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PorcFest Will be Raided. Prepare Now.

PorcFest will be raided by a combined local, state and federal police force some time in the next three years. Start preparing for this eventuality now. Take PorcFest a step further. Inject more leadership, long-range planning and on-the-ground organization into it. Do it now, before it’s too late.

PorcFest will be raided by a combined local, state and federal police force some time in the next three years.

Start preparing for this eventuality now. Take PorcFest a step further. Inject more leadership, long-range planning and on-the-ground organization into it. Do it now, before it’s too late.

Why

PorcFest grows every year. There are more people, more events, more services, more firearms, more press, more money, more excited newbs and more flouting of illegitimate laws. In other words, PorcFest is getting more awesome every year.

The two greatest impediments to its growth are the incompetent people at Roger’s Campground, where the event is held, and the government.

This year, two-thousand people reportedly attended the week-long event in northern New Hampshire. There are reports of gambling and prostitution taking place at PorcFest. Illegal drug use and sale and consumption of unlicensed alcoholic drinks is commonplace. Let’s not even talk about unlicensed food vending.

But that’s not the important part. The part that really raises the ire of government control freaks is that at PorcFest we act like free people. We do what we like, when we like and we do it with the conspicuous carrying of firearms.

And then we get international press coverage of it.

The petty dictators in the government can’t have that. They make examples of rebels. They won’t let PorcFest stand without a fight.

Why it Matters

PorcFest has, ironically, become a symbol of complete freedom. Some call it an anarcho-capitalist city. It’s ironic because the event is run by the Free State Project, a statist, albeit libertarian, organization.

PorcFest has exceeded its goal. It is supposed to be marketing for the Free State Project. But it is now an experiment in statelessness.

What happens to PorcFest will be representative of the hopes and aspirations of libertarian anarchists for some time to come. PorcFest could continue to advance the cause of freedom, or it could set back our cause by decades in the minds of the American people.

A large-scale raid is coming. Will we react with a gunfight? Will PorcFest be burnt to the ground? Will babies be murdered in their mothers’ arms? Or will we have a strong organizational plan in place so that it goes down without casualties on either side?

When it Will Happen

Make no mistake. The raid will happen. It is just a question of when. Will it happen at PorcFest 2015? PorcFest 2018? PorcFest 2020? I don’t know. I think it’s safe to say that it will happen within the next three years.

Even if you think that is too soon, you should assume it’s not. The cost of preparing is minor compared to the price of leaving our reaction to the hottest heads in the worst moments.

The preparation for this eventuality – and for other emergencies – needs to happen anyway.

Because even if you think the police will never attack, someone else will. Someone will discharge a firearm. Someone will start a fire. Something will explode. It’s inevitable.

How it Will Happen

How do cops operate? They infiltrate. They gather intelligence and they raid, most likely at dawn. Most people are asleep then.

They will be very concerned about how many people are armed at PorcFest. They will come in ready to shoot. Say goodbye to your dogs.

Tent campers will need to watch out for police vehicles running over their tents. Tent walls won’t stop “lost” police bullets, either.

They will enter ready to kill and expecting fierce resistance.

Who Will Do it

I expect FBI and DEA for starters.

Who Will Suffer

We will all suffer because our philosophy of liberty will be impugned under cover of all of the usual strawmen and red herrings, especially if we let the hotheads among us react on instinct in the heat of the moment.

What to do About it

The Washington Post writer is correct. We complain a lot. But we don’t do anything about it. You are part of the problem if:

  • you post stories of police abuse all day long;
  • you quote Rothbard;
  • you debate statists;
  • you berate leftists and decry socialists;
  • you can say ‘taxation is theft’ without cringing, not even a little;
  • you proclaim that spontaneous order will solve all problems but never try to spontaneously create some order.

Don’t even get me started on celebritarianism.

And, by the way, I am guilty of all the above.

The time has come to implement libertarian anarchist philosophy. PorcFest needs its solutions.

Internal Organization

The Free State Project is not able to maintain order at PorcFest. They have barely enough volunteers to give a veneer of ownership. But they do own the event. They rent most of the campground from Roger’s Campground.

The FSP holds the power but they are unable to exercise it.

Enter market anarchist theory.

The purpose of the following is to give you a primer on a market anarchist organizational theory. As it applies to PorcFest, it’s about controlling who can enter, what they voluntarily agree to do, or not do, there and the creation of the right incentives. This is a scheme for protecting PorcFest from aggressors both governmental and non-governmental.

  1. Dispute Resolution Organizations

    A Dispute Resolution Organization, or DRO, is like an insurance company. Their job is to insure people against disputes and any damages that come with them.

