Locations and Lifestyles: how to live free

There is a lot of discussion in the libertarian community about where in the world libertarians should try to go in order to create a voluntary society. The suggestions range from picking the most free of the states in the US, to building independent nations on floating platforms (seasteading). In this post I will offer my comments on some of these places, and try to present a good solution for especially younger people.


First though, we should ask, why should we all go to the same place? Wouldn’t it be better to have libertarians spread out so that their message could be heard by the most people? While this is a perfectly valid point, I think the counterpoint is much stronger (I agree with Seth King on this). We need to ban together as libertarians, because it allows us to construct mutual support networks, and begin living the lives we would ultimately like to live in a free society almost immediately.

Probably the best known, and most widely successful of these projects is the Free State Project in New Hampshire. They have already concentrated a thousand people in parts of New Hampshire, especially Keene. They have made demonstrable impacts in both the local elections, and in the way they run the community at large. However, I question the idea of finding a place in the US to build our society. In the event of an authoritarian clamp-down Free Staters might be some of the first targets.

I think an equally exciting opportunity exists in Cafayate, Argentina, where Doug Casey is building a great community. While not explicitly a libertarian community, many have said that the vibe down there is very anarchist friendly, and certainly Doug Casey himself is an anarchist. While living in the community created by Casey is not super cheap (also leaving ones family in the US might be hard for some), I think there is a lot of opportunity in the surrounding area for development.

Lastly, I would like to discuss Patri Friedman’s solution of building floating autonomous communities called seasteads. I really like the idea of having the kind of societal structure where a wide variety of voluntary arrangements are entered into by many people, and it seems like seasteading would be a great way to experiment with these different structures. However, I do have some concerns about the overall cost of these projects. Though, my concern is somewhat diminished by the fact of the rapid increase in the cost of living in developed countries, it may actually be a good investment to build an off-shore tax-free locale.


Also I think there are several methodologies for gaining liberty not just in location, but in the way one conducts ones life. It seems to me like living in a fashion that is largely self-sufficient and sustainable provides one with the maximum independence and freedom from authority. Karl Hess was an avid practitioner of this kind of lifestyle (partially not of his own choice considering the government basically deprived him of all his future income because of his refusal to pay taxes). I think giving up some of our  20th century comforts, especially the size of ones house is a sacrifice worth taking in order to live more freely.

I myself currently live in a 9′ x 14′ room, and have absolutely no problem with the space. I like the idea of building tiny houses on wheels that can be more mobile as one decides to move between different political jurisdictions. Also I like the idea of the Mongolian yurts which are quite easy to assemble, rather cheap, but seem comfortable and liberating in a way. Anything that remove ones dependence on paying a mortgage or large energy bills I think makes them more free.


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