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11/06/2003 Archived Entry: "Something wrong in the Free State Project?"

IS IT ME? OR HAS THE FREE STATE PROJECT CUT BACK ON RECRUITING since the October 1 announcement of the target state? The president's message in the November issue of the porcupines' Quill newsletter announces a change of strategy focused on immediate (apparently political and legislative) action in New Hampshire.

There's not a mention of organized recruiting efforts. There's not a hint the FSP plans to capitalize on its recent, priceless media exposure with a focused PR or advertising campaign. The only recruiting message is "Hey, everybody, tell your friends about the FSP." (Which porcupines have been vigorously doing for two years, anyway.)

Huh? Recruiting the 20,000 and managing the mass migration is the only mission of the FSP. Political action (or non-political action) is the job of individuals once they get there. The whole concept is that effective action requires that critical mass of freedom lovers. If you don't have that, you don't have enough to make deep, broad, permanent change.

From the FSP's own FAQ:

The goals of the Free State Project as an organization can be accomplished without the election of any candidates or the passage of any legislation: the Free State Project's purpose is simply to get 20,000 classical liberals and libertarians into a single state of the U.S. What happens next is up to those 20,000.

The FSP, in its simplicity and single-minded focus, is the greatest project libertarians have ever conceived and -- almost -- achieved. To weaken recruitment and turn the FSP into a PAC or the tool of a PAC would be premature at best. At worst it would, quite simply, guarantee the failure of the project.

Say it ain't so, guys! Say it ain't so! I'm ready to keep my promise to the FSP, to move when the critical mass is gathered. But is the FSP ready to keep its promise to the thousands of people like me? Or is it doomed to become just another hopeless, typical libertarian dream in which someone's off-target "bright idea" supercedes and destroys the long-term plan?

Please say it ain't so.

Posted by Claire @ 08:02 AM CST

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