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My Turn: Free Staters cherish freedom, Granite State

On July 19, the Monitor published a “My Turn” by Matt Murray of New Hampshire Labor News excoriating the Free State Project and quoting the essay by Jason Sorens that led to the formation of the FSP.

The FSP does not usually respond to attacks, but now is the time to make some facts clear.

While we respect Sorens’s contribution to the concept of the FSP, several ideas expressed in his essay never formed part of the organization. From its inception, the sole requirement for joining the FSP was signing the Statement of Intent: “I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the state of New Hampshire within five years after 20,000 participants have signed up. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty and property.”

It’s that simple. FSP participants share a belief in personal freedom and responsibility, but otherwise we are diverse: religious and nonreligious; black, white, and brown; male and female; families, couples and singles; young and old.

Our philosophy is that of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the New Hampshire Constitution, updated for modern times. We believe that government should generally leave people alone so long as they are not harming others.

We think free markets work better than central planning.

We think local governance is better than faraway, centralized oversight.

That doesn’t mean we support everything individuals might do in a free society. Having a right to do something does not mean it is wise or even morally acceptable to do it. But a free society is more moral and prosperous than a controlled one.

The Free State Project has never supported secession. From the very beginning, the Frequently Asked Questions section on our website made it clear that the organization takes no stand on this issue.

FSP participants – surprise! – have different views on this question, just as other Granite Staters do.

More than 1,350 libertarians have moved to our state as part of the FSP, to join the roughly 250 original in-state participants.

More than 2,200 Granite Staters have signed onto freestateproject.org to express support for our mission. We cherish what’s great about New Hampshire and wish to preserve the Granite State’s original philosophy. We are your neighbors and friends.

(Carla Gericke is president of the Free State Project.)

Legacy Comments41

Article 3 of the New Hampshire Constitution: " When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is void." Jason Sorens, founder of the FSP, on taxes, big business, greed, and the social contract: “John Locke, of course, coming before Kant, set forth a persuasive account of natural rights; his failure was that he believed that there was an actual social contract that limited those rights. Subsequent thinkers realized that there was no such thing as the social contract as envisioned by Locke, and that therefore individuals retained all the rights that they had in nature, and that government was acting illegitimately in trying to curb those rights…Rothbard basically shocked me with his revolutionary statement that taxation is slavery. What does that mean? Once you start to think about it, it becomes clear that taxation involves coercion — that it involves basically conscripting your labor for the service of the state…Reading about how big business is often unjustly maligned in the U.S., and how what seems like greed can actually lead to the overall greater social good — those arguments persuaded me at the time to move toward classically liberal views on the proper role of the state on economic affairs.” http://www.theatlasphere.com/columns/040223_schwartz_sorens.php

Free staters are not trying to impose some untried utopia like the leftist liberal progressive socialist democrat party. They seek to restore the lost heritage of a self reliant citizenry with a small govt America that has been eroded, undermined, or just plain sold out by the progressive liberal socialist democrats. That is a good thing

When a secretive group decides to move en masse to a small state to take over no matter what their politics are it is a bad thing. Free Staters are not just for small government, they are anti government and authority, especially police..

incorrect leftist rhetoric as usual tillie

Really? No "untried utopia"? Soren's ideas are libertarian fantasies that, if ever put into practice, would lead quickly to monopoly power that would dwarf the late 19th century's. And that's just for starters. Libertarianism is fundamentally at odds with democracy. Their (and yours, evidently) faith in the magic of markets as the panacea for all that ails us, is laughable, and flies in the face of the history of the Industrial Revolution in every single country where it's taken place. Adam Smith would roll over in his grave at Soren's claims--and yours.

Brucie - ever since you declared in this paper that you are a socialist your comments on anything regarding social or economic policy are moot - but keep coming back we need to know how the enemy thinks

We have free staters in our town. They drive over roads built and maintained by the government so they can stand in a building built and maintained by the government and tell us all how evil and unnecessary government is. Amazingly, they never see the disconnect. Also, does every one here know they hold a weekend workshop every year to teach the art of taking over a town meeting? They're interested in subversion for their self interest, without bothering to see what actually works already.


