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Author Topic: Proximity and related issues  (Read 32047 times)

Zxcv

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #75 on: September 03, 2003, 07:05:59 pm »

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You'll finding zoning everywhere.  The question is, how hard it is to change it.  I recall reading a report on the 2002 Town Meeting in Peterborough, NH.  In that they voted on quite a few zoning questions on the ballot.  One of which was:

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Question 25 was whether to let John Turner keep cows -- but not chickens or pigs -- on his Hunt Road land for his grandchildren to play with. Voters said yes, 767-231.  

Jon, this is supposed to make us like New Hampshire?

I had the same reaction to this that Dennis did. And even more - is it better to have the mob voting on what you do with your property, than it is to have a representative doing it?

At the very least, existing uses of property ought to be grandfathered in (assuming we have zoning at all). Or they should be bought out by those who don't like them, at a price agreeable to the property owner. Hell, even property-unfriendly Oregon manages that (I believe so, anyway). No way should people moving into your area, be able to tell you not to have pigs any more.

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So if I'm your neighbor, you have no issue with me say, setting up an oil refinery on my land?  Or a Wendy's perhaps, open till 2am for those late night munchies?

I believe the libertarian answer to this is that local "zoning" can be created via voluntary associations. Anyway, you are bringing up a straw man here. How many refineries are sited, anyway? And how many Wendy's are going into the middle of residential neighborhoods, where the return on investment would be low?

We have gotten into the habit of using government to accomplish certain ends and provide certain protections. That does not mean those ends and protections are not available otherwise. We just have to get into a different habit of mind, that's all. I'm not willing to give up on freedom so easily, even though I realize there will be setbacks and bumps in the road.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2003, 07:08:36 pm by Zxcv »
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JonM

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #76 on: September 03, 2003, 10:08:47 pm »

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You'll finding zoning everywhere.  The question is, how hard it is to change it.  I recall reading a report on the 2002 Town Meeting in Peterborough, NH.  In that they voted on quite a few zoning questions on the ballot.  One of which was:

Quote

Question 25 was whether to let John Turner keep cows -- but not chickens or pigs -- on his Hunt Road land for his grandchildren to play with. Voters said yes, 767-231.  

Jon, this is supposed to make us like New Hampshire?

I had the same reaction to this that Dennis did. And even more - is it better to have the mob voting on what you do with your property, than it is to have a representative doing it?

At the very least, existing uses of property ought to be grandfathered in (assuming we have zoning at all). Or they should be bought out by those who don't like them, at a price agreeable to the property owner. Hell, even property-unfriendly Oregon manages that (I believe so, anyway). No way should people moving into your area, be able to tell you not to have pigs any more.

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So if I'm your neighbor, you have no issue with me say, setting up an oil refinery on my land?  Or a Wendy's perhaps, open till 2am for those late night munchies?

I believe the libertarian answer to this is that local "zoning" can be created via voluntary associations. Anyway, you are bringing up a straw man here. How many refineries are sited, anyway? And how many Wendy's are going into the middle of residential neighborhoods, where the return on investment would be low?

We have gotten into the habit of using government to accomplish certain ends and provide certain protections. That does not mean those ends and protections are not available otherwise. We just have to get into a different habit of mind, that's all. I'm not willing to give up on freedom so easily, even though I realize there will be setbacks and bumps in the road.

What is is.  Some people bitch that stuff that isn't pure 100% positive is ignored, don't complain when it isn't.  Read the whole link, the town meeting had 147 people attending to vote on the town's spending (the zoning was covered during the town elections just prior).  In what I'm sure is horror to pure Libertarians, they decided they liked the open space enough to kick in $25,000 of the $60,000 or so needed to buy it from the private owners.

But it's people at the town level deciding what goes on at the town level.  Some guy was living in a place not zoned for farm animals I guess.  He wanted cows, so he asked if the zoning could be changed.  If you want to own property that you don't have to ask for the zoning to be changed to do something, BUY PROPERTY WITHOUT THOSE ZONING RESTRICTIONS.  You know where it is, where everyone else isn't.  No matter where you are, if there are a bunch of people already there when you show up, there are likely to be some sort of zoning restrictions.  The problem isn't people wanting to remove them, it's people wanting to add more.

Now you can read through more of these town meeting reports from the southwestern area of the state.

And what is a town meeting government if not a voluntary association?
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Robert H.

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2003, 08:21:20 am »

I started this "proximity" thread to illustrate how some of our reforms have the potential to create market environments that others will want to take advantage of for their own purposes, some undoubtedly harmful.  That's just the reality of the world we live in today.  We're not going to be doing any of this in a vacuum, thus we're going to have to consider the potential fallout patterns of the various dominoes we topple.

