LANCASTER – Today is day five of PorcFest, the Free State Project‘s premier annual event designed to showcase the liberty community in New Hampshire. This year’s event is the largest yet, featuring four tents plus the pavilion at Roger’s Campground holding a nonstop array of lectures, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, live music and after-hours parties.
Here’s just a small sampling of the over 100 scheduled events (these are ones I’ve attended myself!): on Monday, rising star Vera Kichanova, a 23-year-old libertarian activist and elected official from Moscow, gave an inspiring talk on what it’s like fighting for liberty in the former Soviet Union. FSP President Carla Gericke led a class on how to make biltong, a dried meat delicacy from her native South Africa, and attendees got to sample some biltong at the end. Second Amendment Sisters volunteer and self-described “community prepper” Alicia Lekas demonstrated how to make mozzarella cheese from scratch. AltExpo hosted a provocative panel discussion on the Nonaggression Principle and when is violence against state agents justified, with Larken Rose, Carla Gericke, Josie Wales and Varrin Swearingen.
On Tuesday, Kristine Boncer led a class on how to knit; one attendee brought her pet mini pig to the class, which caused quite a stir. Internet entrepreneur Matt Phillips gave a presentation on the Paleo lifestyle and how it compliments the libertarian philosophy. Jim Cunagin talked about his experiences beekeeping. The Dollar Vigilante‘s Jeff Berwick expanded on last year’s presentation with “5 Bs Every Anarchist Should Know”. Carla Gericke and Shire Liberty News contributor Emmett Harris led a panel on Blogging for the FSP.
The next day, the always thought-provoking Bill Buppert spoke about ZeroGov and why he describes himself as an abolitionist. Later, three liberty activists led a lively panel on Internet Marketing, and Bill Buppert spoke again on the topic of stoicism and how it’s inherently anti-government. Every presentation I’ve seen has been high quality and informative; considering a weeklong ticket to PorcFest cost only $45 (purchased in advance online), it’s a phenomenal value.
But PorcFest is so much more than a conference. It’s a social and networking event, as well as an experiment in unregulated commerce, with dozens of individuals setting up temporary shops in Agora Valley where they peddle food, jewelry, clothing, and many other items in exchange for alternative currencies such as Bitcoin and silver. There’s even a private security force and a private medical aid team on site to address any emergency needs.
PorcFest is a week-long experiment in living without the state, with over a thousand people interacting with one another socially and commercially on a voluntary, peaceful basis. It serves as a proof of concept for what many of the liberty activists in New Hampshire hope to build on a more permanent basis.