Libertarians are such losers!
- For those interested, what follows is the text of an article I'm
releasing onto the Internet today. Feel free to send it around to your
friends and email lists.
Tim Condon - Tampa, Florida - Want real liberty? www.freestateproject.org
"What makes the capitalist system work, what keeps economies dynamic, is
precisely nonconformity, the new, the unusual, the eccentric, the
egregious, the innovative, springing from the inexhaustible
inventiveness of human nature. Capitalism thrives on the absence of
rules or the ability to circumvent them." ---Paul Johnson, historian
and author of "Modern Times"
By Tim Condon
October 9, 2005
Libertarians are such losers. I know, this is not a way to endear
myself to them, even when my best friends are all libertarian or
near-libertarian. But success is staring them in the face, and a
significant proportion of them deploy massive brainpower and argument to
make sure that nothing ever gets better. It's incredible.
LISTEN, libertarian! It's over 30 years later, and we're still
hearing endless platitudes that keep us from gaining political power in
the service of individual freedom.
"All we need to do is a better job at selling our product!" the
activists say. But we've been trying to "sell our product" for decades,
and the people of America aren't buying.
"All we need to do is a better job of educating people about what we
stand for!" say the activists. But after 30 years of libertarian
presidential candidates and campaigns, the voters are more than aware of
what we stand for.
We are caught blinded...blinded in the floodlights of an ugly
reality: Today there is no significant voting constituency in America
for libertarian ideas. And it's time to face up to that fact.
If we are really interested in living in a society where every man
and woman can do whatever they want so long as they harm no one else,
there is only one possibility for success. Our numbers must be
concentrated in one sovereign American state, there to exercise the
power that comes with voting power in a democracy.
There is simply no other way.
Such a "democratic experiment" would be no experiment at all. It
would merely reference what the Founding Fathers intended the thirteen
sovereign, revolutionary states to be. It would be a shining example to
the rest of America and the world, demonstrating the salutary effects of
people living in freedom. It would be a "little Hong Kong," and would
instruct our country on what it has lost, just as Hong Kong instructed
China on the benefits of free markets and property rights for the past
half-century (as of January 2005 Hong Kong was rated by the Heritage
Foundation and Wall Street Journal as the freest country in the world
economically; the United States isn't even in the top 10).
This is the meaning, and the aim, of the four-year-old Free State
Project (FSP). It offers real hope for liberty in your own lifetime.
Yet in the face of the FSP opportunity, the great majority of
libertarians remain immobilized, or worse. The Executive Committee of
the national Libertarian Party has refused to endorse the Free State
Project, even while many state parties have. Former LP Presidential
candidate Harry Browne all but dismissed the Free State Project ("I have
not been a big fan of the Free State Project...I have no wish to
participate in such a program..."). Reason magazine ran an article that
reprised all the failed "new country" projects of the past 40 years,
making it clear they think the FSP is just another "pipe dream" And the
CATO Institute won't even comment on the Free State Project.
As for the rest of you libertarians, you seem to regard the FSP plan
with a mixture of fear and revulsion. Move to a small-population,
cold-weather state to attain liberty in your lifetime? Suddenly we hear
you bleating about how "things aren't so bad" where you live. And we
hear emphatic statements that you're sure as hell not moving thousands,
or even hundreds, of miles away from your comfortable home, just to live
free. Uh uhhh!
After all, you live where you live because you like it there. It may
be that you arrived at your present place and state of lassitude through
an accident of birth or parentage. Or you may have visited at some
point, and liked it enough to stay. Now it is where your friends are. It
is where your job is. It is where your family is.
But most of all, it is where you are comfortable.
Of course, the question of "comfort" to those who profess to believe
in libertarian ideas and ideals is problematical. When you say "things
aren't that bad here," you sound both smug and hopeful, even as you
delude yourself. You also sound oh-so-earnest when you explain that "I'm
not prevented from doing most of the things I want to do. As long as I'm
careful, and don't make myself too public, it's not that bad at all."
You pause to let that fortuitous bit of information sink in, and
then continue: "Besides, I'm not really interested in smoking pot or
setting up a whorehouse." As if such things meant anything in the
parlance of what individual freedom is about. Texas Representative Ron
Paul has stated that, "American history, a least in part, is a history
of people who don't like being told what to do." Yet today, he points
out, we have built a society that has "laid the foundation for tyranny
by making the public more docile, more accustomed to government
bullying, and more accepting of arbitrary authority."
