On this day in 2012, I wrote an article for Freedom Phoenix called “Down the Rabbit Hole: Living in a Free State of Mind”. I described my vision for the future of freedom in New Hampshire thusly:
“Through the looking glass we go! Let’s implement financial freedom and privacy in the spirit of the Switzerland of yore. Let’s open our borders to those willing to work–no government handouts here. Let’s encourage whistleblowers to relocate and protect them. Let’s end drug prohibition and encourage marijuana tourism with the best coffee houses scattered in renovated mill buildings throughout the state. Let’s decriminalize gambling and become the next Macau or Monte Carlo by restoring the grand old resorts found north of the notch. Let’s get property and dividends taxes down to zero, like NH sales and personal income taxes already are, thus attracting new businesses. Let’s become the Silicon Millyard of the world. A foodie haven, the easiest place to open a new restaurant. Let’s encourage competing currencies, from Shire Silver to Bitcoins and beyond. Let’s do away with speed limits–our own autobahn! Nose-to-tail food freedom for farmers! Hackerspaces! Government out of any marriage! Hell, when we get around to putting the bells and whistles on Galt’s Gulch, let’s build the first private maglev train from Portsmouth to Manchester; no eminent domain allowed. Oh, oh, oh, and, the metric system!
Joking aside, let’s encourage localism with respect to anything created, built, or grown within the state of New Hampshire. Liberty: Made in New Hampshire. Yes, yes, I know. This brings us back to the idea of ‘states,’ and artificial national borders. But, I will tell you this: we have to start somewhere. For me, that somewhere is here in New Hampshire. Now! For those of you who still care about national politics: 2016 is too late. Five, ten years from now, too late. Don’t be the one crying: ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!’ Do it NOW.
If, like The Duchess from Alice in Wonderland, you believe: ‘If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.’ If you are looking for how to gain that momentum, and to find what’s next, here you go: the Free State Project is what’s next. New Hampshire is what’s next. To succeed, all we need is for the real freedom fighters to come home and be willing to actively, peacefully fight for their freedom. In the here and now. Journey with me down the rabbit hole, and together, we will experience the wonderland that is ‘Liberty in Our Lifetime’.”
Since then, Free State Project movers have worked to expand liberties in New Hampshire, including such highlights as:
- Hosting whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Jesselyn Radack, John Kiriakou and Thomas Drake at liberty events
- Setting a clear legal precedent establishing the 1st amendment right to film police encounters
- Constitutional carry passed in 2017
- Expanded school choice options, such as the 2017 “Croydon bill”
- Weekly jury nullification outreach, and a jury in 2012 (with an FSP mover on it) nullified a MJ case
- Crypto-currency successes including longest running BTC meetup in the world, the recently opened Free State Bitcoin Shoppe, and, in 2017, legislation passed that exempts digital currency traders from NH’s money transmission regulations
- World’s first pro-Tor protest in 2015 where activists successfully helped push back against the DHS’s overreach at a small New Hampshire town library
- Scores of activists have been elected at all levels of state and local government
- Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2009
- Business and dividends taxes are being incrementally cut
- Medical MJ passed in 2013, and in 2017, qualifying conditions were expanded and possession has been decriminalized
- Robin Hooders won a NH Supreme Court case against City of Keene on 1st Amendment
- Pro-liberty organizations are flourishing, like the Foundation for NH Independence, Ethics and Economics Education of New England, Children’s Scholarship Fund, New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, and School Choice for NH
- Software apps like Liberty Ballot and GenCourt have been developed to help activists identify candidates and bills that will reduce the size and scope of government
- Nanobreweries have exploded as a direct result of early movers efforts with many Porcupine owned and operated nanobreweries and bars now found across the state, such as Murphy’s Taproom, Able Ebenezer, Area 23, and Earth Eagle Brewings
- Activists host countless events each month. Many also organize arts and poetry events, family outings, hikes, market days, CSAs, etc.
- NH now has three state representatives who are members of the Libertarian Party
- Shire Sharing, a collaborative effort among New Hampshire activists to address community needs through voluntary action and direct charity, aims to feed 600 families this Thanksgiving. You can donate here.
I’m sure there are many additional examples of individuals contributing to the ever-expanding liberties we find in New Hampshire–like the 4th annual FreeCoast Festival that wrapped up yesterday–but this should whet your whistle to get in on the (human) action and MOVE. If you’re already here, thank you and keep up the great work! If you haven’t made your move, start planning now. Come visit during Liberty Forum, February 8-10, 2018 in downtown Manchester (tickets are on sale now). Come join the thousands of activists who now call New Hampshire home, and know, together we can AND ARE making a difference!