Sunday, February 23, 2003

AN article in Sunday's Seattle Times piqued my interest - here we have a major newspaper running a story about a libertarian plan I've heard about in other places, and not being too demeaning or derogatory.

It's called the Free State Project, and it works like this - get twenty thousand or more libertarians to move to one state, and start running for office. Once in office, start applying the libertarian agenda while in those offices - slash entitlements and taxes, cut regulations and red-tape, and instill the values of freedom and liberty. After a while, the state should prosper, attracting more liberty people to it. In short, make an example of the state.

The state chosen would be a sparsely populated one and already have some libertarian principles operating - states mentioned include New Hampshire (no sales or income tax), Maine (has a coastline), Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana (all three are sparsely populated). The people are volunteers - currently there are around twenty-six hundred already signed up. Once they hit the five thousand mark, they pick the state. Once they hit the twenty thousand mark, everyone moves and the experiment is on.

Why do I call it an experiment? Because for the first time since the American Revolution, a truly libertarian politcal body will be in process of birth. The closest the world has been to that ideal in the modern world is Hong Kong.

My one problem with the story is the use of the word "nuttiness" to describe the project's founder, Jason Sorens, even if it was meant to be a compliment. That type of editorializing in a serious reporting story is yellow - the reporter, one Marego Athans with the Baltimore Sun should be ashamed, as should her editor.

I support this movement - my wife have discussed signing up for it. It will be a few years before they're ready to move - the article reports that the Free State Project expects to hit the twenty thousand mark by 2005. Hopefully, my wife and I will be ready when they are.

Read the article, peruse the Free State Project's website (read the FAQ - it's worth it), and make up your own mind.

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