We'll be exposed to this consideration no matter where we go, but some places will afford us the luxury of greater distance from major population (read "trafficking") centers that could potentially feed off of our efforts and bring disfavor on us from the federal government, as well as other sources.  Our reforms will affect people beyond our borders; for the better, we would hope, but whether they will see it that way is another story.

I believe that this is a very valid consideration, but I see that we are still being subjected to the old accusation that going to any than a few select states would constitute "running away," "hiding," or "bunkering."  Really, that argument is being used as a slightly more polite way of taunting people with the idea that they're just being cowardly, or somehow unsophisticated.   ::)  It would be different if it were being stated as some underappreciation for the potential of urban areas, but, it's being expressed as someone actively trying to "run away," a phrase which carries an entirely different connotation.  Hence the reason that I say it is being used to taunt people.

First off, let's just be honest here: aside from Delaware, none of the FSP's candidate states are considered to be influential centers of activity; and none, including Delaware, are exactly apples in the American public's collective eye.  Most of our states, including the New England states, are on the periphery of the country.  You don't hear about them on a daily basis, and with the unsavory exception of Tom Daschle, the country hears about very few of their politicians and other civic leaders.  

Simply put - none of them are considered that all important to the average Joe.

Secondly, when westerners (and I say 'westerners' here because I don't see advocates of the remote New England states being accused of wanting to "run and hide") say that they favor distancing themselves from the major population centers of the country, they do so for several very good reasons that have nothing to do with running away from anyone.

  • Major population centers in this country are the leading centers of statism.  This is due to infrastructure issues, crime, 'safety' concerns, and a greater presence of those who tend to rely on government.  There are exceptions, but this is the norm.  Look at the 'ole red-and-blue map sometime.
  • Major population centers are also centers of media activity and, as we all know only too well, the media is generally not friendly to liberty activists and issues.  Local media can be different, but the national media is certainly not a friend.
  • Proximity to major population centers would also allow for greater ease of access on the part of those who might be activists in opposition to us.  Statists in this country today try to make national issues out of the most petty local and regional squabbles.  This is largely how the Jesse Jackson's of the world make their money.
  • Proximity to larger population centers and transportation hubs could create trafficking zones that could bring us problems.  For examples of such zones already in existence, see Georgia and South Carolina where a lot of people who get pulled over have their vehicles searched simply because the cops are more vigilant about drug trafficking coming out of Florida.
  • Those who travel the distance to be among us will be more likely to support more than one or two popular elements of our agenda.  If they make the additional effort, they'll likely have greater motivation.  We don't need our reforms being undone by those who only come among us to take advantage of, say, fiscal opportunity, only to end up unraveling the basis of that prosperity by becoming a burden and demanding services.


These are a few very legitimate issues with regard to population centers, and none of them have anything to do with running and hiding from anyone.

Before we can look to exporting examples of libertarian freedom, shouldn't we first have some?  There are various FSP candidate states that do demonstrate the benefits of freedom, but none of them have made much of a splash to date.  The country certainly isn't stopping in its tracks to stare.

Our own success must be primary, and the best environment we can provide for pursuing that success is crucial.  I've compared this effort to planting a field before.  The crop that we're trying to raise is extremely fragile, and must be treated as such.  We should try to protect the seeds we plant from as many harmful elements as possible, including interference from others who may either oppose us or try taking advantage of us.  We must do what we can to make sure our seeds of liberty establish strong roots in the soil so that they can grow to maturity.

Then, once the fields are green and growing strong, we can ask everyone else to come take a look.  In fact, they'll already be looking, as many of our planting methods will seem unorthodox.  Some will be interested in spreading the word about what we've done, and by then they'll have a pattern to emulate.  Success will not silence our opposition, but it will deprive them of much ammunition, and it will undoubtedly embolden those who already tend to agree with us.

Again, our own success must be primary!

If the rest of the country follows along, fine, but if it does not, then we will have at least created one potentially safe harbor for those who want shelter from the storm.

Run and hide?  No.  Obviously, we do want some exposure.  But in the information age, no matter where we go, we can have that exposure.  Alaska is certainly remote, but its recent decisions regarding pot and Vermont-style carry have made national news.  Wyoming's low tax, low regulation environment has caught the attention of the likes of the Washington Post, Forbes, and others who monitor financial doings.

