Free State Project
The Free State Project (FSP) is a plan to have 20,000 or more (self-proclaimed) "liberty-oriented" people move to a single state of the United States, where it is intended they will influence local political policy.
Inspired by an article published in L. Neil Smith's online magazine The Libertarian Enterprise on July 23, 2001, Jason Sorens, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, argued that the thinly scattered libertarian activism was failing. His conclusion was that it would be necessary for libertarians to geographically concentrate their efforts in order to achieve "liberty in our lifetime." As a result, the Free State Project was founded on September 1, 2001.
When the FSP surpassed 5,000 members in August, 2003, a vote was held to choose the state. The ten candidates were (alphabetically): Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. These states were chosen because of their low populations (under 1.5 million), relatively pro-libertarian native cultures, lack of dependence on federal funds, and decent job markets. The voting process used a Condorcet method to determine which state was most preferable to the most people. On October 1, 2003, it was announced that New Hampshire had been chosen as the Free State (Wyoming came in second). The vote was certified by ECL / Synchromesh Computing of Austin, Texas as fair and unbiased—one of the few times in history an important social movement's vote was counted and certified by an independent third party—and a private company. As part of the certification process, individual members of the FSP could also view their ballots on-line so that they could self-verify their vote.
Following the vote, the focus of the FSP shifted toward recruiting another 15,000 members to commit to the move to New Hampshire. Once membership reaches 20,000, all members are supposed to move within five years. There is no obligation to move until and unless 20,000 members are reached, but many members expressed their desire to move before that time. As of October 11, 2004, 6,101 people had signed up, with 307 already in New Hampshire. Early in 2004, Amanda Phillips was named President of the FSP. Dr. Sorens continues to remain active as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
After moving to New Hampshire, members have pledged to work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government through reductions in taxation and regulation, reforms in state and local law, an end to federal mandates, and a restoration of what they see as constitutional federalism. The Free State Project has become a "big-tent" political, social, and cultural movement for "liberty-minded" people.
Insignia of the FSP
The porcupine signifies a cute and cuddly creature which one is advised to avoid stepping on. This is meant to imply that the FSP is friendly and non-aggressive, but wants to be left alone and will defend itself if attacked. This mascot has given rise to "porcupine" or "porc" being used as a slang term for a member of the FSP. The insignia bears the FSP's motto, "Liberty in Our Lifetime."
fi:Free state project