    DROs provide a service to individuals. If you are engaged in a dispute and are at fault, they can make the injured party whole. If you are a victim and need to be made whole, they make you whole.

    They can also maintain people on staff or on retainer to smooth the resolution of disputes. (See number two.)

    DROs can create incentives for people to avoid disputes and to settle them honorably when they happen. They can raise your rates if you are at fault in a dispute. They can lower your rates for good behavior. They can drop your service if you are a repeat offender, thus effectively cutting you off from civilized society in an extreme case.

    DROs can include provisions in the contracts you sign with them giving them permission to detain you under extreme circumstances.

    Property owners catalyze the demand for DRO services by making it a requirement of doing business with them. Want to buy my stuff? Want to sell me stuff? Want to step foot on my property? Buy coverage from a reputable DRO. You’re either covered or you’re disqualified from doing business with me.

    DROs can create stability and an environment of peace and respect through the right incentives when property owners strictly enforce the insurance requirement.

    DROs are most effective when large swathes of the world have adopted this stateless organizational system. At PorcFest, the only stick available is to kick people out.

  2. Advocates, Mediators and Arbitrators

    When a dispute occurs, the parties involved require assistance.

    Advocates are cool heads that know the dispute resolution process. They can assist you in documenting the events in question. They can advise you and even speak for you. They can take your request for remedy to the other party and see if a quick settlement can be reached.

    Mediators attempt to resolve a dispute amicably so that it doesn’t have to go to arbitration. Mediators have special techniques for identifying the needs of the parties involved. They can find innovative solutions where both parties win.

    Arbitrators are judges. They examine the facts and render a judgment. There is no negotiation here. There are no niceties. You submit documents. They make a decision.

    In your DRO contract, you may find that the decision of the arbitrator, or perhaps a three-person panel, is final. Or you may be able to appeal to another arbitrator or panel.

    It is possible to make arbitration backwards-compatible with the state legal system. In this case, the arbitrator’s decision would not just be meaningful under stateless law but also under state law.

  3. Private Defense Agencies

    Cops occupy a special place in the gall bladder of every libertarian. Private Defense Agencies (PDAs) are not cops in the sense that they are unaccountable thugs. PDAs are security guards with limited police powers that you grant them through contract.

    They are accountable for their actions, however, just like everyone else.

    PDAs are contracted by property owners, including DROs, to provide preventative security and to respond in emergencies.

  4. Rules and Surety Bonds

    People must agree to the rules ahead of time in a way that is backwards-compatible with the state legal system.

    People must post bond (in some practical form) in case they don’t comply with the rules.

The success of any system, no matter how well-structured, depends on good people and good leaders. When you have those, even an ill-conceived system can produce good results.

Libertarians are good at complaining. We suffer from an “us vs. them” mentality. As a result, most of us still mentally inhabit a statist and tribal world where one hand washes the other. We keep secrets. We overlook acts of fraud within our ranks. We cover up or excuse aggressive and dangerous behavior. We are frequently silent when our fellows engage in improper behavior.

People are afraid to speak out against fellow libertarians, especially when a high-profile activist, media personality or celebritarian is involved.

This will have to change in order for a stateless system, such as the one I describe above, to work

Will this reduce PorcFest attendance?

Yes.

Will more people complain about the Free State Project?

Absolutely.

Is this really necessary?

It’s one proposal to get the conversation started. Maybe it’s not right for PorcFest but the model is solid. People closer to the FSP, inc. leadership are the best suited to customize this model for PorcFest or to simply adopt a different one. The important part is starting the conversation about the future of PorcFest.

To write off the need for greater organization at PorcFest would be gross negligence.

If liberty was a computer, it would say “Responsibility Inside” on it.

If liberty was an imported pair of pants, it would say “Made in Responsibility” on the tag.

If liberty was software, it would say “Powered by Responsibility” on the promotional website.

Liberty rides off the rails without responsibility. Without responsibility, it turns into unbridled chaos and endless middle fingers. Spontaneous order only happens when people can be made accountable for their spontaneity.

Internal Security

There needs to be security inside of PorcFest, to keep people safe and to keep an eye out for police infiltration. Here are some of the ways to do that:

  • private security guards trained in non-violent dispute resolution;
  • preventative patrol;
  • a communications hotline that anyone can access (911);
  • instant SMS updates from PorcFest security to attendees;
  • protocols for police response;
  • surveillance cameras;
  • people need to be (unobtrusively) uniquely identified and identifiable.