I have two in my town, husband and wife, the McGuires. They live in the same house but thanks to gerrymandering represent two different districts. They clone each other's votes. What really galled me is when the Suncook River changed its' course because of flooding, they tried to have the GOVERNMENT spend millions of dollars to reroute it back behind their house. They do see the disconnect, it is just they feel entitled to come to a well functioning state where they do not have to contribute anything.

Gee tillie, for someone so guarded about your own personal info (even after you've posted it on this public forum), you sure aren't slow to divulge that of your neighbors.

My "neighbors" live in the same town as I do and are my elected Representatives ( but not by me) . Dan McGuire introduced a bill to have the Suncook River moved to it's original course. Matter of public record. His wife writes a column every week in the free paper lauding her votes and complaining about those Reps that do not agree with her. When they first moved here their web site explained they were Free Staters and their plans to move here with others and take over the state government. As elected representatives, what secret about them do you feel I have revealed?

I reckon yer more than a match for me, Victoria. I'll be moseying along now, moving my doggies off the Big Valley ranch, before Jarrod gets back from Stockton. (c;

THE LAST TIME I CHECKED, EVEN FREE STATER'S ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS!! I see that the Chowder Head Hate Brigade of principled progressives is organized, on the attack and not practicing any of their lofty so called principles: Diversity (only one opinion allowed, Free Staters need not apply), Tolerance (only their own opinion, Free Staters need to be silent and Inclusion (only if you agree with us progressives). I don't like many of the Free State platform but the nasty, hate filled comments here are uncalled for. The Harp Per Minutus brigade is on the march. Bruce, welcome back from vacation.

Quaint notions such as refusing to accept that there exists something called the social contract, believing that taxation is akin to slavery, and that greed is a social good, are accepted tenets of the belief system of libertarians like Jason Sorens and others who belong to the FSP. Their philosophy flies in the face of thousands of years of religious and philosophical thinking about the individual and society. Indeed, they even reject the idea of 'society' itself. They masquerade as strict adherents to the state and nation's constitutions, while they violate both letter and spirit of both. Libertarianism is simply another attempt on the part of the rich, the well-born, and the powerful, to justify greed. They've replaced 'divine right' with Ayn Rand's John Galt.

My gosh, Joe, writing clear succinct answers is not something you are good at, is it? Carla-your statements:"...I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty and property.” Strikes me, as a native NH (born, educated, worked, retired), as unclear !! Protection of individual's rights?? What makes you think they are under attack?? AND, if they should be attacked, what part of our four HUNDRED representatives would buy into it?? Go look at the FSP project website-'Liberty in our Lifetimes'??? Which of the so-called 'liberties' don't we have?? And, which part of 'libertarianism' are you pledged to?? The part that we admit we are part of a society and have responsibility to that society?? Or deny any responsibility to society, because you give up the freedom to not pay taxes?? It really doesn't sound like a well thought through project !!

Where the heck ya been, Walter? Manusrcipt posts, most with multiple links contained within, has been Bloseph's M/O for a good long while now. There's obviously a disconnect somewhere because any reasonable person would not expect the same to get through them. Best part might be his custom segues, where he begins with a 'thank you' to the writer, or another poster, and tools along as if that was his personal invite. Yessuh, get 'em while they last folks, because no library is complete without a BloSaurHaas! Just $99.99 plus $14.99 S&H. So you don't forget, mail before midnight tonight!