Meanwhile, you libertarians fall all over yourselves explaining why
you can't or won't move to a single state where you could fight being
"told what to do." After all, it's not so bad to bend a little to
accommodate your lives to the ever-increasing demands of local and state
governments, right? You're quite comfortable where you are, and if you
can't stem the increasing tendency of government to minutely supervise
what you are permitted to do, well then, you just go along with it.
Let me ask you a few things.
What does it mean when a house of a few thousand square feet --
nice, but not palatial by any stretch of the imagination -- can be
assessed and taxed so that the property tax bill amounts to one or two
thousand dollars per month? It means those who own the homes aren't
really the "owners"; they merely "rent" their homes from the local
government, often while clamoring for more "government services."
But it's okay to you libertarians, because you don't live in a big,
expensive house anyway, so you don't have to worry about sky-high
property taxes. And you think paying two hundred dollars a month in
property taxes is quite reasonable, especially when compared to the
taxes paid by people with bigger houses. Except that even those levels
of taxation applied to our homes are outrageous when you think about it.
In New Hampshire, by contrast, there are no state income taxes, no
general state sales taxes, no estate taxes, no tangible personal
property taxes, no intangible personal property taxes, no corporate
income taxes, and no fat "political class" endlessly agitating for
higher taxes and larger state government. Says one committed libertarian
from another northeastern state, "When all state and local taxes are
taken into consideration, along with other mandated expenses such as
insurance, I'll save between $50,000 and $75,000 every year after I move
to New Hampshire from New Jersey."
How about when whole cities, and even states, presume to tell
business-owners whether they can or cannot allow smoking -- or drinking,
for that matter -- in and on privately owned commercial property?
That's all right with you libertarians. You don't like smoking
anyway, and you're perfectly willing to do your drinking at home. And
when the property rights of others are violated to suppress behavior you
don't favor, well then that's okay too.
In New Hampshire, by contrast, there are no statewide anti-smoking
laws because the predominant cultural outlook is "live and let live."
There are also no "open container" laws, and random police roadblocks
are forbidden by law without a court order. Fittingly, the state motto
is "Live Free or Die."
Here's another example: What does it mean when cities totally ignore
the 2nd Amendment, routinely outlawing the right to keep and bear
firearms by citizens living in those cities? The people must like the
idea, since they keep electing the politicians who push it. And when
murder and assault rates skyrocket in such places -- as they have in
Washington DC since firearms have been virtually outlawed -- the people
and politicians agitate for even harsher anti-gun ordinances!
But it must be okay with you libertarians, because you continue to
live in such places. Perhaps you don't feel the need or desire to own or
carry a firearm. And you figure you're safe enough in your neighborhood
anyway, so you think such laws really don't affect you.
In New Hampshire, by contrast, the right to openly carry personal
firearms is enshrined in the state constitution. It is also a "shall
issue" jurisdiction where state law commands local authorities to issue
concealed carry permits upon submission of an application. Not
surprisingly, New Hampshire has one of the lowest crime rates in the
country and is said to be one of the four safest states in America.
LISTEN, libertarian: Virtually every political and philosophical
position you hold is well thought out, logical, and beneficial. Yet most
of those political and philosophical positions are utterly rejected by
the mass of Americans. They don't agree with you! Your ideas scare them!
And your numbers are so pitifully small that after 30 years not one LP
candidate for any statewide or federal office has ever been elected.
Why do you sit there so smug in the clarity and justice of your
positions that will never be implemented? Nor ever be seriously
considered or debated? You cannot win because in any democratic
political calculus you are swamped by those who disagree with you and
fear the ideas you espouse.
The only way for you to have any kind of hope for success is to take
it upon yourselves to concentrate your numbers. It has been done in
Utah, where the Mormons hold sway. It has been done in San Francisco and
Key West, where gays hold sway. It has been done in New York and New
Jersey, where predominantly corrupt state socialists hold sway. It has
been done in Vermont, where a formerly rock-ribbed Republican state has
been transformed into a highly-taxed political paradise for liberal
statists, so much so that whole towns are now asking to secede and join
neighboring low-tax New Hampshire.
New Hampshire. The chosen Free State. It is the only place where
politically active freedom-lovers have a chance to wield real political
power. Why? Because the state is already semi-libertarian in outlook,
which is why the FSP membership chose it.
The chance is right in front of you, libertarians! Right now! The
migration of freedom-loving people to New Hampshire has already begun.
Several hundred people from all over America and the world have already
moved to New Hampshire. You can read about them and their stories on the
Free State Project web site at www.freestateproject.org. If you join the
others already moving there in a steady stream, you won't have to put up
with the common, petty annoyances forced upon you by increasingly
officious apparatchiks of state and local government. You won't have to
put up with the increasing numbers of "little Hitlers" in daily life
whose mission it is to help make you "do as you are told" and "obey the
rules." Rules that shouldn't exist in the first place.