Security does not require oppression. Providing security for PorcFest attendees is a basic example of taking responsibility.

PorcFest was 2,000 people this year. It will soon become an event of 5,000 people. What about when 10,000 people show up? Growth will not necessarily be linear. It could go exponential sooner than anyone anticipates.

Even if you expect slow growth, you should be planning for high growth because PorcFest is a factory that churns out radical libertarians. We want more of those.

I know that the PorcFest volunteers have already organized some of these things. They should be commended for it.

Escape Routes

There must be alternate exit routes so that people can get out in an emergency when the front gate is blocked.

There is a service road on the south side of the campground. This is of limited use but to the northwest is forest. To the southwest is a trail that leads to burn areas. Beyond them is a wide trail that people could use to get to a couple different roads.

If shooting erupts, PorcFest attendees will need to, at least, get children and noncombatants to safety.

Individual Security

As an individual PorcFest attendee, you need to have contingency plans for destroying anything that would incriminate you in a state crime. Some items may require instead that you simply muddle any evidence that connects you with the items in question.

You also need to practice a quick exit.

Perimeter Security

There should be people and cameras watching all possible entrances for signs of police and other suspicious people.

External Security

Outside the gate of Roger’s Campground, there must be some kind of ongoing yet discreet monitoring of these people or offices:

  • Lancaster police department;
  • Lancaster Town Manager;
  • Coos County Sheriff;
  • New Hampshire Bureau of Liquor Enforcement;
  • New Hampshire State Police;
  • New Hampshire governor;
  • DEA;
  • FBI;
  • the airports, both large and small.

When the PorcFest raid happens, these are some of the people who will know about it. By making friends or paying for information, we can find out about the raid ahead of time.

Conversely, we can also keep the eyes of the world on PorcFest by broadcasting it live on the internet so that allies who aren’t at Roger’s Campground can see what is happening as it happens.

We can design a script ahead of time so that people outside the campground know what to do in order to support those of us in the campground with the minimum delay and the maximum impact.

The Future of PorcFest

PorcFest is a little libertarian city in the forest for one week every year. That’s awesome enough but it’s time to think bigger.

PorcFest needs to be expanded. And it can’t happen at Roger’s Campground. Roger’s is incompetent at handling basic plumbing and they are subject to state intimidation.

PorcFest the anarcho-capitalist city and PorcFest the Free State Project marketing event may have to part ways.

The future of PorcFest is to make it year-round on private land.

We need to design a plan to make this happen in a way that is not only libertarian but will also escape immediate state crackdown.

We need to develop a plan to make the project pay for itself over the long-term.

Then we need to raise the initial capital required to make it happen.

Permanent PorcFest needn’t be located in New Hampshire and it needn’t be created by the FSP but it does need to exist. There is a demand for a vicarious experience of freedom. And there are many people in our community who need a cheap place to live and a way to financially get onto their feet.

We have a passion for freedom and there are enough of us.

A Permanent PorcFest can serve the following roles within the libertarian ecosystem:

  • spiritual retreat;
  • educational and employment training programs for people of all ages;
  • team-building;
  • agorist business incubator;
  • vacation spot;
  • activist training, including for activists from outside of North America;
  • match-making;
  • raise your kids here;
  • summer camp for libertarian kids;
  • PorcFest-like events;
  • addiction recovery programs;
  • permanent facilities for manufacturing agorist products;
  • a laboratory for libertarianism;
  • a showcase for how the stateless society works.

It’s a place where you can go any time of year to get excited about liberty.

A Permanent PorcFest is not something that can happen overnight but we must start work on it immediately so that it can become a reality within one to three years.

PorcFest has evolved into a precious nugget of gold. It needs to be protected. And we must seize this opportunity to build on it further.

PorcFest Coverage

Washington Post

The Economist

The Independent (WashPo reprint)

The Union-Leader

Guns, Weed, and Bitcoin: Among the Free Staters at Porcfest

The Babb-Meghan Chemtrail Debate

Porcfest reflections from a first time attendee

Photo Credit: Nikki Darling

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

35 replies on “PorcFest Will be Raided. Prepare Now.”

I think you’re right, George. My solution…. chickenshit as it is…. I will NOT go to PorcFest. I don’t go to events that brag about their illegal drug use and other activities. WHY? I don’t want to get arrested. I could get arrested for so many things that I don’t intentionally do, WHY would I go hang with a group that is bragging about not following the masters’ orders. When i commit civil disobedience, it will be for something I do, not what others do. If I had lil children I wouldn’t even consider it. Too much risk.

