 20,000 to move.
Well, we got our 1,000, and, we got our 5,000. Jason Sorens, the young grad student at the time who dreamed up the FSP is now a "household name" in the freedom movement ... and we've proved that libertarians CAN work together toward a common goal. So, Oct.1 was a huge milestone for us, for "grass roots organizing," and for the entire freedom movement.
As a by-product, the Free State Project has gotten more media attention and more publicity for the libertarian philosophy than any of our candidates, projects, successes (or failures) in the last 30 years. Take a look at the media page at the FSP website, or do a Google for "Free State Project." It has been astounding. Even the "negative" articles from our (um) socialist friends in the media have been what I consider "positive," in that they lay out the libertarian agenda and philosophy for all to see.
The state we picked ... was New Hampshire. NH beat the socks off the other 9 states being considered. (Detailed results of the voting are available in the October Quill.) My first choice wasn't NH, but, all the states had good potential for this great "political experiment." All of them were, to a deep Southerner like myself, freezing cold, but I figured well, if I just "can't take it" in mid-Winter, I'll head South until the spring thaw. I'd have been satisfied with any of the states; I had "bought into" the idea of the project, no matter where it was located.
There are those who "opted out" of NH (and it was, I believe, the 3rd lowest opt out state), there are those who are really really upset that their "favorite state" wasn't picked, there are those who absolutely refuse to move "East," there are those who say they're going to set up "competing projects." If you are one of those who just can't bear the thought of living east of the Misisippi, please take the time to read my friend Claire Wolfe's blog entry "I STILL support the one and only FSP!" No one on this planet is a more devout freedom fighter than Claire, and no one is a more devout "Westerner" ... but Claire is biting the bullet and embarking on the great adventure with the FSP.
If you're still saying "it's naive" ... well, hardly as naive as thinking that reading enough ISIL brochures or Reason articles or Cato white papers will magically transform the culture; if you're still carping "even if you do 'free' one state, that'll be 1 state surrounded by 49 police states" ... well, better one free state than NO free states; also the synergy should be "expandable;" if you're still hiding behind "the Feds will never let you get away with it" ... well, but what is the alternative? Slavery? Revolution? Death?
The state motto for New Hampshire is "Live free or die." And the "porcupines" (as FSP members call themselves) have pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to the cause of bringing "liberty in our lifetimes." Even if we "fail" in the end, even if the power structure is TOO powerful, the election system TOO corrupt, the majority of people too dependent and docile, even if we can't restore freedom to one tiny state, well, there is one thing much worse than failure -- not trying in the first place. Not "seizing the day," as Richard Boddie is fond of saying.
For this week's action, I urge you to celebrate the Oct.1 milestone with us, and, to join us as we embark on the great adventure. If personal problems or family ties keep you from participating in the move, you can still be useful as a "friend" of the project, and, who knows, perhaps your situation will change by the time for the move. If you simply can NOT move, well, you can still help out as a "friend." We've reached our first milestone, but we need every friend of freedom in the country ... and abroad ... to help us reach the next. Carpe diem!
Til next week
For freedom .....
next year, in the free state
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