Choosing one of the more remote states will not deprive us of the opportunity to get our message out or influence others, but, as I believe I have illustrated to some degree above, it may just allow this movement to take root with a minimum of harmful outside influences.  This, in turn, may produce a stronger crop, something people will more thoughtfully consider; certainly something that they would be more likely to emulate.

You can't show off what you don't already have.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2003, 08:28:10 am by RobertH »
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DadELK68

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #78 on: September 04, 2003, 09:00:22 am »

Robert, I think you're misunderstanding me ( :'():

...I see that we are still being subjected to the old accusation that going to any than a few select states would constitute "running away," "hiding," or "bunkering."  Really, that argument is being used as a slightly more polite way of taunting people with the idea that they're just being cowardly, or somehow unsophisticated.   ::)  It would be different if it were being stated as some underappreciation for the potential of urban areas, but, it's being expressed as someone actively trying to "run away," a phrase which carries an entirely different connotation.  Hence the reason that I say it is being used to taunt people...

There is a certain element among those posting to these fora who repeatedly advocate for particular states based on their desire for freedoms which will not be easily accepted in any 'settled' area - they want the vast open plains and high plateaus to be able to do whatever they want without worrying about irritating any neighbors (although they couch this in terms of wanting to have neighbors who won't be irritated, we have to deal with the realities of human nature, even within the ranks of the FSP).

These are the ones who want to 'run away', who seem to think that 'Freedom' can't exist within a region with a population density of more than a couple of people per square mile. This may or may not apply to you, but there are those among us whose view of their own self-interest is that they want isolation and to be left alone. Because that isn't the goal of the FSP (although for many it may hopefully be one of the results), perhaps I do 'taunt' them a bit, but I would suggest that it's justified - hopefully encouraging a little self-reflection on their part.

These are a few very legitimate issues with regard to population centers, and none of them have anything to do with running and hiding from anyone.

Before we can look to exporting examples of libertarian freedom, shouldn't we first have some?  

...I've compared this effort to planting a field before.  The crop that we're trying to raise is extremely fragile, and must be treated as such.  We should try to protect the seeds we plant from as many harmful elements as possible, including interference from others who may either oppose us or try taking advantage of us.  We must do what we can to make sure our seeds of liberty establish strong roots in the soil so that they can grow to maturity.

...If the rest of the country follows along, fine, but if it does not, then we will have at least created one potentially safe harbor for those who want shelter from the storm.

You do express reasonable and reasoned concerns and opinions, and I appreciate the fact that you acknowledge them as opinions rather than suggesting otherwise. My response is a rational question which I have yet to see anyone in the 'minimal-population-state' camp address - in fact, you seem to reinforce the point.

Can life in more urban/suburban areas be compatible with 'Freedom'? If so, then we need to demonstrate it. If not, then what's the point of what we're doing? If 'Freedom' is only possible in relative physical isolation, then as rural opportunities continue to decline the future is one without freedom.

The 'safe harbor' will be overwhelmed unless the goal is to create a model from which others can build in other areas of the country - my fear is that if you simply give up on the urban/suburban areas, the 'statist' mentality which is often promoted in most of these areas will continue to dominate, and as these areas are the ones which will continue to grow and increasingly dominate state, regional, national and international politics... Well, creating a tiny remote island of freedom while letting the ocean rage unchecked is likely to lead to ultimately just being washed away.

Perhaps we have to redefine freedom - to create models of freedom which are successul in urban and suburban settings. This has to involve a certain amount of self-regulation based on respect and consideration for others, so as to minimize sentiment favoring governmental regulation. In my opinion, this would be better accomplished in a place such as Manchester NH or Boise ID than in tiny towns and metropolitan areas with less than 100k residents.

Choosing one of the more remote states will not deprive us of the opportunity to get our message out or influence others, but, as I believe I have illustrated to some degree above, it may just allow this movement to take root with a minimum of harmful outside influences.  This, in turn, may produce a stronger crop, something people will more thoughtfully consider; certainly something that they would be more likely to emulate.

You can't show off what you don't already have.

However, if what you have is so different from underlying conditions in the rest of the country that people can brush it off as an aberration, then chances of it spreading are minimal - and it will be overwhelmed within a few generations at most.

My challenge is to those who believe that 'freedom in their lifetime' requires individual and/or collective isolation, that the incubator (or greenhouse, in your analogy) requires isolation and protection. We don't need fragile greenhouse plants, we need hardy freedom-loving weeds - 'activists' need to be able to survive and even thrive in the face of opposition.

You're correct in your thread title - these are 'potential issues', and again I agree that your concerns are valid. My perspective, based on my experience combined with my concerns and opinions, leads me to a different and I believe equally valid conclusion. Call it a different take on your different take!