Hey Larry, Where's that good 'ol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Popeil mark 'em down, move 'em out spirit?, of actually (yeah I thought I'd start "like" a new sentence without resorting to a capital letter of: ) the basics are FREE at The Office of Secretary of State: where one can get (a person that is, unless you have a trick dog like The Doberman Gang with a note tied to it's collar, or a drone to offset the ones used by the gov't), I'll repeat: where a person can get: a copy of The N.H. Constitution (they used to have thicker ones like with the U.S. Constitution included too ) in the booklet of that; and a nice colorful poster of either the flora and fauna of the state bird, and rock, etc. and/or the political maps of like the un-constitutional two - count 'em 2 N.H. RSA Ch. 662:1 Federal Districts that be unlawful as against Sec. 2 of the Fourteenth (14th) Amendment. / / / / / As for Walter's comment about http://freestateproject.org/ and that pledge sign at near the bottom of the page, it gets over to: http://freestateproject.org/blogs/forbes-fsp-hotbed-libertarian-activism-country with only two comments so far, and so when this story disappears from the front page here maybe Carla will write over there to answer your question too? To which I say to you Walter in Ronald Reagan style of: There you go again! (;-) pointing your finger at the N.H. Legislature or General Court. This FSP is like a Tree of Liberty with many branches. So just like The State with the capital letter "S" for the corporate government, the state (geographic) is made up of us Article 12 individuals or "inhabitants" with rights that are supposed to be "protected" from other outside laws like the U.S. Codes of Uncle Sam (never "consent"ed to), our creature that we the creator created with certain enumerated powers, not rights as that's for us! And one of them is like the numerous Removals by Federal agents from the U.S. Attorney's Office in infiltrating our State Courts where CIVIL cases are filed against some of these Federal goons and instead of there being a check-and-balance of State-Federal Relations as by that House Committee name that is actually worthless since they say a State-Local issue is not in their bailiwick even though it's an Article 28-a political subdivision of the State, there's the allowance of these Removals to Dismiss even against their own rules of in 28USC636(c)(1) that requires the CONSENT of BOTH parties: plaintiff AND defendant. So the sooner these R&D&I&L, etc. State Reps start impeaching these local judges (in County Superior and District/now Circuit Courts) the better! Of at least file an LSR to amend RSA Chapter 100-C:15 to be able to attach their retirements for having not protected our neighbors! Retirement by Article 36 that are supposed to have annual reviews. When was the last one, if ever, ever head? Please answer me that question before any other. P-L-E-A-S-E of there: I said "the magic word".

Bloseph, Sorry, but like most of their predecessors, I couldn't get thru your most recent post. Regardless, my message to you remains the same; less is more. You're asking a lot in expecting people to read all the 1000-word essays you post. Moreover, nobody comes in here to be assigned homework by another poster, so I'd use those reference links very sparingly. In short, ya gotta keep it real, bud.

I'm a proud free stater. Thank you for taking the time to write this piece Carla. I started my political life as a Carter Democrat and I voted for Bill Clinton the first time. While serving in the Army and serving as an officer, I was sworn to uphold the Constitution. As a consequence, I became a Constitutional hobbyist. The more I read our history and followed SCOTUS decisions, the more I realized how far adrift government at all level have gotten and how the collected power limits prosperity and freedom. After a third of a century, I retired as a combat veteran. I moved to New Hampshire from New York because the state government is openly hostile to constitutional conservatives. Over the years, I've become increasingly aware of the gross hypocrisy of people who claim they support diversity, but then throw out rational discussion to descend directly towards vicious personal attacks and insults. New Hampshire can be better than it is. I'd like to help.

As a New Hampshire resident, I'm glad the FSP chose our state. Keep up the good work Free Staters

I don't know - Matt argued fairly convincingly in his letter that the Free Staters have snow plowing very low on their priority list. Is it really unreasonable to assume that a freedom-lover would move their family to New Hampshire and then be willing to wait it out until mud season? I mean, really, snow plows *and* civil liberties - how could that work?

You are moving here for "creation of a society"? You people really think a lot of yourselves don't you? Most people that move here like it just the way it is and if they want to change things, maybe wait a while to before trying to take over. If you all are so proud of yourselves, why the secrecy about who you are when running for office?

Yeah, yeah, we've heard this all before. Everybody wants to "...preserve the Granite State’s original philosophy." Which philosophy was that? The one that destroyed the state's forests for a quick buck in the timber market? Or maybe the philosophy of the Boston & Maine pretty much running the state through a network of graft? I'll bet the Free Staters have little problem with the philosophy of the developer (name escapes me) and his gated mansion up Carter Hill way whose project violated environmental and zoning regs. They just want to be left alone - pity those who live downstream from them!

You might find it interesting to know that deforestation occurred all over New England, and everywhere else for that matter, because wood was the only cheap fuel. So you should be praising John D. Rockafeller, Savior of the Whales, Provider of Cheap Heat, for making it so that not only have the forests grown back, it is often impossible to recreate 100 year old photographs because there are too many trees in the way.

