The Free State Project
October 16, 2002 6:31 AM   Subscribe

The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society. We will accomplish this by first reforming state law, opting out of federal mandates, and finally negotiating directly with the federal government for appropriate political autonomy. We will be a community of freedom-loving individuals and families, and create a shining example of liberty for the rest of the nation and the world.
posted by BirdD0g (68 comments total)

 
...and the recipients of numerous swirlies.
posted by bondcliff at 6:34 AM on October 16, 2002


Delaware, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Alaska, they're looking at you.
posted by iceberg273 at 6:35 AM on October 16, 2002


I am totally not moving to Wyoming.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:39 AM on October 16, 2002


I'd almost be willing to just give them Idaho.
posted by Oops at 6:40 AM on October 16, 2002


Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

I think we covered this to a greater scale with the Middle East- a group of people announcing they're a state or region doesn't automatically make them one.

Unless these people plan on holding all their money in jars buried in their backyards, I sincerely doubt they're going to stop the government from doing what their supposed to with their tax dollars, and I likewise doubt if any of them decide to supercede the law that they're going to prevet themselves from being taken into custody by American police officials.

The only group I can think of in the US that "opted out of federal mandates" are the Amish withdrawing themselves from the Social Security Fund. They still have to pay taxes, and they still have to adhere to the state laws of Pennsylvania. This whole thing sounds like a bunch of Libertarians trying to make some political point for name recognition.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:41 AM on October 16, 2002


... and the first thing we'll do is get rid of anyone who doesn't agree with us...
posted by jpburns at 6:45 AM on October 16, 2002


Hmmm.. I'll do the math:
288,290,769 minus 20,000...
Idaho can have em'

MONKEY PILE ON THE LIBERTY-ORIENTED PEOPLE!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:45 AM on October 16, 2002


That reminds me...when are we going to start discussing Metopolis? We should be up to 16 or 17K by now.
posted by goethean at 6:50 AM on October 16, 2002


And when the young get called up for military duty? Will they serve but turn down the G.I. Bill or flee to Canada?
Shucks: if they did this, that would help my social security money! Good. I am all for it.
posted by Postroad at 6:52 AM on October 16, 2002


What exactly does "freedom-loving" mean?

I'd almost be willing to just give them Idaho.

Idaho, for one, may well be willing to welcome their new freedom-loving overproletariat with open arms. I've met more John Birchers and Bo Gritzers from there than anywhere else.

The other place you might want to try is La Verkin Utah, who declared themselves a United Nations Free zone last year. Unfortunately, they have the problem that much of their income is probably dependent on tourism to the excellent national parks nearby. That, and the U.N. couldn't give a flying fig newton.
posted by namespan at 6:52 AM on October 16, 2002


"...a group of people announcing they're a state or region doesn't automatically make them one."

While certainly true, I don't think the advocates of this project would take the position that it's simple. Rather, it would probably be a matter of taking over state government, then taking steps to "secede" from the U.S. It's certainly not unprecedented -- see the steps Quebec has taken to secede from Canada (or the attempts of southern states to secede from the U.S.). Then, of course, it would be a matter of the extent to which the U.S. would oppose that attempt at secession. So, while it would be virtually impossible, there is a framework by which it could be attempted.

Back to the thread, this question/answer appears in their FAQ:

Q. Why don't we start shooting government agents?

A. The Free State Project likewise unequivocally condemns violence and fraud, and we will not participate in these or any other illegal activities. Provocateurs are not welcome.


Well, that's a relief. I think we've just identified problem #1 with their version of utopia.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:53 AM on October 16, 2002


Copy...Paste...XQUZYPHYR:

As long as they obey the law, I see no problem with a group of individuals joining together to actively make a change. It is a radical idea, sure, but so far it seems completely legal, and has the potential to stay that way. Can you imagine if this actually worked?

Though I will admit, I couldn't decide if I should post this link on MetaFilter or here instead.
posted by BirdD0g at 6:53 AM on October 16, 2002


It will be a land of wonderous utopia filled with elves, leprechans and eskimos! At the end of every rainbow will be a box of Lucky Charms!
posted by McBain at 6:55 AM on October 16, 2002


Comment #11. I was wondering how long it would take until someone found the Why don't we start shooting... in the Frequently Asked Questions section (of all places.)
posted by BirdD0g at 6:57 AM on October 16, 2002


So you are joining one of those militias that want to break away from the government?