Eric
« Last Edit: September 04, 2003, 10:36:07 am by DadELK68 »
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Robert H.

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #79 on: September 04, 2003, 07:27:39 pm »


There is a certain element among those posting to these fora who repeatedly advocate for particular states based on their desire for freedoms which will not be easily accepted in any 'settled' area - they want the vast open plains and high plateaus to be able to do whatever they want without worrying about irritating any neighbors...

These are the ones who want to 'run away', who seem to think that 'Freedom' can't exist within a region with a population density of more than a couple of people per square mile. This may or may not apply to you, but there are those among us whose view of their own self-interest is that they want isolation and to be left alone.


To be fair, I believe that there are some who are so tired of being dictated to, or else just frowned upon, that they're ready to head off where they won't catch sight of another human being anytime soon. Ironically, they could disappear just as effectively into the woods of Maine. They seem to be a minority though. Most, I think, just associate freedom with the ability to roam.


You do express reasonable and reasoned concerns and opinions, and I appreciate the fact that you acknowledge them as opinions rather than suggesting otherwise. My response is a rational question which I have yet to see anyone in the 'minimal-population-state' camp address - in fact, you seem to reinforce the point.

Can life in more urban/suburban areas be compatible with 'Freedom'? If so, then we need to demonstrate it. If not, then what's the point of what we're doing? If 'Freedom' is only possible in relative physical isolation, then as rural opportunities continue to decline the future is one without freedom.


I understand the point that you're making here, but I don't believe that it is necessarily a matter of where freedom can ultimately work so much as it a matter of where freedom can best work now, thus laying the foundation for its expansion in the future. I believe that, given time, freedom could succeed in the city as well as in the country. The problem that I see now is that so much of our infrastructure has become dependent upon statism for its support that attempts to reform the system from the top down will get us nowhere fast.

We have used statist methods to create a culture of dependency, and while there are alternatives to that system, the systems that we have put into place in the meantime (and the underlying assumptions about government that we have placed in the minds of the people) will make real, meaningful reform a difficult proposition. Ultimately, our task will be to change the way that people think, and give them incentives to take their future into their own hands as opposed to relying on someone else to provide for them. But "plunder," as Bastiat put it, "is easier than work." Human beings have a basic desire to be free, but they also like to be comfortable, and, when pressed, they'll trade freedom for comfort. Statism feeds that basic impulse. Thus, we are not only contending with human reason here. We're also contending with human impulse, which tends to be stronger than reason.

Because of this, it seems that what we really need is a new foundation upon which to build (or as close to one as we can get). This is why I favor tackling a small city like Cheyenne over much larger metropolitan areas. The task will still be difficult, but it will not likely be as difficult. Success there may be more realistically accomplished in our lifetime, and, with a libertarian foundation in place, continued growth would not immediately foster the growth of government, as it currently does.

What we accomplish will still be demonstrable. As I mentioned previously, the Information Age will help take care of that; combined with our own shameless advocacy, of course. Success is what is paramount. Detractors may try to write it off as "small town" or "small state" success, and they will likely try to pervert it into an "unfeeling culture of greed" as well, but they won't be able to deny it. In a culture of declining liberty and prosperity, we would stick out like a sore thumb.

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The 'safe harbor' will be overwhelmed unless the goal is to create a model from which others can build in other areas of the country - my fear is that if you simply give up on the urban/suburban areas, the 'statist' mentality which is often promoted in most of these areas will continue to dominate, and as these areas are the ones which will continue to grow and increasingly dominate state, regional, national and international politics... Well, creating a tiny remote island of freedom while letting the ocean rage unchecked is likely to lead to ultimately just being washed away.


Unfortunately though, we're assuming that people are going to be impressed with what we accomplish to the point where national politics will change in our favor. Again, I believe that impulse will prevail over reason. People will continue to advocate statism because some will continue to want to live at the expense of others, and some will continue to think that they know what's best for everyone. That's the history of man on earth right there, in spite of some examples that have been laid out as to how freedom can work: like the United States.

I do believe that some will follow, but I think the trend of near future history will either come down to globalization or balkanization. Either we will all be forced to live under one roof, with the goal of supporting the many on the backs of the few, or we'll agree to disagree and part company by creating smaller nation-states and confederations. This is one reason why I've pushed the idea of going where we can best form a regional solidarity, so as to foster the latter. Right now, the prevailing political winds seem to be steering us toward consolidation and globalization. I consider the FSP a mutiny, and an opportunity to help change course. ;)

I may be the gloomy sort, but I just do not see widespread acceptance of the principles and practices necessary to create and sustain liberty in our near future. The US is the closest that we've ever come to seeing it happen, and the same old impulses are steadily 'doing us in' once again, even here.