Carla, don't flatter yourselves and who are you trying to kid? Moving into NH is fine, many seek our quieter lifestyle and our freedoms. But, masquerading as republicans to win a toehold our government with a hidden agenda, is not the sign of freedom lovers. You value your version of freedom. I've lived here since 1962 and I think we are quite free already and don't need or want your "help". I find a certain analogy between the FSP and a certain group in George Orwell's "Animal Farm". "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". We we keep our freedom thank-you.

Some freestaters are Republicans. Some, Democrats. (Why, the first state representative who moved to NH because of the FSP was a Democrat.) Some don't partake in any politics and just want to live happy lives in very lovely state. We do see a lot more freestaters identifying with the NH GOP for maybe two main reasons: (1) because the NH Democratic Party does not acknowledge any limits whatsoever on the government's power to spend your money or micromanage your life; and (2) the NH GOP has been very welcoming to new people and new ideas--whereas the NH Democratic Party has been openly hostile to anyone or anything new. ... Kind of ironic when you think about it.

Any free stater that runs as a Democrat is doing it under false pretenses because that is the only way they can get elected. Free Staters are a sneaky under handed group. They have caused chaos in Keene, and are nothing more than law breakers.

Thank you for illustrating my point. The paranoid xenophobia is strong with the NH Democratic Party.

I notice that all the inflammatory speech has been deleted from your website. Too late your radical views of freedom are already known. I would refrain from accusing anyone of being paranoid, we know what was published in the past, the fact that you have a more secretive stance now, means nothing. I remember the flower children of the 60's and their search for utopia. Same old story. BTW why is one of the Free staters 101 reasons for infesting NH, and I quote- "New Hampshire's constitution does not specifically prohibit secession." Why would this be of interest??

If you people want your own Utopia why not move to the wilderness of Alaska instead of coming to a state where all the work has been done for you. We made the roads, built the infrastructure, and now you want to come here like a pack of locusts and live of the spoils and tell us how to live? We got along fine before you came and will be here long after you leave.

tillie, First of all, you make a great point, and I agree with you. Yet I can't resist complimenting you on that dead-on Victoria Barkley impersonation you've just offered up. VB was the iron-fisted ruling matron of the Barkley family ranch in the 1960s TV series, "Big Valley". Only thing missing in your post was, "Just wait until Jarrod gets back from Stockton!". Now, before you take it out on poor Abner (hubby from another of your alter egos; Gladys Kravitz), understand that Barbara Stanwyck was one of those human anomalies who somehow kept getting better looking with each birthday. Despite being in her 60s during the reign of "Big Valley", she remained one of the most beautiful women on television. I'll let you get back to running the Circle T ranch.

We? You seem to be speaking for a lot of people. I highly doubt any freestaters want to tell you how to live.

Yes you do. Your plan was to come here and take over the government,. It was on your web site. Locusts and parasites.


I Call B.S. You "cherish" New Hampshire because you felt it was a state small enough while at the same time being independent enough politically for you to successfully conduct your little experiment in. Couldn't been Delaware. Could've been Rhode Island. But they're too liberal. Could've been Alabama. Could've been Texas. But they're too big. Simple as that. You have no real love for the Granite State beyond the fact that it makes an adequate petri dish.