But even that prospect doesn't entice most of you. For most of you
the response has been continued lassitude. After all, you're comfortable
where you are, and you're certainly not going to endure any disruption
or discomfort in your life to make freedom happen. Not now, and not in
In the 2004 national election, Libertarian Party presidential
candidate Michael Badnarik -- himself a signed participant with the Free
State Project -- garnered almost 400,000 votes. Yet the Free State
Project seeks only 20,000 activist libertarians and other freedom-lovers
to make the move to freedom (they're currently at almost 7,000 signed-up
What would be the impact on politics in New Hampshire? "If you put
just 5,000 politically active liberty-lovers into New Hampshire, let
alone 20,000," one Granite State resident told me, "they could sweep the
state; they'd be more politically powerful than anything either the
Democrats or the Republicans could put up."
But you libertarians sit there in your highly-controlled, high-tax
home states where property rights are routinely violated and local
ordinances endlessly proliferate, and you refuse to take any action
other than running futile election campaigns that never garner more than
a few percent of the vote.
In the final analysis, you're doing little to attain liberty in your
own lifetimes, even while you prate on about how much you believe in
political activism, individual freedom, and the Bill of Rights.
Never before were Samuel Adams' words more apt than today with
regard to the general libertarian response to the Free State Project. On
August 1, 1776, less than a month after the Declaration of Independence
had been signed and published, Adams said these words in a speech to a
packed house: "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of
servitude than the animating contest of freedom--go from us in peace. We
ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed
you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that
ye were our countrymen."
Is it any wonder that the flame of freedom flickers and sputters in
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I would like to respond to this article in depth, but don't have the time. So
I will make a few "counterpoints:"
Firstly, I take it this article is suppose to serve as a "kick in the butt"
for those libertarians that have not taking the action of moving to New
Hampshire. As they say, you attract more flies with honey. I would prefer to
see a strongly positive article rather than a strongly negative, sarcastic
one. In this article I read: frustration. While that may be the case, I
don't think that will exactly engender other like-minded individuals to
Secondly, the Free State Project is really supposed to be politically neutral
from what I understand, even though its members are predominately
Thirdly, we do not need "large numbers" or "the majority" to accomplish our
goals. Personally, I consider the current political infrastructure in our
country antithetical to libertarianism due to is very nature. No "winner
takes all" system can be said to be conducive to libertarianism. Tyranny of
the Majority is still tyranny, no matter how you shake it.
What we need, instead, is a means to deconstruct the current political
infrastructure and replace it with a better one -- one conducive to
libertarianism. How we achieve that is, of course, open to debate -- and we
should debate it.
In the mean time, IMHO, we should seek more positive messages to cajole
like-minded people around the country to participate. After all, it is not a
small decision to decide to relocate. And negativity is not likely to
engender the thousands we desire to become a part of New Hampshire and our
My 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth.
On Sunday 09 October 2005 18:10, Tim Condon wrote:
> For those interested, what follows is the text of an article I'm
> releasing onto the Internet today. Feel free to send it around to your
> friends and email lists.
> Tim Condon - Tampa, Florida - Want real liberty? www.freestateproject.org
>----------------- "What makes the capitalist system work, what keeps
> economies dynamic, is precisely nonconformity, the new, the unusual, the
> eccentric, the egregious, the innovative, springing from the inexhaustible
> inventiveness of human nature. Capitalism thrives on the absence of
> rules or the ability to circumvent them." ---Paul Johnson, historian
> and author of "Modern Times"
> LISTEN, Libertarian!
> By Tim Condon
> October 9, 2005
> Libertarians are such losers. I know, this is not a way to endear
> myself to them, even when my best friends are all libertarian or
> near-libertarian. But success is staring them in the face, and a
> significant proportion of them deploy massive brainpower and argument to
> make sure that nothing ever gets better. It's incredible.
- Freedom Fred
Invoke a pocket of Freedom wherever you are!
- Freedom Fred wrote:
>I would like to respond to this article in depth, but don't have the time. SoAnd there are dozens of articles like that available. Some even written
>I will make a few "counterpoints:"
>Firstly, I take it this article is suppose to serve as a "kick in the butt"
>for those libertarians that have not taking the action of moving to New
>Hampshire. As they say, you attract more flies with honey. I would prefer to
>see a strongly positive article rather than a strongly negative, sarcastic
>one. In this article I read: frustration. While that may be the case, I
>don't think that will exactly engender other like-minded individuals to
by Tim Condon. :-)
Fact is, the FSP has written many, many articles, letters to the editor,
editorials, and analysis all touting the FSP, New Hampshire, and our
mission. Practically the entire FSP (save the forums, which are like
most forums outlets for venting) is positive.