Our little island may get washed away, true. But then again, we may find ourselves diluted in the ocean as well, if we have no place where we can make a stand. If given a choice, I'd rather create one place where we can make a stand and rally others who feel as we do. The "city on a hill" example comes to mind here: a beacon of freedom that can be seen from afar. But it requires a firm foundation.

Robert H.

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #80 on: September 04, 2003, 07:35:52 pm »

Quote

Perhaps we have to redefine freedom - to create models of freedom which are successul in urban and suburban settings. This has to involve a certain amount of self-regulation based on respect and consideration for others, so as to minimize sentiment favoring governmental regulation. In my opinion, this would be better accomplished in a place such as Manchester NH or Boise ID than in tiny towns and metropolitan areas with less than 100k residents.


But to sustain the type of change you hope to implement, not to mention selling it in the first place, will take a people who choose to govern themselves above simply taking what they want from others. Again, the battle between reason and impulse; a war to fundamentally reshape the way that people think and act. I believe that this battle may be more effectively waged where the people are more autonomous and individualistic as a whole, and where the infrastructure is smaller and less burdensome.

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Choosing one of the more remote states will not deprive us of the opportunity to get our message out or influence others, but, as I believe I have illustrated to some degree above, it may just allow this movement to take root with a minimum of harmful outside influences. This, in turn, may produce a stronger crop, something people will more thoughtfully consider; certainly something that they would be more likely to emulate.

You can't show off what you don't already have.


However, if what you have is so different from underlying conditions in the rest of the country that people can brush it off as an aberration, then chances of it spreading are minimal - and it will be overwhelmed within a few generations at most.


When you come right down to it, it's libertarianism that's different. There are enough small towns, cities, and states throughout the country that many will be able to identify with us, if we are successful.  That said though, if we're trending in the opposite direction from the rest of the country, I believe that we will attract attention and interest from all quarters.  There will undoubtedly be some who will speculate on how our ideas might be applied to their own communities.

Besides, progressing from smaller to larger areas could follow the same trend as how people tend to advance from smaller to greater positions based on their experience level and/or training.  Town councilmen become county councilmen, county councilmen become state legislators, state legislators become national legislators and governors, national legislators and governors become president.  Our ideas could advance from the smaller to the larger level in much the same fashion.

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My challenge is to those who believe that 'freedom in their lifetime' requires individual and/or collective isolation, that the incubator (or greenhouse, in your analogy) requires isolation and protection. We don't need fragile greenhouse plants, we need hardy freedom-loving weeds - 'activists' need to be able to survive and even thrive in the face of opposition.

I think that they can survive and even thrive as well; once they've reached maturity, that is.  The problem with weeds - although I understand your analogy - is that they spread by sapping the strength of other plants.  Weeds are more aptly compared to statists.

Consider an example of how an isolation/incubation scenario helped change the world: the United States.  Much of what we are was able to be achieved because we were separated by thousands of miles of ocean from the more aggressive world powers.  That distance allowed us to sink some deep roots and grow strong.  Once we finally entered the world stage, we were prepared for it, and we changed the face of it.

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You're correct in your thread title - these are 'potential issues', and again I agree that your concerns are valid. My perspective, based on my experience combined with my concerns and opinions, leads me to a different and I believe equally valid conclusion. Call it a different take on your different take!

I can respect that.  Libertarians agreeing to disagree?  Who would have thought it?!   ;D ;)

Zxcv

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #81 on: September 05, 2003, 01:19:37 am »

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Can life in more urban/suburban areas be compatible with 'Freedom'? If so, then we need to demonstrate it. If not, then what's the point of what we're doing? If 'Freedom' is only possible in relative physical isolation, then as rural opportunities continue to decline the future is one without freedom.

Robert more or less answered this, but I'll throw my 2c in too.

It's pretty clear freedom can exist in low density areas. The question is, can it exist in big cities?

Let's assume it can. Then to demonstrate this, is it easier for a city to grow up retaining a culture of freedom, or to take a city with some agglomeration of statist rules, culture and constituents, and make it free?

Clearly it's easier to grow that way. It's easier to never become dependent on a bureaucracy, than to root out a bureaucracy that has all the good cards in its hand. Even more so, it's easier to convince citizens who are already free of the benefits of remaining free, than it is to convince a large number of citizens who are fastened on the public tit they'd be better off without it.