Carla, If your "philosophy is that of the U.S. Declaration of Independence " and that of "No Taxation Without Representation" then WHY do you allow the FORCED extraction of property taxes? under threat of the government TAKing your house if you don't pay for the education of the children of the others of the parents of BOTH the rich AND the poor of on BOTH sides of the poverty line. Put your $money where your mouth is, as they say: You're for diverse religions but allow this government monopoly to continue. If you do have children and do pay them fine, but to FORCE others to pay for him/her/them and especially the poor is just plain wrong! Of a Reverse Robin Hood System. The conniving of the politicians here have planted it within the RSAs that you give your R.S.A,. Chapter 80:61 "implied consent' of "commit"ing your property to be taxed as such unless you opt out in writing by a notice to the town that you do not volunteer to pay for the religion of others, as that is what the gov't teachers are are Ministers of The Religion of Secular Humanism, by their membership cards with The N.E.A. Assert your right of religion and freedom of association or dis-association as is supposed to be a guarantee by Article 5 of the N.H. Bill of Rights. Thank you for the opportunity to type again, of now to see who will read and DO this. Especially since the state-wide education tax for the gov't schools is un-constitutional. Thus you have Article 5 Part 2 too. Take your pick: tackle one or the other or both because your local officials are supposed to "make and subscribe" their Article 84 oath by RSA Ch. 42:1 and 92:2 and if they do NOT faithfully perform their duty and still tax you AFTER the notice then you can sue on their RSA Ch. 93-B:1-05 "faithful performance" bond of they're each insured up to $100,000 to pay for damages like taxing AGAIN, of that theft by extortion of even the effort and so to pay the penalty of the thief at seven times the amount according to Proverbs 6:30-31 when you catch a thief: these government thieves! Tell them to Wise Up, or that they will be taught an expensive lesson.

Joe....did you have a point to make??

Yes, These Freestaters come into this state and when they land on their property they bought and then get the tax bills they are like a fish and take them hook-line-and sinker with-OUT asking HOW they have somehow been added into the local School District, as the word district is territorial in nature of applicable to the person, and with-out any person/ child REPRESENTED within the local school they pay anyway by the RSA Ch. 80:61 "implied consent", or in other words they're delivered like a cloth to stick in their mouth and told to shut up and don't challenge The Authorities or The Establishment because The Powers that Be on this NOT state BUT Plantation of New Hampshire are the entrenched ones BORN here of who are like the lukewarm frog that gets boiled to death of their ancestors paid for the "common schools" defined as that of BEFORE The so-called Great American Experiment of FREE Education for ALL in a TOTAL-itarianism Regime but which is against the law as we are supposed to be living in a Republic! (Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution). Like I wrote before: read Rose & Milton Friedman's best-selling book* of 1980: FREE TO CHOOSE. Chapter 5 for WHO to subsidize. They use the word Free in Free-Stater, but do they really know HOW to remain free? No, they chain themselves down to dictates from the local Tax Collector and think that they have to somehow change the statutes. To the ones who do have children and that they enroll into the gov't schools and then allow others of in-cluding the poor to have to pay for them makes them more of not like a fish, but a bloodsucker! a leach! My religion is that of as a Protest-ant of I protest against having to pay for somebody else's religion! I honor The Lord of Hosts, not the lord of parasites! If some poor child cannot afford an education we all ought to help him or her to choose a PRIVATE school if they'd like. The Gov't ought not to FORCE us to pay to GIVE them the $money to put them into a government school by pre-paying the NEA teachers, but that of my religion reads of to LEND to the poor at zero interest expecting nothing back but O.K. if they do. I've sent an $x donation to my local town Welfare Officer to start such a fund but never even got a Thank You. They like the current way of doing things of like you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Thus my suggestion is to run for this local office and expand it to the schools. (;-) Once I ran for such as the only one on the ballot of with Reagan's idea of "Workfare" back in the 1980s of to have a community garden too/ also not "only", but that all the Gov't Welfare people ganged up to write-in their own candidate to continue the Food Stamps as they thought that such was to be replaced 100% by them having to Work Free or Die. (;-) To them it's like "Live Free or Die", of the word: live of living off O.P.M/ Other People's Money. Such people are what others say too are "Spongers. Spongers on society. S.O.S. Of it now into 2nd and 3rd generation Spongers! There's some handbook out there of something like: How To Be a Gov't Sponger For Life. Chapter #____ probably has it in there of to beware of the REAL Freestaters! the ones with not only THE book* but the VHS tape in their hands of that award-winning TV series also entitled: "Free to Choose" (;-) 11:50 a.m.

I was correct: you don't have a point to make, just a rant designed to: a) say nothing, b) be meaningless, and c) obfuscate the discussion.

in case is anyone is wondering, Joe Haas is not a Free Statist. He is a homegrown eccentric.

No, he is an American citizen and he has a right to his opinion whether or not you and I agree with him. And look who is calling another person "eccentric".

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