The Most Libertarian Towns in America

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Column by Alex R. Knight III.

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Maybe you're thinking seriously about getting out of some hellhole in favor of living in a slightly less statist place, around more like-minded people – or possibly you just want a break and an interesting place to visit. Either way, I think I've identified a few places that might interest you:

Keene, New Hampshire: It has more or less evolved into the de facto epicenter of the oxymoronically-named Free State Project, and thus also boasts some of the movement's more vibrant projects and media endeavors, such as Free Keene, Free Talk Live, and the Liberty Radio Network. There's also been a considerable history of civil disobedience in Keene, ranging from open pot-smoking, to conducting business without licenses, to wearing hats in courtrooms, to so many others too numerous to recount here.

Auburn, Alabama: This city is the home of Auburn University, wherein you will find one Roderick T. Long as professor of Philosophy. Of the many libertarian/market anarchist causes and organizations Long is involved with – and which may be found at his web pages above – one of them is the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, also physically located in Auburn.

Austin, Texas: Most famously, perhaps, Austin is home to Alex Jones, but somewhat more puritanically to voluntaryists, the city includes John Bush and Catherine Bleish's Brave New Books, and Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed (yes, he of the 3D printed “ghost gun,” and the excellent read, Come and Take It).

Mesa, Arizona: Home to the one and only Marc Stevens, and his program The No-State Project. Stevens has also written the excellent and groundbreaking books, Adventures in Legal Land, and Government Indicted. He has helped innumerable people challenge government in everything from traffic tickets to property taxes to IRS harassment, and continues to do so on a daily basis.

Anderson, Alaska: I wrote an STRicle about this place once upon a blue moon – you can read about it again here (or for the first time if you missed it way back in '07). Not much has changed, I don't think, except for my own personal circumstances described therein. Which is a perfect segue, because . . .

Then there's . . . Vermont! Not typically known as being too libertarian, and if we're talking taxes, that's fairly accurate. I moved here in 2002, and wrote a kind of semi-humorous justification piece back in '06 comparing Vermont to the rest of New England. I still stick by most of it (even though some of the specifics are dated by now). Vermont is very low-population, very few cops, least gun laws anywhere, and very few building codes (something most folks don't know about). I'm right next door to New Hampshire (about 40 minutes from downtown Keene, in fact) and can shop tax-free whenever I damn well please (not that there still isn't plenty of opportunity for that here on the Internet). I find that, as then, I still like the peace, quiet, and natural beauty – and all the more so since I have a different and better house than I did a dozen years ago. A lot of other things have changed over those years, too. This place has grown on me. This is home.

So I won't add Vermont to this list – at least not “officially,” anyway. Unless you consider my presence here to make it more libertarian . . . and I hope that's actually true, if only in some small way.

In any case, I just thought I'd point out a few places on the map for you that've come to my attention over time, as all seemed to indicate a higher than ordinary level of libertarian activity. You might decide from this point forward to make that happen wherever you are right now. Or, you might decide to pull up stakes, and move on. Been there and done that myself a few times until, for me, at least, I got it right.

Either way – and any way that suits you – happy travels.

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 146

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales.  He has also written and published poetry, non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues.  He currently lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University.  Alex's Amazon page can be found here, and his work may also be found at both Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.  His Facebook page can be found here.  Receive Alex's occasional Tweets here.

Comments

Paul's picture

Thanks for this list, Alex. You *might* want to add Wyoming to this list. (I was one of the principals of "Free State Wyoming". Wyoming got 2nd place in the Free State Project state selection process.) I lived there for a few years. I used to open carry a handgun routinely, cops were nice (relatively speaking - they even waved as they drove by), and the small-town atmosphere meant that the ruling class was not too far removed from the peons, which tends to reduce their depredations. Probably the most heavily-armed state in the country, which keeps the crime low as a side benefit. Thousand-yard rifle ranges are everywhere there's BLM land. Almost no building code (just well and septic inspections) for homes outside city limits, and tax-free shopping in neighboring Montana. No income tax. Downside was heavy-handed drug prohibition, onerous hunting regulation, a growing free shit army and plenty of fascist-style business/govt corruption.

Best towns are probably those in the NE corner of the state, where a lot of Free State Wyoming folks ended up (e.g. Newcastle, Sundance, Hulett), Thermopolis, Casper and maybe Cody. Avoid Cheyenne, Laramie, Sheridan and Evanston. There is a little town, Freedom, Wyoming, where Freedom Arms revolvers are manufactured.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Hi Paul:
 
I think I remember you mentioning Wyoming a while back, and its pros and cons as a Liberty Location.  I was aware it is the least populated "state" (tax farm), and so, strictly from a standpoint of sheer sociological pragmatism alone it has its advantages.  Vermont is second place in that category (albeit in a much smaller geographical area), and Alaska is third.

mishochu's picture

Cool, somewhere in Utah has got to make the list, obviously not SLC, but somewhere.

Granted, they do love that drug/alcohol war.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Hi misochu:
 
Skyler J. Collins is in Salt Lake City, he of http://everything-voluntary.com, and numerous Mises Institute-backed publications.

Alex R. Knight III's picture