Every once in awhile, though, a good kick in the ass does wonders for
the spirit, especially one based on facts. Not everyone is going to
respond positively to this. Doubtlessly some will use this as an excuse
to (ah, further) take no action. But then again, they weren't serious
about liberty anyway.
>Secondly, the Free State Project is really supposed to be politically neutralThe fact is, Freedom Fred, this country is sliding deeply into
>from what I understand, even though its members are predominately
slavery/sefdom and the fact is, liberty-minded people have had very
little impact on the disasterous direction this empire -- er, sorry,
country -- is taking. Amazingly enough, all the good words of Robert
Heinlein, Ayn Rand, L. Neil Smith, Vin Suprynowicz, Neal Boortz, and
literally hundreds of other thinkers, writers, speakers --- for nearly
Whether RLC, Libertarian Party, Democrats, Republicans, Indies, or
whatever - nothing has particularly "worked." The LP is a shambles and
is now considered to be a failure by many libertarians and all
Republicans (Democrats just sneer at it, erroneously calling it a
right-wing club). So Tim used the small-"l" term libertarian. Do you
run away from it? Would you prefer classical liberal? Because I'm SO
over the label argument I could just retch at the mere hint that there
is anything worth taking offense to any longer. But that's just me.
>Thirdly, we do not need "large numbers" or "the majority" to accomplish ourTim made that point, clearly. He said that if only 5000 people up and
>goals. Personally, I consider the current political infrastructure in our
>country antithetical to libertarianism due to is very nature. No "winner
>takes all" system can be said to be conducive to libertarianism. Tyranny of
>the Majority is still tyranny, no matter how you shake it.
moved, and were activists, big things would happen.
>What we need, instead, is a means to deconstruct the current politicalTim suggested one method. The best deconstruction is, of course, armed
>infrastructure and replace it with a better one -- one conducive to
>libertarianism. How we achieve that is, of course, open to debate -- and we
>should debate it.
revolution with a side of rope. Since that is even less likely to occur
than a huge influx into the FSP, perhaps you'd like to start with a
suggestion? :-) I know you are going to write a nice long piece, but
when you do, please realize we're all on the same side. Way, way to the
side ... of American politics in general.
>In the mean time, IMHO, we should seek more positive messages to cajoleI too thought, "gee, Condon is doing his usual carrot and stick schtick,
>like-minded people around the country to participate. After all, it is not a
>small decision to decide to relocate. And negativity is not likely to
>engender the thousands we desire to become a part of New Hampshire and our
his usual "get up off your asses" repartee. And then I realized,
"ignoring the tone of voice, is he right?" You decide if he is, or isn't.
Meanwhile, I fully expected that if and when the FSP started to feel the
pressure of the 2006 "deadline" we'd see articles like this one -
chastizing, cajoling, wheedling (I dare say it! Wheedling!). That Tim
wrote one was inevitable. That he did such a good job should be commended.
>My 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth.Feel free to write a positive one, Fred. Just get it published!
Alan R. Weiss
CEO, EEMBC Certification Laboratories (ECL) and Synchromesh Computing
6300 Bridgepoint Parkway
Bridgepoint Square One, Suite 125
Austin, Texas 78730 USA
Voice: 512-219-0302 Fax: 512-219-0402
email: alan@... or aweiss@...
ECL: http://www.ebenchmarks.com EEMBC: http://www.eembc.org
Synchromesh Computing: http://www.synchromeshcomputing.com
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- First I introduce myself; I'm a 19 year old Belgian Student and
libertarian. I would like to participate to the FSP. There is only
one thing I'm sure about my future: I'm not staying her in Belgium.
A lot of libertarians can't move because of personal reason,
friends, family, job etc. Even for me, it would be hard to move, I
don't know if I'll find a job that I would like to do over there.
I don't what is your nationality, but I'm pretty sure you are
American. Well be happy to be in America, here in Belgium people
are conducted to be pro-State power. When I'm talking about Freedom,
people say I'm crazy or they insulted me (of course, they never come
with facts or numbers). Big brother is their friend and they don't
want to think themselves. In America (and some other English talking
countries), I also talked to many people, Americans are much more
open-minded than Belgians or French (actually I'm also French).Why?
I don't know, historical heritage maybe.
For now I (or we) just have hope on our side. Let's hope we will
succeed. If we do, we will change mankind for ever and FSP will be
in every historical Book.