Ummm Yeah... Good luck with that
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:00 AM on October 16, 2002


I'd heard about this. Personally I am highly skeptical of the ability of a group of people to work within the political system to effect meaningful change, but if it works, more power to 'em.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:02 AM on October 16, 2002


Tell you what. Lets allow Puerto Rico to be the 51st state, and then we can let one of the small ones nobody cares about secede anyway. That way, we won't even have to make any adjustments to the flags. Microstates are the coolest, and are, in my opinion, the perfect antidote for megastates like India, China, Russia, and the USA.

While we're at it, I declare that the Falkland Islands should be its own autonomous country, and that Quebec should be allowed to secede from Ontario, as well as the rest of Canada should be allowed to secede from Ontario. God save the Queen.

So you are joining one of those militias that want to break away from the government?

And no, the FSP is not a militia. Every state already has a militia, you fuckwit. It's called the National Guard. Maybe you've heard of it.
posted by insomnyuk at 7:03 AM on October 16, 2002


Um coisa mais...

We will privatize utilities and end inefficient regulations and monopolies

Privatizing utilities has proved to be a highly tricky problem, from what I can tell... usually because of a network effect and high barriers to entry. In order to do something like this, you have to have both a service delivery network that all competitors have equal access to, and a number of players with the ability and willingness to make large capital outlays. I can't think of many examples of the former, and I question whether or not there'd be the necessary large amounts of capital following this place around.

Then again, maybe the large utility network model should die, and they'll have self emergent/mesh network telecom and solar/wind electricity and heat.

I made fun of them above, but it's an interesting concept. I still am going to make fun of them, but it's an interesting concept. Thanks BirdD0g.
posted by namespan at 7:03 AM on October 16, 2002


So you are joining one of those militias that want to break away from the government?

Yes. Probably better to join one of those militias that want to support the government.
(Because we all want to join militias, don't we? Don't we?
posted by *burp* at 7:05 AM on October 16, 2002


It's called the National Guard

Yeah, I have, I am am member.... I am referencing groups like:

Militia of Montana
Michigan Militia
Republic of Texas

All extremist groups that have called for secession from the United States, much like this nutso group.

You Fuckwit.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:13 AM on October 16, 2002


Although we do not support a government ban on racial discrimination by private individuals, and we do not attempt to divine our members' private thoughts, we will exercise our right as a private organization to expel anyone who undertakes racial agitation.

So when states allow citizens to sue over discrimination, it's evil, but when private organizations that want to be states kick people out for discrimination, it's liberty-loving? They're confusing me!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:16 AM on October 16, 2002


Of course they have the idea that their community is going to be totally perfect with no internal squabbles or arguments. Idealistic, but a bit removed from reality.

I can see them splitting up into smaller communities each one proclaiming "We're more libertarian than them!!!" (ala Russia and China's "Who's communism is more pure" spat).

And hey if they want here in South Africa we already have the Free State (or rather the Orange Free State). But hey at least they won't have to get their stationary changed that much. That'll save them some money.
posted by PenDevil at 7:20 AM on October 16, 2002


Or, maybe they're looking for a valley in Colorado? Hmmm....
posted by jon_kill at 7:26 AM on October 16, 2002


This is merely a group of people with a common system of beliefs who wish to band together to secure a place that they can live the way they want in peace. They have a rational plan, and intend to work peacefully within the system, which is more than you can say for, oh, the forces of antiglobalization. Their "nutso" politics shouldn't enter in to it.

Gotta love the openmindedness here on MeFi.
posted by jammer at 7:28 AM on October 16, 2002


Their "nutso" politics shouldn't enter in to it.

Their "nutso" politics are their common system of beliefs... And therefor have everything to do with this...

Do you want to have a discussion about Green Peace, and say that they are just a nice little group that want to save the planet, but hey lets not talk about their politics?

bah...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:34 AM on October 16, 2002


I applaud them for conceiving of the idea, and I think it could be a fascinating experiment. That said, I probably won't be joining them. You going, BirdD0g?
posted by *burp* at 7:35 AM on October 16, 2002


So when they find 20,000 souls and they all move to Delaware or Alaska or where ever and find jobs and settle down, then all 20,000 are going to agree completely, right? There will be no descension in the ranks? White supremists are not welcome so obviously they will stay away. And it will all be done peaceably, because they don't want any violence.

And since the 20,000 will be in total agreement and so well-organized, it won't matter what the native Delawarians do or want.