We have some new ideas here, and some useful knowledge. We know, for example, that we can't just take for granted that this nation will remain free. We know it is subject to the same incentives that any other country is. Knowing that, we then realize that we must take measures to counter those incentives, and to replace them with different ones. Just as an example, I've talked before about putting in place and nourishing cultural disincentives for statists. A healthy gun culture is going to keep a certain percentage of statists out of our state. The more of these things we can put in place, the better.

More new ideas: moving toward freedom. This is really an old idea, but died out for a while. Most people would look at you funny 50 years ago if you said you wanted to move to a particular state to be free, but these days it's pretty understandable.

And there is the Internet, think tanks, all sorts of tools. We now have tools to work with, and some historical perspective, to see how to make a city grow without becoming a "statist hellhole".

If we can take a city like Cheyenne and make it more free and keep it there, then we will know if free cities are possible. If we can't, we will also know they are not. However if we try to make free an existing, unfree big city, and fail, we still won't know if free cities are possible or not. All we will know is that we couldn't make that one free.

This whole process, using these tools and knowledge, will be a whole lot easier with some distance from media centers and other similar sorts of propaganda and bad influence.
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DadELK68

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #82 on: September 05, 2003, 12:34:18 pm »

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Can life in more urban/suburban areas be compatible with 'Freedom'? If so, then we need to demonstrate it... If 'Freedom' is only possible in relative physical isolation, then as rural opportunities continue to decline the future is one without freedom.

It's pretty clear freedom can exist in low density areas... is it easier for a city to grow up retaining a culture of freedom, or to take a city with some agglomeration of statist rules, culture and constituents, and make it free?


I appreciate both of you responding to this, as I haven't seen anyone respond in a significant way when I've raised this question in the past. Obviously, we're all speculating - which is interesting and hopefully useful, but in the end we just don't know until we try.

I understand and don't disagree with your example of Cheyenne - however, the counter-examples I can offer of Boise and Manchester might play out like this, when the FSP begins moving to NH (or ID, but for simplicity I'll just use NH - it's also useful because urban Manchester is the most significant 'statist' stronghold in NH and my impression is that it's probably more so than is Boise, although the rest of the state of NH tends to be more 'small-L' libertarian while the rest of ID tends to be more conservative):

First, FSP activists will probably be distributed throughout the state roughly in proportion to the current trends in population density, although some may choose to settle more strategically in a few target towns/counties to strengthen the movement there. Next, their growing influence on the state level (due to statewide distribution) leads to increasing devolution of power from Concord to the local (city/town/township) level.

It seems logical that this be the first step for two reasons: first, it's easier to convince people to accept devolution from the state to local level than to simply enact radical, broad changes on a statewide level. Next, it allows those whose concentration and influence is greatest in specific towns to exert increasing influence within their towns, rolling back central control and increasing freedom locally with more radical reforms. For example, which is more likely to succeed - privatizing the public school system statewide, or freeing up local communities to experiment so that after a few examples exist others might choose to follow?

The result is multiple models (as different steps will be taken at different rates in different communities) throughout the state, with neighboring communities increasingly following their examples or being forced to become temporarily more statist. The increasing freedoms will tend to repel statists from the more free areas, either not moving in, leaving the state, or moving to the few remaining statist enclaves. An example of this is how Liberals currently decry the lack of state-wide kindergarten; those wanting sidewalks and publicly funded kindergarten don't move to towns lacking such amenities of statism.

As this continues, Manchester and Lebanon (as well as a few other communities) have one of two options. As the possibility of aid from Concord (i.e. pillage from other communities) decreases, they either have to begin weaning themselves from statism to compete or they have to increase taxes (taking from their liberal elitist residents to provide for their liberal dependent residents) to the point that the economic foundation is so eroded (by taxpaying people and businesses fleeing to the surrounding increasingly free communities) that there is a localized small-scale socio-economic-political collapse - resulting in the most statist among them being forced to either change their thinking or move, along with the inevitable ascension of those with a better understanding and ability to shift the urban area toward a more solidly free foundation.

To some extent I suspect this will be the pattern in the more urban/statist areas of any state, if the FSP is to succeed. I suspect, however, that having a predominance of taxpaying mostly non-agricultural and non-state employed (donor, rather than recipient) in the underlying population will increase the chances of success in NH vs WY because it makes it much easier to isolate the statists in a few locales - they won't have as many potential allies addicted to government in the other areas of the state.

