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.)