52 Things I Learned at the Liberty Forum

Liberty, today, is like yarn. Many disregard it as obsolete, irrelevant and generally uninteresting. But not in New Hampshire. At the Free State Project’s Liberty Forum in Nashua, NH this past weekend, I found intelligent, personable and dedicated libertarians who practice what they preach by having uprooted themselves and moved to New Hampshire to work together for greater liberty.

Without Yarn …

Without yarn, you’re left naked, out in the cold and feeling like a fool. The same is true of a human life without liberty – you are left at the mercy of bullies with feelings of entitlement and delusions of grandeur. You are left feeling like an idiot, because you’re forced to live life at a subhuman level. What is left for your children I won’t even go into.

Liberty-Lovers from around the Nation

At the FSP’s Liberty Forum, I found lots of yarn. I found liberty-lovers from around the nation meeting to exchange ideas, plans and concepts on how to live their lives to the fullest without initiating force against others or being the victims of others’ aggression. I found openly-armed people, and I felt safe. I found authors, speakers and activists I admire. I found kindred souls and had great conversations with them. I found a new home for my family.

52 Things I Learned at the Liberty Forum

Here are 52 nuggets of wisdom I picked up at (or on my way to) the 2009 Free State Project Liberty Forum in Nashua, New Hampshire, which took place March 5th through 8th.

  • Cops at airports are not afraid to smell my pants in search of the absolute obedience I will never give them.
  • How to safely handle a pistol. I shot .22, .40 and .45 handguns.
  • The New Hampshire state house has no metal detectors, minimal security and an outstanding cafeteria!
  • New Hampshire legislators don’t have offices. They just have lockers in the basement.
  • Without self-government, we can’t expect minimal (or no) government.
  • Modern-day liberals’ primary value and goal is equality. Conservatives’: security. Libertarians’: liberty. These differing values have been at war since Rousseau, Hobbes and Locke.
  • HCR6, the state sovereignty resolution, failed because representatives were “just scared” and proponents didn’t lay all the necessary political groundwork.
  • It’s wishful thinking to assume that most or many people are libertarians at heart. We libertarians should be in save-ourselves mode, and not save-the-world mode.
  • Libertarians need to concentrate in one or a few states in order to successfully ride things out.
  • Finding jobs for potential FSP movers is something we need to work on.
  • We need to do more than just be active online. We need “boots-on-the-ground” activism.
  • US military leadership in Iraq told the soldiers “We care so you don’t have to” in an attempt to absolve them of responsibility for what they were doing.
  • The US armed the insurgency in Iraq and sabotaged attempts to get them under control.
  • Cannabis has helped PTSD sufferers who served in the Iraq war that the military failed – or refused – to help.
  • Due to the effects of PTSD – and possibly attempts to alleviate them with alcohol – veterans have been denied benefits they earned.
  • The US pays $400,000 in benefits for dead soldiers but only $2,500 when they kill an Iraqi.
  • At the Iraq Veterans Against the War protest during the presidential debates (where one of the protesters was trampled by a horse) five cops in full battle gear refused to face down the vets. One burst into tears.
  • Cracking the window at a traffic stop just pisses off the cop and may not gain you any advantage, according to a source who associates with cops.
  • The FDA has destroyed innovation in the pharmaceuticals industry and only set back drug development. The purpose of the FDA is impossible to achieve. The FDA delays new drug approvals as much as possible by design.
  • The FDA banned folic acid makers from informing people of the benefits of folic acid for fetuses.
  • In court, never take a witness’ dignity away.
  • Government has no duty to protect you. This has been confirmed by many courts, including state supreme courts.
  • A citizen is a person who gives allegiance in return for protection. If the government isn’t protecting you, then there is no allegiance and there are NO citizens.
  • The signers of the constitution signed “in witness of”. They didn’t actually sign it, in the sense of signing a contract or agreement.
  • Seasteading is a really neat idea and increasingly seems feasible and attractive.
  • The government / supreme court is not scared of people having handguns, but they are scared of people having battle rifles. They can’t take away our right to self-defense entirely, so they’re letting us have our handguns. We need to fight for our rifles now.
  • We need to be able to fight, move and communicate. Government is increasingly denying us all three.
  • Dick Heller became a security guard in order to challenge the DC gun ban and his lawyer, Dane, became a lawyer in order to help him with that.
  • Stefan Molyneux’s “against me” argument doesn’t always work but is an excellent opening gambit.
  • Alan Schaeffer: All we do now for liberty can be washed down the drain in a generation or two if the children are subjected to state schools.
  • Alan Schaeffer: “The family is the only truly anarchist institution.”
  • David Nolan: Regarding “We are all Socialists now.”: “That’s easy for them to say, Newsweek have always been socialists.”
  • Adam Kokesh: You don’t need an exit strategy to get out of Iraq. The exit strategy is airplanes, helicopters and humvees.
  • Mary Ruwart: Is health care regulation unethical human experimentation?
  • Mary Ruwart: We’re paying to kill ourselves (regarding FDA).
  • Marc Stevens: Anyone want to join me in the pledge of allegiance?
  • Marc Stevens: Is it possible that what you think is real is just a public relations scheme?
  • Marc Stevens: Only one group of people is allowed to issue paper and call it money – and they’re willing to kill to keep it that way.
  • Marc Stevens: They write you saying “Dear Taxpayer”. That’s like you writing back saying “Dear Criminal.”
  • Marc Stevens: Think of Pat Tillman. The government won’t stand by you. It won’t defend you, even when you defend it.
  • Patri Friedman: Capital is mobile and governments have to compete for it. Let’s make everything like that.
  • Boston T Party: What they’re worried about are rifles. “We need a nation of rifleman.”
  • Boston T Party: You get caught in a fight with a handgun. You go to a fight with a battle rife.
  • Boston T Party: This is your last year to train up on rifles gracefully, legally, cheaply. The window is shrinking quickly.
  • Boston T Party: Rifle training is an insurance policy and you have to get it before you need it.
  • Boston T Party: “You are not what you believe. You are what you will fight for.” Put your ass on the line.
  • Boston T Party: Lack of gear is not the problem, it’s a question of do we have the SPIRIT inside for it.
  • Boston T Party: “9/11 happened because the government disarmed the passengers on the plane.” Government is the problem.
  • Boston T Party: Where there’s a vacuum in the gun culture – where rights aren’t practiced – law will try to fill it up.
  • Boston T Party: Beware of the man with one rifle because he knows how to use it well.
  • John Taylor Gatto: Will and determination of the seeker are all that is needed for an education, which is to be sought not given.
  • John Taylor Gatto: How have we been fooled into thinking we need experts for things completely within the reach of normal people?

Intellectually Stimulating

The conference was intellectually stimulating, with new facts, analysis and ideas flowing constantly not only between speakers and the audience but also amongst the attendees. Lively discussions were sparked at the drop of the hat and new friends were made. Lots of new ideas came to me and by the end I was so worn out from all the activity and the lack of sleep I couldn’t keep up my pace of Twitter updates anymore.

More Motivated than Ever

Needless to say, I am more motivated than ever. I found collaborators, friends and people to trade with. I can’t wait to move my family up to New Hampshire and get to work!

Other Coverage of the Liberty Forum

Photo credit: Free State Project.

Support More Liberty Now at Patreon