I don’t see why it’s chickenshit. I have a lot of reservations myself about going to PorcFest again (been twice). People think that order will arise spontaneously so nothing needs to be done. Others think the raids will be deterred by all of the firearms at PorcFest. Both points of view are naive and reckless.

You lived in Columbia and are concerned about camping in Lancaster NH?

Any large scale arrests at PorcFest would result in international level press coverage. The powers that be are somewhat stuck, if they ignore it ,it grows, if they crack down it creates more attention. Infiltration and disruption from within is a more likely scenario…

However, I believe the worst enemy is likely to be the Cantwells and other hate filled attention whores who claim to be our fellow travelers. Libertarians are often a myopic bunch and can get caught up in one issue arguments like “freedom of expression” and ignore the whole story. Like drunken rages, fist fights, verbal and physical bullying of women etc which old Chris is guilty of. Don’t be surprised when the gun rubbers see violence as the answer to most problems. Focusing on the abuses and tactics of our overlords, can lead to us taking on those same traits.

Ultimately the psychology that is most often behind anger is fear. Letting go of as much of that fear as possible makes a person less angry and ultimately leads to being able to persuade others that you are on a better path. Perhaps, then, they will join us as well.

There is no easy path to the change that needs to come. The FSP and personal networks that have developed out of it are one of the best things we have going. Visiting with people I’ve now know for almost 10 years sure beats hiding waiting for some strong leader to show us the way. I’ll keep attending. :)

<–native, this was my first Porcfest. It's not that bad. I've been to LARPS with more issues than porkfest.

George, the solution is much bigger than “a permanent porcfest”. I’ve worked out what I think is a pretty sound full-spectrum solution and coined the phrase “private village” which is defined by my project. Why not build a fully self-sufficient village bounded by multiple layers of private property wherein people interact based on libertarian and voluntaryist principles. An anarcho-capitalist contract based community of autonomous homesteads, big enough to support a private economy and currency, and anchored upon a permaculture based agriculture lifestyle – i.e. a big farm and ranch to provide work, resources, and food for the village, and enough surplus to export for generating revenue to support the whole thing. Every imaginable small-business enterprise would be needed to support the private economy, so every skill set would be needed, not just farming. The farm enterprise would be big enough to act as an agorist business incubator, as well as providing labor work/income for the general population. I invite you to explore the overview I’ve carved out on my website http://thegracewaterproject.com and let me know if you are possibly interested in working together to create what you’ve outlined here, and much much more.

I think that having checkpoints and restricting who gets in and out is not exactly a model anarcho-capitalist city, don’t you think? It’s a private event, they could just as well require people to wear a suit and tie and it wouldn’t be any less libertarian. This was already an issue, with the lady who wanted to walk around topless, who was stopped by security. No, for it to really be an anarchist experiment, they need to go on *unclaimed* land, and claim it, and then see how well *actual* property titles (not the pretend ones that Rogers allows us to have) are respected, and how disputes between people of different points of view are resolved. But then, we have to accept that the feds might come in.

At any rate, thanks, you scared the crap out of me. I have to think this through now. I certainly hope the people with the guns will have a cool head. That would be one hell of a headline wouldn’t it? Thousands of armed radical libertarians. Get raided by the feds. Not one shot goes off.

George, you have issued a timely warning. Well done!

The annual Porcfest is delightful,[1] but dangerous as you say. With so much delicious lawbreaking going on, government is pretty well obliged to invade and destroy. Otherwise the whole country might become one giant, enjoyable Porcfest and that would put them all out of a job.

Defense is the need, and while intelligence gathering, escape routes and loaded weapons are all good ideas I suggest this is a battle worth avoiding. I want to win the entire war, so as to produce – a very few years hence – a zero government society.[2] All over America, and then the world.[3] That means war (of ideas, not violence of course) and to win that war, we have to fight smart.

Setting ourselves up as target when hopelessly outnumbered is not to fight smart.

Further, I extrapolate your thought: at this juncture, while vastly outnumbered, it’s equally foolish to engage in any other kind of civil disobedience. That will play an important part later, when the balance of numbers has changed a lot, but not today. It’s just asking for trouble and accomplishes nothing useful.[4]

The same is true, unfortunately, of the general idea of establishing a free society in New Hampshire. Suppose the FSP idea worked, and this pleasant area became largely liberated. Would the rest of America, full of People In Government Service, let that continue? – no more than the cops of Coos County, aided no doubt by Federal PIGS, will allow Porcfest to continue and expand; they cannot afford to. Free NH people would be outnumbered 200:1 and could be nuked in a single day.