Actually it would be very interesting to see this play out. I think this would make for very amusing front page stories for years as the FSP struggles and flounders and learns some bitter lessons about Democracy in action.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:38 AM on October 16, 2002


not to change tracks, but can anyone point at *better* ideas for breaking out of our current 2ish party system? The third party attempts to run for president have been a failure. It seems to me like this is a great attempt to pick a winnable fight, and then execute on it.
A similar approach might be to pick a group of congressional districts large enough to ensure neither of the two parties had a majority in congress, and focus on winning those seats. I think Libertarians or greens could pull this off with a very targeted campaign (kind of a contract for third partys type of deal).
posted by tellmenow at 7:44 AM on October 16, 2002


Everybody's liberty is somebody else's restriction. My 'right' to walk down the street opposes your 'right' not to have to watch me do that. My right to control item X or resource Y--and property rights, 'my stuff', comes under this category, nothing is labelled 'Ash's' by natural law, it's only a public agreement--is implacably opposed to your right to control it, and also opposed to any third party's interest in it, etc etc.

Unless all other interested parties are killed, you have to draw a line somewhere between competing rights. What people are allowed to own and where they are allowed to go, for example. That action, in itself, destroys the happy state of libertarian anarchy. And no, we cannot 'work it out between ourselves like decent human beings', because then we are prey to the first indecent human being that comes along. We have to cooperate against such people, which means we have to have means of determining who they are, divide the duty of watching out for them ... and magically we have a police force. Back to the issue of dispute resolution, we have to agree among ourselves how that is going to work, and how we are going to force our obstinate fellow citizens to comply with the decrees of the dispute resolution body. Another duty for the police, maybe? We want a say in the laws that affect us? Why, we ought to come up with some method for doing that ...

Libertarian extremism is just anarchy, and if that's ever lasted more than about 10 minutes in human history before someone whacks someone else with a club, I'd be surprised.

You know, this kind of nonsense is the price of freedom of speech. People in a free-speech country are allowed to come up with dumbass ideas, like ... umm ... everything bad is the fault of the great white male conspiracy (for which I still await my membership badge, hint hint), or letting rich people pay less taxes, or that my religion is better than your religion so both our kids ought to be taught it at school, and so on. Every time one of these things pops its head up, we ought to say to ourselves "That's the price we pay," and be grateful, because as prices go, it's cheap.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:45 AM on October 16, 2002


Steve_at_Linnwood:
There is nothing "nutso" about being Liberatarian. Granted there are "nutsos" that are Liberatarian, just like there are "nutsos" who are Democrat and Rebublican. You may disrespectfully disagree, and I respectfully agree with your right to do that. However, there are some of us who believe the War on Drugs is a failure and waste of money, and that our right to bear arms should not be taken away from us.

This group is not calling for secession from the US. It's calling for a group of like-minded individuals, to legally and politically work towards what they percieve as a utopia. While I may not be on board right away, I think it's interesting and I applaud the effort. Not everyone is gung-ho about the federal government's control over day-to-day life. Perhaps you should have more respect for their beliefs. Just a thought...

*burp*: Am I going? And leave this job I've got here? You, sir, must be out of your mind.
posted by BirdD0g at 8:00 AM on October 16, 2002


This pact between the Republic of Farkistan and MeFiopolis ensures the peacable co-existence of our two republics in perpetuity--let the bombing begin.
posted by m@ at 8:04 AM on October 16, 2002


All extremist groups that have called for secession from the United States, much like this nutso group.

This discussion might be more productive if participants actually read the site in question, which is clear on the point that it isn't secessionist. Their desire to adopt a state where libertarian ideals can be practiced is no more radical than the assurances of state's rights in the U.S. Constitution.
posted by rcade at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2002


What the heck is that animal on their logo?
posted by rainbaby at 8:06 AM on October 16, 2002


Because we all want to join militias, don't we? Don't we?

Unless I'm mistaken, are all able-bodied males in a certain age range automatically part of a U.S. militia?
posted by oissubke at 8:12 AM on October 16, 2002


What the heck is that animal on their logo?

From their FAQ:

Q: What animal appears on the logo?

A: That's the Hedgehog of Freedom -- because we're going to 'stick it' to the man!

posted by oissubke at 8:13 AM on October 16, 2002


Their desire to adopt a state where libertarian ideals can be practiced is no more radical than the assurances of state's rights in the U.S. Constitution.

