Magazine article Reason

Operation Free State: Moving for Social Change. (Citings)

Magazine article Reason

Operation Free State: Moving for Social Change. (Citings)

Article excerpt

IF YOU'D LIKE to put some political ideas into practice, you've got several options. One is to convince your neighbors to vote your notions into law. Another is to find some like-minded ideologues and start a new community from scratch.

And then there's Jason Sorens' plan, which combines the first two approaches: Find people who agree with you, move en masse to a designated place, and then start voting. Sorens, a libertarian graduate student at Yale, is the founder of the Free State Project.

"Our research so far," the project's Web site declares, "indicates that 20,000 activists could heavily influence only states with under about 1.5 million population, or which spend less than $10 million on political campaigns in any given two-year election cycle." Once other considerations--"coastal access;' "a decent job market," "a native culture that's already proliberty"--are taken into account, Sorens says, four potential targets stand out: Delaware, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Alaska.

Sorens' idea is not new to libertarian circles. In the late 1980s, for example, the Colorado activist Mary Margaret Glennie launched the Fort Collins Project, described in the now-defunct American Libertarian as "a five-year project to attract an initial one thousand libertarians to the Fort Collins area." (The effort failed, and Glennie later turned her attention to the prospect of libertarian space colonies.)

Sorens believes his group is taking a more scientific approach. …

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