America's boldest experiment in liberty, the Free State Project, officially signed its 10,000th participant today. The organization is dedicated to migrating 20,000 pro-liberty activists who agree to downsize government to New Hampshire. The announcement comes in advance of the Free State Project's annual winter convention, the New HampshireLiberty Forum.
Jason Sorens, founder of the Project, said, "This is a great milestone for us. It feels good to be half-way there. There's still much to do, but the project is continuing to grow and I am confident we'll reach our goal of 20,000 participants."
Participants come from many backgrounds but all agree to move to New Hampshire, where they will “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property." The agreement avoids political labels and allows individual participants to set their own course to reach their goal.
"The Free State Project has no political platform or membership dues", Sorens stated. "We have participants who identify as conservative, classical liberal, libertarian, anarchist, voluntaryist, you name it. The things we care about are: Do you want more liberty and less government? Are you willing to work toward it? Are you going to be a good, neighborly person in your community? If so, the Free State Project may be just what you're looking for."
While no one is obligated to move until 20,000 people have joined, 800 participants are already in New Hampshire. Four have been elected to the state house and dozens more to local offices. Members have founded or supported organizations around issues such as lowering taxes, gun rights, drug law reform, spending caps, homeschooling, marriage freedom, privacy protection, and state sovereignty. They have also started media outlets such as nationally syndicated radio show Free Talk Live, YouTube sensations like The Ridley Report, and print publications like the New Hampshire Free Press.
FSP president Varrin Swearingen noted that "the FSP is more than just being politically active, it's also about community. Several cities have regular social meetings with dozens in attendance. Members have met their spouse through the Project. There is a full social calendar of parties, hikes, game nights, you name it. Come for the liberty, stay for the community."
Early mover Margot Keyes of Epsom commented, "Many people move for jobs or family, but rarely get a chance to move for their ideals. Why not move to where you can find jobs, a lovely environment in which to live a freer life, as well as a community where your ideas are not only welcomed but shared?! Join the FSP community--live what you believe!"
When Swearingen was asked what the project is doing to reach the next 10,000 participants, he replied, "We are increasing our advertising, starting direct telephone outreach, and increasing our presence at pro-liberty events across the country. Now that members have moved to New Hampshire we have hundreds of natural ambassadors that can speak to how great it is here. One thing that sometimes holds people back is their practical need for a job. We now have extensive online resources available to help with that at http://freestateproject.org/jobs. Thankfully New Hampshire has the best economy in the northeast, which we hope to improve further."
Judge Andrew Napolitano recently said that "The Project is fascinating..." We certainly agree, and look forward to the Judge extending his remarks on this milestone at the Liberty Forum, where he will be the keynote speaker.