Another advantage to this process in NH vs any of the Western areas is the opposite of the isolation argument - in NH, there aren't vast distances between different municipalities. When it comes to disseminating changes from a few initial successful model town reforms, it will be more likely that (in NH) Chester will have a potential influence on Nottingham than that (in ID) Middleton will have similar influence on Twin Falls or that (in WY) Evanston will have similar influence on Rawlins. You could argue the concern that the potential for statist influence in proximity is a net negative, but when things actually start changing I suspect the influence for libertarian influence is a net positive.

Eric
« Last Edit: September 05, 2003, 03:15:58 pm by DadELK68 »
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Robert H.

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Re:Potential Issues Related to Proximity - A Different Take
« Reply #83 on: September 06, 2003, 05:17:19 am »

I appreciate both of you responding to this, as I haven't seen anyone respond in a significant way when I've raised this question in the past. Obviously, we're all speculating - which is interesting and hopefully useful, but in the end we just don't know until we try.

This is true.  Personally, I place greater emphasis in setting the proper foundation for building upward, particularly given where our society stands at the moment.  However, what you are spelling out here might have a chance as well given that you assume a sufficient degree of success at the state level.  Without such success, the devolution your plan requires will not be able to take place.  I have serious doubts about whether that is feasible in the higher population states, and especially in New Hampshire due to the size of its House of Representatives.

The idea behind what you're suggesting appeals to me in a way because it seems like doing statists the justice they deserve.  "If you want this top-heavy system, you can pay for it yourself."  It essentially seeks to knock the supports out from under the system.  This could work, of course, but knocking the supports out means that whatever those supports are currently holding up will be coming down.  Given the fact that our larger metro areas have grown so heavy as to strain those supports in the first place, I don't believe that places like New York would find such methods appealing.  No one would want to be under that statist Goliath if it were to come down.   ;)

Devolution could be applied to places like New York, but it would have to be done carefully, and with an infusion of free market forces tackling some very difficult issues, right down to things as simple as public highways and utilities (not to mention more socially significant issues).  Again, this is a problem of dependency that we've created and that we currently sustain by statist methods.  Transitioning off of it will take more than a change of policy without creating some significant problems for larger cities.  It will take a total change of perspective and lifestyle, which could take two generations or more.

All of that to say that even if you could potentially pull off devolution in a place like New Hampshire, the larger metro areas you're hoping to influence through that example are in an entirely different pickle.  The best way to start there may be cap the further growth of programs and to start scaling them back and privatizing while try to bring the dependent masses up from their dependency.  No simple task that, and the fact that it would be so difficult gives me little hope that it will take place.  It would take strong, sustained libertarian leadership, and a heavy emphasis on the principles of liberty at the grassroots, individual level to a degree never before seen (and in direct competition with human impulses to the contrary).

Quote
Another advantage to this process in NH vs any of the Western areas is the opposite of the isolation argument - in NH, there aren't vast distances between different municipalities. When it comes to disseminating changes from a few initial successful model town reforms, it will be more likely that (in NH) Chester will have a potential influence on Nottingham than that (in ID) Middleton will have similar influence on Twin Falls or that (in WY) Evanston will have similar influence on Rawlins.

There is certainly potential for this, although given the importance of a city like Cheyenne to the entire State of Wyoming, I believe that a significant level of change there would ripple througout the state in spite of distance.  That's an instance when your emphasis on devolution would begin to apply (only with smaller areas involved).  

Quote
You could argue the concern that the potential for statist influence in proximity is a net negative, but when things actually start changing I suspect the influence for libertarian influence is a net positive.

Well, the aspect of proximity that I'm emphasizing here would apply more to locations outside of the chosen state, places that would not be as likely to change.

johnadams

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Re:WHERE ARE THE LIBERTARIAN INSTITUTIONS LOCATED?
« Reply #84 on: September 06, 2003, 06:15:07 pm »

It's interesting that they're located in Nashua. That seems to be a libertarian-oriented city.
::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
Do some more research before making a blanket statement like that please.

Emor, if you've read many of my posts you know I do a lot of research and provide a lot of information as well as opinions. I have read many of your posts and you seem to be one of the most divisive posters in these fora, so methinks the fox smells himself. Nine little faces is no substitute for real research and productive discussion. If you have information you would like to share that refutes my observation, based on information about Nashua and its political leaders that I've read here and learned about elsewhere, please do share it with us. But please spare us your snide and caustic one-liners.

I am fully aware of the attempts that you and other WY supporters made to smear southern NH as a socialist haven and its recent immigrants as seekers of statism. You obviously have chosen to ignore the evidence that was provided time and again which refuted those claims. That is your right and I defend your right to hold whatever views you choose, but now that the voting is likely mostly over why don't we focus more on information than vitriol? I would be happy to review the results of any new research you have done. Most people have probably already voted anyway, so why not relax and work toward peace and reconciliation at this point? I hope you fulfill your dream of moving to WY and I wish you the best of luck.

