Issue #36 – Thursday, April 30, 2015
by Richard Masta
Last week I was ready to throw my phone into the woods and run like an Indian down the animal trail. Barefoot and exhausted — fight or flight — I was meat for the wolves. I needed protein, sleep, and companionship. And quiet.
Sometimes it’s rough being a libertarian. Even rougher if you’re a full-blooded anarchist. They might as well make a movie called “The anarchist boy in the plastic bubble.” It can feel like that for a lot of us. I often feel no different — and I live in New Hampshire! There are probably more anarchists within ten miles of me than anyone else I’ve ever known!
Two years ago, I knew one anarchist in person. I don’t think I knew any self-identified “libertarians.” My brother came around to the ideas, but I won’t label him. Nah, I just read Tucker and Rothbard and Mises.org and LRC and called it a day. Just forget that I live in the Shire, the liberty capital of the world…
Then one day I was bored, so I googled Jeffrey Tucker. I read on Wikipedia that he was the Chief Liberty Officer of a new thing called Liberty.me. I signed up for the newsletter. A few months later, I donated some money to the IndieGoGo campaign (I snagged a sweet autographed Primal Blueprint boxset as part of my donation). I have been there since day one, and I’ve met some amazing people. Some of them live in New Hampshire, but most of them don’t! This is important, so bear with me.
As we Plastic Bubble Libertarians chatted and got to know each other, some of us realized we needed to meet and do things together. A group of us Liberty.me’ers met up at the Porcupine Freedom Festival 2014. That week, I met my two new best friends. Two of the three of us actually live in New Hampshire and had never participated in any of the Free State Project’s events before. It took the out-of-stater to drag us out. It opened my eyes to the possibilities. I haven’t been the same since. I met more new friends and contacts in just a few days than I ever have in my entire life. People from all over the world! My “anarchist real-life-friend count” went from 1 to about…a dozen.
Then things got sleepy again.
A few months later, my brother messaged me about something in New Hampshire called the Freecoast Festival. My out-of-state friend again got the ball rolling and we went to that. It was a blast and I made even more friends! This time, I felt like my asocial ass was getting kicked. It was time to be the ball roller, instead of the tag-along.
I posted something on Facebook along these lines: “FSP friends, invite me to stuff! I live right down the road!” A few nights later, I was welcomed to a party at an undisclosed location.
This party was less than thirty miles from where I live. After a few handshakes, a drink, some cigarettes and music, I felt at home. I haven’t felt at home in years. I’ve moved at least once every 365 days for the last ten years. Seriously, I live right down the road. We just need to meet!
I got a little tour of the place. There was a media center, a library, and a kitchen. The bathroom featured a nice ad for homemade soaps. The basement had a sitting room and a main room with a fridge. Everything in the fridge and freezer had a bitcoin code attached with a price. Yes, people willingly sold their things — honor system — to total strangers. This is anarchism!
My friend bought me an ice cream sandwich with bitcoin. It was the tastiest bite of freedom I’ve ever had. The first thing I’ve ever acquired via bitcoin! I wish I took a picture of that freedom. I will relish it, cherish it, and probably digest it forever.
I joined some conversation. Everyone was either high or drunk, or getting there. I sipped my one beer, but since I have to blow into a government toxicological tracking device, I sipped some blessed seltzer for the rest of the night.
I sat in on some inside baseball concerning how to start up a bitcoin lending company, but I got lost in the math. Then I spent a lot of time saying “hi” to people and telling them I live in Raymond, “just down the street!” Including one pretty gal! Gah!
I met some film people, some podcast people, all sorts of creators and fun anarchists. One guy was the runner-up in the PorcFest Agorist Pitch. One fellow photographed a calendar called Drag Queens & Covered Bridges. Brilliant!
Some of the creators are well-known within New Hampshire, and around the world. It was a casual, private evening, and I am happy to have met them in this environment. At an event like PorcFest, unfortunately, it would be harder to see this side of someone, as the crowds are different.
One well-known show host I met told me another well-known show host lives one mile away, but didn’t show up. It was funny, and pretty cool to think of these guys as normal people. There can be a certain worship-factor within the libertarian circle that should probably stop happening.
For example, at the beginning of this article, I mentioned my love for Jeffrey Tucker’s writing. I saw Tucker speak at PorcFest, and we even had our photo taken with him. It was wonderful to watch him speak. To see him in person was nice because it dispelled the mythology around him. He’s just this guy — in a bowtie, sure — sitting on the table, telling great stories, starting with how he had bourbon in his coffee. He stuttered, he laughed, he choked, his mic didn’t work. He’s a human! He’s not some mythological creature.
Libertarians aren’t mythological creatures. They’re just people. Mostly great people.
Speaking of mythical creatures, have you heard of Lamassu? I met my first Lamassu bitcoin ATM tonight. I wish I had my BTC set up for it all. It was sexy, and I wish I could have played with it. Next time, Lamassu!
Here is what anarchists talk about after a few drinks and smokes: Bitcoin (duh)! Subjectivism vs. Objectivism vs. neither of the above! Start-up cities in Honduras, seasteading, why Galt’s Gulch failed, and all of the above! And as the night goes on, gossip! I won’t get into that, though I will admit, some inside perspectives on certain anarchist celebritarians changed for me. The upcoming Keenevention was mentioned, and games of chess were played.
When I walked back to my car, I clutched my pocket knife and smiled. What a great night. These insane bastards open carry! I live in a great place!
Matt Gilliland wrote a great piece recently about how libertarians should stop fretting about how miserable they are. I want to top it off with a nice little anarcho-cherry: if you’re feeling down and you’re stuck in your little anarcho-bubble, you need to get out and meet some liberty friends and live life without the state, together. In real life. I think that’s the trick. That’s the secret. That’s the catalyst for never looking back! Because you won’t look back. Your happy brain will not let you.
I never will.
One last story! Someone asked me what news sources I follow. I was short for an answer, as I tend to avoid news (negative) for big picture articles (positive). My friend agreed with me that the news is mostly negative, so why bother? I agree that knowing some news is important, but my friend made the point to me: “You live in New Hampshire! We will legalize everything and you can do whatever you want!” He spoke of the future, of freedom. He told me he focuses on New Hampshire, as it is where he lives. Who cares about anywhere else?
New Hampshire will be the liberty capital of the world!
You can move to New Hampshire if you want. We can be pals!
If not, you could have an anarchist party. Anything goes!
Just pop that plastic bubble.
Liberty is real! But you have to make it real.
Liberty is not some link on a website; it is not some word in a book. It is your life. Live it.