Since I am in New Hampshire right now at the 11th PorcFest I figured I’d reblog my posts from last year on the subject. Enjoy, you’ll get new content next week!
Today I am on my way to the 10th annual Porcupine Freedom Festival in New Hampshire, called PorcFest for short. This will be the first time I am attending the signature event of the Free State Project which seeks to move 20,000 libertarian freedom lovers to New Hampshire in order to influence the politics of the State, and provide a bastion of freedom.
The Free State Project is an agreement among 20,000 participants to move to New Hampshire, where they will work together to create a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property. PorcFest is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase New Hampshire’s offerings and for you to reunite with old friends and make plenty of new ones.
So why is it called the Porcupine festival? Because the porcupine is the perfect animal to represent the core philosophy of the libertarian minded people who attend. While the porcupine has no real ability to attack (does not initiate force), it is extremely effective at protecting itself once victimized. Likewise these participants believe in the principle of the non-initiation of force, while also believing in the moral imperative to defend oneself against aggressors in the event of an attack. (For the record I could not find any official references to why the porcupine is used as their symbol, but I remember reading or hearing about why it is used, for the above reasons.)
Early next week I should have a post up about my experience at the festival, the speakers, the attendees, and hopefully some great video footage. In addition to discussing politics and partying with like minded individualists, I will be building a black powder rifle, learning how to brew beer, picking up vegetable gardening tips, and listening to former Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson. But it is not just the typical “conservative crowd” that this festival appeals to, there will also be yoga classes, and truly showing that the spirit of freedom is non-discriminatory, Buzz’s Big Gay Dance Party allows gay and straight liberty loving attendees to meet up and party together. I have a feeling my attendance is going to be the start of a yearly tradition.
Here’s the post from after PorcFest X last year!
The Porcupine Freedom Festival at Roger’s Campground in Lancaster New Hampshire was a blast. The Free State Project’s 10th annual summer festival was a mixture of Republicans, Libertarians, Anarcho-Capitalists, Constitutionalists, and even some Democrats. You couldn’t walk ten feet from your campsite without seeing someone carrying a gun, because these people like to exercise their rights. In fact I felt incredibly safe the entire time I was attending the event, and go figure no one got shot despite the multitude of rifles and handguns being carried. There were no problems at all in fact, no police required, no accidental discharges, no fights, just a bunch of like-minded people looking out for each other and enjoying their time together.
The camaraderie was amazing. I don’t think everyone who attended Buzz’s Big Gay Dance Party was gay, but everyone was having a blast. I think it means a lot to the gay community to show that acceptance is something they will find among the ranks of Libertarians. I have been to other events similar in size and revelry; concerts and such, and you always seem to see a few out of control drunk folks, and some tough guys looking for a fight. Well there were plenty of tough guys, but no one was looking for a fight, and even the drunk people were in control. This was a self policing event where we all knew that we had something in common, we knew we were ambassadors to the limited government (or no government for the Anarcho-Capitalists) ideology, and therefore we kept ourselves and others out of trouble.
There were at least 5 State Representatives from New Hampshire at the festival, and I believe there are currently 9 Free State Project participants who are in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Mark Warden and Michael Garcia are two of the Free State Project’s elected reps, each representing a different side of the aisle, but each having almost identical voting records. States rights and keeping New Hampshire in control of its affairs is a major part of the movement. Free Staters have also introduced legislation to legalize cannabis, lower taxes, and protect New Hampshire from federal law through nullification.
Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and 2012 Libertarian Presidential Nominee, gave a great speech which covered multiple liberty oriented topics. One thing I found interesting about this libertarian crowd though, was the unwillingness to take what Johnson said as gospel. Throughout most of his speech the crowd agreed, and applauded heartily; you could see Gary Johnson stickers on a large percentage of cars at the campground. But most of the people involved in Porcfest are pretty ideologically consistent, which is why there were boos heard when Gary Johnson expressed support for the flat tax. Most people in attendance agreed that there should be no income tax at all, which is why Gary Johnson was not met with praise in that particular segment. Still, he brushed it off, laughed and said that it would be a step in the right direction. But the crowd was friendly, so I think Johnson understood that when some audience members disagreed, it was more teasing than anything else; he handled it well.
It was such a refreshing few days to be amongst the friendliest, most fun people I have met in a long time. I am planning on attending this event on a yearly basis. It keeps growing each season and people from all across the country were in attendance this year. Check back here for more discussion on other speakers and the concept of Anarcho-Capitalsim.