As a matter of fact, I was just visiting this thread again to provide the results of still more research I have done. I stumbled upon mention of the Ethan Allen Institute, a Vermont free market think tank, which led me to the State Policy Network [note: not all the think tanks listed with the State Policy Network (SPN) are libertarian friendly, but they all allegedly have some free-market connection], which in turn led me to The Josiah Bartlett Center. I checked for a WY think tank listing with the SPN and would have been happy to provide it in the interest of reconciliation, but there were none (if you don't believe me you can check out the SPN map yourself at http://www.spn.org/resources/spn_directory/default.asp.).

There is, however, the Independence Institute in nearby Colorado. This organization looks promising.


The Independence Institute
www.i2i.org  

The Independence Institute is a Colorado-based state think tank founded on the principle of individual responsibility and the small-government philosophy of the Declaration of Independence. The Institute publishes issues papers, editorials, and books.


Ethan Allen Institute
http://www.ethanallen.org/index3.html

"Vermont's Free Market Think Tank"


The Josiah Bartlett Center
http://www.jbartlett.org/

POLICY MATTERS: The Opportunity to Eliminate the Statewide Property Tax
http://www.jbartlett.org/pdf/policy_matters_web.pdf

"The Center has as its core beliefs individual freedom and responsibility, limited and accountable government, and an appreciation of the role of the free enterprise system."


If anyone is familiar with the The Independence Institute, the Ethan Allen Institute or the Josiah Bartlett Center and can let us know how libertarian/free-market oriented they are I would appreciate it. And if anyone has info on other libertarian-oriented think tanks in any of the potential Free States or nearby cities please do share it with us.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2003, 06:20:40 pm by johnadams »
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Tony Stelik

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Freedom Now failed FSP must succed
« Reply #85 on: September 09, 2003, 09:27:38 am »

I was just was about “Freedom Now” project of Cairn in September Quill.
It is impressive the idea has being so many times applied to form the shape of society to the liking of particular group of people. I did not know about this project. Have I knew it, I would probably be living in Fort Collins Colorado. now.
It is sad the project did not succeed. But it is good fundamental experience for all of us, when we are involved in FSP.
I would like to think why that older project failed.
The concept to which Cairn subscribes even now, was to locate in the politically unimportant place. Somewhere, the politicians would not feel treated. Below “radar screen”. Unfortunately such a place could not provide enough work, the living conditions were not attractive enough for the people to move.
From this experience I think we absolutely need  â€œcritical mass” – 20K porcupines.
“Political remoteness” is a mistake. Moving to such a place is counter productive to our goals of creating “critical mass”. To assemble 20 K porcupines we need to be “high profile” movement, the one written about, discussed, and well known. This high visibility is also our insurance policy, no politician or bureaucrat will dare to use the force against us if we will be well known peaceful, respecting constitution movement. No one would describe us as a thread to society and a terrorists. This is serious concern. Everybody I am talking with, considers our end under government jack booths. This also was my concern when I learned about FSP at first.
Also “political remoteness” is for the reason. In such a place business does not exist. There is no money, no people, so there is no interest of government in such location. If one can not provide for self, one would not move. But even if individuals would create the work places and the businesses, government would get immediately interested in the place and would try to step in to get the piece of the action. This would be easy, since the place would be far and away from any public interest. Information in the media would be either nonexistent or span the way the officials would like. The only sign of something happening would be amassment of political analyst and economist of incredible phenomena of unexplainable momentary local business growth in place X.
From my evaluation the “Freedom Now” project was doomed to fail from the beginning due to this one underlying concept:
Remote, unimportant place beyond politicians interests, the place where rugged individualism could be the only powering force.
We need another approach today.
We need to create “critical mass” – 20K moving.
We need to chose the state where are jobs to be able to attract “critical mass”
We need to be high profile to deter those who will not like the political direction we will be going.
We will need to influence local individuals and get involved in local political structures.
Only few of considered states provide us with the opportunities as above.
This states are NH, and than second choice ID, AK and DE. The rest of concerns is less important and in fact would be repetition of Cairn’s “Freedom Now” effort.
FSP in WY would be just another Freedom Now project just maybe on little bigger scale, but not big enough.
BTW, my best regards for Ms Cairn. I wander if she is today a member of FSP. Would be glad to be her neighbor somewhere.

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