Sunday, June 26, 2016

Porcfest as glimpse of libertarian paradise

In New Hampshire, Living for a Week in Libertarian Paradise - ABC News - Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press:

June 24, 2016 - "T-shirts promoting 'Bitcoins not Bombs.' An ice cream stand selling cones of 'Bananarchy.' A refurbished school bus housing young men debating the presidential candidacy of Gary Johnson. "

"Welcome to PorcFest, a weeklong camping festival billed as a libertarian utopia of sorts in the mountains of New Hampshire. Run by the Free State Project, the annual festival attracts 1,500 people from across the nation, who started trickling in Sunday.

"Called 'porcupines,' the animal that serves as a logo for libertarians, they come to share ideas and be among others who dream of a small government society where taxes are limited, trade is free and people are allowed to eat, imbibe and inhale whatever they please. The festival, officially called the Porcupine Freedom Festival, offers a glimpse into the kind of libertarian paradise Free State Project leaders hope to one day create statewide....

"This year's PorcFest comes at a key moment for the Free State Project, a plan devised in the early 2000s to persuade 20,000 libertarians to move to New Hampshire en masse. New Hampshire was chosen, in part, because of its "Live Free or Die" motto and the relative ease of getting elected to office: The state's citizen legislature has 424 seats. In February, the movement earned its 20,000th "signer," the threshold that is supposed to trigger a mass move within five years.

"Matt Philips, the group's president since March, estimates 2,000 people have already moved. The group is now working to convince other signers — some of whom committed more than a decade ago — to join them. Philips knows all may not come, but his ultimate goal is to hit 20,000 incoming residents....

"Guns are indeed allowed freely at PorcFest; a posted flyer reminds gun carriers: 'Be respectful. Be careful. Be safe.' Marijuana is freely smoked too, as most participants believe the drug should be legal.

"Food and other goods are sold in a mini marketplace for cash or Bitcoin, the virtual currency that operates outside of government regulation....

"Philips said he hopes for a future where Free Staters can openly identify themselves as members of the project and begin to rapidly expand their message statewide."

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