Sorry, maybe it is just me but it doesn't sound like they want to "adopt" anything... Looks to me like they want to saturate an area with like-minded voters and "takeover"...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:14 AM on October 16, 2002


FSPer's! Prepare to welcome your new peasant-shirt-wearing overlords

That's Jason Sorens, btw, one of the founders, and I presume, still one of the leaders of the Free State Project. Jason's a riot, even if I do suspect that he is (or was) his departments "really annoying guy." Just the other day, Jason was talking to the League of the South, the neo-confederacy organization (a non-racist organization which accepts members of any race or creed as long as they idealize the old slave-owning American south)

I'm sympathetic to many libertarian notions. I'd be more sympathetic if I didn't think that lurking under all their talk of liberty, was just another version of might-makes-right.

Anyway, I'm good for sending a libertarian to Idaho. Who's with me?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:15 AM on October 16, 2002


Q. What the heck is that animal on their logo?

A. Porcupines are certainly cute and non-aggressive, but you don't want to step on them!

This discussion might be more productive if participants actually read the site in question

It certainly might be.
posted by ook at 8:18 AM on October 16, 2002


Looks to me like they want to saturate an area with like-minded voters and "takeover"...

Feel free to sign up, move to Alaska with them, and sabotage their evil plan...
posted by BirdD0g at 8:26 AM on October 16, 2002


Sorry, maybe it is just me but it doesn't sound like they want to "adopt" anything... Looks to me like they want to saturate an area with like-minded voters and "takeover"...

Yeah. And so what? Is the Republic Sacred? Is this some kind of Holy Union which must never be sundered? The United States of America was created as a political ideal, and, as such, it does not necessarily warrant keeping. If you don't want the state taken over, donate to the Republo-crats, or whomever. I think it will be a peaceful movement, however. The only nutsos that we'll have to worry about are weekend warriors who think they are serving G_d (or in their case, if their G_d is "America") by keeping this Holy Union from being divided.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:29 AM on October 16, 2002


That being said, I think porcupines are cute.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:33 AM on October 16, 2002


I would like to see this happen, if only to illustrate the fallacy of believing that a modern captalist democracy can prosper without regulation. Market failures, information assymetries, and externalities like environmental degradation can usually only be addressed through governmental regulation. In addition, the harsh effects on certain groups that result from unfettered capitalism will inevitably create democratic pressure to regulate. Let's see how libertarian these people stay when their kids start getting sick from polluted water, the unemployment rate goes to 12% because interest rates are left unregulated and consumer prices skyrocket because of monopolies and price fixing agreements.

Certainly there might be better ways to regulate in some areas then the way that the federal government does it, but the idea that a state's economy could function in this day and age without a significant degree of government regulation is, quite frankly, laughable.
posted by boltman at 8:48 AM on October 16, 2002


Political takeovers by immigrants are a fact of life in the U.S. California, Texas and Florida are in various states of political upheaval because of demographic shifts brought on by new residents, but I don't think anyone would compare the midwestern Democratic snowbirds now in Florida to secessionists.

This Free State Project is simply an effort by a group to maximize its political impact within the normal rules of our democratic process. I don't see how that's a problem; we're supposed to be living in a union of states with significance differences in government, and if there's room for my liberal utopia in Vermont, there ought to be room for their libertarian utopia, if they can attract enough like-minded people to outvote their liberal and conservative neighbors.
posted by rcade at 9:10 AM on October 16, 2002


I'm gonna start a site for an organization that will move into my apartment. We will then secede from the union and become an autonomous state. We will utilize the hemp already growing in my unused bedroom We will farm many succulent crops.
posted by trioperative at 9:13 AM on October 16, 2002


They can stake out land right next to Ecotopia.
posted by Dillenger69 at 9:41 AM on October 16, 2002


insomnyuk: you need to chill the fuck out.

Don't insult me, by making references to "weekend warriors who think they are serving God"

Have I ever gone on spouting religious dogma around here? No I think not, take a look if you don't believe me... And if you want to belittle the fact that I volunteered for military duty as a college student, wanting to serve my country, even though I didn't have to, by calling me a "weekend warrior", fine. I can't serve full time while I go to school. I guess I don't have the gusto to make such brazen statements questioning your patriotism...

You try to pigeon hole me a some "Right Wing GOP God Freak"... that is childish...

Let me ask you this. How would you feel if 20,000 God fearing, Gun slinging, Tax cutting, Christian’s moves into your town, and attempted to take over?

You probably wouldn’t be so happy about it. Right?

Sounds like "tyranny of the masses", hey?