So a quite different strategy is required. It is described at http://takelifeback.com/oto/astrateg.htm

[1] http://strike-the-root.com/porcupines
[2] http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/arch.htm
[3] http://www.takelifeback.com/trilib/
[4] http://www.strike-the-root.com/time-for-civil-disobedience

George, I have an idea for perimeter security:

On Route 2, a lookout to the northwest and a lookout to the southeast will be present around the clock, and will contact someone at Roger’s Campground in the event of, say, seeing a convoy of black SUVs, whereupon an air raid siren will be activated by the person at Roger’s Campground. This will give people the time to flee, go to the restrooms, etc. Thoughts?

You are so right!
To organize–especially anarchists!–what’s needed are charismatic natural leaders whose dedication and ego are in equal balance. I can’t name one, just offhand. …

You’re right. We don’t have leaders. We have media personalities, crybabies, nutsos, drug addicts, martyrs, very respectable activists, drama queens, egomaniacs, quiet hard-working people and celebritarians, but no big leaders.

I think that when we’re ready for one, or two, they will appear. We have to stay positive and keep working hard.

Well, I’ll say “stay confident and optimistic,” but otherwise agree: Some people (with egos that outbalance dedication) who would LIKE to be leaders have turned “stay positive” into a cult that’s drawn a bit of a following, but has produced nothing, uh, positive!

You keep referring to people without saying their names. That’s in bad taste. Why not just name them?

Keeping a positive mindset always produces something positive: readiness.

If you think you’re defeated, you don’t take the initiative. You sit back, cry, wail, initiate internecine warfare and otherwise take your eye off the ball.

That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

I think we need people father out, too.

And an air raid siren is too in-your-face. It would panic people, interrupt on-the-ground communication and give away the fact that we know they’re coming. Maybe something just a tad more subtle?

Keep coming up with ideas! Kudos!

I suggested an air raid siren because SMS alerts, or the like, won’t cut it when people are sleeping.

Actually, I think your original idea was right on track. It’s important that everyone knows immediately. It should just be turned off or turned down after a short while so people can communicate on the ground.

Whether or not he’s been to Columbia has no bearing on the validity of his statement, why would it even matter? Just wondering… Reminds me of the “well you haven’t done x, so you can’t comment on y” fallacy…

It was a rhetorical question. And his statement wasn’t actually a statement, it was a question. And I wasn’t challenging the validity of it. And I didn’t make an argument, so how can there be a fallacy present? You’re reading a lot into a handful of words.

How about a migrating PorcFest that primarily serves to advertise the Free State Project by having the event in other states? Certain issues would still need to be resolved, but it might be worth it to get more people interested — especially if travel is what discourages people from otherwise attending.

Maybe you guys have already considered this, but I’m just going to say it anyhow.
Perhaps some aspects of this discussion shouldn’t be happening on the internet. If you’re sure a raid is likely within the next few years, then I’m sure “they” are reading this too.

I think it’s absolutely essential to have it in public at this early stage because otherwise nothing will happen. The FSP, inc. people (the decision-makers for PF) are just barely floating the idea now that everyone should have to pay to get into PF next year. The proposal above is light-years beyond that. The people in charge of PF likely will not adopt it. If they do, it will only be because enough people agree with these concerns that they feel pressured to do something.

And PF is not the only event of its kind. Perhaps the similar events that people organize around the continent can benefit from these concerns.

Also, “they” surely have a dozen ways to find out what the PF organizers are talking about. Is there really any privacy online anymore? At least this way, more people can become aware of the concerns and put their heads together to come up with better solutions if they share those concerns.

That’s why I said “some aspects”. While I absolutely agree it’s nessicary to publically start a discussion, and most of it should happen online. But critical details of security strategy would be better discussed by event staff behind closed doors in a small group of known individuals.

Property rights play a crucial role in anarcho-capitalism. If you don’t delimit your property and exercise at least some nominal control over who and what transits the property, then perhaps you haven’t properly established your claim to it.

Some form of access control, whichever is appropriate for the individual context as selected by the owners, is absolutely essential to protecting and preserving private property.

Exactly, property owners can set any conditions they like for the use of their property, be those access requirements like checkpoints or just proper dress.

If you want to really take it to the impractical extreme, there isn’t that much unclaimed land in the world. We’re talking about West Africa or Antarctica or the ocean or similar. That’s just not feasible but I would love to do something like that.

Sorry I scared you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

(your comment got caught in the moderation filter, sorry about that.)

I seriously doubt the Feds are foolish enough to raid Porcfest. They know that if they tried that, they would totally get ostracized.

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