It is one thing, if like-minded people gravitate toward one area, and that area develops a certain political climate. It is quite another to stuff the ballot box, by relocating "votes" to an area. This is no different than the bullshit that is going on in Congress with the redrawing of district bounties to give one political party an advantage over another (Both sides are guilty of this)


On a side note, the Second Amendment was provide so that citizens could own guns, so if the government became tyrannical, it could be "changed" I find it ironic that some of the same people who are all for "gun control" now find themselves sympathetic to a group that feels the government is tyrannical and wants change...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:05 AM on October 16, 2002


rcade: Of course "utopia," literally means "no place." You can't opt out of federal mandates and still stay in the union, regardless. They may be unfair, and seemingly at odds with the intentions of the nation's founders, but the way you work to change that in through the democratic process. (And yes, expecting Republicans to never place any mandates on states - or to preempt laws that don't fit with their ideology - is a fool's game. They are for mandates that fit with their ideology, or that the voters at home like or which gain them positive national attention.)

If these folks have their "utopia," though, does this mean that libertarians elsewhere have to pipe down about more liberal regulatory laws and rules in states like, say, Minnesota or Oregon? Can Mormons and fundamentalists in Alabama decide to "negotiate" with the federal courts over church-and-state issues? Would everyone who disagrees have to shut up, or what?
posted by raysmj at 10:12 AM on October 16, 2002


On a side note, the Second Amendment was provide so that citizens could own guns, so if the government became tyrannical, it could be "changed"...

I'm not sure where this meme originated (probably somewhere with those libertarian nutsos), but I don't think there's any evidence for it in the writings of the founding fathers. In The Federalist #29, Hamilton is pretty clear that the purpose of the second amendment is to eliminate the need for a standing army, which the founding fathers viewed as a potential tool of tyranny. Quoth Hamilton: "If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed, ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions." There's also an argument that separate state militias can be used to put down insurrections in neighboring states. The founding fathers had great hope for the institutions of government that they were creating, and the inclusion of a "self-destruct" mechanism runs counter to their general intentions.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:27 AM on October 16, 2002


when are we going to start discussing Metopolis?

I'm in. Can't wait for the first civil war. I'm lining up behind General Foldy.
posted by Summer at 10:39 AM on October 16, 2002


Hamilton was a Federalist (Hence the name of the papers)

And if my memory serves me correct, that it was the Anti-Federalists that insisted on the second amendment as a check on federal powers...

Hamilton does not speak for all of the framers.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:14 AM on October 16, 2002


The thing is Steve, I don't think there were any framers that used the "militias can overthrow the government" argument. I, at least, have never seen evidence of this point of view being in existence at the time of the constitutional convention--I'm pretty sure it's a relatively new idea. If you have evidence to the contrary, I'd love to see it.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:25 AM on October 16, 2002


No, but Alexander is, oh, kind of important. He needed better training in marksmanship, or in how to avoid bullets, maybe, but otherwise . . .
posted by raysmj at 11:28 AM on October 16, 2002


Roboto, I am looking but I can't not seem to find yet... I do remember reading it once before, but I could be wrong...
Let me look a bit longer...

Ray, by no means am I discrediting Hamilton, I simply was saying that he was only one side of the story...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:30 AM on October 16, 2002


Rats. I read the FPP and thought it was a plan for 20,000 literary-oriented people to take over a state and secure freedom. I, for one, was entirely prepared to welcome our new stream-of-consciousness overlords... but no. The day has not yet dawned for my dreams of a High Modernist Militia.
posted by scody at 11:56 AM on October 16, 2002


per their manifesto, create a shining example of liberty for the rest of the nation and the world

So whose nation are they trying to be an example to as they're freeing themselves from the USA? They must live in their own world then.

Free State, nothing in this world is free, but your mind. So what land do they plan to buy as if you want it your way then you have your private property to do it on in the USA. I have some swamp land for sale.

I concluded that early farmers in the USA were living in a true free state. Basically they were self sufficient for the most part. When they needed a commodity for possessions they could not create on the farm, they then used a commodity of the farm to sell to the community. Also they added to their community by providing a much needed service, like dairy products or fresh vegtables and fruit. So the money the farmer made by selling farm products to folks in the city benefited the city folks and the farmer too by allowing him to buy a plow, seed or live stock.

But as far as government he really did not need a whole lot from it, nor did he need to be governed. As most of his life was spent on his property, the farm.


P.S. Democracy is a government where you can say what you think even if you don't think.
Unknown

posted by thomcatspike at 12:03 PM on October 16, 2002


Thomas Jefferson said:
"No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. . . . The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Hamilton, himself, said in Federalist Paper No. 28:
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of positive government."
and again in Federalist Paper No. 29:
"...but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights..."

Noah Webster said:
"The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops."

I think that speaks for it's self. The Idea of the people rising up to overthrow a tyrannical government is nothing new. Hell, that is what the colonist had just done... They wanted to make sure they would never be stopped from having, God forbid, from doing it again.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:24 PM on October 16, 2002


As far as the "opting out" thing goes, a significant chunk of the control exerted over the states by the federal government can be opted out of because it involves the use of Congress's conditional spending power. In other words, Congress often pays states to voluntarily adopt regulations that would be unconstitutional for Congress to force on the states. States could extrant themselves from a substantial chunk of federal control simply by turning down much of the federal money they get in the form of grants.

Examples off of the top of my head include Medicaid, the drinking age, parts of the Brady gun control bill (until they were found unconstitutional), lots of environmental laws, the law banning porn in public libraries (i forget the name of it), most civil rights laws that ban discrimination by state officials and many many others.
posted by boltman at 12:32 PM on October 16, 2002


Yes, well I guess that would make me Brutus, eh Steve? I will also refer you to this thread.

I apologize for using the terminology "weekend warrior."
posted by insomnyuk at 1:11 PM on October 16, 2002


Exactly, boltman. If they really did run a state government, they could stop taking any federal money that requires the state to follow mandates they oppose.

Where are the states rights people? I would've expected a few of them to be drawn to this discussion like hogs to a trough.
posted by rcade at 1:13 PM on October 16, 2002


There are some mandates they can oppose by turning down money, and others than they cannot - wage and hour laws, certain environmental regulations, ones dealing more specifically with what was traditionally understood (although not by many states in the early decades of the nation's founding) to be interstate commerce protection (weight limit standards), etc.
posted by raysmj at 1:28 PM on October 16, 2002


I'm one of those states' rights people - a Liberatarian-leaning Republican. This discussion has been great today, along with the ballistic fingerprinting post. No need to go "hog" wild when the discussion is so civilized and reasonable. Nice work, all.
posted by BirdD0g at 1:43 PM on October 16, 2002


As far as the "opting out" thing goes, a significant chunk of the control exerted over the states by the federal government can be opted out of because it involves the use of Congress's conditional spending power.

Too bad that thanks to the 16th Amendment, most of that money comes from the citizens of the states being bribed. If states could opt their citizens out of federal income and payroll taxes, then we'd have something.
posted by daveadams at 2:01 PM on October 16, 2002


From one of the linked articles: Secession is not a goal, Sorens says, but it is a bargaining chip.
posted by raysmj at 2:58 PM on October 16, 2002


"--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." -- The Declaration of Independence: In Congress, July 4, 1776

It's often amazing to me how willingly people offer up their rights to governments, and the viewpoint that the governments, instituted by the people, are meant to rule over them.

The powers delegated to the Fedral Government were in no way meant to be above the powers delegated to State Governments, and neither above the power of the people.
"To the State governments are reserved all legislation and administration in affairs which concern their own citizens only, and to the federal government is given whatever concerns foreigners or the citizens of other States; these functions alone being made federal. The one is the domestic, the other the foreign branch of the same government; neither having control over the other, but within its own department. There are one or two exceptions only to this partition of power." --Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. ME 16:47
"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." [X Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition." --Thomas Jefferson: National Bank Opinion, 1791. ME 3:146
posted by mikhail at 3:27 PM on October 16, 2002


"The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops."

Ha ha.. those were the days, weren't they?
posted by Hildago at 3:35 PM on October 16, 2002


They sure were...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:41 PM on October 16, 2002


If one state like Wyoming or Deleware could elect 2 Libertarian Senators, imagine what that would do to the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats? I'm ready to move! Any good Webmaster jobs in Wyoming?
posted by jasontromm at 7:34 PM on October 16, 2002


Am I the only one who finds this a little weird? They say "no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation" and then, just a few lines later: "we will repeal laws regulating drugs and guns". They want a state where gun ownership is completely uncontrolled and yet they hope that their crime statistics will be zero. And what about "no one has the right, under any circumstances, to --- delegate" the use of force? Let's say someone kills a member of my family with his unregulated gun. Does this mean that I don't have the right to delegate the task of finding this guy and bringing him to justice to someone that might be better suited to do this than myself, like a police force? Do they want everybody to go gunning for people who have done them harm? That sounds like an ideal state to live in.
posted by Termite at 9:38 PM on October 16, 2002


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